Latest updates from UM

Updated October 22, 2020

  • This site has been updated with new FAQs that address some of the most pressing concerns of our community. Find them here: Student FAQs; Faculty and Staff FAQs; Instructors, advisors and supervisors FAQs.
  • Reminder that wearing masks is now mandatory on all UM campuses. This applies when indoors at all times on UM campuses even when physical distancing is possible. Limited exceptions apply. Medical reasons for exemptions from mandatory masks use are limited. Read the story.

  • A new set of flow charts has been created to help our students, staff and faculty follow the proper protocols when they are not feeling well, or have been notified by Public Health or the COVID app that they are required to self-isolate.

  • Canada’s COVID Alert App is a free exposure notification app designed to limit the spread of COVID-19 and prevent future outbreaks. UM is recommending that students, faculty and staff subscribe to the app. This app provides important COVID-19 related information, notifies individuals if they have been in close contact with someone who tested positive and provides advice. 

  • On Oct. 19, 2020 new public health orders came into effect in the Winnipeg Capital Region. 

  • A new COVID page to help members of our community track the status of COVID-19 cases on UM campuses has been developed. For the week of October 16-20, we have a reported 4 cases on UM campuses. There has been a total of 10 positive COVID-19 cases at UM since the beginning of the academic year.

  • The new UM Safe app is an essential safety tool that provides instant access to campus safety resources, and also features direct access to UM COVID Recovery resources and important updates for students and faculty/researchers and staff, as well as a link to the federal COVID-Alert app. Free download on Android and iOS.

  • Get familiar with the COVID-19 Recovery Steering Committee structure. Read the story.

  • For the latest in what's open on campus, including study spaces, check here.

  • The Fort Garry campus shuttle bus will not operate until further notice, due to expected low ridership and to maintain health and safety.

  • View our COVID-19 recovery plan: Your Safety is our Priority, ResUMe 2021/21

  • Students and staff who will be attending UM and require accessible accommodation(s) are asked to contact the following service providers: Students, 204-474-7423, student_accessibility@umanitoba.caStaff and Faculty, 204-474-7195,

  • UM will be offering both Fall Term 2020 and Winter Term 2021 primarily remotely, with the exception of a very small number of courses that require in-person delivery. Please see Classes, scheduling and other academic matters on the student information page.

  • New information for current and new international students continues to be added to the international students support page.

  • Mental health supports are available for staff and their dependents through the UM Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) plan. Members and their dependents can contact Lifeworks by Morneau Shepell at 1-800-387-4765 (English) or 1-800-361-5676 (French).

September 28, 12:55 p.m.: A message from Naomi Andrew, Acting Vice-President (Administration), re: Update on COVID-19 safety

Mask wearing requirement at UM

As communicated on UMToday, for the continued safety of our UM community, we have updated the mask wearing requirements on all UM campuses. The wearing of masks is now mandatory on UM campuses even when physical distancing is possible.

The only exceptions are:

  • For short periods of time when someone is eating or drinking while physically distanced from others
  • If someone is alone in their office and physically distanced from others

·         During strenuous exercise in UM physical activity centres

The Province of Manitoba has also announced that “Manitoba’s public health officials will be elevating the #RestartMB Pandemic Response System level for the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region to Restricted (orange) effective Sept. 28, with new measures being put in place to help slow the spread of COVID-19”. This includes the directive that “masks will be mandatory in all indoor public places in these communities”.

Distribution of cloth masks

Faculty, staff and students will be given a reusable cloth mask that can be picked up as per below. Please note that due to limited quantities, no more than two masks per person are available.

Fort Garry Campus:

At the Fort Garry campus, students and staff may pick up their masks at the following locations:

  • Welcome Centre from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. M-F
  • Elizabeth Dafoe Library from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. M-F
  • Science and Technology Library from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. M-F

Bannatyne Campus:

Pick up locations and hours of operation are:

  • Brodie Centre main doors, 727 McDermot Avenue from 5:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Dentistry building, 780 Bannatyne Avenue from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Apotex side entrance, 750 McDermot Avenue from 6:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Rehab Sciences building, 771 McDermot Avenue from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

As health and safety is our overarching priority, strict protocols are being followed at these stations including plexiglass shields, hand sanitizing stations, signage and fencing to ensure directional consistency and socially distanced flow throughout.

