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Student FAQ: COVID-19 Impact on Sault Ste. Marie Campus

Last updated: November 9, 2020 10:50AM

International Student FAQ

Be sure to follow our social media @algomau, @AUSU82, and our Youtube channel for updates on ways to virtually spend time together and support one another.

Starting September 9, 2020, the Sault Ste. Marie Campus will be ‘open’ from Monday to Sunday (8:00 am – 12:00 am).  Service hours for designated areas are noted below.

We ask that you only access the campus for particular reasons (use of computer lab, library, GLC, attend pre-scheduled meetings, etc.) and leave campus once you are done. This will help minimize the number of people gathering on campus at any one time. Please note that there are appointment requirements – see below for details

The following section provides further details on specific services and guidelines that will be in place as of September 9, 2020.  Updates will be provided as additional services transition to face-to-face.

NW 203 will be open for computer use (8:00 am to 12:00 am)
NW 204 will remain open for printing and scanning purposes
NW 205 will remain closed for remote access for students as needed

The mezzanine (computer area) in the library will be available during library hours (see below).

The number of computers is limited to ensure appropriate social distancing.

Please use cleaning supplies provided both before and after use and do not move equipment, as it is set up for social distancing.

The IT Service Desk has been temporarily moved to NW 202, should you need assistance, please call IT @ 705-949-2301 ext. 4450 or 1-888-902-7866. Students can submit a ticket via the student portal here.

The IT Service Desk will be open the following hours:

Monday to Thursday: 8:00 am – 7:30 pm
Friday: 8:00 am – 4:00 pm
Saturday and Sunday: 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

The Arthur A. Wishart Library will be open the following hours:

Monday – Wednesday: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Thursday: 9:00 am – 8:00 pm
Friday: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Saturday and Sunday: Closed
The 3rd floor will be open for socially distanced study.

The 2nd floor will remain closed – Library staff will retrieve books as needed.

In-person and curbside book pick-up will be available.

Reference services will be available virtually by emailing reference@algomau.ca or by using the Ask a Librarian service.

Digital interlibrary loan services will be available by emailing ill@algomau.ca or by making a request through RACER.

For updated FAQ’s regarding the Wishart Library, please click here.

  • How do I get my textbooks for the Fall?

The bookstore will be opening with a limited capacity. Stay tuned for further details. You are welcome to come to see us as long as you are wearing your mask!

Have your books shipped to your home! You can order your textbooks at www.algomashop.ca and have the books and supplies shipped to your home.

Order your books online and select curbside pick-up. We will email you the instructions once your order is ready for pick-up. We will be available Monday to Friday, 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.

Go digital! We are working on making as many digital books available as possible. Save on money and time by purchasing your books digitally at www.algomashop.ca.

  • What if I need to return a textbook?

Textbook returns will be accepted until Friday, September 25th as long as they are in the same condition! Need to ship your books back? Make sure the package is postmarked on or before September 25th. This way, if the package arrives a little late, you won’t be penalized. Please note: digital books are non-returnable.

  • What if I want to keep a book I rented?

Textbooks rented for the Fall term will be due back December 23rd, 2020. If you wish to keep your rented textbook, just follow these easy steps:

  1. Visit www.algomashop.ca and log into your account
  2. Click on the account icon and select rentals
  3. Scroll down to your active rentals and click buy
  4. Proceed to your cart and complete the purchase

Questions? Email us at 0922mgr@follett.com

The Cafeteria and Tim Hortons will remain closed for the Fall semester.  Students living on campus should have received information regarding available food options.  If you did not receive this information, please contact housing@algomau.ca.

Students are encouraged to bring a filled water bottle with them for use while on campus. Water fountains that have a water bottle filling station will be accessible. Water fountains that do not have this feature are not accessible at present.

Vending Machines will still be available.

The George Leach Centre is open by appointment only. The GLC Membership Ancillary Fee is not being charged to students this semester.  Students who wish to access the GLC during the fall semester will need to purchase a membership.  The cost is only $38.23 for the semester. For questions on membership, hours of operation, and services available, please visit www.algomathunderbirds.ca or email glcdesk@algomau.ca.

Meetings are to remain virtual where possible.  Offices and designated spaces of an appropriate size have been allocated should an in-person meeting with a staff, faculty member or external partner be absolutely required.  Any such meetings are by appointment only.

No walk-in appointments are allowed at this time.

Faculty who do not have an office on campus are able to access the faculty pod via the online booking system:

A Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for In-Person meetings has been developed to better support our community through this process.

To review the SOP please click here.

The library will have space open for personal study.  Spaces are limited to ensure appropriate social distancing. Study rooms can be booked by students as per protocols.

For more information regarding returning to campus, please view our Return to Campus (RTC) page. 

The SSM campus has additional meeting spaces available for bookings.  The important highlights of requirements to book meetings include:

  • All gatherings on campus must be submitted through this form to ensure the University has the ability to maintain proper levels and flow of traffic on campus

  • No external bookings (I.E only AU community members are able to book spaces for AU community related events)

  • The maximum capacity for any non-academic/non-work related gatherings is 10 participants for indoor gatherings and 25 participants for outdoor gatherings

 To book a gathering space on the SSM campus, please click here.

In addition, a Gathering Forms Resource Document has also been created to support these bookings.  Please find that document here.

All common spaces (student lounges, public gathering spaces) for students remain closed until further notice.

Access to the Housing Office must be between the hours of 1-4 pm Monday to Friday. Students can also message one of the RAs for access.

Security remains in place to ensure the safety and well-being of all campus residence students and essential staff.  Security, as always, will be monitoring all aspects of the campus infrastructure to identify and direct any and all emergencies to the proper authorities. They are not on campus to provide access to campus spaces. Should interactions be required, the Security staff will require that proper distancing be observed.

  • Students living off-campus who require access can pick up items beside the Security Desk.

  • Students living on-campus who require access can pick up items can at the housing Office in residence.

    • Access is during Housing Office hours of 1-4 pm Monday to Friday

    • Students can also message one of the RAs to access


Your cooperation in following guidelines is appreciated and important as we protect the health and safety of everyone on campus. Thunderbirds protecting Thunderbirds: Thunderbirds protecting Community.

Please note that it is now required under the Non-Academic Student Code of Conduct that all students follow Algoma University Health and Safety rules. If you have questions or are concerned you may have been exposed to COVID-19, please contact healthservices@algomau.ca.



Most instruction at the Sault Ste. Marie campus will be remote, with limited in person instruction:

  • Courses are being evaluated for in-person delivery in accordance with safety criteria, student and faculty needs, and the public health context
  • A list of the specific courses and labs planned to be available in person for 21W will be available before October 9
  • Students may decide to relocate to Sault Ste. Marie for the winter term in order to take one or more in-person classes, but they are not required to do so. If any student cannot take a particular course in person, the course will have a remote option.

Please view official Communication Memo (September 28).

Speak to an Academic Success Advisor! Student Success has set up Daily DROP-IN advising from 1-1:30. Just click the Drop-in advising link and connect with an advisor! You can also register through your Student Portal.

At Algoma University, we’re committed to helping you continue learning with an array of online courses that span degrees, disciplines and fields. Now is the time to stay home and keep learning. With small class sizes, Algoma is bridging the gap between a virtual education and a personalized education. For more information, please view the Online/Remote Learning page.

During this time, we have worked closely with Human Resources, the COVID Task Force, Physical Plant, the Office of the Registrar, the Biology Department and others, to determine a specific list of courses/labs.

To view the list of courses approved for in-person instruction for 21W at the SSM campus, please view official communication memo.



In order to provide additional services for students on all our campuses, Student
Success Central will offer a daily “drop-in” via Google Hangouts. If you are in need of academic, wellness or immigration support please join us by clicking here Monday – Friday, 1:00 – 1:30 PM. Those students who have questions or need immediate support are encouraged to email advising@algomau.ca and a member of the Student Success Team will respond.

Academic Advising will be done online via Google Hangouts or over the phone. Where an advisor feels it is needed, in-person meetings with Academic Advisors will be by appointment only. In-person drop-ins will be suspended until further notice. To speak to an Academic Advisor, please email advising@algomau.ca  or call 705-949-2301 EXT 4238.

Immigration Advising will be done online via Google Hangouts or over the phone. Where an advisor feels it is needed, in-person meetings will be by appointment only.  To speak to an Immigration Advisor, please email at immigration@algomau.ca or call 705-949-2301 EXT 4238.

The health clinic is closed until further notice. In an effort to maintain service, they will conduct telephone appointments on Wednesday mornings from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. to accommodate your medical needs. Please DO NOT CALL THE CLINIC. To book an appointment, email doctor@algomau.ca and include your phone number. You will be sent an appointment date and time with specific instructions prior to the next scheduled clinic.

Should you feel that you need additional support (including a referral for online counselling), please contact healthservices@algomau.ca and our team can be available. Counselling services are still available via Zoom video. Watch for supportive coping and strategies videos to care packages in the coming days and weeks.

To find out more about health services in the Sault Ste. Marie area, please visit our Health Services page.

For further enquiry about your account balance, please refer to your student portal (students.algomau.ca) or email accounts@algomau.ca.

For questions regarding financial aid, please email fao@algomau.ca.

  • For any services offered by the Office of the Registrar, please visit the website. While many student requests can be completed using the online links on the website, general information requests can still be sent to regoffice@algomau.ca. We ask for your patience during these challenging times.  
  • The Learning Centre is open by appointment only. We are encouraging meetings by phone or Google Hangouts.
  • Face to face tutoring is suspended until further notice but, if both parties are agreeable, tutoring can happen online through Google Hangouts.
  • All previously booked tests that were to happen within class time this week have been cancelled.  

Please email learning@algomau.ca or call EXT 4221 (Barb) or EXT 4225 (Raquel) for extra information.

