UPDATE - RMC and COVID-19

Coronavirus COVID-19 information

The Royal Military College is monitoring the evolving outbreak of coronavirus COVID-19 that can cause acute upper respiratory illness and pneumonia. 

Protecting the health and safety of our students, staff and faculty is our primary concern, and we are continuously assessing what may be required in response to any spread of the virus.

The information below continues to evolve, so check back regularly.

Campus updates on COVID-19 response
— Last updated Apr 7, 2020

  • The full course of the pandemic is still unknown and so the restrictions on access to the RMC peninsula will remain in place until the end of April. This applies to all faculty, staff, and students (living external to RMC), as well as researchers and research assistants. (Cmdt/Principal message - 3 April 20)
  • We would like to re-affirm that RMC is not closed, but access is to be minimized to essential activities only. (Cmdt/Principal message - 3 April 20)
  • Everyone is encouraged to work from home and is not obligated to come to the peninsula unless it is essential for you to do so. (Cmdt/Principal message - 3 April 20)
  • It is acceptable to come to RMC from time to time to do essential work or to pick up materials to enable you to work from home. We ask, however, that the time you spend on campus be minimized and that you take all the necessary precautions to help prevent the spread of the virus. We also ask you to avoid the following areas; dormitories, Yeo Hall, Olde Gym and the SSM. (Cmdt/Principal message - 3 April 20)
  • Essential work includes activities related to Command and Control, health and safety standards, sustainment, delivery of our academic programs, security, and some research (such as the maintenance of live specimens and medical research related to the pandemic). Additional access may be approved on a case-by-case basis. (Cmdt/Principal message - 3 April 20)
  • Following an academic pause (Mar 25-31, inclusive) while administration and travel arrangements were made to send students home, classes resumed online on 1 April 2020. The last day of classes will be 17 April 2020. Exams will proceed online starting 20 April 2020. All classes are being conducted remotely through various technologies. ( - 1 Apr 20)

  • During the last week of March, in a little more than three days, RMC’s human resources and financial services administrators worked with the Training and Academic Wing staff to coordinate the movement, travel claims, travel instructions, and academic requirements of more than 1000 officer cadets departing to more than 50 locations from coast to coast to coast. And while the paperwork and packing was taking place, our kitchen staff and cleaners kept our food and spaces safe; our network support teams enabled us with the technology needed to connect from home; and our faculty found creative ways to successfully allow our students to complete the academic year online. It was no simple task. In fact, it was an effort national in scope. (Cmdt appreciation message - 1 Apr 20)
  • At times during the departure days, the parade square was covered with the vehicles of family, friends, and loved ones providing ground transport. At other times (with some buses departing before morning light), CFB Kingston supported the ground movement of our officer cadets to 8 Wing Trenton for airlift home. In all, with the help and coordination of the RCAF, eight service flights and more than 200 officer cadets departed Trenton for destinations all across the country. In some cases, commercial transport was still required for the onward movement of cadets. All this was done quickly, with respect for physical distancing, by RMC’s small but dedicated caring staff. A true team effort. (Cmdt appreciation message - 1 Apr 20)
  • On Thursday, 24 March 2020, there were more than 1,100 officer cadets on campus. By Monday, there were only 44. And that number will reduce further this week, and further still when exams are completed later in April. (Cmdt appreciation message - 1 Apr 20)
  • It’s expected only about 25 officer cadets will remain on campus for the summer, and plans are already taking shape to ensure those officer cadets, as well as others across the country, receive the support they need. (Cmdt appreciation message - 1 Apr 20)
  • Over the last number of weeks, there have been more and more preventative measures being adopted from a Provincial and National level in an effort to reduce the risk posed by the spread of COVID-19. With these in mind, the Chief of the Defence Staff has directed RMC to immediately reduce the student population on campus as much as possible. (Cmdt message - 24 Mar 20)
  • Officer cadets will leave the campus once essential administration is completed and arrangements can be made for their travel home. (Cmdt message - 24 Mar 20)
  • Departures will begin as early as possible, under the authority of the Training Wing. (Cmdt message - 24 Mar 20)
  • In cases where students do not have another primary residence, they will remain and be supported at RMC while completing their studies online and awaiting employment. For those remaining on campus, critical services will be maintained and officer cadets will be supported. (Cmdt message - 24 Mar 20)  
  • All undergraduate classes will be suspended from 25-31 March 2020, inclusively. Classes will restart on 1 April 2020 and the last day of classes will be 17 April 2020. Exams will proceed online starting 20 April 2020 as per the schedule produced by the Registrar. (Cmdt message - 24 Mar 20) 
  • The conferring of degrees will be done in absentia, and the commissioning of our graduating fourth years will be done individually at the Canadian Armed Forces units to which they are posted. (Cmdt message - 24 Mar 20)
  • The date of promotion of graduating officer cadets will not be affected by this departure from normal routine. (Cmdt message - 24 Mar 20)
  • The safety and protection of the entire campus community remain paramount, and like others across this country, we must do everything possible to protect and support each other as we fight the spread of the virus. (Cmdt message - 24 Mar 20)

At this time [April 7] COVID-19 has not been reported anywhere on campus.

Other notable measures

  • In accordance with Chief of the Defence Staff direction, officer cadets of RMC were restricted to campus (the peninsula) as of Friday, March 13. This means they do not leave the campus, nor do they have visitors (military or civilian), receive deliveries or attend any activities off-campus.
  • All RMC staff have been instructed to self-isolate as much as possible while not on site.
  • All RMC-related travel outside Canada (including to the US) is suspended until further notice. RMC related travel within Canada is limited to core/essential travel for reasons that are vital to RMC mission.
  • RMC will remain closed to all outside visitors (civilian or military) until April 6, 2020. This includes local individual food delivery services. Bulk food deliveries to the kitchen are still permitted, as is access by contractors deemed essential for maintenance and repair of infrastructure. 
  • Provisions of Service to external civilian organizations will also be cancelled. This means no physical conferences or the use of campus facilities for events such as weddings will not be conducted.
  • Pedestrian gates to the campus have also been closed.
  • Protecting members of the campus community from diseases and illnesses is of utmost importance to the CAF and RMC, and we are making every effort to minimize risks. One area of particular focus is the mitigation of risks to kitchen staff and officer cadets during meal hours. As such, several measures have been put in place or are being considered. These measures include, but are not limited to :
  • Staggering meal hours to reduce the number of officer cadets dining at any one time.
  • We have created additional dining areas nearby the Cadet Dining Hall, so not all officer cadets need to sit at tables in the main hall which will support social distancing.
  • We have switched to providing the option of individual cartons of milk and cereal boxes to limit the need for individuals to draw from the same containers.
  • The sandwich bar now only includes pre-made sandwiches.
  • We have also switched to the use of paper plates and plastic utensils so students will not be required to touch stacks of plates or take metal forks, knives and spoons from bins as they enter the food serving area.

Note regarding transport from RMC - 26 March 2020

Despite some rumours to the contrary, RMC is coordinating all transport of officer cadets from the campus to their residences — be it by military, commercial or personal means. In addition to travel arrangements being coordinated by our administrative staff, a number of officer cadets will depart for home locations by private transport provided by external resources such as parents, family and friends. 

The movement of officer cadets will be conducted in a deliberate and controlled manner to respect the need to protect against bringing COVID-19 on campus and enroute to destinations. Before leaving the campus, cadets must be fully cleared to depart and be in possession of both their signed travel orders and travel claim.

For those travelling by personal ground transport, parents, family, and friends will be permitted to arrive at RMC during specific periods. 

The block timings for personnel to depart will be as follows:

  • Friday, March 27, between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. 
  • Saturday, March 28, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. 

Upon arrival at the front gate, those transporting officer cadets will be directed to the parade square where a reception team will meet them. They will remain on the parade square and the officer cadets they are retrieving will be notified. The officer cadets will bring their baggage to the parade square where they will link up with their vehicle, embark and depart. 

We hope these windows for pick-up will provide ample opportunity and permit realistic arrival and departure timings based on travel distance. Any movement outside of these timings will be on individual approval.

If you have any questions, please contact the officer cadet you will be picking up. They will be given the most up-to-date details regarding their specific travel arrangements and when they can depart.

Faced with the COVID-19 spread, DND and the CAF, including RMC, are taking unprecedented measures to protect the health and well-being of its members, based on best practices recommended by Canadian health authorities and the Canadian Forces Surgeon General.

