Regarding the Coronavirus - COVID-19 

Posted October 19 2020

Hello Students and Employees,

Screening for COVID-19 is an essential step in protecting us when we come to learn and work at CMCC. As an added layer of protection, we are introducing a new process that combines the Ontario online self-assessment plus a self-declaration. This can all be done in under a minute through the CMCC Mobile App beginning today.

The CMCC Mobile App, introduced last year to students, is available for Apple and Android mobile phones or tablets. It has been enhanced to allow students and employees to login with their CMCC credentials, complete the online self assessment and present their self-declaration. This adds just a few seconds to the self-assessment process, but provides CMCC with important attendance and record keeping information for daily attendance on campus and health screening as mandated by the province.

It’s easy and intuitive and may save you time at screening and avoid lineups!

1.      Download the CMCC Mobile App if not already on your phone (Apple and Android) and login using you CMCC credentials.

2.      Select the Ontario self-assessment logo.

3.      Complete the Ontario self-assessment, select DONE

4.      Click on the Self-Declaration logo, Select YES or NO and SUBMIT

5.      Show Self-Declaration result page to screener.


CLEARED TO ENTER       

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ENTRY DENIED

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It’s Mandatory: The CMCC App is available to download today and will be the only accepted screening tool beginning Thursday October 22. Self-assessment using the CMCC Mobile App is mandatory for all employees and students and must be completed once per day upon entry at any CMCC site. This includes entering campus outside of normal operating hours when a screener is not present.

Save Time and Avoid Lineups: Have your CMCC app result ready before you arrive on campus. 

What information is CMCC collecting? Name, date, self-declaration result, time. NOTHING ELSE.

If you don’t have a mobile device, you will screened verbally at the entrance and you must sign in.

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Stay safe,

Incident Command Team
Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College covid@cmcc.ca


Posted October 19 2020

CMCC and COVID-19

CMCC’s four-year Doctor of Chiropractic program, like most health professional degree programs, requires a significant amount of laboratory and clinical work that involves interaction with others (students and patients) and that cannot be done virtually.  Most health care professional programs across Canada have adopted a hybrid learning environment for students at all stages of their programs during the pandemic.  Unlike many other degree programs, students in dentistry, medicine, optometry, nursing, occupational therapy, chiropractic, physiotherapy, etc., must be engaged in on-campus laboratory experiences in addition to a substantial online component.

Our program has over 4,500 contact hours - roughly twice as many as an undergraduate program.  The coursework is integrated so that laboratory and other experiential learning activities are delivered in a coordinated fashion with the lectures and small groups.  Year I, II and III students are required to spend an average of 5-8 hours a week on campus for laboratories that simply cannot be taught online. 

As expected by epidemiologic modeling that has been widely discussed in the media as well as in the scientific literature, the nation is now experiencing a fall surge in cases.  Most universities and colleges have either already decided to remain in a virtual status, or hybrid combination of online and hands-on labs for the health science programs, because of the uncertainty about the pandemic.  We’ve also tried not to paint an overly optimistic picture of the pandemic and CMCC’s response because no plan is perfect and we can’t predict with a high level of certainty what will happen over the next couple of months.  At CMCC, we thought some students might decide to take a one-year leave of absence rather than return, but it turned out that no students opted to take a leave because of COVID-19.  This was because they did not want to delay their completion of the program. 

What is CMCC doing to manage COVID-19 and ensure the safety of its students, faculty and staff?

Our first step was to form a pandemic team in early March 2020 to plan, lead and navigate the shifting realities of operating a health care educational institution in the midst of a pandemic.

We developed the Pandemic Plan using Federal, Provincial and Toronto Public Health guidelines, and continues to be an evolving guide to incorporate the growing knowledge base of the virus, and safely protocols. We shared the plan with all prospective and returning students as the new school year began. To keep people as safe as possible, we implemented stringent reporting and screening protocols, detailed PPE protocols for anyone and everyone entering the building and a process for any potential or reported cases.

As part of the pandemic response plan, we also developed a Return to Campus Plan that was also shared with prospective students accepted into our program, returning students, faculty and staff.

Communication and information sharing with students is a key element of our Pandemic Plan. Class representatives meet regularly with our academic and clinic management teams to share information and concerns and that helps to inform our plans. 

We have worked diligently – and at times, around the clock -- to provide information in a timely means as conditions change during the pandemic. While we know that not everyone accesses or interprets information in the same way and that there are bound to be gaps, we are confident that the combination of following the plan and protocols, together with the professionalism of our students – who are future health care professionals – as well as of our staff and faculty, will help to limit the risk of COVID-19 to the CMCC community and beyond. 

What are you doing to help students?

The first thing we are doing is working to keep the CMCC environment as safe as possible.  We limit the number of staff and students who can be in the building at any given time, monitor attendance, ensure exceptional air quality, and we have strict screening, PPE protocols, and cleaning, and importantly, engage in constant communication on the protocols. We are doing as much as we can to mitigate the risks. 

CMCC’s Student Services staff work closely with students who ask for help in dealing with the anxiety and stresses of not only the academic program but the additional impact of the pandemic on their mental or physical health.  We provide a number of mental health resources for our students to access to help them through this time.

Many of our students are from locations outside of the Toronto area, including all of the other provinces.  Most of our students do not live at home with their family, and as a result, pay rent for housing during their studies at CMCC.  The pandemic has forced increasing degrees of isolation on most students.  Employment opportunities have reduced because of the pandemic, causing an additional financial burden.  We know the pandemic and its uncertainty is causing some distress for some of our students, and we have made mental health services available to them to help them navigate the current environment.

We also recognize that some students might become increasingly worried about being in a province with a high rate of infection and wondering what to do next. We encourage them to discuss options with our Student Services staff.

What about students who tested positive?

CMCC was recently advised that four students tested positive – we were in immediate contact and discussion with Toronto Public Health, the students were immediately isolated, all safety protocols followed, and notification provided to students, faculty and staff.    And because the students informed us immediately and cooperated with the Toronto Public Health department the essential risk mitigation steps of contact tracing and other measures were able to happen quickly.

Fortunately, our stringent reporting and screening protocols were followed and enabled us to know about these cases as soon as possible. We also were in discussion with TPH authorities and followed their recommendations.  They did not recommend a school closure based on our risk level, our protocols/practices, number of cases and the nature of transmission. Deep cleaning was performed on those parts of the building where these students might have been present.  Any students who met the close contact criteria established by public health officials were promptly contacted and instructed to self-isolate until cleared to return to campus.   


Communications to Students and Staff re: Positive cases on campus on October 14

From CMCC President Dr. David Wickes

Dear CMCC students and employees, 

Over the last 24 hours, we learned of four positive COVID-19 cases in the CMCC community.  As soon as we were notified of the positive cases (identified as CMCC students), we consulted Toronto Public Health (TPH) to ensure compliance with its COVID-19 case management and to ensure we are doing everything we can to keep students and employees safe.

TPH has confirmed that the protocols CMCC has in place are aligned with public health guidelines and there is no need to close the institution or modify our practice at this time.   

The Executive Leadership Team thanks the students for coming forward so quickly to advise us. CMCC has followed up with each case and worked to address the close contacts and any staff/faculty who may have had contact.  And, while enhanced cleaning is conducted every day, we have made sure to conduct a deep cleaning in all affected areas per public health guidance. 

Keeping in mind that that no system of hazard control offers complete protection, the best practice is to follow all protocols as they work in a layered fashion. All students and employees are required to:

  • Wear masks or face coverings both inside the building and on CMCC grounds,
  • Practice physical distancing,
  • Practice proper hand hygiene,
  • Wearing additional PPE as required.
  • Other layers include reducing the number of contacts, group organization of all labs/clinics, and physical barriers.

Being cautious and meticulous about following these protocols and behaviors both on and off campus is the best protection we have to keep us and our loved ones safe.

Incident Command Team
Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College covid@cmcc.ca

Follow up to the announcement of positive cases at CMCC from CMCC’s Incident Command Team on October 15

Hello CMCC Students,

Yesterday the announcement of four positive COVID-19 cases at CMCC prompted questions and concerns from students. We appreciate that the news of any positive case raises questions. 

Student Services is responding to emails as fast as they can.  This FAQ answers the most common questions you have asked.

Q: How do I get more information about the positive COVID-19 cases at CMCC?
A:
We appreciate that hearing about positive cases at CMCC raises questions and triggers anxiety.  Some students have requested very specific details. As future health care professionals, you know that we are legally obligated to keep health information strictly private and confidential. 

By providing specifics other than to those individuals personally affected, we are breaching privacy, a serious offence under the Personal Health Information Protection Act. Providing enough detail for others to deduce an individual is also considered inappropriate disclosure. We inform those involved and work in an outward fashion. We are restricted in providing information broadly.

