Important COVID-19 Update: Changes to classes, exams, residences

April 1, 2021

Dear Western Community Members,

COVID-19 cases are on the rise across the region. Variants of concern are fuelling transmission in London, and within the Western community.

And today, we expect the Ontario government will announce further province-wide restrictions.

We have made the difficult decision to move most remaining in-person classes and final exams online, effective Monday, April 5.

We are also encouraging students in residence to move home if they can, and then quarantine for two weeks – guidance shared by the health unit. Those able to depart by Sunday, April 11 at 1:00 p.m. will receive a refund prorated to the day they move out.

These are difficult decisions.

The health and safety of the Western community is our number one priority.   

We will continue to provide housing and support to students unable to return home until the completion of exams, including anyone currently in quarantine or isolation. Housing staff will provide more details later today.

In compliance with all guidelines, some in-person classes that support health-related clinical programs will continue, such as medicine, nursing and rehabilitation sciences. A small number of approved non-health related programs that cannot be modified for virtual delivery will also continue.

Research activity can continue, with the new face-covering measures outlined on March 30. All field research, or research projects requiring face-to-face contact with off-campus human participants, require a two-level approval process – sign-off from the Dean’s office (or delegate) and the office of the Vice-President (Research).  

Employees and graduate students continue to have access to campus including labs and offices. All Western community members remaining on campus must wear three-layer non-medical masks supplied by the university. Employees not required to be on campus and who are able to work from home should continue to do so.

We will communicate any changes with employee groups, and supervisors will connect directly with staff regarding any change in work assignments.

We’ve all worked so hard over the past year. I am grateful to the students, faculty and staff who have demonstrated such resilience when we’ve asked you to pivot, and pivot again.

As vaccines continue to roll out, we get closer to the end of this pandemic. And closer to a time when we can all be on campus together again.

Be safe and be well.


Alan Shepard
President and Vice-Chancellor



Open Thursday, April 1 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Western’s COVID-19 testing centre will now also be open on the long weekend: Friday, April 2 and Saturday, April 3 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Registered students and current employees can schedule an appointment in advance using the online booking tool. 


For students:

For employees:

March 12, 2021
Update for faculty and staff: Thank you, time off, and brighter days ahead

February 4, 2021
Looking ahead:Plans for the current and upcoming academic terms

January 8, 2021
In-person classes delayed to February 21: COVID-19 update

Nov. 24, 2020
A time to double down on self-care

Oct 27, 2020
Taking care during fall reading week

Oct 7, 2020
Thanksgiving precautions, winter term update

Sept 24, 2020
You're making a difference. But, we must remain vigilant

Sept 17, 2020
Critical Update for students on COVID-19

Sept 3, 2020: 
Working together for a safe and successful fall semester

June 5, 2020: Update on return to campus timeline

President Shepard updates faculty and staff on the phased return to campus timeline.

May 29, 2020: Western's plan for the fall semester
An update from President Shepard on what students can expect in September.

May 13, 2020: Planning for the fall term, phased return to campus
President Shepard shares information about Western’s planning for the fall term and a phased return to campus.

April 21, 2020: President Shepard thanks staff and faculty for their extraordinary efforts to keep Western on course


April 14, 2020: Encouraging words for students from President Shepard

April 3, 2020: President Shepard delivers a video message of hope and thanks to the Western community


March 26, 2020: A letter to the Class of 2020
We have decided to postpone Western’s spring convocation as part of our larger response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes all scheduled ceremony dates from May 22 through June 19.

March 12, 2020: Statement on Western’s response to COVID-19
The health and safety of our campus community is always my top priority. I am writing to provide an important update regarding Western’s response to COVID-19.

March 11, 2020: Statement on COVID-19 efforts
Since mid-January, a cross-campus working group has been meeting regularly to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation and has put measures in place to keep our campus community safe.