OTTAWA -- Ottawa’s two universities have cancelled in-person classes for the rest of the winter semester.

Carleton University and the University of Ottawa announced all classes will be moving to online and other distance learning formats in response to the spread of COVID-19.

Online classes at the schools will start on Wednesday, March 18.

Classes will be cancelled at both Carleton and uOttawa on Monday and Tuesday. Both schools say there will be no face-to-face final exams. 

Carleton University

President and Vice-Chancellor Benoit-Antoine Bacon says “the safety of our community is our first priority and we have reached a point where it is advisable to cancel face-to-face-classes and move to alternative modes of instruction for the remainder of the term.”

Carleton University announced the following measures:

  • Classes are cancelled on Monday, March 16 and Tuesday, March 17
  • Starting Wednesday, March 18 and for the remainder of the term, instruction will be delivered through online and other means
  • There will be no face-to-face final examinations for the Winter Term. Instructors will need to adopt alternative formats for assessment
  • The University remains open. Residences, the library, the sports centre, health services and other services all remain open
  • Events on campus scheduled to occur before April 30, 2020 should be postponed to a later date
  • University travel outside Canada that is not vital to our academic mission has been suspended until April 20, 2020.

On Thursday, Carleton announced is it cancelling several events scheduled for this weekend and March Break, including:

  • March Break Open House
  • FIRST Robotics Competition
  • Relay for Life
  • Athletics March Break Camp

University of Ottawa

President and Vice-Chancellor Jacques Fremont says the decision to cancel all in-person classes comes “in light of the urgent recommendations by public health officials that ‘social distancing’ is the most effective means of protecting students, staff and faculty members of the infection.”

The University of Ottawa announced the following measures:

  • Classes cancelled on Monday, March 16 and Tuesday, March 17
  • As of Wednesday, March 18, all in-person classes and labs in the Winter 2020 term will be moved to distance and online learning formats for the rest of the semester
  • Plans are currently being developed for the exam period. Exams will not be taken-in person
  • The university remains open. All residences, food services, libraries and other facilities and services will remain open “until further notice.”
  • All University-related travel by uOttawa staff and students “is prohibited until further notice.”

On Thursday, University of Ottawa announced several events scheduled for March Break were cancelled, including:

  • The Open House for prospective undergraduate students on March 21
  • All uOttawa March Break campus have been cancelled

Fremont says “these unprecedented measures will be disruptive. I trust, however, that all members of our community will understand that they are necessary and being implemented for the benefit of all.”