All university and college campuses to shut down after being declared 'non-essential' by province

All colleges and universities in northeastern Ontario are closing their campuses, after being deemed 'non-essential' by the provincial government.

Province of Ontario ordered non-essential services to shut down for 2 weeks to help with COVID-19 crisis

Nipissing University in North Bay and all other universities and colleges in the northeast are closing their campuses after being deemed "non-essential" by the province. (Erik White/CBC )

All colleges and universities in northeastern Ontario are closing their campuses after being deemed 'non-essential' by the provincial government.

That includes Algoma University, Nipissing University, Laurentian University, Sault College, Cambrian College, College Boreal, Canadore College and Northern College. 

Classes have all moved online, but residences will remain open for students who have nowhere else to go. 

Laurentian University president Robert Haché says the school and its federated partners — University of Sudbury, Huntington University and Thorneloe University, "will be taking further measures to limit access to campus, effectively locking and closing all facilities, but remaining open online and digitally."

"I continue to be so impressed by the optimism, resilience and unabashed dedication and commitment by everyone associated with Laurentian at this particularly challenging time," Haché said.

"Together we will overcome this daunting challenge."

Laurentian University President Robert Haché says some 150 international students will remain on campus in residence during the COVID-19 outbreak. (Supplied/Laurentian University)

The provincial government declared that university and college residences are essential and need to stay open.

There are still about 150 people living in the Laurentian residences, most of them international students. 

Interim vice-president Academics Serge Demers said some staff will need to continue working to keep the residences open.

"I think a lot of people should feel empathy for where they're at," he said.

"The alternative unfortunately is even more difficult to stomach, I think. If we were closing residences, they would find themselves out and about without a roof over their heads."

Demers said there will also be some medical services available on campus for the residence students, but food services will be reduced.

He said no one will be going into any of the other buildings on campus, except to care for lab animals.


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