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A person wearing a mask walks on Fort Garry campus in winter 2022. // Photo by Jack Rach

Update for UM students on resources, health protocols until end of Winter Term

Message from Laurie Schnarr, Vice-Provost (Students)

March 14, 2022 — 

Dear students,

With many of you making the transition back to in-person learning and studying, we want to assure you – and all students – that we are continuing to take precautions to keep you safe.

As you know, the provincial government is beginning the process of loosening their pandemic-related restrictions this week. However, we expect our UM community to continue to follow the updated UM health and safety guidelines. The health and well-being of our students remains a top priority, and it is up to everyone on campus to work together to contribute to this effort.

The following protocols are effective until the end of Winter Term on May 3.

Mandatory vaccination

UM’s vaccine mandate requires all students and employees on campus to be double vaccinated and to have uploaded proof of vaccination on UM’s website, or to have received an approved medical or religious exemption. Rapid testing is no longer an alternative to vaccination.

Masking required

KN95 masks must be worn in all indoor spaces on UM campuses. The only exceptions are if you are alone in a room with the door closed or eating in areas designated for food consumption. Masks are not required outdoors.

If you visit the COVID-19 health and safety website, you’ll find a list of places where you can pick up a mask, and the hours of operation for each.

If you are coming to campus and do not have a KN95 mask, you can wear your own cloth or 3-ply mask while you go immediately to the closest mask pick-up location. After the initial mask pick-up, it’s expected that you will have a supply of KN95 masks to wear, even when attending the distribution locations to access more masks.

Reporting illness

If you are not feeling well, stay at home or immediately go home.

We strongly advise you to follow UM’s existing self-isolation protocols. Updated process charts are available on the COVID-19 website health and safety page for those who are on campus and begin to feel ill, and another chart if you were a close contact of someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

Close contacts are people who have shared space with a COVID-positive person during their period of communicability.  Specifically, these are people who were within two metres/six feet of a COVID-positive individual for a total of 10 minutes over a 24-hour period. 

If you are symptomatic or test positive for COVID-19 and need to self-isolate:

Students should immediately contact their instructor to make arrangements for extensions, deferrals or make-up assignments without academic penalty. The missed academic work form can be used to help communicate with your instructor.

As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, our team of experts will advise as to when it will be appropriate to adjust the health and safety protocols in place. For up-to-date information on UM’s COVID-19 response and protocols, please visit the COVID-19 website

Additional information regarding resources and supports

The latest resources, programs and supports for Indigenous students can be found on the COVID-19 Indigenous supports page. All Indigenous Student Centre programming is still available – this page lets you know how to connect with each.

New international students can meet fellow international students and share experiences at the Lessons Learned and Future Goals session of the International Centre’s Culture and Connection series for new students.

Get involved!

Two years ago on March 23 UM closed its buildings to help stop the spread of COVID-19. You are invited to reflect on the challenges we have faced over the past two years, recognize how we have worked together to overcome them, and find collective hope in the future at Riding the Waves: Reflecting on Two Years of Pandemic Living, Wednesday, March 23, at 11:30 am. Please join St. John’s College Chaplaincy and UM Spiritual Care and Multi-Faith Centre in person at the Chapel of St John the Evangelist or you can attend virtually by viewing from this site.

On March 17th from 1-2 pm, the Faculty of Graduate Studies is offering a session to help graduate students establish the most effective online research profiles: ORCID, Scopus, Publons, Google Scholar: Making Sense of Research Profiles.

On Wednesday, March 23, all students are invited to Building the Student Experience, an informal come-and-go community conversation on the future of on-campus housing development at UM. Drop by 204 UMSU University Centre between 11:30 am -1:00 pm to provide your input and identify housing priorities for UM. Refreshments will be served.

Stay active

Taking cake care of your physical and mental health helps to relieve stress. Recreation Services, now operating at 100 per cent, offers in-person and virtual options to help you stay active.

We are all Bisons!

Get involved as a volunteer or cheer on the Bisons this month when the best in the country come to play. Visit gobisons.ca for details:

·         Canada West Track and Field Championships March 18-19

·         U SPORTS Men’s Volleyball Championship March 25-27

As I observe our many UM community members making the full return to our campuses, I am hopeful that we can continue to help and support one other with the same empathy and kindness that I have witnessed countless times throughout the past two years. I hope this reminder of our COVID-related protocols and the many resources, programs and supports available to you has been helpful.

All my best,

Laurie

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