To all Members of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences,

As you are no doubt aware, the number of COVID-19 cases has been rising over the past week, and the Omicron variant is dramatically replicating. Given these developments, together with our social responsibility as a Faculty community to help protect the McGill health care network and the Faculty’s concern for your own health and safety, please heed the following:

1– All Faculty holiday parties/gatherings, etc. are cancelled; please hold these events and all other Faculty-related activities virtually.

2If necessary to work onsite to support our education and research priorities (e.g., exams, provide support to students, etc.), pleasecontinue to do so; otherwise, please work virtually from home.

3– Immediately reconsider any planned in-person holiday gatherings, as well as travel; this is critical for those who have family members and/or close friends in our hospitals and clinics. We must do all we can to help protect them and our health care system, and by extension, the population. At minimum, please heed the government’s directives with respect to capacity and other measures to keep all safe.

As members of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences – whether you are a student or trainee, health care professional, scientist or part of our outstanding administrative and operations team – we all have a special responsibility that comes with the privilege of serving society in our roles.

I am acutely aware that the emergence of Omicron and the measures we need to take are the last things we had hoped for heading into the holidays. Clearly, we are not past this virus yet. I count on your good judgement and commitment to lead by example, so we can mitigate the damage to the people in our community and beyond, and overcome this latest variant because of our collective efforts.

Please refer to the most recent MRO message sent Friday, Dec. 17, early evening. We will hold a special Faculty Town Hall in early January to take stock of the situation post-holidays, in the hope our decisions will have had the desired effect.

These are difficult times. In the event you have feelings of being overwhelmed, isolated or distressed, please remember that there are McGill resources available to you:

  • McGill Employees should visit this site.
  • Faculty students and trainees in health professions schools can contact the WELL Office.
  • All students have access to Keep.meSAFE, a mental health counselling service offered to students in partnership with SSMU and PGSS, which provides 24/7 access to licensed counsellors through telephone and mobile chat in more than 60 languages. To access this service, download the MySSP app in the Apple App Store or Google Play.

Thank you for all you are doing and for taking this message to heart.

Wishing you, your family and close ones health over the holidays and well into the new year.

David Eidelman, MDCMVice-Principal (Health Affairs)Dean of the Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences