March 31, 2020 – 8:15 a.m.
I regret that I have unfortunate news to share. With the number of cases rising in Canada (well over 7,000), Ontario (over 1,700), and in Ottawa (now over 120) it was unavoidable that a member of our community would eventually contract the COVID-19 virus.
We were informed late last night that a Carleton employee has now been confirmed as a positive case. In the spirit of respecting privacy, we have decided not to share our colleague’s identity. We have reached out to offer support, and would like to reassure everyone that our colleague is receiving appropriate medical attention and care.
Even if we could all anticipate that the virus would one day directly reach our community, it is unsettling to know that this day has arrived. I take some comfort in the fact that most people have been working from home since March 13, and that our students have been finishing the semester remotely. I am confident that due to the rapid implementation of social distancing measures at Carleton and across the province, our colleague has not been in close contact with many other members of our community.
Our Health and Counselling Services, following protocols established by Ottawa Public Health, will be reaching out today to anyone who may have been near our colleague over the course of the last 14 days. There is no need for you to do anything more than what you are already doing, namely, staying home and continuing to do your part in flattening the curve.
As the number of cases continues to rise locally and nationally, it is certain that other cases will follow within our community. Since the vast majority of us are now working and studying from home, and the risk of transmission in our campus community is low, we will not be reporting specifically on every case. However, we will make sure to update the relevant section of the FAQ on the Carleton’s COVID-19 information website as needed.
Please ensure that the information you read and share online comes from credible sources like Ottawa Public Health, the Ontario Ministry of Health or the Public Health Agency of Canada, as the spread of misinformation poses a significant risk to the health and safety of our community. As always, any questions you may have can be directed to email@example.com.
The next few weeks will be critical for our region and our country, and I would ask that we all continue to stay home and to take all steps we can to slow down the spread of the virus and flatten the curve.
Take care of yourself and each other, and stay well.
President and Vice-Chancellor