Yesterday, the Government of Québec announced that Montréal is becoming a red alert zone from October 1 to October 28, due to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases. According to the government, the cases are being transmitted primarily through social activities and private parties. More than half of new cases in this second wave are in people under 30 years of age.

This evening, representatives of the Ministry of Higher Education met with the heads of Quebec universities to clarify what the red alert means for higher education. The Ministry has directed us to continue to operate as we did under the orange alert level. (You can read about what the orange level means for McGill on the Coronavirus Information website.)

However, in order to respect the government’s limitations on public gatherings, all in-person events approved under the events directive will be cancelled and no new events will be approved for the duration of the red alert. Events include (but are not limited to) activities organized by student organizations.

Depending on how the situation evolves, new restrictions could be put in place in the coming days. Please feel free to visit the Coronavirus Information website, as we will be updating information as quickly as we can.

We know that some people are anxious about being physically present at the University. At this point, we have no reports of anyone spreading the virus to another person on McGill’s campuses. This means that our safety protocols have been working at McGill.

There is, however, transmission among members of the McGill community, primarily through off-campus social activities that are not respecting public health guidelines. To protect the most vulnerable members of our society and yourself, please follow all of McGill’s health guidelines and the public health directives in your area, whether or not you are physically coming to McGill. We have the power to protect others, including members of the McGill community who have conditions that put them at risk, and our friends’ and colleagues’ parents and grandparents.

Stay safe and stay well.


Fabrice Labeau

Deputy Provost (Student Life and Learning)