Q: What steps did CMCC take when notified of a positive COVID-19 result?

A: Upon notification, we immediately set into motion our response process:

  • CMCC contacted Public Health Toronto to report our cases and receive guidance.  
  • The students who met the public health definition of close contact (in direct contact for over 15 minutes or more within 2 metres) have all been notified. We determine close contact by using our protocols of trios, and small groups in labs. We cannot know if contact has been made by individuals not following the protocols. This underscores the importance of following all protocols fully.
  • Others who did not meet that definition, even if present in the building, were not considered as high risk for transmission and were therefore not notified.
  • In consultation with Public Health, those deemed to have been in close contact with the positive cases were advised to get tested. All close contacts are self-isolating for the required period of time and will not be attending classes in person.
  • Public Health Toronto did not recommend a school closure based on our risk level, our protocols/practices, number of cases and the nature of transmission. 
  • Additional cleaning and disinfection was completed in all areas where the individuals had reported to us that they had been.

Q: What is CMCC doing to manage the transmission of COVID-19 in the student community?

A: CMCC has a very strict set of protocols and precautions for all students and staff to follow. These are all published in the CMCC Playbook. They include:

  • Daily screening,
  • Full PPE,
  • Hand hygiene/sanitization,
  • Face coverings/masks on CMCC property, both inside and outside
  • Physical distancing in all areas of CMCC
  • Many of our protocols are over and above the minimum requirement for safety. 

As members of the CMCC community, we are all responsible for following these as well as other guidelines such as limiting social gatherings, exercising caution and good judgement when commuting, carpooling, attending external environments (including: places of work),  travel, etc., to prevent further transmission to our students, colleagues and family members.

Q: I am anxious about coming in to campus as I have others at home who may be at risk.

A: The decision to come to campus is ultimately yours to make once you have assessed your personal risk and the risk for your household. If you feel you are at a higher risk or that a member of your household could be by your attendance at in-person classes, you could opt to self-isolate and inform Kim Kelly kkelly@cmcc.ca of your absence and makeup time later in the school year.

Q: Why are we not closing CMCC for a period of time based on the positive cases?

As we said yesterday, we have had in-depth discussions with Toronto Public Health on the specifics of our cases. They have not recommended a school closure based on our risk level (low) our protocols/practices, the number of cases and the nature of transmission.  Should cases increase or transmission methods dictate, the Executive Leadership Team along with the Incident Command Team may choose to close the school, close a component of the program, or move to full virtual learning.

Stay safe,

Incident Command Team
Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College covid@cmcc.ca


Posted October 8 2020

Dear CMCC Community, 

We are pleased that our on-campus laboratories have been functioning without major problems for the past several weeks and that students and employees understand the importance of adhering to the CMCC COVID-19 Playbook.  As many of you are aware, Dr. Bradaric-Baus recently announced that we are planning on having most Module 1, 5 and 9 exams conducted on campus, spread safely out in our largest rooms.  

You will recall that when we first started announcing plans for these modules back in May, we thought we were going to have to conduct all exams remotely.  But now that we have thoroughly tested our return-to-campus implementation plan and established that we can sufficiently maintain safe distancing and other precautions by spreading the exams out over a number of rooms with proctors, we are pleased that we can give the exams on campus during October 26-30. This provides all students with a similar setting, adequate Wi-Fi access, and a quiet environment.  If, however, there is a worsening of the pandemic situation in Ontario or an outbreak on campus, we will revert to the original plan to have students take their exams remotely. Year IV interns will receive information specific to the clinic midterm examination this week.

Second Wave and Implications

As you have probably heard last week from media announcements, Ontario is now officially in the “second wave” of the pandemic.  Premier Ford, Health Minister Christine Elliott and Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, spoke about us being on the upward slope of the second wave.  The number of new infections in Ontario has increased dramatically and we are seeing numbers that we haven’t seen since April and May.  New modelling released last Wednesday from Ontario Health officials projects an even higher surge of positive cases by mid-October. For the time being, the province is holding strong on not introducing widespread lockdowns as seen in the earlier phases, but it is possible that a rollback and further restrictions are introduced in the very near future. Because of this, we remain in a state of uncertainty and must continue to closely adhere to distancing, mask usage, building zone limits, daily symptom screening, use of hand washing and sanitizer, use of PPE in the labs and clinics, and other preventative measures.  We must do everything possible, and not let down our guard, to prevent an outbreak on campus.  Employees and students are reminded that their responsibilities extend to off campus settings and everyone must avoid crowds or other settings in which the Coronavirus is so easily spread. This is especially important as we enter into the Thanksgiving weekend and are being strongly urged by our public health authorities to limit all social gatherings to members of one household.  

Hybrid Curriculum Delivery Continuation 

It is now apparent that the pandemic will not be over anytime soon and that it is unlikely we will see a major change in activities at colleges and universities across the province over the next several months.  Some universities have already announced that they will remain “virtual” for the winter term.  Because we want to give our employees and students as much advance notice as possible, we are announcing today that CMCC will continue its hybrid model of curriculum delivery through the end of the academic year in May 2021.

This means that lectures for Modules 3,4,7,8,11 and 12 will be delivered online, as will the laboratories and clerkships that are currently being done online. Laboratories that require a physical presence – such as chiropractic skills, orthopaedics, diagnosis, and anatomy – will continue to be delivered on campus, if allowed by the province. Similarly, modules 2, 6 and 10, which we previously announced would be done in the hybrid format, are expected to be delivered as planned.  All of these plans are subject to change because of provincial directives or a worsening of the pandemic.  If the campus needed to shut down again for more than a brief period, it is very likely that we would need to extend the term beyond May.  Clinics will remain operational and continue to work toward increasing experiences. We do so in accordance with guidance from public health agencies, provincial and municipal government restrictions, regulatory protocols and host facility plans.

Please remember not to make any travel plans outside of the GTA without first checking with your supervisor or education director.  It is also possible that there could be a dramatic improvement in the pandemic in early 2021, and if that should happen then we could reconsider our plans and bring back more on-campus learning and activities for the final set of modules.  We would make that reassessment by February 2021.

Please remember that to keep yourself and the CMCC Community safe, it is important that you follow all guidelines and protocols. These protocols are the best way to help keep you and your loved ones safe and are important beyond the CMCC environment. Practice them wherever you go as part of your commitment to fighting this pandemic, especially at a time when cases are on the rise: 

Ø  Gatherings: Do not gather outside the campus or in other social settings without adequate distancing in place of at least 2 metres and be mindful of the limitations regarding numbers of those allowed to gather – limited to 25 outdoors and 10 indoors  (members of one household only).    

Ø  Screening: Screening is an important step for everyone entering CMCC. This is an important way to protect our community of students, staff, faculty, patients or guests and to protect our loved ones at home. Anyone entering the CMCC campus or any CMCC clinic MUST be screened.  

Ø  Assessments: Please have your self-assessment ready upon entry.  

Ø  Masks: A mask or face covering is required both INSIDE and OUTSIDE the building as long as you are on CMCC property. Upon screening, anyone participating in person to person contact (students, faculty, etc.,) must change into a fresh mask.  

Ø  Washrooms: Please respect capacity limits in all washrooms. 

Ø  Visitors: Essential visitors only are permitted onsite by appointment with you. They too must wear a mask, get screened and sign in and out at reception. 

Stay safe,

Dave


Posted September 23 2020

Hello CMCC Community, 

We are almost through our second week of in-person learning and it is wonderful to see that the school is buzzing again, albeit in a whole new way! The Incident Command and Executive Leadership Teams are extremely grateful for your attention and compliance with the new protocols and procedures to which we are all becoming accustomed. And remember, our priority is to keep our community of students, faculty, staff and patients safe and healthy.  

While this is great news, please be mindful that the rate of COVID cases has increased over the past week with over 70% of cases in those aged under 40. We must all play our part to keep these rates in check.  Just today, due to the higher rates of transmission of COVID-19 in certain areas, the Province of Ontario announced a rollback on social gatherings in Toronto, Ottawa and Peel, setting a new limit reducing the number of people permitted to attend unmonitored social gatherings and organized public events. This rollback includes functions, parties, dinners, gatherings, BBQs or wedding receptions held in private residences, backyards, parks and other recreational areas. Gatherings are limited to 25 outdoors and 10 indoors. Schools are not included in these new gathering limits as we all have very strict protocols but we still need to keep in mind all that we do from home to school, to keep our colleagues, friends and families as safe as possible.  

Please keep these points top of mind: 

  • Gatherings: Do not gather outside the campus or in other social settings without adequate distancing in place of at least 2 metres and be mindful of the limitations regarding numbers of those allowed to gather.  
  • Screening: Screening is an important step for everyone entering CMCC. This is an important way to protect our community of students, staff, faculty, patients or guests and to protect our loved ones at home. Anyone entering the CMCC campus or any CMCC clinic MUST be screened.  
  • Assessments: Please have your self-assessment ready upon entry.  
  • Masks: Always wear a face covering to enter CMCC facilities. Upon screening, anyone participating in person to person contact (students, faculty, etc.,) must change into a fresh mask.  
  • Lineups: At the screening station, there may occasionally be lineups. Please be patient and ensure you maintain a physical distance of at least 2 metres from others in the lineup. Please remember that the screeners are doing an essential service for CMCC, please be kind and be patient.  
  • Washrooms: Our washrooms are not large so please be aware of who is in the space and respect the new limits on capacity in washrooms.  All washrooms now have signage to advise you of those limits.  
  • Visitors: Essentials visitors only are permitted onsite by appointment with you. They too must wear a mask, get screened and sign in and out at reception.
  • Playbook: become even more familiar with the protocols in the Playbook. It has been put together by our experts to help us keep CMCC as safe as possible as you learn and work at any CMCC site.  

As hard as it is to imagine, COVID and COVID-related modifications to our campus and clinics will be here for some time, so let’s get comfortable, stay informed, be prepared and continue to move forward. We are doing an amazing job! Let’s keep it that way.  

Stay safe and stay healthy,

Incident Command Team 

Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College 

Posted August 14, 2020

Dear CMCC community

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed many aspects of our lives at school, work and home and has put a pause on our social interactions, but CMCC must continue to move forward .  Shortly, we will welcome our new and returning students to the new academic term, beginning virtually on August 24 and then resuming laboratory instruction on campus on September 8.

I am proud of the way that our students and employees have adjusted and have risen to the challenges in response to the unknowns that this pandemic has brought on.  Together, we have reshaped curriculum delivery, rearranged the workplace and modified our interactions with patients to ensure that we can keep our community of patients, learners, teachers and workers safe.  You can read more about the process in our Return to Campus Implementation Plan.

Thank you all for your dedication and hard work. As we move forward to launching the 2020-21 academic year, we know that there is still much to learn and much to do to ensure sustained safety and still deliver an excellent chiropractic program but remain vigilant and open to change.

Today I introduce you to the CMCC Return to Campus Playbook developed by our Incident Command Team (ICT), in collaboration with academic and employee groups. It documents the measures that have been implemented to guard against the spread of COVID-19 in classrooms, labs, offices and clinics to help keep the CMCC community safe. It is based on best practices emerging from our national, provincial and municipal public health and regulatory bodies and the scientific literature.

This Playbook is intended to be an interactive, living document, meant for you to refer to often to understand the overall measures and protocols for working and learning at CMCC. All divisions have been asked to use this playbook to further develop protocols specific to their activities for working and learning.  We continue to closely monitor guidance from our health experts and as new information becomes available, will update the Playbook to adapt to our environment and experiences. Please keep the link bookmarked and take some time before you arrive on campus to gain familiarity with our new environment and processes.   Although at first you may find all of the new procedures and protocols to be rather daunting, we think you will become comfortable with the Playbook and the changes at CMCC.  We are hopeful that the province will continue to show progress in dealing with the pandemic and that we will be able to relax some of the more stringent requirements in the Playbook as time goes by.

I speak on behalf of the entire executive team when I say that we have been inspired by the thoughtfulness and creativity that the ICT and the community has shown to assemble this document, redesign our learning and working days and keep everyone’s health and wellness top of mind. 

Please don’t hesitate to contact any member of the ICT (covid@cmcc.ca) with suggestions or feedback on the Playbook.

For confidential enquiries, please contact:

Students: Kimberley A. Kelly, Director, Student Affairs kkelly@cmcc.ca Patti Scott, Registrar pscott@cmcc.ca

Employees: Human Resources: Sharlene Browne - Director, Human Resources and Employee Engagement sbrown@cmcc.ca
Angie Chen - Manager, Human Resources achen@cmcc.ca

We are in this together, every step of the way forward. It is important that you feel supported and safe at CMCC in order to work and learn to the best of your ability.

Stay healthy,

Dave

Posted July 22, 2020

Dear CMCC community,

This is a brief update on CMCC's planning efforts for our gradual resumption of campus activities over the next few months.  We are moving forward with the expected start of the academic term as scheduled for August 24th.  We are still awaiting the province's decision as to when Toronto (including CMCC) will be allowed to move into Stage 3 of the province's reopening.  We had hoped that would be announced this week, but such was not the case. Nevertheless, we are anticipating that we will be able to proceed with our plans.

As previously described, we will be adopting a hybrid model for delivery of our academic program through the end of the calendar year.  All lectures, small group sessions, and many laboratory sessions will be delivered virtually (online), using a combination of our Panopto™ lecture recording system, the Canvas learning management system, and Zoom and Microsoft Teams videoconferencing.  Laboratories needing supervised physical interaction, such as chiropractic technique, anatomical dissection and many diagnosis labs, will be delivered on campus beginning September 8.  The only students allowed on campus prior to that date are those Year IV students assigned to the campus clinic and Graduate Students.

What’s Next?  Return to Campus Playbook, Implementation Guide and Course Schedule

In the near future we will be posting a detailed "Return to CMCC Campus COVID-19 Playbook" and an accompanying implementation guide.  This is going through a final review by various groups on campus.  We have already made the class schedule available to current students and to our new Year I students. The schedule is designed to minimize the total number of students on campus at any time and to allow at least an hour between any online classes and on-campus labs.  Year I students can plan on an average of about 7 hours of labs on campus each week, Year II about 8 hours, and Year III about 4 hours.  In addition, we will be making up any of the lab hours missed last term when the pandemic abruptly forced us to shut down in March.

Safety Precautions

Some of you have raised questions about safety precautions at CMCC.  These will be discussed in detail in the Playbook, but you can be assured it has been a driving force in our planning.  All we are doing is consistent with public health guidelines, guidelines issued by the chiropractic professional regulatory body, and the highest quality evidence emerging from research around the world.  For all labs, students and faculty will be wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) consisting of gowns, medical-grade ear loop masks, face shields and gloves.  This is the same level of protection as is being used in our clinics. When entering the building or in common areas, all persons are required to wear cloth (non-medical) masks or face covering.  Everyone entering the building will be screened for symptoms and fever.   Laboratory spaces have been expanded to decrease the number of students in any learning space.  Protocols have been developed to deal with any exposure incident on campus.  Every department has developed ways to ensure adequate and timely communication with students and faculty will have online office hours and other means to keep in touch.  Students and employees will be expected to adhere to public health guidelines when off campus, including avoiding crowds and activities that violate social distancing and that increase the likelihood of transmission of the virus.

Limited Campus Facilities Access

At the present time, and until the province allows for larger gatherings and increased access, a number of restrictions have been put into effect at CMCC.  The exercise room, gym, faculty and student lounges will likely remain closed for the fall.  Library access will be restricted to those persons who have labs that day.  The campus will be closed to most visitors and the number of employees working on campus has been significantly reduced.  The number of entrances to the building has been reduced, and students and employees will be assigned specific entrance points to facilitate screening.  Zones are being established on campus to limit unnecessary travel within the building and directional signs will designate allowed walkways in hallways.

Clinics

Our clinics are gradually resuming care across the GTA.  Clinicians and interns, along with support staff, are doing a great job of providing safe and effective care for patients.  Schedules have been staggered, the number of patients in the clinic at any time is limited, and telehealth processes have been implemented to gather as much information as possible before patients arrive at the clinics, to monitor progress, and to safely provide exercise and rehabilitation patient education to help patients recover at home.

Shared Experiences and Sacrifices

Every college and university in North America is busy developing plans for resuming educational activities and struggling to find ways to meet the needs and expectations of students.  There is not a single institution of higher education in Canada that will be operating in the same way in the fall term as compared to the past.  Tens of thousands of employees have been furloughed across the continent, yet at CMCC we have not cut our workforce.  Some have suggested that tuition should be reduced while we are delivering lectures online and access to campus facilities is decreased, but this simply is not possible at most institutions, including CMCC.  We are a private institution that receives no public funding and is highly dependent on tuition to meet our operating expenses.  We are grateful for the generous support of our alumni and other donors, but we understand that philanthropic support may be less during the pandemic.  Our operating costs are higher than in the past because of the extraordinary increases we've had to make in technology and supports, as well as the rising costs of supplies and services during the pandemic. Campus and program improvements must continue, in spite of the pandemic.  We are thankful that our employees and students have been willing to adapt to the challenges imposed by the pandemic. 

Please check the CMCC website frequently for further updates.