In order to avoid congestion, you should pick up your masks when you are coming to campus(es), and only if you are required to come to campus. Please do not make a special trip just to pick up a mask.

Please view this video to see how to properly wear a non-medical mask. Or visit the COVID-19 UM Recovery webpage for more information.

Maximum group sizes at UM

As part of Manitoba's public health officials’ elevation of the RestartMB Pandemic Response System level for the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region to Restricted (orange) effective Sept. 28: “All private and public gatherings will be restricted to 10 people both indoors and outdoors”.

However, as mandated by the Province, most existing orders and rules for educational institutions remain the same, including for the University of Manitoba. A restriction on gatherings of 10 or more does not impact in person classes or research labs but does apply to any public or private gatherings, events and meetings. The rules in place for UM physical activity centres remain unchanged.

For more information for students, staff and faculty, visit the UM COVID-19 webpage.

September 27, 5:30 p.m. From Michael Benarroch, UM President and Vice-Chancellor re: Winter Term 2021

Good afternoon,

I know that what you value most in these challenging times is certainty and stability, and so today we are sharing with all students, faculty, instructors and staff that the University of Manitoba’s Winter Term 2021 will be delivered primarily remotely, with the exception of a small number of in-person courses, similar to your Fall Term experience.

We made this decision as early as possible in order to enable you to plan the rest of your academic year accordingly. Circumstances surrounding COVID-19 could potentially change, but today, with our priority your safety, health and well-being, continuing with primarily remote delivery is the most prudent course of action.

Over the course of my first three months as president, I have seen examples of innovation in teaching and operations that have impressed me deeply and reminded me of the resiliency and flexibility, the creativity and dedication, of our community.

Staff from across the university have come together in record time to adapt programming to online delivery. This includes the creation of new and exciting platforms such as UM Commons for our new students on which we have seen tremendous participation from students.

Amid so much “noise” and disruption, you are all making this – our core functions of teaching and learning, discovery and engagement – work remarkably well.

Students, please know that everyone associated with the University of Manitoba is working hard to ensure your success. We want this year to be special for you – in positive ways, so that as you continue your studies or move into the professional world, you feel thoroughly prepared for what lies ahead.

I want to thank and recognize our instructors and faculty members, who have demonstrated their commitment to students, and to continuing their research, scholarship, outreach and creative activities. Each of you has found ways to connect with students, to inspire and motivate, to engage. I also want to thank our staff who have worked tirelessly to ensure supports, resources, services and opportunities continue to be available to students, to maintain our campuses and in doing so showing your dedication to our students and to the work of the university. I speak on behalf of the entire University of Manitoba community, and many from whom I have heard in the larger community, when I say: Thank you, thank you very much.

We will continue to update you with any developments. Please keep checking the COVID-19 website for updated information.


Michael Benarroch, Ph.D.
President and Vice-Chancellor

September 21, 3:30 p.m.: A message to UM community on staying safe

As COVID-19 continues to circulate throughout the province and there are media reports about COVID-19 in Winnipeg schools, we understand that many members of the university community are anxious about what will happen if / when cases present at UM. The COVID-19 Recovery Steering Committee’s Health and Safety Team is learning from and building on the work of the UM’s COVID-19 recovery plans. As a reminder, there are processes already in place for UM to be notified by Public Health if there are cases in our community where further action is required. Public Health will contact the Health and Safety Lead, Dr. Marcia Anderson, and we will follow their guidance on any actions that the UM needs to take.

As a reminder, if a member of the UM community reports to you that they are positive for COVID-19, please contact:


Karen Meelker, Access & Privacy Officer
Karen [dot] Meelker [at] umanitoba [dot] ca 
Tel: 204-227-8205


Raman Dhaliwal, Director of Administration / Operations, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences
Raman [dot] Dhaliwal [at] umanitoba [dot] ca
Tel: 204-789-3492

The most important actions individuals need to take are:

  • Self-screen for any symptoms of COVID-19 before attending any university facility. Stay home if you have any symptoms; no matter how mild they are. Details on symptoms of COVID-19 and how to access testing if you have symptoms can be found here:
  • If you develop symptoms while at the university, move yourself away from any other people, immediately don your mask, and arrange to leave as soon as possible to self-isolate. Call Health Links or use the Online Screening Tool for more information on accessing testing if you have symptoms.
  • While on our campuses, ensure that you follow all public health measures, including physical distancing of 2m, frequent hand hygiene, and wearing non-medical masks in indoor common spaces or shared spaces on campuses and where physical distancing cannot be maintained.    

