Federal exemptions for international students
From the spread and prevention of COVID-19 to its social and economic impacts, McMaster’s world-leading researchers and institutes are rapidly mobilizing to help combat COVID-19. In the last week alone, these are some of the ways McMaster experts are diving in:
- McMaster Manufacturing Research Institute (MMRI) researchers have been collaborating and consulting with experts at Hamilton Health Sciences on ventilator efficacy and functionality and hope to start building a prototype early next week.
- Researchers throughout the faculties of Health Science, Science and Engineering began taking inventory of masks, gloves, face shields, cleanroom suits and goggles that could be repurposed for use by local health care providers.
- Two senior researchers in McMaster’s Faculty of Health Sciences have received a combined $1.8 million in funding to support new research projects to help combat COVID-19.Gerry Wright, the director of the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research (IIDR), is leading a project to identify new therapeutic strategies that may help treat COVID-19 patients and Karen Mossman, a member of the McMaster Immunology Research Centre and the university’s acting vice-president, research, is leading a project on understanding virus-host interactions and the development of the SARS-CoV-2 disease in human and bat cells.
This is only the beginning of the ways McMaster will rally to make a difference in this fight globally.
The federal government has introduced an exemption on travel restrictions for international students who hold a valid study permit or had been approved for a study permit when the country’s travel restrictions first took effect last week.
This will have significant impact for McMaster, although the government has not yet announced when the exemptions will be in place, which is expected to be sometime early this week.
There will still be other challenges for some international students getting to Canada, depending on travel restrictions within their home countries, but it is welcome news for those students who have been inquiring about the possibility of continuing their studies and are able to travel.
The deadline for students to move out of residence over the weekend was successful in helping the university with its efforts to help increase social distancing. The move-out day went smoothly, with sufficient social-distancing measures in place for everyone involved. A group of about 430 students granted approval for exceptional circumstances will remain in residence. Most of those students are international or out-of-province students.
With employees and staff returning from March Break travel, an important reminder that the government requires people self-isolate for 14 days after any travel outside of Canada — so even for those who are working at home, it means following other rules to limit contact with others, such as having groceries delivered, and only leaving home if it’s medically necessary.
There are a number of updates from facilities services that impact many areas of the university’s operations:
- Mail Services continues to provide service to campus. Contact Mail Services if you want to have your mail/courier packages held at Mail Services. Mail can either be picked up at the Campus Services Building or you can make arrangements to have mail for your department packaged and mailed to an individual off-site.
- Delivery of liquid nitrogen continues as per normal process.
- Security staff remain on campus. The Security Dispatch is available 24 hours a day. Please contact security in the normal manner if on campus at 88, using the SafetyApp link or calling ext. 24281.
- Priority maintenance continues on campus, as does custodial services. The university’s dedicated custodial staff have been working diligently to keep our campus clean, and have performed additional cleaning and sanitization.
- The Customer Service Desk is available during the normal university business hours of Monday to Friday, 8:30-4:30 at (289) 683-2153 or at ext. 24740, or on email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Phishing has become a significant problem in the current situation. Please be extra diligent when dealing with email and vigilant about not opening any attachments or files that may be cause for concern. You can find more advice at the Office of the CTO’s website.COVID-19 Updates