COVID-19 update: DC campuses closed with limited access to designated employees, students and contractors

Dear colleagues and students,

As we all experience the quickly evolving circumstances around COVID-19, a new week is underway that is already vastly different from the last. We are witnessing history in its making at a global level and as a college we are striving to make timely decisions to help minimize risk to our employees, students and the broader community.

In light of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s announcement yesterday, calling for closed borders and a focused approach to prevent the spread of infection, and Premier Doug Ford’s state of emergency declaration, we have made the difficult decision to close our campuses.

What does this mean?

  • As of Wednesday, March 18, campus access is restricted to designated employees, students and contractors, until further notice. This access will be limited to specific areas of DC’s Oshawa and Whitby campuses.
  • Pickering Learning Site will be closed.
  • Access to the Community Employment Resource Centres will be by telephone appointment only.
  • Building access at the Oshawa campus will be through the main entrance at the Gordon Willey Building. The Student Services building (SSB) and Centre for Collaborative Education (CFCE) will be closed at the Oshawa campus.
  • Building access at the Whitby campus is through the main entrance.
  • The W. Galen Weston Centre for Food (CFF) at the Whitby campus will be closed.
  • All employees will work from home, except for small teams of essential services.
  • DC-issued employee or student identification is required to be admitted on campus. Security will be there to assist as necessary.
  • The online learning continuity model will still begin as planned on Monday, March 23.
  • Bistro ’67, Pantry and all food services will close, except for the South Village Residence dining hall for our residence students.
  • Residences remain open; however, domestic students living on campus who can return home during this time are encouraged to do so.

While DC moves to a closed campus, we are working expeditiously and thoughtfully to provide learning opportunities and student services through new online models. We will provide more details on the availability of limited labs, studios and shops, as well as virtual services as soon as decisions are made.

Please continue to reference DC’s COVID-19 webpage often at www.durhamcollege.ca/coronavirus.

During this time, please take advantage of the benefits offered by technology and check in on those who may be struggling. A simple text message, email or phone call goes a long way to remind us that we remain connected.

Please be sure to check in on yourself too. As the impact of COVID-19 and all its implications are felt worldwide, it can be easy to let fear get the best of us. There are many credible sources of information that can help better understand the virus and how we can all do our part to help slow down the spread of COVID-19 and keep each other safe.

We will get through this together.

Don

Don Lovisa,
Durham College President