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Coronavirus: Classes to move online for University of Ottawa and Carleton University

Friday, both the University of Ottawa and Carleton University announced they would aim to move all classes online next week to avoid spreading the novel coronavirus.

Classes for both universities will be cancelled March 16 and 17, and will resume March 18. The two-day break is meant to allow staff to prepare to deliver their courses by other means, mainly online.

“Starting Wednesday, March 18, all in-person classes for the winter term will be moved to distance and online learning formats for the rest of the semester,” a uOttawa statement read.

The same goes for Carleton University.

“Instructors will make arrangements to complete their classes in the way that is most appropriate for their course material and learning objectives, and they will be communicating these plans with students. Specific methods and approaches will vary across programs and courses,” said a statement from Carleton, sent out Friday morning.

Both universities say they will be remaining open, despite the cancellation of classes.

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Sports

Coronavirus benches sports betting

March Madness betting more rewarding than Super Bowl: William Hill CEO

William Hill CEO Joe Asher discusses the state of sports betting since sporting events and seasons have been canceled and postponed due to coronavirus.

It’s a difficult chapter for the sports betting business as the coronavirus pandemic sweeps the world, shutting down the United States and much of Europe.

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Virtually every U.S. sports league has suspended operations due to the outbreak, with the exception of UFC, leaving the industry in unchartered territory, according to Joe Ascher the CEO of William Hill one of the largest gambling organizations in the world.

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“We’ve seen in the past where maybe one sport, the players go on strike or there's a lockout, but we haven't had a situation where there's very little to bet on right now,” Ascher told FOX Business Stuart Varney. “So it’s a tough time.”

NEW ROCHELLE CORONAVIRUS: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Ascher said the virus comes amid one of the signature events for sportsbooks and also a big driver of tourism to Las Vegas. The NCAA’s March Madness, he said, brings in more money in the first three days than the Super Bowl. One of the biggest challenges is uncertainty.

Sports betting is expanding in the United States following a 2018 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that allowed for it to be legalized in every state. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

“You just don't know how long it's going to take,” he said. “We don't know when that light at the end of the tunnel is.”

Ascher said he is looking to see what Congress is able to come up with in the stimulus bill.

“But clearly,” he added. “This industry has to be one of those that gets a little help during these tough times.”

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World News

Coronavirus: UBC Okanagan to remain open for time being

The doors to the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus will remain open for the time being, the university announced on Friday morning.

With B.C. on high alert because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, provincial officials have recommended that gatherings larger than 250 people be cancelled or postponed.

However, schools and universities have not been closed — though spring break is about to start.

On Friday, UBC announced that its Vancouver and Kelowna campuses will remain open, but it will be cancelling all on-campus and off-campus events with more than 250 people, including sports events, whether indoors or outdoors, that are organized by students, faculty and staff.

“At this time, the Public Health Agency of Canada has assessed the public health risk associated with the virus as ‘low for Canada.’”

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World News

Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market building to close Saturday due to coronavirus

The Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market announced Friday that its building will not open on Saturday.

“This is to contain the spread of COVID-19,” the market said in a statement.

The market also noted that the building will remain closed indefinitely.

“The health and well-being of our customers, our staff and our vendors is our priority.”

To date, there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the province.

Premier Stephen McNeil stressed on Friday at a conference that despite 226 lab tests being carried out in the province, there are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. However, he said that it is not a question of if, but when, a case appears in the province.

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World News

Coronavirus: What’s cancelled, postponed and still running in Kingston

Despite Kingston not having any confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, many local organizations have still decided to cancel services and events that involve gatherings to avoid the potential spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.

According to the City of Kingston’s website, as of March 12, the risk of contracting the virus in the city is low, but KFL&A Public Health is still advising that people take precautions to protect themselves, like frequent handwashing, avoiding touching your nose and mouth and staying home when you are sick.

Kingston’s public health unit it not testing for the virus. Public health officials advise anyone who may have symptoms or who is feeling ill to call their health-care provider and advise them of any recent travel.

If you are without a family doctor, or if your symptoms occur after regular hours, public health suggests you call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000.

“Do not go to your health-care provider or a walk-in clinic without calling ahead,” KFL&A Public Health said.

As for events, classes and gatherings, many have been cancelled or postponed in the city, but others continue to run. Check out our list below to help you plan the coming weeks.

What’s cancelled, suspended and postponed in Kingston:

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World News

London sports teams dealing with suspended seasons amid coronavirus concerns

Several London sports teams have seen their seasons come to an abrupt end after a wave of international, national and provincial sports leagues announced the cancellation or postponement of their respective seasons.

The Ontario Hockey League paused its season on Thursday. There were just two weeks left in the regular season when the decision came down, and there’s no word on how this will impact the Memorial Cup, whose playoff final is scheduled to take place in Kelowna, B.C., in late May.

Following the OHL’s decision, officials announced that the OHL Cup, which features Minor Midget AAA teams from Ontario and the U.S., had been cancelled, a move that impacted the Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs. The Chiefs were busy preparing for next week’s tournament and are coming off the Alliance Hockey Championship. They have been one of the top-ranked minor midget teams in the province this season.

The OHL Cup is seen by many as a big tournament for OHL scouts ahead of the league’s draft in April. Several players on the Chiefs are expected to be selected in the OHL draft.

The Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League and Provincial Junior Hockey League playoffs have also been cancelled. The St. Marys Lincolns were set to face Leamington in second-round action, while the London Nationals and LaSalle Vipers had already played one game of their series when the decision to cancel was made.

The decisions from the GOJHL and PJHL follow a statement from the Ontario Hockey Association to “cancel all Hockey Canada-sanctioned activities.”

That includes upcoming International Ice Hockey Federation tournaments and games for other minor hockey leagues currently in their post-season.

At the university level, the U Sports national hockey championships have been cancelled. The Western Mustangs played one game of the tournament before the cancellation came down.

The National Basketball League of Canada, which includes the London Lightning, has also suspended the remainder of its season.

On Friday morning, the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association announced that the indoor soccer championship would continue with restricted access for essential personnel only.

In light of the Ontario government’s decision to close all publicly funded schools for two weeks following March break, the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations is holding internal meetings on Friday to determine the status of its upcoming events later this month. Officials say they will provide further updates when they become available.

Hockey Canada has announced that the minor hockey season is over effective immediately because of the growing COVID-19 crisis.

Ontario Soccer has made a similar decision, cancelling all sanctioned soccer activities in the province until further notice. Those activities include all competitions, training, coach and match official education and team-building activities.

Confused about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials say the risk is very low for Canadians, but they caution against travel to affected areas (a list can be found here). If you do travel to these places, they recommend you self-monitor to see whether you develop symptoms and if you do, to contact public health authorities.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. And if you get sick, stay at home.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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World News

First patient in Scotland dies after contracting Coronavirus

The first patient in Scotland has died after contracting coronavirus, Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer Catherine Calderwood has confirmed.

Dr Catherine Calderwood said: "I am saddened to report that a patient in Scotland who has tested positive for Coronavirus has died in hospital.

"I offer my deepest sympathy to their friends and family at this difficult time."

She said the patient had been being treated by Lothian Health Board, and was an older person who had had pre-existing health conditions.

"No further information will be available to protect patient confidentiality," Dr Calderwood added.

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As of Friday, a further 208 people have tested positive for the deadly coronavirus, bringing the total number of UK cases to 798.

The Department of Health updated figure on Friday afternoon, hours after Sir Patrick Vallance said at least 60% of the population needs to contact COVID-19 in order to develop "heard immunity."

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned "many more families are going to lose loved ones before their time" on Thursday afternoon as the UK moved from "contain" to the "delay" phase over the coronavirus outbreak.

He also told the country that people with even mild cold symptoms must self isolate immediately.

Confirmation of the first death in Scotland came after the SPFL announced the postponement of all fixtures from Friday, with this Sunday's Old Firm clash between Rangers and Celtic at Ibrox among those affected.

In addition, the Wales v Scotland Six Nations game in Cardiff on Saturday has been postponed, while the Aye Write literary festival in Glasgow this month has been cancelled along with Radio 1's Big Weekend in Dundee – which was due to take place in May.

  • Coronavirus

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World News

Ontario health official recommends cancellation of events with over 250 attendees

TORONTO – Ontario’s chief medical officer of health is recommending the immediate suspension of all large events and public gatherings of over 250 people due to COVID-19.

In a memo to be issued today, Dr. David Williams says organizers of smaller gatherings should consult with their local public health unit.

He says all Ontarians should practice social distancing as much as possible to manage the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The provincial government announced Thursday that Ontario is closing all public schools for two weeks following March break.

No government directive has yet been issued to daycares, but Williams says child-care centres should actively screen children, parents, staff and visitors for any COVID-19 symptoms and travel history.

Meanwhile, some of Ontario’s largest universities are cancelling in-person classes over COVID-19 concerns.

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World News

University of Toronto, York University, Ryerson move classes online in response to COVID-19

The University of Toronto, York University and Ryerson University say they will be moving all classes to an online format amid coronavirus concerns.

All three universities made the announcement on Friday, each citing the health and safety of staff and students over the COVID-19 outbreak.

“The situation is now accelerating very rapidly,” University of Toronto president Meric Gertler said in a statement.

“We have decided to cancel all in-person undergraduate and research-stream masters and doctoral courses across U of T’s three campuses, and we will provide that teaching by other means,” Gertler said.

The statement went on to say that the decision is effective starting Monday and will continue until the end of classes on April 3.

However, Gertler said all three campuses will remain open and university operations will continue.

Also open on all three campuses are libraries, residences, food services, health and wellness centres, athletics and recreation facilities and other public spaces.

York University also said that starting on Monday, it “will be suspending all face-to-face instruction and moving courses to online formats.”

“In light of the developments we have seen at home and around the world this week, it is time for the university to enter a new phase in its comprehensive response,” York University president Rhonda Lenton said in a statement.

Starting Friday night at midnight, the university said it will be cancelling or postponing all non-essential events that are not required as part of an academic program.

“We are committed to completing the term and will deploy all of our resources to support faculty and students through this transition,” Lenton said.

Lenton added that the university will be introducing new policies on working from home and doctor’s notes.

“I know this is an anxious and upsetting time for everyone. Let me say, without reservation, that York will be there to support every member of the community as we face this pandemic together.”

Ryerson University is also following the same protocol, moving students to online learning.

“The university will be shifting all in-person classes to virtual and other alternative forms of delivery,” Ryerson University president Mohamed Lachemi said in a statement. “As of today, all exams will also be conducted by alternate methods.”

“The week of March 16 will be a week of transition for the university, allowing faculty and staff time to explore and implement alternate forms of program delivery. All courses will have these alternate arrangements finalized by Monday, March 23. Students will be hearing from their departments on course delivery during the week of March 16,” Lachemi said.

The university is also looking at alternate options for end-of-year exams.

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World News

Juno cancellation a missed opportunity for Manitoba nominees

Thursday’s cancellation of the 2020 Juno Awards, which were scheduled for this weekend in Saskatoon, over the novel coronavirus pandemic has left a lot of Canadian music fans disappointed.

For the artists hoping for a chance to pick up one of the homegrown music biz’s highest honours, it’s also a missed opportunity.

Winnipeg singer-songwriter Renee Lamoureux is a first-time Juno nominee, thanks to a nod in the Adult Contemporary Album of the Year category, which she received for her Empower record.

She told 680 CJOB she would have liked to experience the event but is now waiting on standby for whatever happens next.

“I am disappointed, for sure,” she said.

“This is the first time I’m nominated, and it would’ve been cool to have been a part of the Junos.

“Who would’ve ever thought this could happen?”

Lamoureux said she hasn’t heard anything yet from Juno organizers about how and when the awards will be given out and the winners announced.

Fellow Manitoba nominee Del Barber said the impact goes beyond just the Juno ceremony itself.

“Talent buyers, festival bookers come to the Junos from all over the world,” said Barber, whose Easy Keeper LP is up for Contemporary Roots Album of the Year.

“There’s 10 European delegates that are coming to watch showcases. Smaller acts, roots acts like myself, rely on getting booked in Europe to keep our bills paid.

“It’s a bit of a funny time for us right now. We rely on touring and playing events in the public, and it seems like all of that is just starting to stall.”

Barber told 680 CJOB that he expects the Junos to do something to “keep the wheels rolling” on the awards, considering the amount of time and investment that goes into such a large event.

Other Manitoba artists nominated for 2020 Junos include The Small Glories (Traditional Roots Artist of the Year), Fresh IE (Contemporary Christian/Gospel Album of the Year) and Big Dave McLean (Blues Album of the Year).

The local music industry has been impacted beyond the Junos, with popular Winnipeg venues releasing policies on COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, and taking extra precautions to keep performers and patrons safe.

Venues like the West End Cultural Centre and the Park Theatre are remaining open for the time being but taking steps to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus and pledging to stay in touch with health authorities to determine any next steps.

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