COVID-19 Resources

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COVID-19 Resources

As we are going into the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is sometimes difficult to navigate all the changing information. That is why we want to help you navigate different resources and support available for you during this difficult time. As part of our commitment to support students, we’ve created a master list of resources for students to make it easier to find the information you need. 

The UOSU is working with uOttawa and all levels of government to ensure that there is support available for as many students as possible. We’ve got your back. 

uOttawa and UOSU Support

The University has created an emergency fund to help students directly affected by COVID-19. The eligibility criteria and process have not been widely advertised. Please email loansandawards@uottawa.ca for the application form. Make sure you keep all of your receipts pertaining to your situation.  

If you are having trouble receiving financial aid, or have been denied financial support, please email us at exec@uosu-seuo.com to share your experiences and story.

  • Academic Writing Help Centre (AWHC)Help students develop strategies and writing skills that will enable them to understand the requirements of academic writing, develop their argumentation skills, expand their critical thinking abilities, and master the written language of their choice.They are now offering all their services online. 
  • Academic Accommodations Services: Students with a documented disability or medical condition can work with Academic Accommodations Service to assess, establish, and implement appropriate academic accommodations for students who have a temporary or permanent disability. 
  • Tutoring: this service is offered by the University of Ottawa Students’ Union’s (UOSU) Peer Help Centre. Send an email to entraide-peerhelp@uosu-seuo.com to get help from tutors for your courses. 
  • Presentation Critiques: This service is offered by UOSU’s Peer Help Centre to help students improve their presentation skills. The volunteers are trained to offer constructive advice on giving effective presentations and to build confidence. Head to the centre’s website to book an appointment.

We have 14 different service centres with a lot of free programs and resources! All services are still available during COVID-19, check out our website. 

  • Bike Co-op 
  • Centre for Students with Disabilities 
  • Foot Patrol 
  • Multi-Faith 
  • Racialized and Indigenous Students Expereicne (RISE) 
  • Pride Centre 
  • Sustainability 
  • Bilingualism Centre 
  • Food Bank 
  • International House 
  • Peer Help 
  • Womxn Resources Centre 
  • Student Rights Centre 
  • Zoom Production 
  • Faculty Mentoring CentresDifferent Mentoring Centres offered by each faculty. 
  • Service Mentoring CentresDifferent mentoring services include; the French Immersion Studies, the International Office, the Regional Mentoring Centre, the Residence Study Group Program, the Career Development Centre, the SASS – Academic Accommodations, Learning Technology, the Sports Services, the Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute (OLBI), and the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP). 
  • Learning & Technology Mentoring Centre: They are student mentors who focus on students’ academic success, who can teach them assistive technologies and learning strategies that work with their learning style. All students, University of Ottawa employees and community members are welcome. They offer workshops and online appointments for training in technologies to improve students’ study skills and to help them with their learning process. Email: techmentors@uottawa.ca  

Since most courses are delivered virtually, only full-time students taking at least one in-person course will automatically be charged for the mandatory U-Pass program. 

If you are taking all your courses virtually but still want to obtain a U-Pass for the fall and that you meet at least one eligibility criteria, you can submit an opt-in application in uoZone.

The University will be open in the Winter semesterbut most courses will still be online. Information on whether your course will be in-person or online will be available on uOZone by November 1st the latest. 

Despite a general reduction in the quality of education, the University does not currently intend to reduce tuition fees for the Winter Semester. Let them know if you believe tuition fees should be reduced by sending them an email at president@uottawa.ca. 

Government Financial Support

As of September 27th, CERB recipients will be transferred to Employment Insurance (EI). You are eligible for EI if you 

  • were employed for at least 120 insurable hours in the past 52 weeks 
  • received the CERB 
  • stopped working through no fault of your own 
  • have not quit your job voluntarily 
  • are ready, willing and capable of working each day (EI regular benefits) 
  • are temporarily unable to work while you care for someone else or yourself (EI maternity, parental, sickness, compassionate care, and family caregiver benefits) 

If you are eligible for EI benefits, you will receive a minimum taxable benefit at a rate of $500 per week. 

If you are not eligible for EI, you may still be eligible for Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB), and/or Canada Recovery Caregiving Benefit (CRCB).  

To find out which program you are eligible for and to apply for these programs, click here. 

There are currently no financial supports for students and recent grads that are similar to CESB. However, the Government of Canada has made changes to the Canada Student Loans Program to allow more students to qualify for support and be eligible for greater amounts (see below for more information) 

As of September 30, student loan payment and interest rates have resumed. This does not affect you if you are still in school or in the non-repayment period. Check your student loan account for more information. 

The federal government is doubling the Canada Student Grants for all eligible full-time students to up to $6,000 and up to $3,600 for part-time students in 2020-21.  The eligibility criteria have also been enhanced, so don’t hesitate to apply! 

For more information on Canada Student Grants & Loans, click here. 

Job and Volunteer Opportunities

The uOttawa Career Development Centre is available virtually for career counselling, job search support, resume and cover letter editing, and employment workshops. Head to their website to book an appointment!

Here are a few websites you can check out for latest job opportunities: 

  • Federal Government Job Bank for Youth, an ongoing federal government database. 
  • UOttawa virtual Job Fairs: Chat with employers to discuss full-time employment, contract work, and CO-OP and internship placement opportunities 
  • Our job postings! We are looking for people to join our team. 
  • LinkedIn, Indeed, Glassdoor, etc. 

Ottawa Caremongering is a Facebook group where people post their needs/offers for support. 

You can also access Canada’s volunteer database to see places needing volunteers in your region. 

If you want to find on-campus volunteer opportunities, check out the Community Engagement Navigator on uOZone.

Canada Student Service Grant (CSSG) provides financial recognition of up to $5,000 to students who volunteer during COVID-19. The program is now cancelled, applications for service opportunities and students are not currently being processed or accepted. 

Physical Health and Community Services

Here is the list of COVID-19 testing locations in Ottawa. Please note that all testing locations are by appointment only, based on the latest guidelines by the provincial government. Please check the websites on how to book an appointment. 

You can take the self-assessment test to see if you might have the COVID-19. 

  • Practice social distancing: Stay at least 6 feet (2m) from other people, do not gather in groups, stay out of crowded places. 
  • Wash your hands often with soap for at least 20 seconds. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. 
  • Cover your cough and sneeze with your elbows, not your hands. 
  • Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks. 
  • When in public, and especially when unable to practice social distancing, consider wearing a mask or another form of face covering. 

Here is a list of organizations offering COVID-19 support in Ottawa. This list includes food care, support for the elderly, people with disabilities, students, 2SLGBTQIA community, survivors of violence, newcomers, Francophone, Indigenous people, relief funds, and so on. 

Yes! The hotline for questions for available social services is 211. 

Mental Health

Apart from Brightspace and UoZone, you have access to a third portal for student engagement and wellbeingWellnessWorldLog into your WellnessWorld account, select “My mental health” button. You have three options: 

  • Take a quick mental health assessment test to get the resources tailored for you. 
  • Browse and filter all available on and off campus mental health resources based on your preference. 
  • Browse simple techniques, meditation, information on mental wellness 

UOSU also has Peer Help Centre, which offers live chat and active listening services.

  • Through Empower Me, students covered by the UOSU Health Plan have 24/7, multilingual access to a number of professionals with various domains of expertise. No issue is too big or too small, from time management and career choices to anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and more. Interactions are confidential. 
  • Dialogue is a virtual platform that allows students covered by the UOSU Health Plan to connect with nurses and physicians via a mobile or web app from anywhere in Canada. Find out more at https://pages-support.dialogue.co/studentcare/  

Here are other links you can check out: 

Travel

A detailed list of advice and measures being introduced, as well as advice to travellers and other resources is on the Government of Canada’s Travel Restrictions. Exemption and Advice, and WHO’s Global Travel Advisory 

Housing

At this time, it is still too early to speculate about what public health guidelines will be in place in the winter. The University expects to make the decision to open any additional buildings for the winter based on the recommendations of public health authorities midway through the fall term.

Although the provincial and federal governments have unveiled relief for commercial renting, there is no existing relief for residential tenants. Governments are encouraging landlords and tenants to work together to establish arrangements. Note that in the Province of Ontario, it is illegal for your landlord to charge fees or penalties for late payments. If you are unable to pay rent, or need a reduction in your rent, reach out to your landlord and let them know. If you feel comfortable, consider reaching out to other tenants of the same landlord to ensure that the landlord is being fair and equitable.

Landlords are still permitted to give students an eviction notice & begin the eviction process. However, the Landlord and Tenant Board, which must approve evictions, has suspended all hearings indefinitely. In other words, your landlord can still begin the process to evict you, but no evictions will be happening at this time. If your landlord is trying to evict you, read this guide on eviction notices, and make use of some of the following resources. Do not sign any documents until you have community help/legal help for the process. 

There have been no additional rent freezes introduced by either government at this time. In Ontario, however, your landlord can only increase your rent every 12 months, and by no more than 2.2%. 

In the Province of Ontario, your landlord may only enter your rental unit in normal circumstances with 24 hours written notice. During the pandemic, landlords are strongly discouraged to request entry, unless it is for urgent situations. You are within your rights to remind your landlord of this new provincial guidance. 

International Students

If you are working in an essential service or function (health care, critical infrastructure, or the supply of food or other critical goods), you can work for more than 20 hours per week while classes are in session. You can find more information here. 

Eligible international students are automatically covered by and billed for applicable portions of the student Plan. Note that Plan benefits are only accessible within Canada, while other services remain available abroad. Certain limitations exist. Due to the impact of travel restrictions related to COVID-19, options for international students have been expanded for the 2020-21 academic year so that you can make the best choice for your individual circumstances. Be sure to read this FAQ to review your options, and see www.studentcare.ca for complete details on your Plan’s benefits and services. 

International students wishing to return home may do so but should consider whether their home country will allow them to enter, whether they will be able to re-enter Canada in the future, and how this may affect their eligibility to apply for a Post-Graduate Work Permit. 

The International Office’s mobility team can help incoming and outgoing exchange students that have questions or concerns about leaving the country or for those trying to come back to Canada from abroad. They can also provide information regarding your safety while abroad and appropriate documentation to exchange students returning home. 

If your status as a student has expired or is about to expire, you must apply to extend it. 

In order to be eligible, you must: 

  • Submit your application before the original expiry date of your status; 
  • Continue to meet the initial requirements of your stay; 
  • Abide by all the conditions of your status (i.e. not working or studying without authorization); 
  • Meet the requirements of the category under which you are currently applying to be restored as a temporary resident; 

You may apply through the online portal here. 

The goal of this group is to organize the local community on the grassroots level to help the international students community in Ottawa and provide the opportunity for international students to connect to combat isolation. This group aims to bring together the community for the redistribution of resources. You can also post requests for aid/support here. 

uOttawa’s International Office has a student emergency fund which you can apply for by sending an email to  uointl@uottawa.ca explaining your needs. 

International Students are covered by UHIP (University Health Insurance Plan). This insurance provides coverage if you visit a doctor or hospital, including if you are infected with Covid-19. 

Resources for Indigenous Students

Indigenous Resource Centre 

The IRC works closely with all university faculties to develop initiatives that support and benefit Indigenous students. They are committed to helping First Nations, Inuit and Métis students by providing services that support your classroom, career and personal needs in a manner consistent with Indigenous culture and values. 

Email: arc-cra@uottawa.ca                                                           

Tel: 613-562-5800 ext. 2496 

The Métis Nation of Ontario 

Advocates, researches and educates people about the Métis people. The Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) provides programs and services for education and training, healing and wellness, lands, resources and consulting, housing, intergovernmental relations, and economic development. The MNO are now offering COVID-19 Support Programs.                                                               

Tel: 613-798-1488 

University of Ottawa’s International Students Updates:  https://www.uottawa.ca/coronavirus/en/international-students