September 8, 1:00 p.m. - A message from Laurie M. Schnarr, Vice Provost (Students) re: Welcome to Fall Term, how to stay connected, UM Learn, Recreation Services, COVID-19 campus protocols

Dear Students,

Welcome to UM’s Fall Term 2020!

I hope you are well and excited to begin the Fall term. Whether you are new to UM or returning to learning; an undergraduate or a graduate student; living in Manitoba or studying from another province, country or continent – welcome! Faculty, staff and fellow students have worked hard throughout the summer to prepare for your arrival. Everyone is committed to ensuring that you have an outstanding learning experience, and that the supports and services you need are available to you.

Throughout this remote learning period it is more important than ever to remain connected – and to build new connections – with your classmates, students who share your interests, and those who can support you in achieving your goals. Join a student group, become a mentor or a mentee, and participate in some of the new workshops that are available. Remember, all UM student services are available remotely; if you need help with something, reach out using the contact information provided.

I highly recommend that first-year students visit the new platform that was developed especially for you.  It is called UM Commons – an online hub with content that changes regularly so you have the most up-to-date information about workshops, activities, events, and resources throughout the academic year. And, if you missed the Welcome Ceremony this morning, it was taped live and is now posted on the UM Commons site, featuring several inspirational messages from the UM community.

Returning students are encouraged to register for the Learning Online course in UM Learn. It has been updated and is a great resource to help you brush up on your online learning skills. You can self-register for this course in English or Mandarin.

We have also moved the Student ID card application process online! For new students and anyone else in need of a new ID card, the process is straightforward. Once you have registered for courses, you can request an ID card through Aurora. This ID card can be used to access many services and benefits available to you.

We know that many students have been affected financially by the pandemic. UM has negotiated a reduced rate for internet through Bell MTS. I encourage you to check it out.

From September 8, UM students will have access to the Active Living Centre at the Fort Garry campus and the Joe Doupe Recreation Centre at the Bannatyne campus, both operating at approximately 25 percent capacity and accommodating pre-booked workouts only. Visit the Recreation Services website to find out how to activate your account and pre-book your workouts.

If you are required to attend in-person components of courses on one of our campuses, here are some important things to know: 

  • Review the COVID-19 campus protocols before you arrive.
  • All UM faculty, staff and students—as well as visitors, contractors and vendors— will be required to wear a face mask in all indoor common or shared spaces on campus, or where social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • UM will be providing masks to all students who are required on campus – for information on where to pick up your mask visit here.
  • If you are attending an in-person class and need somewhere to study, spaces have been identified on the Fort Garry campus, including computer labs, and some open UM Libraries. (Note that these links will continue to be updated throughout the Fall Term.) Please minimize your exposure on campus – go to your classes and study in designated spaces only.  
  • For those commuting to campus, you can learn more about student parking for Fall Term 2020 here, and Winnipeg Transit times and safety protocols here.

For more information on what to except this Fall Term, along with regular updates, please visit

It is also important to become familiar with resources to support you in learning remotely, and to review important policies, including understanding what to do if you are unable to meet your course requirements, term work or final exams.  For example, students who are unable to meet a course requirement due to medical circumstances are currently not required to submit medical notes. However, you ARE required to contact your instructor and/or academic advisor in your home faculty/college/school to inform of the missed work and to make arrangements for extensions, deferrals, or make-up assignments. Please visit here for the guidelines and additional information.

While taking part in classes and groups online, it is important to remember that respectful conduct is expected in the virtual world too. View this video to hear about your rights and responsibilities and understand expectations for maintaining a climate of respect at the UM.

Thank you for choosing the University of Manitoba. We are so glad that you are here! Whether learning remotely or attending classes in person, your academic success is our first priority. The year ahead will be filled with lots of opportunities to apply your learning in new and exciting ways, to engage in problem solving and critical thinking, and to wrestle with novel concepts and ideas.  I continue to be inspired by your commitment, hard work, and resilience.  You’ve got this Bisons! Let’s make it a great year – together!

All my best,

Laurie Schnarr

Laurie M. Schnarr, MA
Vice-Provost (Students)
Student Affairs 
Office of the Provost and Vice-President (Academic)

Further resources

Information on COVID-19

For the most up-to-date information from the federal government:

For the most up-to-date provincial information: