Updates regarding COVID-19

COVID-19

Update 10

March 27, 2020 3:57 p.m.

 

UNIVERSITY OF OTTAWA:

Learners from the UGME and Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies programs are affected – please refer to these sites for details:

Follow us on Twitter @uOttawaMed for further updates.

 


Update 9

March 26, 2020 3:05 p.m.

 

Please see the headings and links below for detailed information specific to your situation.

Follow us on Twitter @uOttawaMed for further updates.

 

CITY OF OTTAWA:

 

GRADUATE AND POSTDOCTORAL STUDIES:
  • The Program sent out details of final grades to its students yesterday

 

MEDPOINT:
  • In today’s edition of MedPoint, the Faculty of Medicine shared several stories of people in our faculty who have received funding to participate in Canada’s rapid response to fight the coronavirus.

 

OFFICE OF THE VICE-PRESIDENT, RESEARCH:
  • Today, the Office of the vice-president, research issued a memo to all members of the University of Ottawa research community outlining the procedures that researchers are required to follow with respect to their research staff, students, and Post-Doctoral fellows, during the scaling down of non-critical or time sensitive research during the COVID-19 pandemic, as requested by the vice-President, research on March 19, 2020.

 

POSTGRADUATE MEDICAL EDUCATION (PGME):

 

UNDERGRADUATE MEDICAL EDUCATION (UGME):
  • For faculty members and learners, please review the updates made yesterday on UGME’s dedicated COVID-19 page.
  • The most recent updates include, but are not limited to, the following:
    • Virtual group support sessions
    • Pre-clerkship& Clerkship: updates to teaching materials/methods; cancellations
    • Examination and CaRMS instructions
    • Travel and exposure guidance
    • New emergency fund for students
  • We send a huge thank you to our MD students for helping our frontline health professionals with errands at home and the donation of medical supplies & protective equipment. Read all about their efforts in our MedPoint story

 

UNIVERSITY OF OTTAWA:

 

uOTTAWA SKILLS AND SIMULATION CENTRE (uOSSC):
  • The uOSSC allows health professionals to learn and practice the treatment of COVID-19 patients through simulation scenarios. Over the last week, the uOSSC has run over 200 health professionals through COVID-related simulations.
  • They are also working to videotape simulations and load them onto a virtual, open-access platform, to allow continuity of sims education and help health professionals around the world. View their first video, a simulation of the resuscitation of severe Covid-19 pneumonia.

 

WELLNESS:
  • One thing we all have in common is that in times like these, our mental health and well-being can suffer. You might feel more anxious and on edge than usual, feeling angry, helpless and/or sad. Make sure to visit the University and the Faculty’s wellness support pages:

 


Update 8

March 23, 2020 7:44 p.m.
 

Dear faculty, learners and staff,

As we now move into a new week of COVID-fueled challenges, we acknowledge the upheaval of the situation, and its impact on our lives. This weekend, most of the University’s students left their homes in residence to continue to enact social (now known as physical) distancing so important for our safety. Residents and fellows may be expected to redeploy to help address surges in need or other extraordinary circumstances across the network, to services in need such as hospital emergency rooms, ICUs, triage facilities, or to responsive facilities such as vaccination units and assessment clinics. We thank you for coordinating efforts and stepping forward if asked. See our link below for guidance in such decisions.

We also thank our clinicians and researchers for taking the time away from their critical research to make regular appearances in the media, a valuable outlet for answering the community’s pressing questions. Their expertise and guidance provide reassurance that the country’s best are toiling in search of preventative and treatment measures for this great health challenge.

Numerous institutions across the country have been asked by provincial and federal governments to come forward in response to a shortage of critical medical supplies, and many volunteers are keen to help. The Faculty is working with its partners to ensure a coordinated approach in our region for acquiring much-needed equipment such as personal protective equipment, masks, ventilators, reagents for lab testing, and other supplies. Our efforts are led by Dr. Sharon Whiting and Ms. Gillian Lord.

The University has sent a message containing new updates this afternoon, including exceptional academic measures, students in residences and a human resources toolkit.

We continue to offer our warmest gratitude to all in doing your part in this ever-changing situation. Please see the headings and links below for detailed information specific to your situation. We invite you to also refer to the wellness resources – your mental health and well-being are important.

At any time, you can visit the uOttawa coronavirus website and the Faculty’s special website dedicated to COVID-19, and follow us on Twitter @uOttawaMed, for further updates.
 

Bernard Jasmin, PhD

Dean and Professor, Faculty of Medicine

University of Ottawa

 

What’s New?