Updates and messages

RMC Commandant and Principal Communiqué- 3 April 2020

Dear RMC Team,

Thank you for your patience and your understanding as we all do our part to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus through self-isolation, working from home and social distancing.  The full course of the pandemic is still unknown and so the restrictions on access to the RMC peninsula will remain in place until the end of April.  This applies to all faculty, staff, and students (living external to RMC) as well as researchers and research assistants.  We would like to re-affirm, however, that RMC is not closed, but access is to be minimized to essential activities only. 

Everyone is encouraged to work from home and is not obligated to come to the peninsula unless it is essential for you to do so.  Supervisors are requested to be sensitive to personal concerns and to be current with HR policy (please see the HR GO RH app).  It is acceptable to come to RMC from time to time to do essential work or to pick up materials to enable you to work from home.  We ask, however, that the time you spend on campus be minimized and that you take all the necessary precautions to help prevent the spread of the virus. We also ask you to avoid the following areas; dormitories, Yeo Hall, Olde Gym and the SSM.  

Essential work includes activities related to Command and Control, health and safety standards, sustainment, delivery of our academic programs, security, and some research (such as the maintenance of live specimens and medical research related to the pandemic).  We recognize that this may cause some delays in research and project completion and so we ask supervisors to report the impact through their respective graduate chairs or department heads to the appropriate Dean and the Vice-Principal Research so that they can be given due consideration.  Additional access may be approved by the undersigned. 

BGen Sébastien Bouchard
Commandant

Dr. H.J. (Harry) Kowal, BGen (Ret’d) | Bgén (ret)  
Principal            

Appreciation from the Commandant - 1 April 2020

Dear RMC Team,

As students resume classes online this week from locations across Canada, I want to acknowledge the extraordinary efforts of RMC staff that allowed us to reach this point.

Last week, in a little more than three days, our human resources and financial services administrators worked with the Training and Academic Wing staff to coordinate the movement, travel claims, travel instructions, and academic requirements of more than 1000 officer cadets departing to more than 50 locations from coast to coast to coast. And while the paperwork and packing was taking place, our kitchen staff and cleaners kept our food and spaces safe; our network support teams enabled us with the technology needed to connect from home; and our faculty found creative ways to successfully allow our students to complete the academic year online.

It was no simple task. In fact, it was an effort national in scope. I was proud to see everyone contribute so completely to achieve something so unprecedented. 

At times on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the parade square was covered with the vehicles of family, friends, and loved ones providing ground transport. At other times (with some buses departing before morning light), CFB Kingston supported the ground movement of our officer cadets to 8 Wing Trenton for airlift home. In all, with the help and coordination of the RCAF, eight service flights and more than 200 officer cadets departed Trenton on Saturday and Sunday for destinations all across the country. In some cases, commercial transport was still required for the onward movement of cadets. All this was done quickly, with respect for physical distancing, by RMC’s small but dedicated caring staff. A true team effort.

Last Thursday, there were more than 1,100 officer cadets on campus. By Monday, there were only 44. And that number will reduce further this week, and further still when exams are completed later in April. It’s expected only about 25 officer cadets will remain on campus for the summer, and plans are already taking shape to ensure those officer cadets, as well as others across the country, receive the support they need.

Mission accomplished! For now.

In accordance the direction of the Chief of Defence Staff, we have taken the necessary steps to work and study from home, but it’s important to remember RMC (all of us — from our staff, to our officer cadets, and even our buildings), must be ready to potentially support Canadian relief efforts in the days and months ahead. This is now our mission. We will complete the academic year, and beyond that, as the CDS says, ensure we are “mission ready.” This we must remember.

To our officer cadets, you are not on campus but you are not on leave. For now, your duty is to complete your academic year, and your place of duty is your residence. You must remain responsive to your chain of command, and when exams are completed, you must remain ready to serve. So do we all. So does RMC.

When this crisis ends, much will be said of extraordinary service by so many to help us through these extraordinary times. Much too will be forgotten. With that in mind, here's a shout out to all support staff on the peninsula, to CFB Kingston and to the RCAF for helping get our officer cadets safely home and helping preserve the force. Bravo Zulu.

Truth. Duty. Valour.

BGen / Bgén Sébastien Bouchard, OMM, MSM, CD
Commandant, Royal Military College of Canada

RMC Commandant and Principal Communiqué - 24 March 2020
 

Dear RMC Team,

The COVID-19 virus has presented us all with many challenges. Thanks to your efforts, we have stayed strong and ready to support the Defence Team and Canada. Over the last number of weeks, there have been more and more preventative measures being adopted from a Provincial and National level in an effort to reduce the risk posed by the spread of COVID-19. With these in mind, the Chief of the Defence Staff has directed RMC to immediately reduce the student population on campus as much as possible.

Officer cadets will leave the campus once essential administration is completed and arrangements can be made for their travel home, where their responsibility will be to stay safe and healthy (ensure social distancing and practice self-isolation), complete their academic year online, and be ready for follow-on tasks that could include force employment.  In cases where students do not have another primary residence, they will remain at RMC while completing their studies online and awaiting employment. For those remaining on campus, critical services will be maintained and you will be supported. Departures will begin as early as possible, under the authority of the Training Wing.

The university is not closing. However, we will be taking a pause while administration and travel arrangements are made to send students home. Accordingly, all undergraduate classes will be suspended from 25-31 March 2020, inclusively. Classes will restart on 1 April 2020 and the last day of classes will be 17 April 2020. Exams will proceed online starting 20 April 2020 as per the schedule produced by the Registrar. We acknowledge that this last-minute change may cause challenges but we ask that you do your best to support our students during this very difficult time.

In light of these extraordinary measures, our year-end events such as convocation and commissioning ceremonies will unfortunately, but necessarily, be amended to minimize risk to staff and students alike. Once the officer cadets leave the campus in the coming days, they will not be permitted to return for any reason. The conferring of degrees will be done in absentia, and the commissioning of our graduating fourth years will be done individually at the Canadian Armed Forces units to which they are posted; your date of promotion will not be affected by this departure from normal routine.

These were not easy decisions to make, but both of us thank you in advance for your understanding in these extraordinary times. The safety and protection of the entire campus community remain paramount, and like others across this country, we must do everything possible to protect and support each other as we fight the spread of the virus.

This coming week will be a challenging one for all of us as we prepare the officer cadets for departure. Please remember to be vigilant and to continue to rigorously follow the health and safety precautions required to protect yourself and others from contracting or spreading the disease.

Truth, Duty, Valour

Brigadier-General Sébastien Bouchard
RMC Commandant and Vice-Chancellor

Dr. Harry Kowal
Principal

 
Message regarding travel restrictions - 18 March 2020
 

Travel restrictions

References:
A. CANFORGEN 039/20 SJS 017/20 031919Z MAR 20
B. FRAGO 001 to CDS TASKORD Op LASER 001 Ph 3 Activation, 13 March 2020

As you may be aware, DND and CAF continue to take measures to slow the spread of COVID-19, preserve the force, and flatten the curve. Last night, FRAGO 002 to CDS TASKORD – OP LASER 20-01 placed additional restrictions and requirements on travel by CAF personnel, both internationally and domestically. Below, for your information, are key details regarding the most recently announced CAF travel restrictions. If you have any questions, contact your supervisor first.

All Level 1s are to implement the following measures immediately, for an initial period of three weeks effective 17 March 2020:

  • All Canada-based CAF members – including Regular Force, Class B and Class C Reservists – that are currently on leave or TD Internationally (i.e. outside of Canada and the United States) are to attempt to return to Canada and primary place of duty as soon as possible
  • All Canada-based CAF members – including Regular Force, Class B and Class C Reservists – that are currently on leave in the United States are to attempt to return to Canada and primary place of duty no later than 22 March 2020
  • Class A Reservists are strongly encouraged to abstain from personal travel outside of Canada
  • All personnel returning from international travel (including the United Stated) in coordination with home units are directed to self-isolate for a period of 14 days 
  • All domestic and international house hunting trips will be suspended for an initial period of three weeks
  • Commercial travel, to include air, rail, and bus, within Canada for personal leave is not authorized until further notice.  Domestic travel by ground is restricted within 250 kilometres of a member’s place of work or primary residence.  Members currently on leave and outside of these restrictions may continue their leave in accordance with previously approved direction.  A travel exception may be granted by Level 1 Commanders for compelling cases where travel is:
    1.  Determined to be mission-essential;
    2. Necessary for medical or compassionate reasons; or
    3. Warranted due to extreme hardship.
 
