March 20, 2020
Dear members of the McGill community,
Earlier today, CBC Montreal reported that a McGill student tested positive for COVID-19. On behalf of the whole McGill community, I would like to offer our wishes for a prompt and full recovery.
Due to privacy laws, we cannot release details about identity. We understand, though, that many of you would like to reach out to this individual to offer support and comfort. Also, some of you may be wondering whether you have been in contact with this person. Health authorities have already communicated directly with anyone who is considered a contact, and have advised on appropriate behaviours. These instructions may vary depending on individuals’ particular situations, such as the closeness of the contact. We will make ourselves available to the health authorities to provide assistance if required.
If public health authorities have asked you to self-isolate, please do so to protect vulnerable people in our community. The Government has published guidelines on how to do so, which I encourage you to consult.
If you are self-isolating or if you test positive for COVID-19, please report this to us via the self-declaration form, to aid in our collaboration with the Government.
Staying safe and flattening the curve
Although you have heard the following guidelines many times by now, I must repeat them again, because in a time like this it is critically important to ensure that we all do what we can:
- Practice social distancing, which means ceasing unnecessary in-person contact, avoiding large groups of people, and staying three to six feet away from others where possible.
- Wash your hands with soap and water, thoroughly and often. When that is not possible, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your face with your hands.
- When coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with your arm to reduce the spread of germs.
The safety of the individual who has tested positive – and all of you – will remain my priority. I am working hard with government, other universities, my senior team, and dedicated staff across McGill to help keep our community safe and to adapt our administrative and academic activities to complete the semester.
Uncertain times lie ahead, but we will navigate them together, and we will get through this. Thank you again to all of you who are working so tirelessly to manage this crisis, and to all members of our community for their courage and patience.
Take care and be well.
Principal and Vice-Chancellor