Covid-19 Update: Spring-January 2022 semester
Windsor University is excited to welcome all students back to the University campus for face to face instruction. Educational institutions have found this onsite teaching methodology to be most effective for acquiring both medical knowledge and clinical skills. Accordingly, online / remote teaching will be discontinued, permitting a complete transition to in-person classes on our fully operational campus for the coming Spring-January 2022 semester. The decision to make this transition was considered based on the positive updates from the Ministry of Health on St.Kitts. These include reduced viral spread and increasing national vaccination rates along with the ongoing success of containing further spread of COVID-19 infection, making it possible for students to return to learning in our classrooms, which are supported with fully approved safety protocols that have been in place for the past year. The University strongly encourages all members of the community who can be vaccinated to get the vaccine if eligible, as we have mandated the COVID-19 vaccination to represent part of safe return to the campus from fall 2021.
To review; policies and decisions governing return to onsite classes are supported and guided by the latest available data and health experts from various certified sources. Most importantly, we base such decisions of a successful return to more effective learning upon the valued advice of the Ministry of Health in St.Kitts. If necessary, Windsor University will continuously make the needed changes to our plans in accordance with developments in the science and guidance from these health experts, in order to optimize and maintain safety standards.
Your teachers, staff and administration look forward to welcoming back students to the classroom. The ability to once again engage students face-to-face will be both a pleasure and greatly benefit the student. Our top priority is safeguarding the health and well-being of all in our community while continuing to deliver an exceptional educational experience. As we all continue to confront this global pandemic, we hope that you and your families are doing well, staying safe and remaining healthy.
Fall 2021 update
All students in the School of Medicine, and Biomedical sciences will be welcomed back to in-person learning on campus in St.kitts for the fall- September 2021 term. The government of St.Kitts and Nevis introduced new Health and Safety protocols for all travelers entering the federation effective May 29, 2021.As per these protocols, only fully vaccinated travelers will be allowed entry into St. Kitts & Nevis. (https://www.stkittstourism.kn/travel-requirements)
A traveler is considered fully vaccinated when two weeks have passed since receiving their second dose of a two-dose vaccine series (e.g., Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, or AstraZeneca/Oxford) or two weeks after the traveler has received a single dose vaccine (e.g., Johnson & Johnson's/Janssen). We at Windsor University School of Medicine (WUSOM) intend to work in line with these protocols and make it our priority of protecting your health, and that of the St.Kitts community, by preventing the spread of the disease. As part of our plan for a safe return to campus life, COVID-19 vaccinations will be required for all students, faculty, staff, and administrators on campus. We urge all students who have an opportunity to get fully vaccinated to do so as soon as possible.
While our expectation is that all students will eventually return to campus, we also recognize that the pandemic, travel, and vaccination delivery is an evolving situation. Although our goal is to return all students to in-person learning as quickly as possible, we will be reasonable in our consideration of exceptions to in-person education and temporary use of online education for the fall term.
An option for continued online learning will be made available under the following circumstances:
- Lack of access to vaccinations in the country where you currently reside
- Lack of travel visas, passports, and flights from some countries
- Other situations, hardships, and reasons that may require students to remain online for the August term.
We remain committed to providing you with all the resources and support you need to be successful, and to remaining flexible regarding the in-person learning requirement and the dates of arrival in St.Kitts through the fall. We are devoted to helping our students so that no student loses time or progress on their education.
The WUSOM University has implemented the appropriate infection control public health measures to protect the community on campus. While the University community will be fully vaccinated, we continue to encourage frequent hand washing, testing as needed, and the wearing of masks to limit the potential spread of the virus on campus.