Message to Contractors of the Department of National Defence - 17 March 2020
 

As you are aware, the World Health Organization has declared the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak to be a global pandemic.  In response to this situation, the Department of National Defence (DND) and the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) are taking measures to support critical operations, preserve the health of the fighting force, and apply Government of Canada direction with respect to the workplace.  Our actions right now matter enormously.

Each of these aspects has an important linkage with our industry partners.

We want to assure our defence contractor community that we remain committed to continuing key business underway where possible.  Our industry partners are an important component to our operations and CAF readiness and certain work must continue.   It is our intent to proceed with receipt of materiel where possible, and to continue fair and timely payment for goods received and services rendered.

In the case where contracted resources have been engaged to work in a government office or installation, DND/CAF may curtail this work.

Effective immediately, and in accordance with Government of Canada direction, only essential core activities as identified by the respective Technical/Procurement Authority will continue to be performed in the workplace.  Ref: Message from Deputy Minister regarding COVID-19

If the tasks associated with the contract can be performed off-site, while ensuring that the security requirements are still met, the Technical/Procurement Authority may decide the contracted resource(s) can work remotely.

The Terms and Conditions of the respective contracts will dictate the specific implications regarding the curtailing or suspension of work.

We understand that these are challenging times, with emerging implications and impacts.  We strongly encourage open lines of communication as we work through this pandemic situation.

To that end, we ask our industry partners to keep us apprised, as soon as possible, if you are experiencing any challenges, such as with your supply chain or your workforce, which would jeopardize your ability to deliver.  Early and open discussions will empower DND/CAF in their operational decision-making, and allow the Defence Community to collaborate on solutions.

Thank you for your collaboration and for your continued support to the important work of Defence on behalf of Canada and Canadians.

 
Message from the Principal — 14 March 2020
 

Members of the Academic Wing,

I am reaching out to all of you so that you have as much information as possible regarding our response to COVID-19 from an academic perspective and to provide you the most recent information regarding the completion of the academic year.  I would also like to take this opportunity to thank you most sincerely for your understanding, your flexibility and the incredible support you have already given as we work toward doing what is right for our students and for all of you.  These are extraordinary times, which can be quite stressful and quite difficult to navigate.  This is the time for compassion and for kindness, which will be essential in the days and weeks that follow.  You have heard me said this many times, “as a university, we are unique,” and so I am very confident that we have the creativity, the strength and the ability to see us through.

For additional information on COVID-19, I have attached the General Occupational Health Advisory from Health Canada, dated 12 March 2020.

We are all very fortunate to have exceptional leadership in place at all levels at RMC, and especially from the Commandant, Brigadier-General Sébastien Bouchard.  He has put in place extraordinary measures to best look after our health and safety and to enable the success of our students.  One of these measures is to isolate the peninsula until 6 April (and possibly longer).  This means that there will be no external visitors to RMC but it also means that our cadets are restricted from leaving.  I ask that you be sensitive to this fact.  The Commandant and Director of Cadets briefed the students this morning and I know they will rise to the challenge and make the very best of the situation.

The isolation of the peninsula could make conducting classes and exams a bit of a challenge, but I also know you that you have been thinking about this and there are many great ideas out there.  I held an extraordinary meeting of the Deans’ Council yesterday afternoon and had the benefit of participating beforehand with the Council of Ontario Universities’ Executive Heads, where we discussed the many and differing approaches being taken by universities in Ontario.  Most of you will have seen the messages from your Faculty Deans by now and I would like to re-iterate what is being said so that everyone is on the same page from the perspective of classes and exams

Classes:

For those ready to move to a remote mode of delivery (non-contact with students), you are authorized to do so immediately.

For those who believe they can make the switch but need some more time, please take the time.  You are authorized to cancel classes while you do so, but I ask that you try to have the term completed as originally scheduled on 9 April.  This may not be possible for some and so please bring forward your recommendations to your Dean so they can be examined in terms of impact and the exam schedule. 

For those classes where physical presence is essential, they may continue but I ask that you minimize the contact with students and that ensure an elevated level of hygiene protocol is in place as outlined by the Health Canada (see attached).

Communication with our students will be paramount to minimizing confusion and so I ask that all of our professors reach out to their students to let them know the status of their classes as soon as possible (even if it is status quo).