 

GRADUATE AND POSTDOCTORAL STUDIES:
  • For faculty members and learners, please review the updates made today on the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Program’s dedicated COVID-19 page.
  • The most recent updates include, but are not limited to, the following:
    • Funding support for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows:
      • The regular level of stipend/scholarship support for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows will continue while working remotely from home.
      • We are working with the University on sustainable solutions to maintain funding support.
      • Work with your supervisor to develop a personalized plan that allows you to conduct research remotely to the fullest extent possible.
    • Instructions for TMM students
    • For trainees: Best Practices for Continued Research Productivity
    • For faculty: Best Practices for Remote Supervision

 

INTERNATIONALIZATION AND GLOBAL HEALTH OFFICE (IGHO):
  • IGHO has been working on virtual events for May that will focus on impact of COVID-19 on global health. The Office continues to work with partners via virtual meetings, including one this morning with the University of Paris for their Memorandum of Agreement (MOA).

 

MEDICAL SUPPLIES:
  • Trudeau issued a call to all universities, colleges, CEGEPS, polytechniques and schools for medical equipment in an “all-hands-on-deck” approach.
    • The dean, along with Faculty Affairs Office and the Research Office, are coordinating efforts with our partner hospitals to collect and/or loan, in support of Ontario’s and Canada’s health care system, medical supplies and equipment such as ventilators, hand sanitizer, masks, gowns, and reagents needed for PCRs, a key tool in COVID testing.
    • MD students are also getting involved in the effort to address the shortage of personal protective equipment.

 

OFFICE OF CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT:
  • Courses and faculty development:
    • OCPD has cancelled courses and faculty development from March to June 2020. We are working on rescheduling conferences to the 2020-21 academic year. We are processing refunds for registration fees paid for cancelled conferences but ask that participants be patient as we adjust to changing circumstances. Once we have new dates for conferences, participants will be provided with options to rebook for the new date or a refund.
    • Planning and other committee meetings will be setup using ZOOM and we will in contacting planning committee members regarding upcoming conferences.

 

OTTAWA PUBLIC HEALTH:
  • Community transmission has begun in Ottawa. Public health is urging people to stay in their homes and avoid non-essential excursions. Everyone, including health care workers, must stay home if you have any symptoms. Review the latest COVID-19 updates from Ottawa Public Health.

 

POSTGRADUATE MEDICAL EDUCATION (PGME):
  • For faculty members and learners, please review the updates made today on PGME’s dedicated COVID-19 page.
  • The most recent updates include, but are not limited to, the following:
    • Guidelines for the redeployment of residents and fellows in response to exceptional health system need
    • Measures by the Ontario government to ensure health care resources are available

 

RESEARCH FUNDING:

 

RESEARCH OFFICE:
  • For researchers and those working in their labs, please review the updates made today on the Research Office’s dedicated COVID-19 page.
  • The most recent updates include the following:
    • Clarifications on what may constitute essential vs non-essential research
    • What your lab can do to help (critically needed donations and volunteer coordination)

 

STAFF:

 

Ongoing:

 

MEDTECH:

 

UNDERGRADUATE MEDICAL EDUCATION (UGME):

 

WELLNESS:
  • One thing we all have in common is that in times like these, our mental health and well-being can suffer. You might feel more anxious and on edge than usual, feeling angry, helpless and/or sad. Make sure to visit the University and the Faculty’s wellness support pages:

For the latest uOttawa updates regarding COVID 19 please visit the uOttawa COVID-19 website.

 


Update 7

March 20, 2020 7:28 p.m.
 

Dear faculty, learners and staff,

This has been a grueling week for all of us. A week of massive transformational changes and adaptations in the way we carry-out our academic mission and clinical services.

Our learners and teachers have not only moved online, but have also dealt with cancellation of clinical rotations, exams, international placements and conferences. Our researchers have radically altered their working conditions, being asked to scale-down their work and that of their trainees, except for critical projects. Our staff has put every ounce of effort into making a massive logistical transition happen in an incredibly short time. Our clinicians and clinician teachers have continued to care for patients and educate students under exceptionally difficult conditions, while bracing themselves for the intensification of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today, I would like to take a special moment to recognize all of our dedicated clinicians who are proactively preparing for a coordinated response to the risk our community is now facing. They stand on the front lines of a significant health threat. They work in our hospitals, family clinics and private practices. They work with our uOttawa Skills and Simulation Centre, which has guided more than 200 health professionals through COVID-19 pandemic simulations. They work at the Ottawa Assessment Centre, screening and testing patients for COVID-19. They work in Ottawa Public Health, under the direction of Dr. Vera Etches, an adjunct professor at our School of Epidemiology and Public Health, and the face of COVID-19 prevention in Ottawa.

Our community should feel comforted given their expertise, commitment, tireless work and compassion.

As a result of these large-scale transformational changes that occurred within the last several days, our Faculty wishes to extend enormous gratitude to our clinicians, educators, researchers, learners and administrative personnel for their spirit of collaboration and for their ability to quickly adapt to new working and learning conditions. It is only through the leadership and dedication of everyone that we will continue to function as a leading medical school renown nationally and internationally for the excellence of our multiple programs.

We remain committed to bringing you regular updates in an ever-changing situation. Please see the headings and links below for detailed information specific to your situation, including new and important information on building security, and a link to information posted by the office of uOttawa’s Vice-President, Research. We invite you to also refer to the wellness resources below, to help take care of your mental health and well-being.