The Career Link Seminar Series is now offered online. If you would like to join or set up an online session please email Darren.Vaughan@Algomau.ca.
Please keep an eye on Facebook and Instagram for updates.

We strongly recommend that all eligible students continue to look for summer/co-op employment. Employment opportunities are posted on your Student Portal under Job Opportunities. You may also want to visit our Online Career Fair here. Further, continue to check websites such as Employment Solutions, Indeed, Wow Jobs and SooToday. It is recommended you go through this link to see if you qualify for the Emergency Response Benefit. I recommend International Students take a look as well. This is a difficult time for seeking summer employment.

If you need assistance, please contact: Cindi Elgie, Co-op, Career & Experiential Learning at cindi.elgie@algomau.ca

You safety comes first. All members of the Algoma University community have the right to work and study in an environment that is free from any form of sexual violence.

Please visit our Sexual Violence Resources and Supports webpage for up to date information and contacts. We are here to listen and help you explore your options.


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 coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) was identified as the cause of an outbreak of pneumonia originating in Wuhan, China. The latest statistics for Ontario are available at ontario.ca/coronavirus.

  • Fever (a temperature of 37.8 degrees or higher);
  • New or worsening cough;
  • Barking cough, making whistling noise when breathing (croup);
  • Shortness of breath (unable to breathe deeply or feeling unable to catch one’s breath);
  • Sore throat (not related to seasonal allergies or other known conditions);
  • Trouble/Difficulty swallowing;
  • Runny nose, or nasal congestion (not related to seasonal allergies or other known causes or conditions);
  • Unusual headache;
  • Changes in taste or smell (e.g. lost sense of taste);
  • Nausea or vomiting (not related to other known causes or conditions);
  • Diarrhea or stomach pain (not related to other known causes or conditions);
  • Unexplained fatigue (lack of energy);
  • Sore muscles (long lasting or unusual);
  • Pink eye (irritated, itchy or painful eye that may have crusting or discharge; conjunctivitis);
  • Falling down often
  • Sluggishness or lack of appetite (note these note these symptoms may be more relevant to infants and young children)
  • Unexplained rashes

Complications from the 2019 novel coronavirus can include serious conditions, like pneumonia or kidney failure, and in some cases, death.

Visit the Government of Canada’s website for all of the latest updates and the self assessment test.

You can find additional information at:


Together, let’s limit the spread of COVID-19 and prevent future outbreaks. COVID Alert helps us break the cycle of infection. The app can let people know of possible exposures before any symptoms appear. That way, we can take care of ourselves and protect our communities.

Download now

As part of its fall preparedness plan, Keeping Ontarians Safe: Preparing for Future Waves of COVID-19, the Ontario government is partnering with pharmacies to expand access to COVID-19 testing to track, trace and isolate cases.

Effective immediately, Ontarians should only seek testing at assessment centres if you are:

  • Showing COVID-19 symptoms;
  • Have been exposed to a confirmed case of the virus, as informed by your public health unit or exposure notification through the COVID Alert app;
  • A resident or work in a setting that has a COVID-19 outbreak, as identified and informed by your local public health unit; and
  • Eligible for testing as part of a targeted testing initiative directed by the Ministry of Health or the Ministry of Long-Term Care.
  • Wear a mask
  • Practice social distancing
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water frequently and thoroughly, including between your fingers and under your nails;
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available; 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth; 
  • Cough or sneeze using a tissue or into your elbow or sleevecover your nose and mouth when you sneeze;
  • Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness; 
  • Stay home if you are sick and avoid contact with others; 
  • If you are sick, contact a health care provider about your symptoms.

Visit the Government of Canada’s website for all of the latest updates and the self assessment test.

The COVID-19 virus can only spread through direct touch or through infected droplets from coughing or sneezing. This means we can build community immunity with social distancing and personal prevention.

Download package 2 – Build community immunity with social distancing (PDF)

No, the flu vaccine does not protect against coronaviruses.

The flu is mainly caused by two types of viruses: influenza A and influenza B.

No. The 2019 novel coronavirus like any other illness can spread to anyone. If you have recently visited a high-risk area, you should contact a health care provider or visit the nearest emergency room. Currently, the risk of contracting 2019 novel coronavirus in Ontario is low.

The Ontario Government implemented a provincial wide mask policy, that resulted in minor changes to our existing Algoma University Mask Policy. Please review the updated mask policy here.

No. Wearing of masks is a personal choice. Some people choose to wear masks as a form of prevention. However, consumer masks, such as those sold in pharmacies have limited value and do not guarantee against contracting the 2019 novel coronavirus.

To reduce exposure to and transmission of a range of illnesses, including coronaviruses, you should follow usual health precautions such as:

  • Wash your hands often;
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick; and
  • Practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette (sneeze or cough into your elbow).

Please see the following public health resource on self-isolation and self-monitoring.

Additional FAQ updates on academic accommodations, academic and non-academic support services, finances, travel and other areas of student concern will be added on an ongoing basis.