Exams:

Professors are encouraged to implement alternate forms of evaluation.  Should exams no longer be required, I ask that the Dean collate the information and bring it to the Registrar (to avoid confusion).

Once I have a better assessment for the requirement for exams and the availability for the exam hall(s), I will be looking at our options, which include, but are not limited to: in-hall and out-of-hall exams, take home exams or online exams.

I have asked the Deans to bring forward as much information as possible by close of business Monday so I can assess the situation regarding both classes and exams.  I ask for your support in meeting these short timelines as best possible.  I also want to give you as much flexibility and support that I can, so if you have any questions or special requests, do not hesitate to bring them to me or to your Dean.

In closing, I appreciate all that you are doing to help us through this very difficult situation.

Sincerely,
Harry
Dr. H.J. (Harry) Kowal, BGen (Ret’d)

 
Message from the Commandant — 13 March 2020
 

Dear RMC Team,

As I mentioned on Wednesday, conditions are changing at a moment’s notice, and proactive and assertive action is being taken.

Please be advised that starting 16 Mar 20, the CDS has ordered that the CAF will adopt a posture where core/essential unit activities continue. For RMC, finishing the academic year and graduating the 4th year cadets is our mission.  We will maintain activities essential to accomplish this. 

With that in mind, we are actively planning for the remainder of the academic semester including classes and examinations. Presently, we are working to find ways to support a range of delivery methods as alternatives to face-to-face classes.  More information about potentially moving to online courses and alternative delivery methods will be available soon, should this become necessary.

With regard to the final examination period, convocation, and commissioning parade, at this time there is no change to the schedule, but the format will change.  Should decisions be made to alter the schedule, we will communicate this. Format changes will be communicated at the appropriate time.

RMC supervisors will be identifying those RMC personnel that are core/essential for RMC activities. This will be in accordance with direction received from higher civilian authorities (PSP/NPF and/or the DM, who is formulating the plan for DND employees). Those CAF members/DND employees/contractors not associated with core/essential activities are to remain home until 6 Apr 20.  It would behoove every supervisor to develop contact lists using personal emails and smartphone numbers for their staff.

All RMC-related travel outside Canada (including to the US) is suspended until further notice. RMC related travel within Canada is limited to core/essential travel for reasons that are vital to RMC mission. If you feel you must travel for reasons that are vital to the RMC mission, please discuss with your supervisor. 

All international travel outside of CANADA for CAF personnel based in CANADA is not authorized, for personal or business reasons.  Exception for compassionate reasons might be entertained.

Supervisors are to ensure that individuals currently travelling outside of CANADA self-isolate for 14 days from the time they return to the country to the time they return to work at RMC.

RMC will remain closed to all outside visitors (domestic or international) until 6 Apr 20. This includes delivery services (e.g. Skip the Dishes, Uber Eats).  Provisions of Service to external civilian organizations will be cancelled. No physical conference are to be conducted. Pedestrian gates have been closed. Exceptions will be granted on a case-by-case basis, so please discuss with your supervisor as required.

N/OCdts will be restricted to the RMC peninsula to ensure their success, assist in slowing the spread of the virus, and lessen the impact to the health care system. DCadets will be issuing further direction and guidance.

The KMCSC is being closed to all members, but arrangements are being made to ensure N/OCdts continue to have access.

[Updated as of 17 Mar] The SSM and the Cadet Mess bar will be closed until further notice, while Chez Brucie will remain open for now. The Cadet Mess space will remain available to officer cadets as a location for study, recreation and small group activities.

The health and safety of members of the campus community remains and will continue to remain our top priority. We encourage everyone to exercise discretion and to follow the guidelines for illness prevention previously distributed.

We will continuously reassess the situation but please realize that these conditions could last for a prolonged period.

BGen Sébastien Bouchard, OMM, MSM, CD 
Commandant, Royal Military College of Canada

 
Message from the Commandant — 11 March 2020
 

Dear RMC Team,

Many of you are preparing for March break travel. The risk to Canadian travelers abroad is low but increasing and will vary depending on the destination and the travel hubs you pass through on the way to your destination. The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is closely monitoring the spread of COVID-19 in other countries. Please consult the destination page on travel.gc.ca for the latest travel advice. If you travel, PHAC asks that you monitor your health for fever, cough and difficulty breathing for 14 days after you arrive in Canada.

