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Message from Fleming College President to the community regarding the COVID-19 outbreak at Severn Court in Peterborough


Peterborough ON – (March 3, 2021) – Fleming College President Maureen Adamson addressed the COVID-19 outbreak at the off-campus, privately-owned Severn Court buildings in a letter that was sent to all staff and students this morning. The outbreak has led to the cancellation of all in-person classes and activities at Sutherland Campus for 14 days from Mar. 1.

Here is the President’s letter in its entirety:  

“We continue to be deeply concerned about the COVID-19 outbreak at the Severn Court apartment complex. This complex is not affiliated with the College. It is privately-owned and independently-operated. As of March 2, Peterborough Public Health (PPH) had identified 34 students who have tested positive. The ongoing investigation could lead to many more cases.

Fleming College prides itself on creating strong communities. Being a member of our community comes with responsibility. For those students training for careers in healthcare professions, there are even higher expectations and professional standards that are expected to be upheld. It is obvious that a group of students chose to behave in an irresponsible manner that has put many members of our community at risk.

To the students who were part of the unauthorized gatherings, we are extremely disappointed in your actions. Your behaviours are inconsistent with our values and with our expectations of all our students, regardless of the fact that these actions took place in an off-campus setting.

For those students who are proven to have been involved in the gatherings of February 20 that led to the outbreak, we intend to impose the harshest possible sanctions allowed under our Student Rights and Responsibilities Policy in proportion to the role played by each participant. This could include penalties up to and including suspension or expulsion. The College will continue to cooperate with PPH in their investigation and will offer our full cooperation with Peterborough Police Service should that become necessary.

To the students who are innocent victims of the actions of others, we pledge our full support to ensure the successful completion of your studies. We will offer additional academic and personal counselling services and we will ensure that all learning outcomes for your program are achieved without extending the semester.

The vast majority of our students have adhered to safe practice guidelines for almost one full year. Our employees have worked tirelessly to ensure the safety of our community. The measures we have put in place in our teaching and learning facilities, as well as our own on-campus residences have worked. We have not had a case of COVID-19 transmission occur at any of our campuses. This makes the behaviour of this small group of students even more disheartening and the apparent lack of the attention to safety protocols at a large complex populated by students so upsetting.

We recognize that the general public and our valued partners are also very disappointed. As we take action to investigate and hold those responsible accountable for their actions, we must also come together to support each other. As some positive signs are emerging in the global battle against the virus, Fleming College, like so many members of our community, pledges to build back better, together.”

–Maureen Adamson, Fleming College President

About Fleming College
Fleming College respectfully acknowledges that we are situated on Michi Saagiig Anishinaabeg lands and territory. Located in the heart of Central Ontario, Fleming College has campus locations in Peterborough, Lindsay, Cobourg and Haliburton. Named for famous Canadian inventor and engineer Sir Sandford Fleming, the college features more than 100 full-time programs in Arts and Heritage, Business, Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences, General Arts and Sciences, Health and Wellness, Justice and Community Development, Skilled Trades and Technology, and Continuing Education. Fleming College has more than 6,800 full-time and 10,000 part-time students, and 80,000 alumni.

For more information, please contact:
Amar Shah
Communications Officer 
705.749.5530 x 1370

Sutherland Campus
599 Brealey Dr. Peterborough ON K9J 7B1
Ph: (705) 749-5530
Frost Campus
200 Albert St. S., Box 8000 Lindsay ON K9V 5E6
Ph: (705) 324-9144
Haliburton Campus
P.O. Box 839 Haliburton ON K0M 1S0
Ph: (705) 457-1680

Web: flemingcollege.ca
Facebook: facebook.com/flemingcollege
Twitter & Instagram: @FlemingCollege