Stay healthy, 

Dave

Posted June 19, 2020

Dear CMCC community,

In my last message to you I let you know we would continue to evaluate the pandemic situation in Ontario as it relates to institutions of higher education as well as the general public.  As you are probably aware, the Premier continues to gradually lift restrictions on much of Ontario, following the recommendations of his public health and medical advisors.  Late last week, and for the first time, the Minister of Colleges and Universities made a public statement regarding allowing some educational programs in Ontario to resume limited on-campus activities for the purpose of completing educational requirements for those students who would have otherwise graduated this month.  This has been characterized as a "pilot program" and is not applicable to all students at colleges and universities.  Nevertheless, it is encouraging to hear the Minister acknowledge that students in many programs, including the health care professions, must be able to participate in practical laboratory coursework to be able to progress through their education and gain the necessary competencies for their profession.

Our team on campus has continued to explore ways in which we can restart our laboratory training, maintain the integration of laboratory learning with the rest of the curriculum, avoid overloading students with additional required hours of coursework, avert extending the academic year into next summer, and most importantly, ensure the safety of our students and employees.

School Year Begins on August 24, 2024

After considering all of these variables, we have made the decision to launch the academic term on August 24, as previously announced, using online delivery for the lecture courses, small group sessions, and those laboratories not requiring campus-based delivery.* Most other Years I-III laboratories, including anatomy (AN), clinical diagnosis (CD) and chiropractic therapeutics (CT) will be taught on campus beginning on September 8, 2020 (week 3).  

* Labs for pathology and microbiology (PA), physiology and biochemistry (PH) and diagnostic imaging interpretation labs (DI) will all be delivered virtually. Rehabilitation labs scheduled for the first quarter of the academic year, and which normally take place in the gymnasium, will be scheduled online for certain sections and/or postponed to later on in the year.

September 8 Return to Campus (limited to in-person Labs)

This means that all students in Years I-III must be located in the Toronto area by September 8 and ready to begin on-campus laboratory training.

This is a compromise between the two options we previously proposed: 

Option 1:  Start all labs on campus during the first modules (August 24); or

Option 2: Defer all laboratories until the start of the second set of modules on November 2. 

By starting our physical-presence labs again on September 8 we will have gained an additional two weeks of Ontario recovery time and will better align with the Ontario health professions programs beginning their new terms in September.  Although the November start date still remains a fallback option should Ontario need to reimplement restrictions because of a late summer resurgence of COVID-19 cases, it poses the greatest potential overload of students by compressing all first and second module labs into a single module.

For Year IV students, who have been in regular contact with the Clinic Management Team, you will be advised of the return to care and to clinic dates as we work those out both from a public health and safety and compliance perspective and as we collaborate and strategize with our clinic partners.

For Residents, please note that the graduate studies program delivery will utilize a hybrid approach (virtual + in-person) that will be finalized and communicated the week of June 22.

CMCC Campus Operations

We will be making significant changes in campus operations in order to provide a substantial margin of safety to our students and employees.  The number of employees assigned to work on campus will be considerably reduced in order to decrease the total number of persons on campus at any time.  Those not needed on campus will continue to work online. The number of entrances/exits to the building will be reduced and students and employees will be instructed on which to use to restrict and control traffic flow, easing congestion at these points.  We will also be implementing "traffic lanes" for walking in the major hallways.  Additional hand sanitizer dispensers are being deployed throughout the building and a dozen new mobile handwashing stations are being placed at strategic locations to lessen congestion in washrooms. 

We are currently planning to have screening of all persons entering the building.  This would consist of eliciting declarations of any symptoms or recent exposure.  We may also be doing non-contact temperature screening at all entrances to the building.

At the present time, we expect to require all persons in the building to use non-medical face coverings whenever in the common areas (hallways, entrances/exits, library, bistro, washrooms).  These are not supplied by CMCC.  Students and faculty in the laboratories will be required to use the same level of protective equipment as is established for the clinics.  Currently that means the use of medical-grade ("surgical") masks (not N95), face shields and gloves.  These will be provided by CMCC.  Additional waste receptacles will be deployed to collect these used PPE at the end of each lab.

Lab Reconfiguration

To ensure safe distancing between students in laboratories, all are being reconfigured.  The number of tables in each of the technique labs is being reduced and the tables removed from these labs are being relocated to the CCPA Hall, making it a very large technique lab.  Additional AV equipment is being placed in the CCPA Hall to replicate the technology used in the traditional labs.  The anatomy laboratory instruction will be distributed over additional space, with some "dry lab" instruction being moved into the adjacent multipurpose lab (former histology lab and micro lab and possibly the Anatomy museum).  In many labs, students will be assigned into groups of three persons, and will remain in these groups for the duration of the module.  This will reduce any possibility of cross contamination.  Students will be required to support increased disinfection practices in the labs, through wiping down surfaces such as technique tables. 

With these reconfigurations and planning for the safe flow of traffic between labs and throughout campus, some changes to the schedule will be necessary. These are still in progress and we expect to have a revised schedule available to you in early July.

The SIM lab will be operational, but will have deployment of the curtains to provide barriers between tables.  These vinyl curtains will be regularly disinfected.  Some sessions may be conducted in the technique labs equipped with FSTT® tables.

The library will be open, but will have capacity for only about 80 students throughout both levels because of distancing requirements.  Plexiglas barriers are being placed at computer and study carrels.  We will have a number of other locations throughout the building for students to study safely.

The exercise room and gymnasium will likely be closed at the beginning of the term.  We will need permission from the public health and provincial authorities before use of these facilities can be restored.

We are currently exploring options for limited food service with our vendor.  At the present time, it would appear that any food options would be pre-packaged. 

CMCC Clinic Operations

CMCC clinics are currently providing care to our patients via telehealth and working toward reopening for direct patient care at all clinic locations. At Campus, as we move back into the physical space of clinic, things will be different than in the past. The clinic will be appropriately thinned of furniture and people. Interns and clinicians will return to clinic in a stepwise fashion, still using safety principles of screening patients before they come to the clinic, unidirectional flow through the Campus clinic, scheduling, PPE use and cleaning. The clinic reception area had chairs removed, protective barriers installed, and will be using touchless payment methods. Our partner organizations who host some of our clinics have been working with us as they determine how they open clinical spaces and re-engage our learners into those clinics in these complex times

Safety in the Learning and Workplace Environment is the #1 Priority

Employees will be receiving detailed written and oral instructions from their supervisors.  These "playbooks" are still being developed.

This is not an exhaustive list of the steps being taken at CMCC to provide a safe working and learning setting and help reduce anxiety about returning to campus, but I wanted to give you a sample of the measures we are implementing.  We will be providing additional information as the summer progresses.

I understand that no matter what decisions we make regarding resumption of physical laboratories and other activities on campus the decisions will not satisfy all persons.  Each student and employee has their own perspectives, apprehensions, preferences and priorities.  We've heard from some students who want labs to start up immediately, and also from some who want labs to wait until November or even later. The rationale for their preferences is sound, but in the end we have to make a decision that is best for the largest number of persons. 

Despite the overall uncertainty and lack of normalcy due to the pandemic, I am confident that our educational program will continue to be excellent. 

Stay healthy,

Dave

Posted June 5, 2020

Dear CMCC Community,

I am writing to you today to let you know where we are in our plans to begin the 2020-21 academic year. In our Town Halls for students and staff I made a commitment that we would begin the school year as scheduled this August. That has not changed. However, I also committed to providing you with a final decision this week on what that return would look like. Unfortunately, with the situation in Ontario continuing to evolve and the lack of definitive information from the provincial authorities, I am not able to do so. In spite of many hours of discussion, scheduling, modelling and planning, my team has concluded that we will not be able to yet make a final decision on the timing of the resumption of instructional laboratories requiring physical presence.

Earlier this week, Ontario’s Premier Ford once again extended the state of emergency in Ontario, which for now at least, still limits the size of gatherings and other crucial elements that would define just how and when we are able to provide in-person learning. Toronto’s Mayor, John Tory, has also been contacting large employers and educational institutions to ask the employees to continue to work from home until September in an effort to reduce the number of people using public transit in the first phases of reopening.

I know the timing of our physical return to campus is very much top of mind for all of you, so I ask that you remain patient for just a while longer as my team and I work out the details of a plan that takes reasonable and rational steps to protect the safety of our campus community in this new, albeit temporary, state that the coronavirus has brought on.

CMCC has a complex set of challenges in bringing students, many from across the county, faculty and staff back to resume in-person instruction given the restrictions imposed by physical distancing and the extensive hygiene protocols we now must follow. Many institutions are electing to deliver their full fall semester completely online. CMCC, however, must also address the educational value and necessity of in-person and hands-on learning in the training of chiropractors. We also know just how important it is to connect with a community of peers.  We will continue to examine the best solution to provide an enriching educational, on campus experience while keeping our CMCC community safe.

Over the next week or two, the leadership and academic teams will continue to refine plans, work with public health and regulatory bodies and subject matter experts to return to operations thoughtfully, carefully and gradually. To help shape and validate our decision while awaiting for more definitive guidance from the province, we will be reaching out to students, faculty and staff to learn more about their priorities and needs so that they are taken into account. 

Rest assured that whatever final plan for our return, be it online, in-person or a combination of both, we will be equipped to take the necessary steps to ensure that the learning and work environment is as safe as possible.

I thank you for your dedication and commend you all on your outstanding efforts to bring our 2019-20 year to a successful close in spite of extraordinarily difficult circumstances. I'll provide you with another update next week.

Dave

Posted May 27, 2020

Good afternoon students,

It is now just over two months since we closed the campus and entered this new state of remote learning and work at CMCC in response to COVID-19. We have come to the end of the 2019-20 academic year having successfully delivered the curriculum through virtual means. Through this, we learned many lessons and continue to evolve and improve what we offer CMCC students to remain the best and brightest among their peers.

Now that the province is beginning to lift some restrictions, many institutions of higher education are announcing their plans for the next academic year and a majority of these institutions will continue their virtual delivery for the most part. CMCC students, faculty and staff are wondering just what our plans for the 2020-21 academic year will look like this fall.

The uncertainty for all of us is challenging. For you, our students, making plans on moving back to Toronto, negotiating housing and accommodations and travel are difficult with so many unknowns. You are looking for definitive answers and timeframes, however much is still unclear.

I want to assure you that we have not been idle in any way. Our academic team and our administration and incident command teams are all working together to make timely and important decisions that take into consideration these uncertainties and also the best interests for the continued safety of ourselves, our families and loved ones. 

Commitment to Exceptional Learning Experiences

Rest assured that we will begin the new academic year as planned on August 24, 2020. We are absolutely committed to providing our students with the exceptional education they deserve and expect. Just how the schedule and the delivery of courses will look is still being examined. Like you, we are looking to new provincial and public health guidelines which will help us to define physical distancing limitations and thus be able to plan how and when your in-person teaching, such as laboratories will be able to commence for the academic year.

In order to provide our faculty, staff and students with sufficient time to make plans for the fall term, we have made the decision to deliver all Years I-III lectures, small groups, TBL sessions, and labs not requiring physical contact in the online format for the first two modules of the academic year (Year I - modules 1 & 2; Year II - modules 5 & 6; Year III - modules 9 & 10). Examinations for these modules will also be administered remotely. These two modules are scheduled for the period of August 24, 2020 - January 22, 2021.

Two Options

As of today, our planning team is considering two possible options for the delivery of those laboratories that require physical presence and cannot be conducted in the online format. We want to ensure that we are able to provide sufficient notice to students and faculty while still waiting for the province to announce changes relating to physical restrictions (social distancing, allowable size of gatherings). We have committed to announcing a decision between these two options by the week of June 1 which is just next week.

Option 1:  Labs requiring a physical presence will commence during the week of August 24, with the appropriate personal protection and hygiene measures. These labs would be the only scheduled activities on campus for students for modules 1,2,5,6,9 & 10, and may be broken down into smaller lab sizes.  All other learning activities will be done remotely. 

Option 2:  Labs requiring a physical presence and which would have normally been conducted during modules 1, 5 & 9 will be postponed until the second set of modules that commence on November 2, with the appropriate personal protection and hygiene measures, and potentially in smaller group sizes. The schedule will be adjusted to allow for these deferred labs to be held concurrently with the labs supporting modules 2, 6 & 10. All other learning activities will be done remotely.

What if?

If provincial restrictions announced subsequently will not allow for Option 1, we would default to Option 2. What happens if we can’t do either option? Well, we may have to implement a modified summer semester, but it is too soon to determine.

The decision by next week of which of these two options will be enacted will enable students to make final travel and living arrangements to be near campus by either August 24 or November 2. Similarly, this decision will enable faculty members to adjust how they prepare for the format and timing of the delivery of labs.

There are some residual lab sessions from the time that CMCC closed on March 15th to the present that we still wish to make up. These sessions will be scheduled during the first few months of the new academic year in conformance with the above two options. It is possible that we may need to schedule some of these sessions in the early evening or on some weekends. We are trying hard not to have to extend the academic year beyond its scheduled end in 2021.

Orientation for new students will be done virtually.  As the provincial restrictions are lifted and when it is safe to do so, we will begin to schedule the extracurricular social activities that contribute significantly to the overall experience at CMCC.

For Class of 2021

Students currently transitioning into the clinic for Year IV duties and assignments will be receiving additional scheduling information from the Clinic Management Team in the near future. The return to normal clinic operations is set by the province with safety guidelines from the College of Chiropractors of Ontario.

For Graduate Students

For our residents, your return to campus information, commitments and schedules will follow in the near future as they are finalized and as safety guidelines allow.

Planning for 2021

At the present time, we are planning for a normal, on-campus experience to resume by the start of the third set of modules (i.e., modules 3, 7 & 11) in January 2021.

To work through these details, we have enlisted the expertise of all of the Directors of Education, many members of the faculty and other experts to work alongside the VP Academic and the Executive Leadership Team to plan for our return to learning and work.

In this process, they have been looking at the potential scenarios and mapping out viable options to navigate and schedule your return to learning and ensure that CMCC is prepared for any challenges that may emerge once we resume. This team is ensuring that we remain flexible and are able to move quickly if disruptions to plans arise, always with the intention of ensuring the ongoing safety of our students, faculty, staff and patients.

Your Safety Above All

An integral part of our planning is to monitor and apply the directives from the ministry, the provincial and federal governments, local health agencies, and the province’s reopening framework as well as our chiropractic regulatory body.

Any and all decisions to return to campus will be made in accordance with their advice, guidelines and best practices as they apply to CMCC. We will only make a decision for the return to work and learning when our government and public health agencies have deemed that it is safe to do so. The safety of the extended CMCC community is of the utmost importance.

These are challenging times and whether you are a student, faculty or staff member, we all have concerns in addition to studying and working from home. There are many resources that you can draw upon including:

MD Telephone Service (non-emergency)

Telephone: +1 647 265 2374

·         COVID-19 counseling

·         Advice and recommendations

·         A confidential chat

·         Renewals and repeats on essential medicines

CMCC Advice and Counselling (learn more at BeSafe)

·         Ms. Karen Rice, Student Counsellor krice@cmcc.ca 416 482 2340 ext. 104

·         Ms. Kimberley Kelly, Director, Student Affairs kkelly@cmcc.ca 416 482 2340 ext. 219


Student Assistance Plan (SAP)

Empower Me mental health and wellness service that offers confidential and accessible support in multiple languages. Call 1 844 741-6389 to connect with trained counsellors, consultants, and life coaches 24/7, 365 days/year for a variety of issues. Learn more at www.studentcare.ca.

As we finalize our return to school plans, we will keep you informed of any decisions and changes along the way.

Thank you for your patience, your dedication and your professionalism as we work through these extraordinary times together. Keep safe and healthy.

Dave

Posted May 14, 2020

The Premier announced this week that he was extending the Ontario state of emergency until June 2. This was not unexpected and Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health subsequently expressed his concerns about possible flareups of infection should the reopening of the province occur too soon.

The Premier is going to make further announcements this week regarding the plans to reopen the province. In the meantime, CMCC is exploring how to gradually and safely return our employees to the campus and our clinicians and learners back to the clinics. 

We will be holding a Town Hall for all employees the week of May 18 and will provide staff and faculty with details on the exact date and time and a mechanism to send in questions so that we may address those during the Town Hall.

We will be holding a second Town Hall the week of May 25 for students, following the exam period.

Posted April 27, 2020

Information re: Canada Emergency Student Benefit 

Dear students,

As you may have heard, the Government of Canada recently announced a comprehensive package of supports for students facing challenges related to COVID-19. I would like to take this opportunity to provide information about two of the measures that could be a benefit to you. 

On April 22, the Government announced a new Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) to provide financial support to post-secondary students and recent graduates who are unable to find work because of COVID-19.

Eligible students will receive $1,250 per month, with an additional $500 per month for students with disabilities or students with dependents, for a total of $1,750. The CESB will be administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and students can apply monthly from May to August 2020.

This benefit will require Parliamentary approval before the application will launch so that may take a few more days. However, during in the interim, if you haven’t already done so, please set-up a My CRA account and register for direct deposit to ensure a smooth enrollment process and a timely disbursement of the benefit.