The primary authoritative source of information for all Canadians on COVID-19, including Government of Canada employees, is Canada.ca/coronavirus as well as the COVID-19 Information Line at 1-833-784-4397. Managers and employees should be referring daily to guidance on this site, which is regularly updated. For questions about COVID-19 in the workplace, managers and employees are encouraged to visit the GCintranet. We also encourage all employees and managers to take advantage of the services of the Employee Assistance Program available to you and your family members.

Direction to CAF Members

Please refer to CANFORGEN 039/20 (NOVEL CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 UPDATE sent via “College Master” on 4 March) for amplifying direction related to travel policies, Defence engagements and preventable measures in order to protect the force from COVID-19.

Direction and Recommendations to DND Employees

  • Stay updaated: Please consult the Government of Canada 2019 coronavirus Outbreak Update page for the most up-to-date information related to COVID-19.
  • Understand leave options: DND offers various leave options that are available to civilian employees. Leave options include: sick, annual, care of family, or leave with pay for other reasons. All leave options are subject to the provision each employee’s relative collective agreement.
    • Please note: As per OCHRO-TBS direction, Government of Canada employees who choose to travel to affected regions for personal reasons and against the advice of the Government of Canada’s Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Travel advice, may not use the category leave with pay for other reasons. Instead, DND recommends that these employees extend their annual leave or use compensatory leave for the period of self-isolation and self-monitoring.  Canadians who choose to voyage on a cruise ship should also be aware that they may not be offered the opportunity to return to Canada on a government-organized repatriation flight, or could be responsible for the costs of repatriation travel.
  • Stay home if you are sick: Employees who are ill should use sick leave, and feel safe to confide in management and self-isolate and self-monitor without financial penalty, as the Department supports appropriate leave for self-isolation and self-monitoring measures.
  • Consult travel advisories: It is strongly recommended to maintain situational awareness on Government of Canada Travel Health Notices. All civilian employees are also encouraged to complete the Notice of Intent to Travel form.  See RMC SharePoint announcements.

If You Believe You Have Been Exposed

For CAF members, if you develop fever, cough, or difficulty breathing within 14 days of a potential exposure, you must identify yourself to the medical staff at your local military clinic as soon as possible.

For civilian employees, if you develop fever, cough, or difficulty breathing within 14 days of a potential exposure, call your health care provider or local public health authority.  

Health Canada recommends taking general precautions to reduce your risk of infection, such as washing your hands often with soap and water, coughing or sneezing into your arm or tissue, avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands, and avoiding close contact with people who are sick.

Planning

Efforts are underway at RMC to identify all travel and all events taking place at RMC or involving RMC personnel until September 2020.  Some events will be massive undertakings, such as exams, grad week activities, summer activities at RMC.  As a result, many RMC staff are involved in gathering additional information, investigating the possible courses of action, and studying the impacts of changes/amendments to these events.  Also of key importance is knowing when decisions have to be made about potentially changing or cancelling an event.  All of this planning requires thought, time, and creativity. No decision have been taken yet for these massive undertakings, but when decision are taken, RMC personnel will be the first to know.  That said, some travel (both TD and leave) and events have been cancelled already for precautionary reasons.

University Community

RMC is not alone. Staff are participating in weekly teleconferences to keep up to date on what other universities are doing and how they are managing COVID-19.  Several universities have started to move beyond preliminary proactive measures and are discussing the possibilities of:

  • Cancelling all non-essential travel for students and faculty
  • Moving in-person classes to online
  • Informing instructors to be prepared should courses and exams need to be shifted to online

With all this said, please note that conditions could change at a moment’s notice such that they demand less (or more) aggressive action. I ask that you stay up-to-date by checking the above links regularly.  Rest assured, I will communicate immediately any direction or guidance from the chain of command that affects RMC

BGen Sébastien Bouchard, OMM, MSM, CD 
Commandant, Royal Military College of Canada

 
 

Coronavirus COVID-19 Resources and up-to-date information

The health and safety of members of the campus community remains and will continue to remain our top priority. We encourage everyone to consult the following health authority websites for the most recent coronavirus COVID-19 updates, including information on preventative measures, symptoms, seeking medical assistance, as well as information on the number of cases, risk level, and travel advisories:
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