Spring 2021 Semester plan and COVID-19 Advisory Update
In response to the ongoing COVID-19 global outbreak, the Windsor University School of Medicine (WUSOM), is pleased to offer the pre-clinical science portion of the curriculum in a hybrid fashion for the upcoming spring 2021 semester. This decision was based on the objective of ensuring the health, safety and well-being of theWindsor community. This action was further supported by the positive outcome of our trial hybrid learning sessions conducted during the fall 2020 semester. The concept of “hybrid” sessions, necessarily refers to a mixture or blend based on where students are located (On or Off- Campus) during the delivery of instruction. Students in a particular course receive the same instruction and content, concurrently. Thereby, only students on campus will attend by being present in the classroom , while those not on the island will join the instructional session through the interactive online technology made available. To confirm that in-class sessions met government regulations and policies, the administration at Windsor University invited the St.Kitts COVID-19 Task Force prior to implementing the trial hybrid sessions. The Task Force was satisfied and deemed suitable all the COVID-19 controls and protocols implemented on the campus. Thereby, in accordance with authorization by the St. Kitts government, and supportive results of the trial sessions conducted, the campus will be open for the upcoming Spring 2021 semester. This will facilitate delivery of the hybrid sessions and also for use of the library facilities. We also encourage both new as well as returning students to travel to St.Kitts to benefit from the in-class, face-to-face interaction. However, we appreciate if you choose to continue attending online instruction for particular reasons, such as travel challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.
WUSOM strongly believes that clinical skills along with communication and professionalism are important competencies that are difficult to attain without face to face interactions. These competencies are heavily addressed in our Introduction to Clinical Medicine course: parts 1-5. Accordingly, the school is working on alternate arrangements to accommodate students who are not able to travel to St. Kitts at this time. This alternative may permit students to attend sessions conducted at clinical teaching sites closer to their home, while still following a standardized curriculum. An update with details of this potential plan will be conveyed to students during the early part of the Spring 2021 semester.
Those students deciding to return to St.Kitts, kindly refer to the following FAQ.
When will the January 2021 semester start?
The semester starts on January 4, 2021. Student attendance is mandatory from day 1 of either onsite or online classes, also the student is expected to maintain the required attendance. A full academic calendar is available here.
When should I book my travel?
You should arrange travel to St.Kitts with enough time to prepare for our January 4, 2021 start.
Will students need to quarantine once they arrive on the island and what are the requirements for entry to St.Kitts?
Yes, the government of St.Kitts and Nevis has determined a 14 day quarantine requirement for international travelers.
Everyone travelling to St.Kitts, including all WUSOM students, faculty, staff and families will need to have a negative RT-PCR Nasal swab within 3 days of arrival (within 72 hours of the last leg of your flight if you have a layover). This negative test result must be uploaded to the government web site prior to boarding your flight to be admitted to St.Kitts. For further details and requirements kindly visit the St.Kitts government’s website at https://www.knatravelform.kn/
What is the status of COVID-19 on St.Kitts?
As of November 24th 2020 there are a total of 22 cases of which only 3 are currently active.
Have there been any cases, which originated on the Windsor campus, either from students, staff or faculty?
We are happy to report that no active cases have originated nor were in contact with all personnel and students on campus.
How will WUSOM ensure the safety of students and prevent a COVID-19 outbreak on campus?
WUSOM`s COVID-19 task force has instituted numerous protocols as a part of our comprehensive safety plan. Some elements include symptom screenings with temperature checks upon campus entry; installing hand sanitizer stations; reduced capacity of common spaces; mandatory masks, and physical barriers in student service areas. All of these are part of WUSOM COVID-19 safety protocols and action plan; this can be accessed here…. Link to the protocol document.
The Windsor University School of Medicine (WUSOM) continues to follow the global outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19). As a medical school, the health and safety of our communities – students, colleagues, and faculty are of paramount importance to us. To date, there have been 15 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the island federation of St.Kitts and Nevis. After closing the campus on March 13th, and in order to maintain a continuity of educational programming, Windsor University successfully transitioned to online instruction. Online delivery began on March 17th, which includes the remote administration of assessments. At this time, it is our understanding that implementation of these alternative arrangements for curriculum instruction and assessments should not result in disruption to the start of our May 2020 session, originally scheduled for May 4th. As each of you may appreciate, the COVID-19 situation is evolving, which is why we remain diligent and continue to monitor the impact on local and national regions. This pandemic is an unprecedented event that has affected several aspects of our lives; however this will be a transient challenge, which we will overcome. In the meantime, we encourage each of you to follow the basic precautionary measures that were sent in a previous advisory.
UPDATE: CAAM HP ACCREDITATION SITE VISIT POSTPONED:
The CAAM HP organization has decided to postpone the site visit portion for accreditation evaluation of medical schools, originally scheduled for April 2020. This also includes WUSOM with a potential visit in June. This decision is based on several considerations, including travel restrictions being imposed by several countries. For your information, this institution, along with others, was notified that we will be updated of new dates, as soon as travel restrictions are lifted.