For the upcoming 2020-21 school year, the Government of Canada has announced increased support to the Canada Student Loans Program, including:

  • Doubling the Canada Student Grants (CSG) for the 2020-21 school year. This includes doubling the CSG for full-time students to up to $6,000 and the CSG for part-time students to up to $3,600. The Canada Student Grants for Students with Permanent Disabilities and Students with Dependents will also be doubled.
  • Broadening eligibility for student financial assistance by removing the expected student and spousal contributions in 2020-21 in recognition that many students and families will struggle to save for school this year.
  • Increasing the maximum weekly loan amount for the 2020-21 school year from $210 a week to $350 per week. 

As more details are announced, we will make them available to you.

Stay safe. Stay healthy.

Posted April 14, 2020

Hello CMCC Community

We hope you had a restful long weekend. Today, April 14, we are sharing a few video messages from CMCC leaders and the Chair of Board of Governors. They bring highlights from the past few weeks, express their gratitude and share a few words of thanks and encouragement.


Thanks for watching. Stay well and stay connected.

CMCC Executive Leadership team

Posted April 1, 2020

Information for CMCC Students:

Over the past two weeks, members of the CMCC community have worked tirelessly to meet the challenges of quickly moving the curriculum to online delivery to ensure the continuity of education.

Everyone involved has been generous, innovative, patient and devoted to finding solutions to each difficult decision to ensure students will be able to complete studies for the 2019-20 academic year. The environment in which we are working is fluid, but it has become clear that the best outcome for our communities is one in which we exercise the utmost caution, especially for vulnerable populations. In plotting the safest, most conscientious course forward, we have decided to suspend in person classes and clinic for the remainder of the academic year.

Working together at CMCC, we have tooled an innovative curriculum plan for the remainder of the year that meets all the stringent regulatory and accreditation requirements by which this program is bound. Each year of study has been carefully considered in order to achieve the best possible outcome for your learning. We commend each of you for your professionalism, understanding and patience as our academic team has adjusted courses and reworked the delivery of the curriculum recreated and continues to rework the curriculum to allow you to complete your coursework under these trying circumstances. We appreciate the support you have shown and the willingness to work through the bumps in the road and recognize, again and again, what an exceptional group of students we have.

Our thanks to you all. Along the way, you have had many questions and concerns and we hope to address many of those today.


Q: Will we be resuming operations on April 6?
A: NO. As noted above, given the still evolving circumstances with COVID-19 and in compliance with the directives from all levels of government, regarding physical distancing and gathering, CMCC will not be resuming in person operations or classes on April 6 as previously stated. All in person classes and clinics are cancelled for the remainder of the academic year i.e., May 22, 2020. This decision allows us to move ahead with a solid plan for course delivery ensuring you receive the appropriate instruction.

Q: Will we be able to come to CMCC to collect our belongings?
A: NO. Unfortunately, for the safety of the entire CMCC community, we will not be able to accommodate students wishing to collect belongings from lockers. Should you have an urgent need for something you have left behind, please contact Student Services to discuss your specific needs. Rest assured that your items will remain safe and untouched and that Security is still in the building 24/7.

Q: Will the school year be extended?
A: No. We anticipate that we will be able to deliver all major curriculum requirements in the curriculum and finish according to schedule.

Q: When will the academic year 2020-21 begin? Will we be delayed?
A: We anticipate that the school year will begin as scheduled for Years I-III on Monday August 24, 2020.

We anticipate the clinic year will begin on Tuesday May 19, 2020. However, please note that depending on circumstances and any public health advisories, classes may commence virtually in the beginning and move to in person as we are able.

SPECIFIC TO YEARS I-III


Q: Will in person classes resume this spring?
A. NO. In person classes and assessment will be suspended for the rest of this academic year. We will continue to deliver courses, labs and assessments completely online. The revised curriculum will allow all Years I-III to complete the academic year on time (May 22) as scheduled. Any curricular requirements that cannot be met through online delivery, will be moved to the fall. Should a personal situation prevent any student from continuing their studies in this format, please consult with Student Services to request and explore accommodation.

Q: Will the virtual labs and classes be as robust as our in person learning?
A: In providing interactive sessions, we are most closely mirroring the experience you would be receiving in class. Written notes will continue to be available. Experiential learning may be limited, but we look forward to providing you that opportunity in the fall.

Q: What happens to exams?
A. Exams will be delivered entirely through ExamSoft and can be done from any location the student is in. No two exams will be identical as all questions will be randomized to ensure academic integrity. Students will be expected to take their exam at the scheduled time (Eastern Daylight Time).

Q: Can students who need or wish to leave Toronto return home?
A: Yes, provided students have full access to stable online tools so that they can continue online classes and labs, they can be located wherever they choose. Students are advised to pay close attention and comply with any and all travel restrictions and guidelines issued by our public health agencies.

Q: What will the OSCE look like this year?
A: OSCEs will take place on the schedule dates however, we are still working through the details for OSCE delivery and will be able to provide you with further details over the coming week.

Q: When will Year III be able to enter Clinic?
A. Students will proceed into Year IV on May 19, 2020. Direct patient care might not begin on that date and will depend upon directives from public health, health institutions, and governmental authorities.

Year IV Students and Graduate Students, we ask that you refer to your email and Learning Management System for information specific to your programs. There is a high level of detail too great to capture here.

IN CLOSING


We know that this is a lot of information to take in and process. As administrators and educators, we commit to being here for you to answer your questions, address your concerns and ensure that we provide you with the best possible solutions and support to give you the education you expect and deserve. Students, please rest assured that faculty are working to plan for opportunities for you to practice in person, hands-on study when we are able to resume. This may include times during the school day and evenings and weekends as needed.

Remember, if you have questions about your own health and are not sure which steps to take, you can contact Telehealth Ontario at 1 866 797 0000 available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If any of you are hungry for even more information on COVID-19, please see our website at cmcc.ca/covid19updates.

Here is an online resource that you may find helpful to access and work through as we continue to manage our mental health during COVID-19: https://www.coursera.org/learn/manage-health-covid-19?

Posted March 20, 2020

Just a friendly reminder that online learning begins Monday, March 23, 2020. We have been working all week to schedule lectures and online small groups and to train faculty and staff to go live with our remote learning experience!

Welcome home to everyone who has travelled. Staff members who have been away, please ensure you contact Human Resources (hradmin@cmcc.ca) and returning students, please ensure you contact Student Services (studentserv@cmcc.ca).

Thank you to everyone for your cooperation and for continuing to take all the strange new precautions to heart so that we can flatten this curve together. We are learning all the ways in which we can keep our communities safe now and will be able to apply these same measures more easily in future, should we experience another outbreak. We understand this situation may be especially challenging to our students who are in the midst of a rigorous curriculum and looking forward to summer. We thank you for your patience and will do our best to continue to deliver the curriculum as seamlessly as possible. Since this is our first foray with several new remote tools, we may encounter the occasional hiccups. Please be patient and bear with us and we’ll work together to make this the best experience possible.

For many of our students, this situation may give you a new perspective on patient outcomes and community health. Many of you have reached out to us, asking if there were ways you could help. We realize we are in such a good position with the extraordinary group of students we have. Please continue to lead by example and encourage everyone to adopt the temporary measures that will keep a large number of our community out of harms way.

To CMCC employees who have stepped up in extraordinary ways in such a short time, thank you for pulling together and helping us move to where we are today. Again, with so many individuals relying on systems and technology, we may experience occasional issues. Please be sure to reach out to teammates and keep the conversation going. Even as we work on our own at home, we don’t have to work in isolation.

On that note, regrettably, we have had to cancel Backs in Motion this year. We are however, encouraging everyone to run or walk at home or in your neighbourhoods on and around April 26! We will be sharing photos and stories online and offering prizes for best photos. Stay tuned!

And please remember, if any of you have questions about your own health and are not sure which steps to take, you can contact Telehealth Ontario at 1 866 797 0000 available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If any of you are hungry for even more information on COVID-19, please see our website at cmcc.ca/covid19updates.

Posted March 17, 2020

We appreciate and understand that with the quickly changing landscape of COVID-19 and the ongoing information coming from so many sources, this can be a worrisome time for you.  

Currently, the Federal Government is urging social distancing in an effort to protect the public’s health and limit the spread of COVID-19. If you need to be out, Public Health agencies are also recommending keeping a distance of 2 metres or 6 feet between yourself and those around you. This morning, Premier Doug Ford declared a state of emergency in order to better limit person to person contact. This includes the closure of private schools such as CMCC for a period of time.  Online learning will continue but the campus buildings will be closed. All exterior doors will be closed and no longer accessible to staff or students unless they have been deemed essential and are on a list of personnel being monitored by security. 

Curriculum Delivery Online 

We have been working to ensure that we can continue curriculum delivery as seamlessly as possible and ensure business continuity. While we don’t expect extreme measures such as we are seeing today to continue, it is possible that it won’t be business as usual right away, so we want to start with a good foundation and enable students and staff with the tools they need.

Staff and Faculty 

All staff, with the exception of those who have been identified as essential to operations, will work from home effective immediately, until at least April 6. Your directors and managers will reach out to you to schedule team meetings, assign projects and check in with you.  

Many of you have already been invited to Teams so that you can stay connected with your working group and we can support each other to ensure educational and business continuity over the coming days or weeks.  

Some of you have had questions about your work and compensation which you have forwarded to Human Resources. In light of this, we have created the attached FAQ which we hope you will find helpful. The FAQ will be changing as more information becomes available. We will do our best to keep you apprised of those changes regularly. 

Essential staff  

For each of you that has been deemed essential staff for operation continuity and is required to come into the building during this period of closure, we will continue to ensure that doorknobs and buttons are sterilized daily.  All essential staff will enter through the front doors and sign in at the front desk.   

Students 

Beginning March 23, we will make a full transition to online education for Years I-III, using Zoom, Panopto and other tools as they present themselves. Instructions will be sent through KIRO and email.  

If you have questions about particular assignments or projects, please reach out to your instructors via KIRO or email as you would regularly. We will continue with online learning until it is safe to resume operations and teaching on site.  

Should you need other support in any way, Student Services will be online, working remotely to answer other questions and concerns.  

Interns 

Clinical education will continue online, relying on learning objectives and other activities that are not reliant on person to person contact. The written exam originally scheduled for Tuesday March 24 has been cancelled and deferred to a later date.  We are currently looking at alternatives and will let you know as soon possible.

For each of you, we ask that you do your utmost to stay well and virus free so that we can help flatten the curve of COVID-19. Continue to wash your hands frequently and ensure that you maintain that social distance while outside. 

Self Care 

We recognize the impact that the outbreak of COVID-19 has been on our mental health, as the stress associated with the fear and anxiety about a disease can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions.  Taking care of yourself, your friends, and your family can help you cope with stress. Helping others cope with their stress can also make your community stronger.  Here are some tips to help support yourself: 

·        Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting. 

·        Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep. 

·        Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy. 

·        The Human Resources department in collaboration with our Health and Wellness student experience worker will also enlist other programs to help with your self-care during this time. In addition, we want to help reduce the isolation that comes from a disruption in routine and being away from work.  To staff, your managers will continue to rely on you and depend on your contributions, even as those may alter from the usual routine. To students, we are confident you will continue to have a heavy workload, though scheduling lunch may not be such a problem in the short term! Please continue to communicate with each other in all the great ways that you do, staying in touch through your virtual networks and helping each other like you always have. 

To everyone
, please take the time to sleep well and don’t forget to exercise. When we return to work and class, or a clinical environment, we will be busy!

We thank everyone for their part in protecting our community by helping to reduce and control the spread of COVID-19.   

Posted March 16, 2020

Based on the best advice from our federal and provincial governments, CMCC has made the decision to close our clinics and suspend clinical experiences for undergraduate and graduate learners temporarily until April 6 to support attempts to slow the spread of COVID-19. Observation programs, both within CMCC clinics and external offices will also be suspended. 

Though our clinics will be closed, we will continue to offer clinical education and will issue an update Wednesday, March 18 on how we will facilitate Year IV clinical progress. 

The Year IV OSCE exam previously scheduled for this Friday March 20, has been cancelled for now and will be rescheduled at the earliest time possible as we all work together for the good of the community and the public at large.  

Thank you for your cooperation. Please continue to monitor your health and those around you and if you do feel ill, please stay home and do not spread any ailment to those in your community. Although the virus is not a significant threat to most people, it can do serious harm to those with a compromised immune system. 

CMCC is continuing to refine and test its remote teaching operations and once testing is complete, we will advise all staff, students and faculty on plans to transition to remote and online learning and testing, as we are doing with clinic. Look for news on Wednesday, March 18.  

We thank you for your patience and for continuing to do your part in protecting our community by helping to reduce and control the spread of COVID-19.    

 CMCC Executive Leadership Team  

Posted March 15, 2020

We appreciate and understand that with the quickly changing landscape of COVID-19 and the ongoing information coming from so many sources, this can be a difficult and worrisome time for you. We are reaching out to you today to let you know that we have your best interests and safety in mind.  CMCC Executive, the Incident Command Team and Clinic Management have been working with our clinic partners and stakeholders to determine next steps to ensure the safety of our interns, our clinic staff and our patients. 

Effective March 15, all CMCC clinics will suspend practice until end of day Wednesday March 18. During this time, we will continue working very closely with our health partners to ensure we move forward together to make longer term decisions on the operation of our community clinics. These collaborative decisions will take into full consideration the commitment we have to our interns to fulfill their education needs and competency requirements for graduation as well as provide responsible patient care.We are working with the regulators and accreditors to ensure any decision taken will limit the impact on our interns and protect our staff and our patients. 

Further, clinical placements of our Graduate Programs will also suspend practice during this time in order to consider how these clinical experiences will move forward. Please watch for additional announcements.  

Again, all CMCC clinics will be closed until end of day Wednesday March 18 in order to put a longer term plan in place in collaboration with our health partners and stakeholders. 

We thank you for your patience and for continuing to do your part in protecting our community by helping to reduce and control the spread of COVID-19.  

CMCC Executive Leadership Team 

Posted March 12, 2020

Like many of you, the Executive and Emergency Response teams are closely monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak around the world and as it relates to our CMCC community and our day to day operations both on campus, at our external clinics and as it relates to our external events. The future course of this virus is impossible to predict accurately, and we are acutely aware that our choices and actions today must be made with clarity and with your safety and health in mind.  A team of extremely dedicated people have been working diligently to respond to the challenges posed by COVID-19 to our students, staff, our families and our patients.  

We are considering every contingency as they undertake this important work on your behalf. We are writing to you today to update you on changes to process, travel, curriculum delivery, external events and other matters that concern our shared community and that will limit exposure to the disease.

The Emergency Response plan sets out clear strategies for dealing with the possibility of a temporary closure or suspension of normal operations. Those strategies include a transition to move to virtual instruction and to full or partial remote operations for CMCC staff. CMCC has invested in a number of technologies that will allow us to continue essential operations remotely during any interruption with minimal disruption to curriculum delivery. Our plans and decisions are consistent with the recommendations of our international, national, provincial and local health officials how to limit the spread of COVID-19. 

TRAVEL 

With March break on the horizon, we know that many staff and students have already made travel plans. Best practice recommends enhanced travel reporting and return to class/work screening for both students and staff, which is essential as we look forward to March break.  Before you head out, please review and comply to all Travel advisories as available: Active Travel Health Notices (Notices, Risks, Safety and Security, Planning a Cruise, Returning Travellers) 

The enhanced travel reporting process will require that all students and staff advise of their travel dates and location prior to their departure.  In addition, upon your return to class/work, we will request that you contact the appropriate represented (as listed below) in order undergo an initial screening to be cleared to return to campus. This may require an additional day at home. 

Students: Please advise Student Services at studentserv@cmcc.ca 

Staff and Faculty: Please contact Human Resources at hradmin@cmcc.ca 

Business TravelAll CMCC-related travel has been suspended until further notice. We will continue to monitor travel advisories and update you as we have additional details.   

REMOTE OPERATIONS/Work at Home in the event of a suspension or restriction in normal CMCC operations  

As part of the Emergency Response and Business Continuity plans, we have asked all Division directors to work with their staff and with IT as needed to ensure that everyone has access and adequate tools to work from home should we determine that a campus partial or full closure is warranted. Tools such as VPN, Teams, Office 365 are all available to support you in working from home.  Additional instructions will be forthcoming from the Division of IT on how to work from home during a suspension or restriction in our normal operations. 

For Faculty, instructions will be forthcoming to any faculty not currently using Panopto to ensure you are prepared for a potential transition to virtual delivery of lectures and small groups etc.  

Despite our best efforts to plan for and manage CMCC resource to respond to the COVID-19 issue, we are still faced with uncertainty and with that a measure of discomfort. It will take time to understand enough about the situation to make longer term plans and also to defend against it but please understand that we will do our utmost to protect our community and the broader community and will continue to treat each other with generosity, understanding and respect as we wade these uncertain waters. There are resources available to you to help manage any anxiety and stress: 

Students: Call 1 844 741-6389 to connect with trained counsellors, consultants, and life coaches 24/7, 365 days/year for a variety of issues. Learn more at www.studentcare.ca.  

Staff and Faculty: 24/7 Confidential Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) through our third party vendor ComPsych. Contact EAP services at Tel: 866 641 3847 or online by visiting guidanceresources.com, and enter in WEBID: CMCCEAP 

We thank the CMCC Community for working together to manage the current health situation. Our joint response to it and our commitment to keeping ourselves and our patients in their best health will be our guide now and in future. Thank you for your continued support! 

-CMCC Executive Leadership Team

Posted March 6, 2020

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus, unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.

When the WHO first raised awareness of this viral outbreak, CMCC activated its pandemic emergency response plan on January 22, at a time when there were only 309 confirmed cases in China and none yet in North America.  Dr. Anthony Tibbles, Dean, Clinics, has been overseeing a response team since that time. The situation has changed significantly around the world and with that CMCC has been actively monitoring developments and following the advice of our national, provincial and municipal public health agencies. At this time, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health continues to advise that the risk to Ontarians is low.  

Our pandemic plan addresses CMCC’s response to the outbreak in a progressive way. The plan is being been used in the clinic where screening of patients has been underway for some time. As well, academic and business continuity plans may be enacted as needed. Our emergency response team includes leaders and administrators who have knowledge and experience to coordinate any required responses to the situation as it evolves in the province and across the country.

Currently, CMCC is continuing normal operations. We are also applying daily disinfection measures throughout the building beyond normal cleaning operations. We will provide additional information to the CMCC community should additional precautions become necessary.  

On the international front, most people infected with COVID-19 have become so through travel in affected areas or through close or household contact with someone who had the virus. Overall, most of infections have resulted in mild illness.

How to protect yourself

    • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 15 seconds (especially before handling food, after touching your face or shaking someone’s hand). As an alternative, alcohol-based hand sanitizer may be used.
    • Avoid sharing personal items with others who may be sick.
    • Cover your mouth with a tissue when sneezing and coughing. Throw the tissue away and then wash your hands immediately.
    • If you do not have a tissue, cough into your upper sleeve or elbow.
    • As viruses can live on hard surfaces for up to eight hours, sanitize objects like your desk, keyboard, telephone and door handles frequently.

  • Practice good health habits to help your body fight off viruses. Ensure you are getting enough rest, drinking plenty of fluids, eating nutritious foods and staying active.

    The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. As a reminder, the most effective way to prevent your exposure to and transmission of illnesses (including influenza and the common cold) is to take preventative measures, including the following measures:

    If you are sick

  • As always, if you are sick, you should avoid close contact with others and stay home. In addition, we encourage you to contact your healthcare practitioner or primary physician as soon as possible and report your symptoms to them for evaluation. You can also contact Telehealth Ontario.

    In an emergency, call 911. 

    If you are a student with questions about assignments, exams or make-up classes, please contact your faculty/instructors. If you are a staff or faculty member, please contact your supervisor/manager or Human Resources.

    Travel

    If you are scheduled to travel on CMCC business but are uncomfortable or have questions about your options and responsibilities, please contact your manager or supervisor or Human Resources who can help to guide your decision-making and remember that the safety of our staff, faculty and students is our prime concern at all times.

    If you are a CMCC student, faculty, staff or community member who has plans to travel or have just  returned from a country which now has Public Health Travel Advisories in place, contact your supervisor or manager, Human Resources or Student Services who can work through next steps with you on returning to CMCC for work or study. Recommendations from Public Health for those returning from affected areas, are to stay home for the 14 day period to ensure you are not infected and cannot spread the virus to your communities.

    Advisories and notices are available on the Government of Canada Travel advisory sites:

    Active Travel Health Notices (Notices, Risks, Safety and Security, Planning a Cruise, Returning Travellers)

    Travel Advice and Advisories – FAQ


More information

For additional information and the latest news about the novel coronavirus and its impact in the Greater Toronto Area, please visit:

Health

Travel

Frequently asked questions 

Updated March 6 2020

1.       What is coronavirus/COVID-19?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that originate in animals but are known to cause respiratory illness in humans, particularly during the fall and winter months. Other novel coronaviruses have included Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV). In January 2020, a novel (new) coronavirus (COVID-19) was identified as the cause of an outbreak of pneumonia originating in Wuhan. The provincial government provides updated statistics for Ontario.

2.     What is the risk?

Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health advises that the risk to Ontarians is still considered low as of March 3, 2020. The situation is rapidly evolving and CMCC is taking its guidance from public health agencies at the local, provincial and federal level, who are closely monitoring the outbreak, conducting surveillance and appropriate laboratory testing, and providing public health and infection control guidance.

To date, cases have been reported in individuals who have been in affected areas, and those who have had personal contact with infected individuals. The risk of more severe illness may be higher for individuals with weakened immune systems such as older people or chronic diseases such as diabetes, or heart, renal or chronic lung disease.

3.    What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Symptoms range from common to severe respiratory illnesses and include: 

  • fever
  • cough
  • difficulty breathing

Many of these symptoms are similar to seasonal influenza. Should you experience these symptoms AND have recently travelled internationally to an affected region or have been in contact with someone who has, avoid contact with others and follow-up with your health care professional. Advise your health professional in advance of attending their clinic of your symptoms and travel history.   

4.      What can I do to protect myself?

As usual, continue to practice good hand washing techniques and hygiene practices. This includes washing thoroughly with soap and water, using hand sanitizer, coughing or sneezing into your elbow, and staying at home if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms.

5.       Should students, staff or faculty with flu-like symptoms be excluded from class/work?

As of March 17, The Ontario Provincial Government issued a State of Emergency in the province, ensuring that all non-essential services, including schools, close to reduce the spread of COVID-19. While the majority of students are away on March break, CMCC administration took advantage of technology they had implemented for remote learning and transitioned curriculum delivery to a temporary online learning model. CMCC employees were asked to work from home until April 6, pending further instructions.

6.       Should anyone with a travel history to an affected region be excluded from class/work?

Those who have travelled to Hubei province or Iran in the last 14 days, should limit their contact with others for a total of 14 days from the date that they left their location. This means self-isolate and stay at home. In addition, they should contact their local public health authority within 24 hours of arriving in Canada. Students who are self-isolating should contact their registrar.

Travellers returning from other affected areas should monitor for symptoms. Those who develop symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) or any other symptoms within 14 days after returning to Canada, are advised to contact Telehealth Ontario (1-866-797-0000), your health-care provider, or local health authority. Inform them about your symptoms and travel history.

7.       Will classes be cancelled?

Classes have moved online, as of March 23. Students are advised to check KIRO and their CMCC email to learn the most recent updates and return to class dates.

8.       Should I wear a mask?

For general, day-to-day activities, there is no need to wear a surgical or N95 mask.  Toronto Public Health advises residents to take the usual measures to reduce the risk of influenza and other respiratory infections: 

  • Get a yearly flu vaccination, available from clinics and pharmacies as this is the best way to prevent influenza infection. Though this will not affect chances of contracting COVID-19, it may help to reduce the severity as those who are already ill or compromised when they contract the virus seem to fare worse with COVID-19
  • Clean your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water, or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you cough and sneeze 
  • If you don't have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve or arm 
  • Stay at home if you are sick. 

Those in health care settings will follow the requirements of their facilities with respect to appropriate Personal Protective Equipment if they are working with suspected or confirmed cases.

9.   I am in a health care setting off-campus. Are there additional precautions I should take?

For students who are in other health care settings (interns), the Clinic Management Team and the Executive are aware of the steps needed to protect our students, should it become necessary. Learners, faculty and staff in a health science setting, should follow the directions of the administration of the facility.

10.   I am affected by travel restrictions and cannot return to Canada. What should I do?

If students or employees are unable to return to CMCC as a result of the travel restrictions, they should contact their Year Director/Student Services or Human Resources to arrange for accommodations. 

We also ask that students/employees are diligent about personal travel.  Should you plan to travel to any of the regions noted on the Health Canada’s travel advisory page, we ask that you advise Student Services and/or Human Resources.  Before returning to CMCC travelers may be asked to go through a phone screen via our Clinic which would include a series of questions as well as a  taking their own temperature.

11.    I am planning to travel in the coming days.  What should I do?

Students planning to travel to affected areas should cancel or postpone their trip. Staff and faculty may refer to the Government of Canada’s COVID-19 travel advisory website. Travel to affected areas may result in a restriction to returning to CMCC.

12.   Am I at risk for novel coronavirus from a package or products shipping from China?

Coronaviruses do not generally survive for long on surfaces so there is likely very low risk of them spread from products or packaging that travel for many days at room temperature. Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread most often through direct contact with those who are ill coughing or sneezing. Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with imported goods.

Important Contact Numbers

Telehealth Ontario: 1-866-797-0000 TTY: 1-866-797-0007

Telehealth Ontario is a free, confidential service you can call to get health advice or information. A Registered Nurse will take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Toronto Public Health Hotline: 416-338-7600

Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. 8:00 p.m. and weekends from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.