At any time, you can visit the uOttawa coronavirus website and the Faculty’s special website dedicated to COVID-19, and follow us on Twitter @uOttawaMed, for further updates.
 

Bernard Jasmin, PhD

Dean and Professor, Faculty of Medicine

University of Ottawa

 

Updates from the Faculty of Medicine

 

RESEARCH OFFICE:

 

UNDERGRADUATE MEDICAL EDUCATION (UGME):

 

POSTGRADUATE MEDICAL EDUCATION PROGRAM (PGME):
  • The PGME leadership and team members extend heartfelt gratitude to our trainees, Program Directors and Program Administrators for their dedicated efforts in managing the outcomes resulting from frequent imposed changes that impact schedules and learning objectives. We appreciate all of the hard work being completed, both behind the scenes in the extra work and administration of these changes, and most importantly, in the stellar health care you are providing to our community during these stressful times.

 

GRADUATE AND POSTDOCTORAL STUDIES:

 

CLINICIANS:

 

MEDTECH:

 

BUILDING SECURITY: 
  • With fewer people onsite, we have to be mindful of increased security risks. In the coming days we plan to suspend the automatic door opening schedule at both 600 and 850 Peter Morand and will move to our holiday procedure. Anyone with an access card programmed for access to these buildings will be able to enter should they need to come onsite to collect any important items while working from home. Protection Services will continue to be a presence in RGN and will as ever be keeping an ear out for any equipment alarms in the laboratories. Our on-call team is prepared to react to all such events. 
  • Security at RGN will also tighten in accordance with our holiday procedure. This means that in the coming days the RGN perimeter doors will be locked, with access only being granted to properly programmed access cards. Access to RGN via the main front doors will continue. 
  • If you do not have a valid access card and require access to any of these buildings, please contact medsafety@uottawa.ca and provide an explanation. Alternate arrangements to accommodate you will have to be made. Delays are to be expected.

 

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT & STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS:
  • An opportunity to support COVID-19 efforts at the Faculty of Medicine will be released Thursday March 26, in the MedPoint newsletter. 
  • If you know of an external organization that is seeking to support COVID-19 research and initiatives, please ask them to email advancement.med@uottawa.ca

 

WELLNESS:

 

For the latest uOttawa updates regarding COVID 19 please visit the uOttawa COVID-19 website.

 


Update 6

March 19, 2020 5:04 p.m.
 

Dear faculty, learners and staff,

This week, we have all made Herculean efforts to move our working, learning, teaching and research activities away from our physical campus, into an online environment. I would like to thank each and every one of you for your part in this massive endeavor. Your efforts allow the vital work of our Faculty to continue.

This week has been especially difficult for our researchers, most of whom have been asked to scale down, and in many cases completely suspend, their important research projects. Today, the University of Ottawa has issued a similar directive to all researchers university-wide in an email sent by the vice-president, research. We recognize the magnitude of this sacrifice. Rest assured that we do not ask it of you lightly.

I am also sorry to announce that the Town Hall with uOttawa President Jacques Frémont, Provost Jill Scott and Vice President Research Sylvain Charbonneau on April 9th has been cancelled.

We remain committed to bringing you regular updates in an ever-changing situation. Please see the headings and links below for detailed information specific to your situation. We invite you to also refer to the wellness resources below, to help take care of your mental health and well-being.

At any time, you can visit the uOttawa coronavirus website and the Faculty’s special website dedicated to COVID-19, and follow us on Twitter @uOttawaMed, for further updates.
 

Bernard Jasmin, PhD

Dean and Professor, Faculty of Medicine

University of Ottawa

 

Updates from the Faculty of Medicine

 

RESEARCH OFFICE:

 

UNDERGRADUATE MEDICAL EDUCATION (UGME):

 

POSTGRADUATE MEDICAL EDUCATION PROGRAM (PGME):
  • Stay tuned for PGME’s dedicated COVID-19 page which will soon provide regular updates.
  • Further to information sent earlier this week from the University of Ottawa, all learners who are currently outside of Canada must return as soon as possible. If you have additional costs involved in returning sooner than planned, the University may be able to provide support, determined on a case by case basis. Please contact Joshua Jespersen at jjespers@uottawa.ca at uOttawa’s International Office for assistance, and to advise him of the costs incurred. Please ensure that you keep all receipts.

 

GRADUATE AND POSTDOCTORAL STUDIES:

 

MEDTECH:

 

FACULTY AFFAIRS:
  • Faculty appointments continue to be reviewed with the faculty appointments committee via teleconference.

 

OFFICE OF CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT:
  • All medical conferences in March and April, as well as some conferences in May and June, have been cancelled. A decision whether to cancel all May and June conferences will be made in the coming weeks.
  • Faculty Development has cancelled all face-to-face sessions for the rest of the academic year but will work to provide some via webinar. We are also working to provide refunds for cancelled courses. Please visit the Faculty Development website for more information and updates on webinars as they become available.

 

CLINICIANS:

 

WELLNESS:

 

For the latest uOttawa updates regarding COVID 19 please visit the uOttawa COVID-19 website.

 


Update 5

March 18, 2020 5:44 p.m.
 

Dear faculty, learners and staff,

We continue to band together in solidarity and camaraderie at the Faculty of Medicine to rise to the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic. In light of directives received by uOttawa central, public health agencies, and multiple levels of government across Canada, we are working hard to safeguard the health of our learners, staff and faculty members and ensure the continuity of our business operations. Program managers are endeavoring to ensure academic and clinical programs are delivered effectively and with minimal disruption. The majority of our staff has converted to teleworking; however, essential staff remains on site for cleaning, technological support, and other operational needs. I extend our sincerest gratitude to all in helping the Faculty continue its essential work at this difficult time.

Despite research operations being scaled down, several teams of researchers remain on site to combat COVID-19. We are honoured to have been entrusted with a major role in this national and indeed international challenge.

We remain committed to bringing you regular updates in the form of information and links reflecting the latest in an ever-changing situation. Please see the headings below for detailed information specific to your situation. We invite you to also refer to the wellness resources below, to help take care of your mental health and well-being.

We encourage you to stay current in the affairs that matter to you – and they are changing every day. At any time, you can visit the uOttawa coronavirus website and the Faculty’s special website dedicated to COVID-19, and follow us on Twitter @uOttawaMed, for further updates.
 

Bernard Jasmin, PhD

Dean and Professor, Faculty of Medicine

University of Ottawa

 

Updates from the Faculty of Medicine

 

RESEARCH OFFICE:

 

UNDERGRADUATE MEDICAL EDUCATION (UGME):
  • For faculty members and learners, please review the updates made today on UGME’s dedicated COVID-19 page.
  • The most recent updates include, but are not limited to, the following:
    • Cancellations and postponements for all years
    • Availability of lectures and teaching materials
    • Delivery of midterm and final exams
    • Travel guidelines

 

POSTGRADUATE MEDICAL EDUCATION PROGRAM (PGME):
  • Stay tuned for PGME’s dedicated COVID-19 page which will soon provide regular updates.

 

GRADUATE AND POSTDOCTORAL STUDIES:

 

STAFF:
  • The employee assistance program has now been extended to all staff. Please see details in the Wellness section below.
  • As a reminder, please continue to visit the University’s COVID-19 web page for the latest information and updates.

 

MEDTECH:

 

LEARNERS IN RESIDENCE:

uOttawa provost and Vice-President of Academic Affairs Jill Scott issued the following notice yesterday evening:

Because we want to protect our students, and the most vulnerable members of the Ottawa community from the risk of COVID-19 infection, we are now requiring all students currently living in uOttawa residences to fully vacate their rooms as soon as possible, and no later than Sunday, March 22 at 4pm.

This does not apply to international students or those with exceptional circumstances.

Read the full uOttawa announcement here.

 

WELLNESS:
  • The Wellness Office has asked all diagnoses and cases of self-isolation be reported to them, and continues to remind faculty and students of online resources.
  • Reminder: One thing we all have in common is that in times like these, our mental health and well-being can suffer. You might feel more anxious and on edge than usual, feeling angry, helpless and/or sad.
    • Residents, fellows, graduate and TMM students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty can contact the Faculty Wellness Program by phone at 613-562-5800 x 8507 or by email at wellness@uottawa.ca.
    • Residents can also access the PARO support line available 24/7 at 1-866-Help-Doc.
    • MD students can contact the Student Affairs Office by email at medsao@uottawa.ca to book an appointment with a counsellor or book an appointment online. All appointments will be provided by telephone in order to keep everyone safe.
    • All employees and their families now have access to short-term counselling services. The counselling will be provided by the University’s Employee and Family Assistance Provider, Shepell. Request for short-term counselling services can be done by phone at 1-800-387-4765 TTY: 1-877-338-0275. You can also visit the Employee and Family Assistance (EFAP) website for additional resources. The coverage will be in place until April 30, 2020 to assist anyone who may feel emotionally overwhelmed and stressed by the uncertainty and risks associated with COVID-19.
    • Here are some additional ways you take care of your mental health and well-being in the face of uncertainty.

 

For the latest uOttawa updates regarding COVID 19 please visit the uOttawa COVID-19 website.

 


Update 4

March 17, 2020 5:11 p.m.
 

Dear faculty, learners and staff,

As the coronavirus crisis accelerates, our faculty stands in the front lines of the fight against this deadly threat. Today, and in the weeks and months ahead, our clinicians will work to save the lives of people infected by the virus, while our researchers will race to discover treatments for the disease. Our alumni will labour tirelessly in hospitals and laboratories across the country. Already, many of our MD students are joining a volunteer initiative to provide services like babysitting, pet care, and grocery shopping for healthcare workers. All members of our staff are using their talents and training to support the effort. Each and every one of us in the Faculty of Medicine has a role to play in combating this pandemic. I know that together, we will rise to the challenge.

The health and wellness of faculty, learners and staff is our primary concern. To that end, we are taking several steps that affect learners at the undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral levels; medical residents and interns; clinical and research faculty; and staff. In keeping with University directives and the recommendations of public health agencies and governments across Canada, we are striving to continue our vital teaching and research functions, while implementing social distancing measures. All learning has moved online. All staff whose presence on campus is not essential have been directed to work from home. All clinical rotations for MD students have been suspended. All learners on placements abroad are being asked to return home. Research operations are being scaled down; all non-essential lab trainees and staff have been asked to stay home; and special measures are being implemented for laboratory researchers and their teams.

Please see the headings below for detailed information specific to your situation. We invite you to also refer to the wellness resources below, to help take care of your mental health and well-being.

The situation is evolving rapidly. At any time, you can visit the uOttawa coronavirus website and the Faculty’s special website dedicated to COVID-19, and follow us on Twitter @uOttawaMed, for further updates.
 

Bernard Jasmin, PhD

Dean and Professor, Faculty of Medicine

University of Ottawa

 

Updates from the Faculty of Medicine:
 

RESEARCH OFFICE:
  • For researchers and those working in their labs, please review the updates made today on the Research Office's dedicated COVID-19 page.
  • The most recent updates include, but are not limited to, the following:
    • Which lab members are to stay at home
    • Preventative measures in the lab
    • How to proceed with research activities
    • Teleworking procedures
    • Manuscript preparation

 

UNDERGRADUATE MEDICAL EDUCATION:

 

POSTGRADUATE MEDICAL EDUCATION PROGRAM:
  • Postgraduate (PG) deans from across Canada have sent the following message to their respective program directors, who have been asked to make every effort to accommodate candidates in the following manner:
  • "In the light of the COVID-19 pandemic there are various rapidly evolving restrictions on travel within Canada and North America. All interviews for the second iteration of CaRMS must be done by remote means (SKYPE, ZOOM, FaceTime, etc.). We thank you for your ongoing collaboration during these exceptional times.”
  • For faculty members and learners, please consult the Faculty’s special website dedicated to COVID-19.
  • Stay tuned for a PGME page dedicated to COVID-19 which will soon provide regular updates.

 

GRADUATE AND POSTDOCTORAL STUDIES:
  • For faculty members and learners, please review the updates made late yesterday on the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Program's dedicated COVID-19 page.  
  • The most recent updates include, but are not limited to, the following:
    • Which lab members are to stay at home
    • Preventative measures in the lab
    • How to proceed with research activities
    • Advice for thesis preparation

 

WELLNESS FOR ALL:

One thing we all have in common is that in times like these, our mental health and well-being can suffer. You might feel more anxious and on edge than usual, feeling angry, helpless and/or sad.

  • Residents, fellows, graduate and TMM students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty can contact the Faculty Wellness Program by phone at 613-562-5800 x 8507 or by email at wellness@uottawa.ca.
  • Residents can also access the PARO support line available 24/7 at 1-866-Help-Doc.
  • MD students can contact the Student Affairs Office by email at medsao@uottawa.ca to book an appointment with a counsellor or book an appointment online. All appointments will be provided by telephone in order to keep everyone safe.
  • The employee assistance program has been extended to non-eligible staff until April 30. This program includes employee counselling. Please visit the WorkHealthLife website and enter the University of Ottawa as the organization to access and explore further.

 

Here are some additional ways you take care of your mental health and well-being in the face of uncertainty.

 

For the latest uOttawa updates regarding COVID 19 please visit the uOttawa COVID-19 website, as well as the following links for more information:

 


Update 3

March 13, 2020 4:34 p.m.
 

Dear Faculty, learners and staff,

Note that uOttawa has today issued the following notice:

Classes on Monday, March 16, 2020 and Tuesday, March 17, 2020 are cancelled.

As of Wednesday, March 18, 2020 all in-person classes and labs in the current (Winter 2020) term will be moved to distance and online learning formats for the rest of the semester.

For the time being, all staff will continue to perform their usual tasks and roles. However, the health and safety of our employees is paramount, and the University is considering various factors including school closures, social distancing and essential services and weighing their impact on employees. More information will be provided to staff in the days to come.

As previously announced, all University-related travel by uOttawa staff and students is prohibited until further notice. Faculty travel is strongly discouraged.

Read more of the University’s update.

 

The Faculty of Medicine continues to work closely with our University administration, affiliated hospitals and research institutes to develop practical measures to ensure preparedness and the continued safety of our patients, learners, faculty members, researchers and administrative staff. As of now, public health authorities state the risk to the Ottawa community as remaining low, however the Faculty has taken certain actions, and continues to monitor the situation. Please note that the measures below strictly relate to faculty members, administrative staff and learners from the Faculty of Medicine.

