This update is provided for archival purposes only. Public Health guidance and University of Waterloo operations may have changed. Please review detailed information about academicsresearch and our safe and staged return to campus.

COVID-19 update: events suspended, classes continue

Thursday, March 12, 2020

This message was originally sent to the University community by Feridun Hamdullahpur, president and vice-chancellor.


We are suspending all events that are not vital to the academic mission of the University.

Classes, labs, courses and final exams are vital to the academic mission of the University and will continue. We will monitor this situation and will send further updates in the coming hours and days.

We have asked instructors to consider alternatives to in-person instruction and examination, in case we need to make changes. We are sending separate information to instructors.

We are suspending events out of caution and concern

COVID-19 continues to change rapidly across the world and we want to take steps to limit the spread and risks of the disease in our community. With this goal in mind, we are suspending all events that are not vital to the academic mission of the University.

This means that you should cancel, postpone or move online all events of more than 50 people. If you need to have gathering, for example business meetings for operational, academic and administrative purposes, you should consider the following risk mitigation actions from the Public Health Agency of Canada:

  • reducing the number of participants or changing the venue to prevent crowding
  • staggering arrivals and departures
  • providing packaged refreshments instead of a buffet
  • increasing access to handwashing stations
  • promoting personal protective practices (hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, staying home if ill) before and during the event
  • offering virtual or live-streamed activities,
  • changing the event program to reduce high risk activities such as those that require physical contact between participants, and
  • postponing or cancelling the event. 

Classes, labs and courses will continue, but may change from original plans

Gatherings like courses, lectures, classes and exams are vital to the academic mission of the University. This means that in many cases classes and exams will continue as planned. Some classes and exams may see changes to the way they are delivered. We are keeping this situation under review and we will provide updates in the coming days and hours.

We are keeping the University’s COVID-19 website up to date with information. As always, please If you have questions or concerns about coronavirus and Waterloo, please email  coronavirus@uwaterloo.ca and our team will help find the right campus contact.