This message is sent on behalf of Chris Buddle, Associate Provost (Teaching and Academic Programs), and Fabrice Labeau, Deputy Provost (Student Life and Learning), on behalf of the Recovery and Operations Resumption Committee (ROR).
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Dear members of the McGill community,
Another day brings additional important information. The situation is changing rapidly and we are doing our best to get you what you need as quickly as possible. We know our emails this week have been both frequent and long but we ask you to please take the time to read them.
We also acknowledge that many of you are feeling anxious, and that this uncertainty is difficult to navigate.
In this email:
- McGill COVID directives in effect December 17-23, 2021 and December 24, 2021-January 9, 2022
- Government of Quebec looking for students with specific skills to help with vaccination
- More new international travel guidelines announced toda
COVID directives until January 10
Quebec universities met with government officials this afternoon to clarify guidelines for higher education in the coming weeks. The government considers education to be a priority sector for in-person activities, which is why it often operates under different directives than other sectors.
1) Directives in effect December 17-23, 2021
- We will continue with our activities, including research and in-person exams, until the end of the semester.
- The Ministry confirmed that higher education remains a priority sector, a status that allows us to complete our semester as scheduled, with our ongoing safety precautions in place.
- The Quebec government also asked universities not to increase in-person staff presence for now. McGill reduced its on-campus presence for administrative and support staff who can perform their job functions at home to approximately 30% of time, although this percentage may vary depending on operational needs. Density will also be further reduced as many people are taking vacation.
- Staff who must be on-site to perform their job functions and staff who provide support and services to students can continue to come to our campuses as needed during this period.
- We have confirmed that the 250-person limit for gatherings imposed in some sectors does not apply to university exams.
2) Directives in effect December 24, 2021 to January 9, 2022
- Most classes and teaching activities held in the week of January 3, 2022 will be remote, following the Premier’s December 16 announcement.
- Teaching activities that need to be in person can be, including those in the health sciences professions and teaching laboratories. Instructors and students must understand and follow all safety precautions.
- Staff and students needing to be on campus for research or necessary activities can access University facilities throughout this period.
- Administrative and support staff who can perform their job from home should do so. However, staff may come to campus the week of January 3 to prepare for in-person activities in subsequent weeks, if needed. Staff who need to be on site for their job must come to work.
We know many of you are eager to know McGill’s plans for the period starting January 10, 2022. We will share more information next week, as the situation evolves, but we do expect that many in-person teaching activities will start January 10.
Students wanted to help with vaccination campaign
Students working towards health professions are asked to help get our community through this critical period of the pandemic. Through the Government of Quebec’s Je Contribue initiative, students can join more than 1,500 professionals who have dedicated their time to improving the health and safety of our greater community.
Volunteer positions are available for:
- Administering vaccinations
- Performing or analyzing COVID tests
- Assisting with contact-tracing
Please consider pitching in and enhancing your professional skills if you are able to do so. Dates, times, and locations are flexible, and your contribution will make a huge difference. Many opportunities are also available for students pursuing other degree programs. You can learn more and sign up to volunteer on the Government of Quebec website.
New international travel guidelines
The federal government announced two changes to its guidelines at a press conference today.
- The ban on flights from 10 African countries will be lifted as of Saturday, December 18 at 11:59 p.m.
- Effective Tuesday, December 21, international travellers, regardless of vaccination status or the length of time they have been absent, must show proof of a negative PCR test taken before entering Canada.
The details are not yet available on the Government’s travel site, so please confirm on the site. We encourage you to always check travel.gc.ca before making plans and before travelling to get the most up-to-date information.
This is a tough time for everyone. Remember that you can find health and wellness resources, including mental health resources, on our Coronavirus site (near the bottom of the health and safety page).
Have a safe weekend.
Associate Provost (Teaching and Academic Programs)
Deputy Provost (Student Life and Learning)