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Student Survival Guide during COVID-19 pandemic

March 31, 2020 — 

End of term is typically a stressful time for university students. It has become even more challenging due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with learners adapting to taking classes online, spending long periods of time indoors, and social distancing with friends and family.

Here is a guide to help learners navigate life in this taxing time and help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Student Services

All services offered by Student Services at Bannatyne Campus (SS@BC) are available while students are taking classes from home, including counselling and student mental health supports. While SS@BC staff are not meeting in-person with learners, students and residents are asked to call 204-272-3190 or email the office at bcss [at] umanitoba [dot] ca to arrange services (all emails and voice mails are confidential). 

SS@BC offers 11 different services: confidential intake and triage support, case management, counselling, student mental health services, spiritual care, student accessibility services, student advocacy, financial aid and awards, international advising, career services and a food bank. Visit SS@BC’s website for more information.


Even though the gyms are closed there are exercise options for your living room. Because it’s important to get moving, the University of Manitoba’s Recreation Services is posting home workouts on its YouTube channel. There are also plenty of options on YouTube for all sorts of workouts — from yoga to pilates and workouts with weights to meditation sessions.

You can also turn to smartphone apps like the Nike Training Club app or FitOn app to get in a workout at home.

Grocery delivery

To avoid the grocery store and still stay nourished with healthy foods, you can order your groceries online and have them delivered. Options include instacart, Save-On-Foods, and Walmart to have your groceries delivered to your door. Or you can order online at pick up through PCexpress.

Restaurant delivery

Low on food or don’t feel like cooking? Then order your next meal from a restaurant and have it delivered. SkipTheDishes, Uber Eats and DoorDash are options.


For the latest updates about Winnipeg Transit service visit its COVID-19 webpage.

If you don’t have a car and would like access to one, Peg City Car Co-op is an option. The organization says it is taking extra steps to sanitize all of its vehicles.  

COVID-19 updates

Visit the Province of Manitoba and the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 webpages for important updates about COVID-19 in your community and across the country. For global information about the coronavirus outbreak, visit the World Health Organization’s website.

News sources

Stay up to date with the latest local news about COVID-19, visit the Winnipeg Free Press, CBC Manitoba, CTV News Winnipeg and Global News Winnipeg. National news sources include The Globe and Mail, CBC News, CTV News, and Global News.


The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) recommends cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched areas — such as toilets, light switches, bedside tables and door handles — daily with water and regular household cleaning products or a diluted bleach solution (0.5% sodium hypochlorite).

PHAC says that frequently touched electronics, such as phones and computers should be disinfected if they can withstand the use of liquids for disinfection, like 70% alcohol wipes. Find more information here.

Need help or you would like to volunteer?  

Help Next Door MB is an online tool that connects people looking for assistance with tasks or services. Sign up to volunteer or list what you need help with here.

Indoor adventures

Just because you are stuck at home doesn’t mean you can’t go on a worldwide adventure. Take an online tour of the Louvre in Paris. Go on a live safari in South Africa with Wild Earth. Take a virtual tour of London’s Buckingham Palace or see what the pandas are doing live at Zoo Atlanta. You can also stay closer to home and explore The Canadian Museum for Human Rights online exhibitions.


While the Neill John Maclean Health Sciences Library is closed; its librarians are still working to answer students’ questions about everything from course support to research assistance to citation help. Learners can contact library staff through email at healthsciences [at] umanitoba [dot] ca or a subject librarian directly. Most of the library’s resources are available remotely. More information can be found here.

University updates

Visit the University of Manitoba’s COVID-19 webpage for the latest updates from President David Barnard and senior administrators. There is also a section of FAQs for students that answer the most asked questions.

For the latest updates from Dean Brian Postl and senior administrators, visit the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences COVID-19 page. There are also links to government and professional associations’ COVID-19 updates pages.

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2 comments on “Student Survival Guide during COVID-19 pandemic

  1. Laurel Gardiner

    Do you have any links to Government of Canada Financial help for students who are unable find employment due to Covid 19?

    1. UM Staff

      Thanks for the question. Here is some information available:
      Government resources
      You may qualify for other government funds, for example employment insurance. To find out more about your eligibility, visit the Government of Canada’s website and the Province of Manitoba’s website.

      Visit the Government of Canada’s website for more information on accessing financial aid from Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan: Support for Canadians and Businesses (

      If you have questions about your government student loan, visit Financial Aid and Awards website for contact information and updates.

      Employment Income Assistance is a provincial program to assist with rent, food and life costs if you have no employment. This assistance is only available for Canadian Citizens or permanent Residents.

      You can apply online here ( or download forms and get program information on their website (

      Call 204-948-2888 or 1-855-944-8111 (toll free outside Winnipeg) to register or you can email eia [at] gov [dot] mb [dot] ca.

      Rent Assist is available for those on Employment Income Assistance (EIA) and individuals/families working in certain income levels. Non-EIA Rent Assist contacts are 1-204-948-7369 or 1-877-587-6224 (toll free) or email incsup [at] gov [dot] mb [dot] ca. Find program information on their website (

      The Non-EIA Rent Assist Application Form can be downloaded here (, and the direct deposit form can be found here:

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