WUSA Student Update on COVID-19 

WUSA logo
Michael Beauchemin
President
Fri, 03/13/2020 - 11:45

Hello Warriors, 

We know students are concerned with the developments of COVID-19 and are eager to know how the University of Waterloo will respond. While confirmed cases in the Waterloo Region remain few and risk remains low, it is a good time to take precaution and build good habits. We encourage you to follow the advice of public health authorities, including: 

  • Self-isolation for those who have recently travelled internationally, especially to those regions identified as high risk  

  • Self-monitoring (14 days) for those arriving from other countries/regions  

  • Preventing the spread of viruses by frequently use of hand sanitizer and washing hands with soap, avoiding large gatherings and touching your face, and only stockpiling supplies as advised by health authorities  

  • If you are very ill with symptoms of COVID-19 and have travelled to any destination outside of Canada in the last 14 days please contact a hospital emergency department and proceed to that emergency department immediately after calling, unless instructed otherwise. 

  • Students who have not travelled outside of Canada may contact University Health Services by phone to book an appointment if they develop symptoms (fever, persistent dry cough, or difficulty breathing) 

  • Please be advised Health Services is NOT providing tests for COVID-19, instead they are performing examinations and referring out for testing if deemed necessary 

All student events with attendance over 50, including those hosted by our clubs, services, and societies will be cancelled as of Monday, March 16, until further notice. Events over the weekend with attendance greater than 50 are being strongly advised to cancel. Those with more than 100 attendees are cancelled effective immediately. We advise anyone holding an event to reconsider. 

We are taking the following steps to ensure student safety: 

  • Calling on the University to proactively move to online delivery for classes and encouraging the cancellation of mass examinations 

  • Asking for student self-verification on Verification of Illness Forms if they are unable to attend class or examinations as a result of self-isolation or are from at-risk populations. 

  • Asking for consideration (academic amnesty, refunds/discounts) to be given to international students, exchange students and co-op students abroad who want to return home  

  • Offering our support to Health Services 

  • Advocating to the federal government for extensions to visas by Immigration and Refugees Canada for international students, those travelling abroad, or who have no method of travel 

  • Offering increased capacity of our petition and grievance support for students who have had their academics negatively impacted by COVID-19

  • As we identify them, further actions to support students who are affected 

We are also exploring:  

  • Potential changes to the student health plan to better serve the needs of those abroad and in the Region, should COVID-19 significantly spread here 

  • Limiting or cancelling Fed Bus services and helping students determine alternative transportation 

  • Change, delay or cancellation of our General Meeting 

  • Other changes to our services to better serve students and protect their health if a local outbreak occurs 

If you are experiencing stress or other negative mental health outcomes, whether as a result of self-isolation or not, please know there are several resources you can continue to access remotely, including: 

We are continuing to work with the University and seek guidance from public health authorities. If you have any questions, please check the University's COVID-19 webpage and our upcoming FAQ on our news page. If you have questions for us and what we’re working for on your behalf, DM us on Instagram, so we can keep each other in the loop.  

I know our community will remain calm, strong, and united in the coming months.  

Sincerely, 

Michael Beauchemin, BASc (He/Him)   
President    
Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association, University of Waterloo   
519-888-4567 ext. 32478   
@yourWUSAPres   
Student Life Centre, Room 2118F