COVID-19 - We are here for you

Information for our community can be found here on our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

COVID19 Updates and FAQs

 

Dear Students:

The global pandemic of the COVID-19 Coronavirus has quickly changed the landscape of higher education. In mid-March, ICM announced we were moving our courses to remote/online delivery for the remainder of the Winter 2020 term and would continue to do so for the Summer 2020 semester. While we hope borders will reopen and we will be able to resume studies in-person in September, we will continue to monitor the impacts of COVID-19 and respond accordingly to ensure our program continues to be delivered to you in future terms.

We have put together this FAQ page to help you get the answers to the questions you may have regarding COVID-19 and its impact on your studies. Please use the menu bar on the left-hand side of this page (above, if on a mobile device) to navigate to the page of most interest to your specific situation, whether it be general questions about the virus, questions about the current semester of study, or questions about future terms.

If your questions remain unanswered, please reach out to our team to assist you further. If you are a new/prospective student, please contact info@icmanitoba.ca. If you are a current student or alumni, please contact advisor@learning.icmanitoba.ca.

We want you to know that ICM will be here for you through the semester, the semester break, and the coming years of your studies in Canada. There is a lot of uncertainty now, but you are not alone, and we are going to be here with you every step of the way.

 

Sincerely,

 

Robert Daudet
College Director & Principal

COVID-19 FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

  • What is COVID-19

    • Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person.
  • What are the symptoms?
    • Symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to COVID-19 and include:

      • fever
      • cough
      • difficulty breathing
      • pneumonia in both lungs
  • How is it spread?
    • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 2 metres/6.5 feet).
    • Through respiratory droplets, produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or in saliva when speaking in close proximity.

      According to the Centre for Disease Control (CDC), the virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

    • Touching an object that has the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, eyes before washing your hands. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

  • Identifying COVID-19 symptoms can be difficult as they are like those of a common cold or flu:

    Allergies Cold Flu Coronavirus

    Sneezing

    Cough

    Fever

    Fever

    Headaches

    Sneezing

    Cough

    Cough

    Itchy, runny, stuffy nose

    Headaches

    Headaches

    Shortness of breath

    Itchy, red, watering eyes

    Sore throat

    Sore throat

    Symptoms appearing 2-14 days after exposure

     

    Watery eyes

    Fatigue (tiredness)

     
     

    Muscle or body aches

    Muscle or body aches

     
     

    Runny or stuffy nose

    Runny or stuffy nose

     
  • How can I prevent to get sick
    • Wash your hands frequently for 20 seconds.
    • Avoid contact with anyone who is sick.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
    • Practice social distancing.
  • What should I do if I am sick?
    • If you are sick, you should take the following CDC’s Recommendations for Prevention to protect yourself and the community:
      • Stay home except to get medical care.
      • Contact your instructors and advisor@learning.icmanitoba.ca to let us know you are unwell.
      • Avoid public areas and public transportation.
      • Separate yourself from others in your home.
      • Any person concerned about their exposure to or risk of having COVID-19 should first call Health Links–Info Sante at 204-788-8200 or 1-888-315-9257 (toll-free) to ensure they receive medical advice appropriate to their specific health concerns.
      • Use Mobile Doctor or call ahead before visiting your doctor in person.
      • Cover coughs and sneezes with elbow.
      • Wear a face mask if you are sick.
      • Clean your hands often for 20+ seconds.
      • Avoid sharing personal items.
      • Clean all surfaces that you touch.
      • Monitor your symptoms and stay at home until you are instructed to leave
  • When do I have to self-isolate/quarantine?
    • Manitobans are strongly advised to cancel or postpone any non-essential international travel. This includes limiting travel, even within Manitoba, to essential trips only. Self-isolation is recommended for the following individuals or groups for a 14-day period after departing the area they were visiting, or since their last known contact or exposure to someone that has been diagnosed with COVID-19. This does not include:
      • workers involved with the commercial transportation of goods and services;
      • workers who live in a neighbouring jurisdiction and travel to Manitoba for work;
      • health care workers who travel to work from outside the province;
      • normal personal travel in border communities.
    • If symptoms develop during the 14-day self-isolation or self-monitoring period, contact Health Links - Info Santé to determine if testing for COVID-19 should be considered. In cases where testing is not recommended, stay home (self-isolate) until well 
    • More information can be found at https://www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/infomanitobans/index.html 
    • What is Social Distancing?
    • According to the CDC, social distancing involves “remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance” whenever possible to limit the ability of the virus to spread.
    • This means avoiding concerts, restaurants, bars or clubs, malls, conferences, and any non-essential locations where there are large groups of people who may not know they are sick yet.
    • How will Social Distancing save lives?
      • While the same number of people will still get the virus, social distancing slows down the rate at which people get sick.
      • This gives hospitals and the health care system a chance to help the most severe cases to recover
      • This also protects doctors, nurses, and health care workers as well as other patients in hospitals from spreading the virus.
      • This concept is called “Flattening the Curve”. If you want to understand more about how viruses spread and how social distancing can help save lives click here.
    • Should I wear a face mask?
    • As per the Province of Manitoba Prepare and Prevent information:
      • Wearing a non-medical mask has not been proven to protect the person wearing it. However, good hand hygiene and cough etiquette will provide significant protection from viral respiratory illnesses.
      • The evolving evidence on transmission of COVID-19 suggests that infected people may spread the virus without experiencing symptoms, or before symptoms begin. Choosing to wear a non-medical mask when visiting public places for essential trips (e.g., grocery stores, taking the bus) is one way to protect those around you. Be sure to carefully wash your hands before you put on a non-medical mask, and after you take it off. Also, avoid touching your face as much as possible. This will further reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.
      • Wearing a non-medical mask is another way of covering your mouth and nose to prevent your respiratory droplets from spreading to others or landing on surfaces. A mask can reduce the chance that others are coming into contact with your respiratory droplets, in the same way as practicing cough etiquette by covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, or coughing or sneezing into your sleeve.
      • The best way to protect yourself is to regularly clean your hands, practice good cough etiquette and practice social (physical) distancing, including self-isolating when you are sick or have been exposed to COVID-19.

      It is also important to recognize the cultural practice of wearing face masks across the world. In several countries across Asia, wearing face masks is often seen as an act of solidarity and collective responsibility to minimize the transmission of diseases. It is also believed that wearing a mask prompts people to not touch their face or eyes.

       This understanding is crucial to reducing the social stigma and discrimination that can occur when people associate a disease, such as COVID-19, with a population or nationality, even though not everyone is specifically at risk for the disease.

    • How can I stay connected while practicing social distancing?
      • During these times it is important to take care of ourselves. If you are feeling disconnected you can also try to video chat with your friends and family, call them on the phone, or send them messages and chat online. Make sure you are eating well and stay healthy and hydrated. We recommend you take a break from reading the news, watch some funny videos, try to relax a little bit and get a good night’s sleep.

      • If you would like to speak with someone about how you are feeling we would also encourage you to connect with MySSP which is a 24/7 online counselling service available in over 60 different languages, where you can call, text, and video chat depending on your preference.  

      • Advising is also available by phone, email, and online chat if you would like to connect with a Student Success Advisor to discuss any concerns that you have.
    • How can we support each other through this difficult time?
      • Express empathy to each other - it’s normal to feel sad, stressed, confused, scared or angry during an outbreak.

      • Help each other to make connections with friends, family, and others to talk about how they feel.

        If you or someone you know feels overwhelmed, help them seek support from a healthcare professional.

      • Talk to people about how it is important, in general, but especially now, to keep the body as healthy as possible by eating well, exercising, and getting enough sleep.

      • Discuss how often you’re checking social media. In order to limit worry, one can limit their media exposure to a few trusted sources and try to access it less frequently. Help people understand that there is a lot of misinformation out there.

    • What are the travel air restrictions into Canada?
    • (From IRCC’s website) To protect Canadians from the outbreak of COVID 19, the Prime Minister announced travel restrictions that will limit travel to Canada. Until further notice, most people cannot travel to Canada, even if they have a valid visitor visa or electronic travel authorization (eTA). These restrictions stop all non-essential (discretionary) travel to Canada.

      With some exemptions, only Canadian citizens, permanent residents, as well as some foreign nationals will be able to enter Canada by air.

      Some international students will meet exemption criteria, if they held a valid study permit or were approved for one prior to March 18th, 2020. For more information, please consult https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/coronavirus-covid19/visitors-foreign-workers-students.html#restrictions-students

    • How will we support current international students who are studying at our colleges?

Academic: We quickly moved to remote /online delivery of instruction in tandem with our university partners to minimize disruption to studies.  Our instructors are available for online meetings with students and have moved our peer-led programming (e.g. peer tutoring) to online platforms.

Student Support: While we cannot continue in-person group activities, we are offering programming and student services online to ensure students remain engaged, connected, and supported (online chat/activities, games, peer support, etc.).  We will also continue our proactive support to students, reaching out to them electronically to ensure they are safe and secure.

Health and well-being: We will be conducting health checks with students to ensure they have the supports they require to be healthy in mind and body.  Our university partners have committed to continue providing essential services to students including on-campus dining (for those living on campus).  Our staff stand ready to assist and support students during urgent circumstances.

    • What aspect of Covid-19 diagnoses and treatments are covered by the students’ health insurance?

Students are covered by health insurance.  Note that tests are available based on screening measures (i.e. you must have symptoms or demonstrated risk of exposure), but there is no charge for testing or treatment. Students diagnosed with an illness when they are in Canada, including COVID-19, are eligible for medically necessary treatment as per the normal terms and conditions of their policy. If, for any reason, a student returns to their home country they are subject to the “home country exclusion” and will not be eligible for reimbursement under the terms and conditions of the policy. COVID-19 will be treated like any other illness in this situation.

    • How do we support newly arrived students during the 14 days of isolation regarding finding accommodation, food, and other necessities?

We are prepared to help identify temporary accommodation which will support their immediate shelter and dietary needs during isolation.  In addition, we will design virtual orientation activities to help student engage with peers and adjust – as best as possible – to university life in Canada. This is in addition to the measure noted above.

January (Winter) Term FAQs

  • I completed my Winter 2020 courses; however, COVID-19 impacted my performance and I worry my grades will impact my GPA. Is there anything that can be done?
    • Similar to the University of Manitoba, students who earned a passing grade in a course are eligible to request their transcript to reflect a P* (Pass) grade instead of the assigned letter grade. Requests for P* grades will be accepted until May 3rd.
    • The Voluntary Withdrawal (VW) deadline has also been extended at ICM, so students who wish to withdraw from a course at no academic penalty have the option to do so. Requests for VW grades will be accepted until May 3rd
    • Now that final grades have been released, some students are contemplating whether changing a D grade (or higher) to a P* grade or choosing to VW a course is the right choice form them. If you are considering this and are not sure, please make an online appointment with a Student Success Advisor to chat about it further. You can do that by logging onto Student Portal to book a time with an advisor.
    • We also have our P* Grade FAQ document available on the Student Portal that will answer many common questions that students are asking. Please remember the deadline to submit your form for either of these options is on May 3rd, 2020.
  • Can I return to my home country or stay with family elsewhere in Canada during the semester break?
    • It is ultimately your family’s decision to make with you about what actions you will take during the coming weeks. Please be sure to follow government advisories both in MB and abroad. The Public Health Agency of Canada is recommending that travellers avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada (https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/health-safety/travel-health-notices/221). The MB government has strongly advised those wanting to travel to cancel or postpone any non-essential travel (https://www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/travellers.html).
    • All summer courses, including final exams, will be delivered online for the entirety of the semester. We understand that not all online services are available in every country and so we are attempted to adopt software and platforms that will be available globally. Provided you have access to a stable internet connection, you should be able to study from anywhere in the world.

May (Summer) Term FAQs

  • Can I return to my home country or stay with family elsewhere in Canada while I study my ICM courses online?

    • All summer courses, including final exams, will be delivered online for the entirety of the semester. We understand that not all online services are available in every country and so we are attempted to adopt software and platforms that will be available globally. Provided you have access to a stable internet connection, you should be able to study from anywhere in the world.
    • It is ultimately your family’s decision to make with you about what actions you will take during the coming weeks. Please be sure to follow government advisories both in MB and abroad. The Public Health Agency of Canada is recommending that travellers avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada (https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/health-safety/travel-health-notices/221). The MB government has strongly advised those wanting to travel to cancel or postpone any non-essential travel (https://www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/travellers.html).
  • I'm not sure if studying online is right for me – what should I do to decide?
    • This is something every student will need to consider – will you be able to participate in courses online and be successful from home, or would you feel more comfortable deferring your intake and starting in-person in the September term? There is also the option to try the online courses for one or two weeks, and then choose to voluntarily withdrawal (VW) before the end of the third week of the May term. If you voluntarily withdrawal before the Withdrawal Date deadline (no financial penalty) as per the Academic Calendar, you would not be charged for the courses and you would not receive any academic penalties (ex. you would not receive F grades on your transcript).
  • I'm a new ICM student and I don’t want to take online classes. Can I change my start date to the next intake?
    • Yes, please request an Intake Change Request form to defer your studies to our next intake. There is no fee to change your semester. Students can request to defer any time before the start of the May intake.
  • I'm a current ICM student and I don’t want to take online classes. Can I defer my studies for the summer?
    • Yes, please submit a Leave of Absence form through Student Portal to defer your studies to our next intake. Typically students can only defer one term at a time; however, if you were on a leave of absence for the Winter 2020 term, you are eligible for a second leave of absence for Summer 2020. We encourage you to reach out to IRCC if you have any questions about how a second deferral may impact your immigration status.
  • What happens if I decide to withdraw from the program?
    • As a first option, we encourage students to remain in the College.  If they wish to defer their studies to a later term, they may do so with no academic penalty.
    • We recognize that this is an uncertain time and that students and their families may make alternate decisions.  Should a student wish to voluntarily withdraw from the College, we will honour the refund policy, which can be found here: https://www.icmanitoba.ca/conditions-of-enrolment
    • If any student has specific questions about how the policy applies to them and their personal circumstances, we would be happy to assist them.
  • Do I need a visa to enrol?

    • Students do not need to have a confirmed visa in order to enrol or start their studies in the May term; however, they will need a confirmed visa in-hand to enter Canada for the September term. The September term is currently planned to take place in person.
  • What happens to my fees if I enrol and my visa is later refused?
    • If you do not currently have an approved visa, choose to enrol in courses, and your visa is later refused, your refund request would be based on the refund policy for current students – meaning you would likely be charged for the courses that you are enrolled in, even if your visa is refused and you no longer decide to come to Canada. Please see https://www.icmanitoba.ca/conditions-of-enrolment#refund for our Fee Refund Policy.
    • Students must voluntarily withdrawal, or VW, from their courses before the end of their third week of the term (as per the deadline in the Academic Calendar published in your Student Portal) if they do not want to be charged for the courses they are studying. If your visa is refused after that time period, students could still complete the courses they have enrolled in. If you are worried about a visa refusal and you don’t want to risk paying for courses at ICM if you cannot join ICM, then you may wish to defer to our September intake
  • Are visas/study permits still being processed?
  • If the travel ban is lifted and my visa is approved, when should I travel to Canada?
    • We recommend that students follow the travel advisories issued by their home country, as well as Canada’s policies for foreign nationals entering Canada. Since the May intake will be completely online, we do not recommend that you plan to travel until closer to the September intake as you do not need to be in-person at ICM for your May intake. 
  • If my ability to travel changes during the term can I come to Winnipeg to do my online classes?
    • All classes and support services will be offered online for Summer term. Currently, the University campus is closed to students. If the campus does re-open during the summer, support services will continue to be offered online, while others will also be offered in-person. While it is up to each student and their family to decide when to travel, please follow government advisories both in MB and abroad before making travel arrangements. Currently, the MB government has strongly advised those wanting to travel internationally to cancel or postpone any non-essential travel (https://www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/travellers.html).
  • Will my classes be presented live or will I be watching pre-recorded videos?
    • For the most part, classes will all be presented live in ‘synchronous delivery’ meaning that you will need to be online at your specific class times to participate in the class. This will give you the opportunity to interact with your fellow classmates and ask questions of your instructors in real-time. Classes will also be recorded so if you have connectivity issues or wish to re-watch the lecture, you’ll be able to download it and watch again for future reference. For more information, please visit this link and download the Guide to Online Learning (Summer Term).
  • What equipment do I need to attend my online classes?
    • Students will require access to a computer with an internet connection, as well as a microphone and a webcam. Headphones are recommended. Students may also have to download specific software in order to complete their remote (online) delivery courses.
  • How will I get textbooks for my classes?
    • The official textbook list will be distributed closer to the start of the term. ICM is exploring textbooks that have online options to ensure all students will be able to access their textbooks regardless of where they are located in the world.
  • Will I have access to online resources such as a library?
    • Yes, resources such as virtual libraries will be available for students to access.
  • How will the time difference between my home country and Winnipeg be managed?
    • ICM will schedule many courses in a variety of timeslots, including morning and evening (Winnipeg time). Students are encouraged to register in courses as soon as their enrolment is open in order to have the best selection of both popular timeslots and courses.
  • Will I be able to see my classmates during class?
    • Yes, instructors will often encourage the use of webcams to facilitate group discussions and other class activities. ICM will also host an online Orientation for new students, as well as online meet-ups and other social events where students can interact with each other both using webcams and chat and make new friends before they arrive for their in-person term.
  • Is there any discount for studying online?
    • Tuition fees will remain the same. While the courses will take place online, we will continue to maintain our commitment to offering you small class sizes. Students will not be charged the Active Living Centre (sports recreation/gym) fee in Summer 2020Students will still be charged the Student Services Fee as they will still have access to UM services online such as the Student Counselling Centre, Student Accessibility Services, the Academic Learning Centre and more. A full list of the services available and how to access them will be sent out in early May.
  • What kind of academic support will you be offering?
    • ICM will offer a variety of programming to support student learning. This will include online sessions focused on academics, as well as some social events to keep students connected with their classmates. In addition to this regular advising will be available to students through zoom. Once circumstances change and it is safe for us to proceed with in-person events, we will resume this type of programming for those who remain in Winnipeg.
  • Will there be a Summer Orientation for new students?
    • Yes, an online orientation will take place Thursday, May 14th and Friday, May 15th. Specific times and links will be sent to students by email.
  • What happens if a student wants to join online but is impacted by connectivity issues, etc?

    • Instructors are working on developing assessments that are conducive to the remote delivery environment and not simply replicating what is being done during in-person classes. These assessments may include longer periods of time to complete and submit assignments/exams to accommodate challenges like slower internet connections.
    • ICM will be offering extended Voluntary Withdrawal periods so that students who are unable to fulfill their course obligations will be able to withdraw from courses with no academic penalty. ICM continues to offer a withdrawal period with no financial penalty in the first three weeks of the term.
  • Can student services staff stay in touch with students when they have gone back home?
    • Yes, definitely. Whether we run a term fully remote or both remote and in-person, we will regularly organize interactive events to keep students engaged and part of the community. For example:
      • Counselling and advising services remain available no matter the location of the students;
      • Advisors will continue to practice proactive advising for all students; Instructors are continuing to take attendance for live sessions, as well as through engagement with offline course activities. We are following up on all students; and
      • Our peer programs have moved online as well as activities and they can be found with links to their online location here https://learning.icmanitoba.ca
  • Will there be impacts to Residence and Housing?
    • As per the University of Manitoba’s COVID-19 (coronavirus) support for students in residence page, all residence halls, including the residence dining hall (Fresh Food Company) will remain open for international students who have not been able to return home safely. These residents are permitted to stay in residence as late as April 30, 2020 unless otherwise specified and are expected to move out no later than 48 hours after their last exam or academic commitment.
    • All international students who cannot safely return home, are required to complete the online move out form which can be found at the “Move Out” tab once you have logged in to the residence portal.
  • Will my health insurance be valid if I get COVID-19 Coronovirus?
    • Students diagnosed with an illness when they are in Canada, including COVID-19, are eligible for medically necessary treatment as per the normal terms and conditions of their policy.
    • If, for any reason, a student returns to their home country they are subject to the “home country exclusion” and will not be eligible for reimbursement under the terms and conditions of the policy. COVID-19 will be treated like any other illness in this situation.
  • I will not be in Canada while studying the Summer 2020 term. Do I need to pay for health insurance?
    • Students who are not in Canada for the summer term may be eligible to opt-out of their Guard. Me health coverage for summer term. An opt-out form will be available in early May

September (Fall) 2020 Term FAQs

  • Should I still apply to ICM?

    • We continue to encourage students to apply to ICM. We are hopeful that the travel bans will be lifted in time for the September term. If students are unable to travel, we will have alternative instruction methods available so students can start or continue with their studies uninterrupted.
    • Please note:
      • On March 18 the Government of Canada announced major travel restrictions until June 30th, 2020, allowing only citizens and permanent residents to enter.
      • The Canadian government has indicated that prospective students who were granted a visa/Study Permit to come to Canada prior to March 18 will still be allowed to come to Canada.
      • We ask that students reconfirm their accommodations prior to your travel.  Students will also need to follow Canada’s self-isolation regulations at the time of entry into Canada.
    • We encourage students to apply for permission to come to Canada through regular channels for visas/study permits. When these offices re-open and international travel is permitted, students may avoid further delays by having paperwork submitted in order to start classes
  • What will happen to my deposit if my semester is cancelled because of COVID-19?
    • Students’ deposits are completely safe. In the unlikely event that we will have to cancel a semester because of COVID-19, students will have the option to either defer to a later semester or receive a refund.
    • Please note that the likelihood of this happening is extremely low. We have options available to ensure students still get the education and support they require.
  • Can we provide deadlines around visas and enrolment extensions for Fall 2020 and Winter 2021?
    • We have revised our deadline based on current information as outlined below. Any further changes would be subject to change in government policy regarding travel restrictions. Keep checking this page for the latest information about future start dates.
    • The start of the Summer 2020 (May-August) term was pushed back to commence on Tuesday, May 19th and will take place remotely. The Fall 2020 (September-December) term will start in early-September (classes currently scheduled to start September 8th, while the Winter 2021 (January-April) term will continue as scheduled in early January. Students must be present for the first week of classes. Students who do not receive their visas in time to join the start of the term will have their application deferred to the following term at no penalty.
    • We understand that due to high school closures around the world, final results may not be received in time for the start of the term. In these cases, we will accept official transcripts through to the end of the second week of classes.