COVID-19 FAQ for the Faculty of Dentistry

For current updates on the COVID-19 situation, please refer to McGill's Coronavirus information resource, and its Frequently Asked Questions page.

In light of public health concerns regarding COVID-19, McGill University will be closed until May 1st. The Faculty offices and clinics will also be closed, with the exception of hospital-based clinics, which are only open in the case of emergency treatments.

We have developed this webpage to share frequently asked questions and provide additional support and guidance for Dentistry students, faculty, and administrative staff.

Updated March 23, 8:30am


All universities in Quebec have been directed to close for two weeks. What does this mean for McGill University?

Based on Quebec government directives, announced on March 13, the University is suspending all classes, teaching labs, exams and other assessments (except theses defenses) for two weeks until March 30th.

Note that students can continue to reach out to their professors with any questions, and that campus is accessible if you need to pick-up personal belongings. We will continue to work on resuming most teaching and other academic activities remotely by the end of the two-week period.

What is the purpose of the University shutdown?

The objective of the shutdown is to apply social distancing measures, in order to mitigate the spread of the virus. We ask you to apply the measures as much as possible, and we thank you for your patience in this challenging time.

Where can I find news and updates regarding COVID-19 and McGill?

The Coronavirus resource page developed by McGill is the primary resource for students, staff, and faculty in order to stay up to date on the current protocols and situation.

Dental Clinics

Are the Faculty of Dentistry clinics closed?

Further to Quebec government directives, campuses will be closed as of March 14. The Faculty of Dentistry offices will be closed, and its network of dental clinics will operate as follows until further directives from the provincial government and regulatory bodies are established:

  • Student and Staff Dental Clinic: closed
  • Undergraduate Teaching Clinic: closed
  • Community Outreach Clinics: closed
  • Hospital-Based Clinics: opened for severe emergency services only (acute pain, severe infection, or trauma)

What if I had a dental appointment scheduled during the University closure?

All appointments made during this period will be rescheduled once the University closure has ended - clinic staff will be in touch with all patients to reschedule appointments.

Patient applications to the Undergraduate Teaching Clinic have, for now, been closed.


I have flu-like symptoms. What should I do?

Once again, we strongly encourage people to continue practicing proper health precautions, including washing their hands often and covering their mouth and nose with their arm when coughing or sneezing. 
Should you develop a fever, cough or begin to have difficulty breathing, you should: 

  • isolate yourself from others as quickly as possible
  • immediately call 1-877-644-4545 
  • describe your symptoms and travel history 
  • follow their instructions carefully 

If you have decided or been advised to self-isolate:

  • All students: report your situation to your student affairs office or your department.
  • Students living in residence: report your status by contacting Student Housing and Hospitality Services at housing.residences [at] Self-reporting will ensure that assistance is provided to you and services are maintained. 
  • Employees: report your status by contacting your immediate supervisor. 

I am feeling anxious about how the changes will impact my completion of the semester

In order to condense the remainder of the course into the final two weeks of the semester, instructors are making adjustments to course outlines and will update you with any changes before classes resume on March 30th.

All classes, where possible, will resume remotely. Until then, please take this time to focus on your health and wellbeing.

What remote support resources are available during this period?

Remote resources for staff & faculty
McGill's Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) provides professional counselling and advice for a range of issues are available for staff. If you need to talk to someone, I encourage you to make use of the program.

Remote resources for students
For students, Keep.meSAFE, a mental health counselling service offered to students in partnership with SSMU and PGSS, provides 24/7 access to licensed counsellors through telephone and mobile chat in more than 60 languages. To access this service, download the MySSP app in the Apple App Store or Google Play.


Are all academic activities suspended? What about exams?

We understand that the actual situation can be stressful. While we don’t know how it will evolve, we can guarantee that any forms of assessment scheduled for the next two weeks are suspended, even if they could be submitted digitally.

The status of final exams will depend on the evolution of the virus in Québec and Canada and will be communicated to you as soon as possible. Note that all instructors are encouraged to consider whether they can change their sit-down final assessments to other formats (e.g., online open-book, take-home examination, online proctoring of final examinations with University-provided software).

Will the University offer online classes during the initial two-week closure?

The two-week closure prohibits all instructional activity until Sunday, March 29, inclusive. However, we are working with our faculty members to transition towards remote classes, to be ready at the end of March.

What can I do during the shutdown to continue learning? Can I connect with professors?

We understand that such a pause at this time of a semester is challenging. You can reach out to professors for counsel and general academic alignment, but any forms of assessment are suspended.

Are Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory course options available?

Because of the exceptional circumstances, the normal protocol for the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) option is suspended for Programs and courses which are not already graded on a Pass-Fail basis.

For this term, all students, whether undergraduate or graduate, may exercise the S/U option for their courses, provided that doing so would not run counter to any requirements, timelines, or policies set by their respective programs of study or external accreditation bodies.

Courses for which the S/U option is exercised will not be calculated in a student’s GPA but will contribute to credits completed. Courses for which the S/U option is exercised this term may count toward a student’s major or minor requirements, and courses for which the S/U option is exercised this term will not count toward the maximum number of credits that a student may designate as S/U (i.e., up to 10 per cent of total degree credits).

The date by which students may exercise the S/U option is May 22, 2020, reflecting that students’ grades are known by this time. The deadline for selecting a Withdrawal from a course in Minerva has been extended to April 15, 2020 (effective Monday March 23). This will result in a student receiving a notation of “W” on their transcript for the course in question, which means it is excluded from any GPA calculation or to credits completed.

Working from home

What are the best practices for working from home?

Social distancing is a key practice to ensure we can all contribute towards flattening the curve, and help put fewer people at risk. However, social distancing can also cause further panic and worsen the mental health of those who live with anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. Here are some tips to ride out the distressed, to maintain our mental health during this period of remote work and isolation:

  • If you are working ​from home, make a schedule and stick to it. When working outside the structure of the workplace, it can be easy to forget to take breaks, go outside or do physical activity, and overextend yourself beyond normal work hours. Making a schedule that includes rest periods and a clear outline of your daily tasks can improve your productivity, mental health, and ensure you do not overwork.
  • Accept that you cannot control everything and focus on that which is in your control: the well-being of people close to you, and yourself.
  • Stay informed, but avoid overindulgence of news if you are being overwhelmed.
  • Rely on information that is evidence-based and provided by credible health and public officials and plan accordingly.

How can I attend and maintain necessary meetings while working from home?

McGill faculty and staff have access to various tools and software licenses such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom to conduct productive team meetings while working from home.

You can sign in to Zoom with you McGill credentials and set up a team meeting, or access a meeting already organized by a colleague.

How can I prepare to work functionally from home?

McGill's IT Services have compiled a useful set of tools to ensure you can stay connected to the McGill intranet by VPN and access important resources like Zoom:

What are the best practices for cybersecurity when working from home?

As most people are working from home, we want to remind you to consult IT’s guidelines for remote work, as new information has been added to help ease your working remotely transition.

We also ask you to take security precautions as described in the Working Remotely Checklist. During volatile periods such as this, cyber attackers will try to exploit the situation by manipulating users through phishing email attacks. We encourage you to monitor the McGill IT Security Alerts, as they are updated regularly. Please exercise caution with all emails; take the time to read our tips on how to spot malicious emails, and how to report them. 

Is my McGill VPN working?

As so many people are working or studying from home, some services such as McGill’s Virtual Private Network (VPN) have been quite busy and occasionally unavailable. IT has been working hard to resolve the issue and the VPN is more stable. If you would like to check the status of IT services, please consult the System Status page on the IT Services site. 

Student-Staff Interactions and Admissions

How will program offices continue functioning during the campus closure?

Program and Admission offices will be closed to visits from the public until further notice. The official means of communication with program offices will be via email - please consult the specific program page for contact information.

How will DENT-P Admission Interviews be Affected?

The Multiple Mini-Interviews (MMI) scheduled for April 23rd are cancelled. More information will be provided in early April regarding changes to the admissions process for the Preparatory Dental Program (DENT-P)

What measures are taken for student travel and intake?

In keeping with government directives, McGill has suspended all student travel outside Canada for internships, student exchanges, international mobility programs, competitions or conferences. All international outbound student travel for academic activities scheduled for Summer 2020 is cancelled, and McGill will not be accepting any new incoming international students for exchange or study abroad activities until further notice. 

McGill Operations / Research

Will McGill’s spring convocation take place as planned?

The Spring Convocation ceremonies have been called off. Read the announcement from Principal Fortier.

Are Facilities Management and Ancillary Services (FMAS) operational?

FMAS will continue to provide infrastructure services and support for approved research and activities on campus, and to help them do so we ask that researchers/Investigators fill out the following questionnaire.

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