We have reached an important milestone in our efforts to pursue accreditation of the MD program. February of this year, we submitted a comprehensive Self-Study report, accompanying databases and supporting documents (3,000+ pages) to the CAAM HP.
This report and related documentation represents the culmination of remarkable effort done by our talented and skilled faculty, staff and students. In addition, our medical students did an outstanding job in developing a comprehensive summary of the student survey. This summary provides insight and clarity from the student’s perspective, regarding the current state of educational quality, offered by the Windsor University School of Medicine.
All the best to each of you, and have a well-deserved break. We look forward to continuing your educational journey to the MD with you, at the start of the coming May semester.
March 26, 2020
March Advisory: COVID-19
The Windsor University School of Medicine (WUSOM) has been continuing to follow the global outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19). As a medical school, the health and safety of our communities – students, colleagues, and faculty are of paramount importance to us. To date, there have been two(2) confirmed cases of coronavirus in the island federation of St.Kitts and Nevis. Accordingly, WUSOM is taking precautions to lower the risk of exposure to COVID-19 and do our part to curb the spread of the virus. This institution continues to assess the ongoing situation, and will actively communicate with students and personnel, as soon as new or updated information is made available.
To maintain a continuity of educational programming, we have transitioned to online instruction. Online delivery began in March 17th, and we are currently working on plans to administer exams remotely. We are careful in testing and assessing the logistics of a solution which works technologically; is equitable, while maintaining integrity and validity of the respective exams. Some exam dates may need to be modified, however be assured that specific changes will be communicated. At this time, it is our understanding that implementation of these alternative arrangements for curriculum instruction and assessments, should not result in disruption to the start of our May 2020 session. As each of you may appreciate, the COVID-19 situation is evolving, which is why we remain diligent and continue to monitor the impact on the local and national regions. This pandemic is an unprecedented event that has affected several aspects of our lives, however this will be a transient challenge that we will overcome. In the meantime, we encourage each of you to follow the basic precautionary measures that was sent in a previous advisory.
March 13th 2020:
We at Windsor University School of Medicine (WUSOM) have a responsibility to our students, faculty, and staff to do all that we can to minimize the spread of COVID-19. Thereby, in keeping with our steadfast commitment to the health and well-being of the WUSOM community and in consideration of the current status of COVID-19 spread and WHO declaration of pandemic status (even though currently there are no confirmed cases on the island of St.Kitts) the Board, President, and Deans Office after reviewing the recommendations of the Emergency preparedness committee have authorized that the the following steps should be taken:
1) Students willing to travel to their home country are encouraged to do so. The instructions will be conducted through an online platform, commencing next week Tuesday, March 17, 2020. The attendance of the online lectures is mandatory and will be considered part of the required attendance policy to successfully complete the semester. The school will communicate directly to students, the specific requirements and assessments that may require alternative arrangements along with other necessary information, such as the expected date of return.
2) Students wishing to stay back on the island may utilize campus facilities, and are required to follow the recommended precautionary measures to prevent illness.
The COVID-19 situation is rapidly evolving; we will continue monitoring the situation closely. Therefore, updates will be sent to your institutional email. We encourage you to still follow the advisory sent earlier, as it provides valuable information and resources.
Wednesday 18th March 2020:
The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented health challenge that is having tremendous impact on the practice of medicine and the health professions, on medical and health education, and our daily lives. This fluid situation demands that we make difficult choices based on a variety of competing factors.
To that end, all WUSOM students are being recalled from all clinical rotations effective immediately and until further notice. This was an extremely difficult decision — and not made lightly. However, it is in line with the actions of our affiliated hospitals and other medical schools across the Jamaica and United States.
We understand that as aspiring physicians you have a deep desire to be in the clinical setting during this crisis. However, our decision is driven primarily by patient safety concerns — ensuring that the scarce supply of personal protective equipment is available for practicing health professional while they are delivering medical care.
We are monitoring the situation closely and will reassess this decision as the situation warrants. We are committed to you and your education. We have a plan in place and you will be contacted soon by our clinical department regarding alternative educational experiences and how your rotations will be completed.
We appreciate your patience and understanding as we all grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic and balance the many, competing priorities. We remain confident that we can deliver quality educational experiences that will help you excel as physicians and health professionals.