At the moment, many of us are worried about COVID-19. In times like these, our mental health and well-being can suffer. You might feel more on anxious and on edge than usual, feeling angry, helpless and/or sad. Apart from accessing the resources in our previous update from March 5th, here are some ways you take care of your mental health and well-being in the face of uncertainty.

As the situation is evolving, please check this website (Faculty of Medicine - Updates regarding COVID-19) regularly for the latest updates.

 

SOCIAL DISTANCING

At this time, the Faculty has not issued a work from home directive. In preparation for this possibility however, additional technology and tools are being sourced to enable work from home.

We are recommending that any large-scale faculty and business meetings be held by teleconference or cancelled altogether. Additionally, at this time, all recruitment activities and interviews will be conducted via teleconference.

 

PROTECT YOURSELF AND OTHERS THROUGH PREVENTION
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Create social distance, avoid close contact such as hand-shaking
  • Cancel ALL non-essential work travel, both domestic and international
  • Leverage teleconferencing and webinar options rather that attending in person
  • Self-isolate immediately if you develop cold or flu symptoms
  • If you are medically vulnerable to COVID-19, discuss alternative working arrangements with your team leader or a Human Resources representative
  • If you have come in contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 or who has a presumptive case of COVID-19, self-isolate, follow the recommendations of Ottawa Public Health and contact your hospital’s Occupational Health unit

 

UNDERGRADUATE MEDICAL EDUCATION
  • International electives (incoming and outgoing) are cancelled effective immediately through June 30, 2020.
  • Electives for Canadian medical students outside of University of Ottawa cancelled effective immediately through June 30, 2020.
  • Contingency planning for UG curriculum delivery is underway and continually evolving.
  • UGME will directly email all UGME students, all UGME faculty, hospital coordinators and operations staff with regular and more detailed UGME related updates. These updates will also be on the UGME website under “COVID-19 information”.
  • All classroom and small group teaching will be converted to online.
  • Exams will continue but will be converted to online.
  • Objective structured clinical examinations will be postponed or modified as required.
     

Pre-clerkship:

  • All non-curricular activities will be cancelled (see UGME messaging for details).
  • All observerships are cancelled effective through June 30, 2020.
  • Attendance policies will be adapted to meet the needs of students placed in isolation and evolving curriculum changes.
  • Community weeks and community preceptor programs have been cancelled.
  • Community service learning has been cancelled.
     

Clerkship:

  • All electives for students from Canadian medical schools apart from uO have been cancelled effective through June 30, 2020.
  • U3 core rotations (that do not require air travel) will continue but will be reviewed on an ongoing basis.

 

POSTGRADUATE MEDICAL EDUCATION
  • Reinforcement for all trainees to have their N95 mask fit testing completed.
  • Occupational Health services at hospitals will be available to residents. Those in the community will be welcomed at TOH.
  • The faculty will advocate on behalf of their candidates with the Medical Regulatory Authorities to permit these candidates to practice with a provisional or other temporary license that they would normally have satisfied the certification requirements but for now are unable to do so. 
  • Certification Exams
    • RCPSC and CFPC spring exams have been postponed.
  • Academic Half Day (AHD)
    • PGME, at this point, is not mandating cancellation of AHD however, individual PDs are to determine whether they will choose to continue these in their regular format or not.
    • It is advisable to change these to a teleconference format as much as possible.
  • Accreditation Internal Reviews of training programs
    • These are all to be postponed until further notice.
  • PGME PGY1 Academic Symposia
    • These are cancelled.
  • Incoming Foreign Medical (visa) Graduates
    • Any foreign PG trainee MUST follow Public Health Agency of Canada / Ottawa Public Health guidelines (i.e., self-isolation for 14 days before starting clinical rotations including the Pre-entry Assessment Program and notify Ottawa Public Health if issues arise). They MUST have N95 mask fit testing completed prior to commencing any hospital clinical experience.
    • They must email their hospitals occupational health office prior to coming to their uOttawa clinical training site.
  • Rotations
    • uOttawa residents
      • All rotations not already commenced outside of uOttawa training sites are immediately to be cancelled / postponed until further notice as per our Academic Health Science Partner hospitals (TOH, Montfort, Bruyere, Royal Ottawa and CHEO).
      • If the PG trainee is already away on rotation in Canada but outside of uOttawa training sites
        • Remain on rotation unless directed otherwise by the supervisors at that training site.
        • Email Occupational Health at their respective uOttawa hospitals in preparation for their return and resumption of clinical duties in Ottawa. 
          • If a trainee does not have a “base hospital” e.g. community family medicine or PHPM residents, TOH will be their default hospital Occupational Health office.
      • If already away on rotation outside of Canada
        • Follow Health Canada travel advisories at all times particularly with respect to health notices.
        • Email Occupational Health at their respective uOttawa hospitals in preparation for their return and resumption of clinical duties in Ottawa. 
    • Visiting PG trainees
      • All upcoming visiting trainee rotations (whether elective or required rotation) to be undertaken at uOttawa, are to be postponed until further notice.
      • If the PG trainee is already on rotation at uOttawa, they are permitted to continue training at uOttawa until the end of their expected time here.
  • Vacation 
    • PG trainees are  again reminded to consult Health Canada travel advisories prior to initiating or returning from vacation away from Canada.
    • Before returning to clinical duties, residents who have been away from Ottawa for any reason, are required to email their respective hospital Occupational Health office.
  • Conferences and other work away from Ottawa
    • These are to be cancelled.

 

OFFICE OF CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
  • Events scheduled for March and April are currently under review. The feasibility of online learning is being considered.

 

TMM and GRADUATE AND POSTDOCTORAL STUDIES
  • Cancellation of TMM Honours project oral sessions.
  • Contingency planning for curriculum delivery is underway, including offering lecture-based courses online and developing a plan for final exams.
  • Reviewing how to maintain critical research activities and enabling remote work if deemed necessary.
  • All academic events (poster days, symposium, PhD defences, etc.) are currently being reviewed individually and may be either cancelled, postponed or conducted online. More information will follow.

 

AFFAIRES FRANCOPHONES
  • All activities linked to Francophonie Month are cancelled.
  • Franco mini-med school will likely be offered by videoconferencing.
  • Currently assessing how to offer continuing professional development events by video conferencing.

 

INTERNATIONALIZATION AND GLOBAL HEALTH
  • The Faculty’s Annual Internationalization and Global Health Conference on April 8 will be postponed until the fall. Information will be circulated shortly.
  • TSOP Observership program (incoming for 6 weeks May-June) has been cancelled.
  • MHIP Lyon Summer school has been cancelled.
  • Kuwait Mentoring program Social activity has been cancelled.

 

RESEARCH
  • Contingency planning is underway.
  • Purchasing is in contact with all of our major suppliers to discuss securing adequate supplies of essential items.
  • ACVS is also actively working on contingency planning.
  • Please be advised our researchers have begun to experience delays at customs when shipping samples and other packages internationally.
  • Investigators should start considering how their lab’s activities might be prioritized and scaled down in response to a partial or more comprehensive shutdown of research facilities should that be required as the situation progresses.
  • Researchers may want to reconsider beginning any large-scale projects, especially those involving animals at this time.
  • Researchers are strongly recommended to limit in-person social interactions as much as possible including cancelling internal meetings such as journal clubs, work-in-progress meetings and lab/team meetings.
  • Until further notice, international travel or visitors should be cancelled or postponed.

 


Update 2

March 5, 2020 11:34 a.m.
 

Dear learners, faculty, and staff,

Please see update below from uOttawa regarding the evolving situation of novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

There are currently no cases in Ottawa, and public health authorities continue to rate the risk for Canadians as low. Ottawa Public Health (OPH), our local public health authority, is providing updates on the virus, including travel notices and how people can prepare themselves in the possible event of isolation.

The Faculty of Medicine continues to work jointly with the University of Ottawa and partner hospitals, paramedics, OPH, and the City to ensure the safety of our learners, faculty and staff, as well as the communities we serve.

Please take note of important information below regarding clinical placements for students, resident physicians and fellows (shared previously on January 31, 2020).

  • At this time, all students, including medical, nursing, health professions, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows (graduate studies) are not to provide care to patients with presumptive or confirmed cases of novel Coronavirus.
  • At this time, resident physicians and fellows who are not currently N95 respirator fit tested (within last 2 years) cannot provide care to patients with presumptive and confirmed cases of novel Coronavirus.
  • At this time, resident physicians and fellows who are currently N95 respirator fit tested (within last 2 years) can provide care to patients with presumptive and confirmed cases of novel Coronavirus if the Most Responsible Physician (MRP) is in agreement.

It is important to remind everyone of the actions we must take to reduce risk, which are exactly the same as those required to prevent transmission of any febrile respiratory illnesses (FRI). Specifically, here are the key precautions we all must take, in addition to direction or guidance provided by your local health care facility or institution:

  • Regular hand hygiene.
  • You are encouraged to receive your seasonal influenza vaccine if you have not yet done so.
  • If applicable, the trainee must hold a current N95 mask fit test and size.

Regarding travel, please see mandatory uOttawa travel registry information below. If you are also in a clinical setting, please ensure you inform yourself of the institution’s current travel policy and reporting.

You can visit OPH’s website for updates on COVID-19, and to sign up for email updates from them.

We understand that some people may feel discomfited by this news. In addition to uOttawa’s services, here is a summary of the Faculty of Medicine’s counselling and wellness supports.

Medical students can contact the Student Affairs Office by phone at 613-562-5800 x 8136 or by email at medsao@uottawa.ca to connect with counsellors and other resources.  

Residents, fellows, graduate and TMM students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty can contact the Faculty Wellness Program by phone at 613-562-5800 x 8507 or by email at wellness@uottawa.ca. Residents can also access the PARO support line available 24/7 at 1-866-Help-Doc.

International students who have questions can contact the University’s International Office (uointl@uOttawa.ca) and are also reminded that services, such as counselling, are available should they need any assistance.

Other recommended supports include:

  • Your family physician
  • The OMA Physician Health Program (1-800-851-6606) (Medical students, residents, fellows and MD faculty members)
  • Your Employee and Family Assistance Program
  • The Mental Health Crisis lines available 24/7 at 613-722-6914 (in Ottawa) and 1-866-996-0991 (outside Ottawa); Tel-Aide Outaouais 1-800-567-9699

And:

In case of an emergency:
Protection Services (24/7): 613-562-5411 (or ext. 5411 on campus)
Emergency services: 911

 

Message from the University of Ottawa

Dear members of uOttawa community,

The University of Ottawa is closely monitoring developments involving the coronavirus, now referred to as COVID-19. Although the number of countries affected by the coronavirus continues to increase, Canadian public health authorities have assessed the risk associated with COVID-19 as low for Canada.

The University has established a working group to co-ordinate uOttawa’s response across our campuses. We are also refining our academic and business contingency plans, that will be implemented if necessary.

Travel Advisories

As of March 4, the Canadian government provided COVID-19 specific travel advice, which includes health notices, for China, Hong Kong, Iran, Japan, Northern Italy, Singapore, and South Korea.

All University-sponsored travel, as well as activities such as internships, exchanges, letter of permission (LPR), research, coop placements, have been suspended for China and Iran until further notice.

Keep in mind that travel restrictions have and can change rapidly with little notice. Depending on where you go, you may encounter challenges in departing a country, or face difficulties when you try to return.

Members of the uOttawa community planning to travel abroad should closely monitor Global Affairs Canada’s website to get the most recent travel advice and advisories pertaining to their potential destination and adjust their travel plans accordingly. In doubt, students should contact the International Office and employees and faculty members should liaise with the Office of Risk Management.

New travel registry for international travel

The University has established a new uOttawa International Travel Registry for students, employees and faculty members traveling outside Canada for official studies, research or work. Registration is mandatory for students and non-academic staff travelling outside of Canada. Registration is highly recommended for faculty members.

Taking a few moments to register your travel details will allow the University to provide you with access to alerts and travel advice from International SOS and enable us to contact you directly in the event of an emergency.

How to protect yourself

Public health experts agree that self-hygiene is key to mitigating the risk linked to the spread of COVID-19. To reduce the spread of germs, including the flu and COVID-19, Ottawa Public Health recommends that you:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use a hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth unless you have just washed your hands with soap.
  • Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue or into your arm, not your hand.
  • If possible, stay home if you are sick.
  • Avoid visiting people in hospitals or long-term care centres if you are sick.
  • Get your flu shot if you haven’t already, as the flu virus is still circulating in the community.

We appreciate that members of our university community have questions about the current situation. A FAQ page has been developed to address part of those questions. We will ensure to provide you with new information as they become available.

 


Update 1

January 31, 2020 1:28 p.m.
 

The Faculty of Medicine is working closely with our hospital partners and the University in regards to the novel coronavirus situation. Please find attached “Coronavirus (nCoV 2019) - Learner Update”, which directs the expected actions of Faculty of Medicine learners regarding the care of patients with presumptive or confirmed cases of coronavirus. They have been jointly developed by the Eastern Ontario Academic Health Sciences Network, of which we are a member.

In our region, Ottawa Public Health is leading on providing information to the public, and is working with provincial and national public health authorities on Canada’s response to this outbreak. Please visit Ottawa Public Health for the latest information.

 

Message from the University of Ottawa

In response to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) declaration of a global health emergency due to spread of the coronavirus, the University has decided to suspend all operations in China until further notice.

As a result, all University-sponsored travel to China and all programming involving China have been suspended until further notice. The Government of Canada has also asked Canadians to avoid all non-essential travel to China due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.

The University has been in contact with our students who are currently in China to ensure their well-being. We are also in contact with our students across Asia to ask that they take all possible precautionary measures.

Travel restrictions

The University recognizes that restricting travel may affect students, faculty members and staff. Students should consult their supervisor or those responsible for their program to assess potential alternatives. Faculty and staff members are encouraged to share any travel plans to Asia with their deans or directors, who will work with the International Office to provide updated information about the situation. The University will make every effort to prevent or mitigate any potential impact on academic activities.

Prevention

Symptoms of the coronavirus include fever, a cough and difficulty breathing. Should you experience these symptoms AND you or someone you have been in close contact with has recently travelled internationally to an affected region, avoid contact with others and see your health-care professional or nearest hospital.

Students, faculty members, and staff who work or study in a health-care setting should follow the directions provided by the facility. Hospital environments are well equipped and have proper measures in place.

International students

International students who have questions should contact the University’s International Office (uointl@uOttawa.ca) and are also reminded that services, such as counselling, are available should they need any assistance.

Next steps

The University of Ottawa will continue to monitor the latest developments in Canada and around the world and to assess any further steps required to protect the health and safety of our community.

The University appreciates the solidarity and mutual respect shown by its community members during this uncertain time.

 

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