We have all been learning more about 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and precautions that we are being asked to take as this issue continues to evolve. Further to our update of Friday, March 13, important new information is now available for those individuals who are returning from travel outside of Canada.
The Government of Canada is recommending that individuals who return from travel outside of Canada “self-isolate” for a period of 14 days. The University of Windsor supports the government’s decision and strongly urges all faculty and staff who are returning from travel outside of Canada to follow the advice and directions provided on https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/health-safety/travel-health-notices/221
We are therefore asking that employees who need to self-isolate notify the University as you ordinarily would if you are unable to be at work. As well, if you are able to work remotely while in self-isolation, please work with your supervisor to make those arrangements. All benefits and payment of salaries and wages will continue during this self-isolation.
Following the Government of Canada’s recommendations on travel, we will provide needed support to the efforts of federal and provincial health agencies to deal with, and contain, the COVID-19 outbreak as effectively and quickly as possible.
Faculty and staff are reminded that if at any time you develop COVID-19 symptoms – including fever, cough or have difficulty breathing – to please seek advice and attention from your family doctor, and do not come to work. You will continue to be paid. During these unprecedented times, a doctor’s note will not be required so as to reduce any unnecessary pressure on our medical system.
We also know that many of our staff and faculty have children who will be affected by the closure of the publicly funded K-12 schools for two weeks after the March break, and we will support those individuals who need to be away from work during this period, by granting vacation or other leave, should it be necessary.
I want to again reassure our entire campus community that we are taking appropriate measures to deal with the impact of COVID-19 and are focusing on safeguarding the health and safety of our campus community. We continue to diligently monitor the rapidly changing situation on an ongoing basis.
During the past few days, the leadership across our institution has been incredible in supporting the complex transition of all courses to alternative delivery methods from face to face. These efforts will immediately and significantly reduce the number of people on campus.
The University will continue to remain open at this time. This may, however, change, and if necessary will consider moving to a model that provides essential services. In this situation, we would be working further to identify and communicate with those positions deemed to be essential.
We are also presently developing plans to support the delivery of examinations in alternative formats with details being provided to our campus community shortly. We continue to further review options for working from home, as this may become necessary moving forward.
The University’s Pandemic Planning Committee and Executive Leadership Group are both meeting throughout the week to monitor our situation. And we continue to follow the leads of both the federal and provincial public health agencies.
We will be providing additional information on a regular basis and encourage the campus community to continue to visit our COVID-19 website
—Robert Gordon, President