Dalhousie University, King’s and NSCC to Begin Winter Semester Online as COVID-19 Spreads in NS – Halifax | The Canadian News

Some post-secondary institutions in Nova Scotia will begin their winter period online as the province continues to report record COVID-19 numbers.

Dalhousie University, University of King’s College and Nova Scotia Community College announced Friday that students will learn from home for at least the first two weeks of January.

“Despite a remarkably successful and safe fall period, the COVID-19 situation has changed significantly in the last two weeks,” said a memorandum signed by Frank Harvey, Dalhousie Chancellor and Academic Vice President, and Bill Lahey, King’s President, on Friday.

The memo says there have been 38 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Dalhousie community in the last week, including 23 at the residence.

“Although the immunity of a two-dose vaccine appears to remain strong against the Omicron variant in preventing serious disease, as a precaution and given current epidemiology, Dalhousie and King’s College University are modifying our approach for the beginning of the quarter of winter ”, it said.

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The winter term is scheduled to start on time, but almost all courses will be taught online during the first two weeks of January. Exceptions will be made in select courses where in-person learning is needed, such as accredited programming in the school’s three health colleges. Exceptions will be communicated by the faculties, he said.

“We will continue to assess the situation on a daily basis, in consultation with Public Health and the provincial government, and we will determine whether in-person learning can resume on Monday, January 17, or whether it will be necessary to continue online learning.” said the memo.

“We know that this situation is a challenge for everyone involved and how important it is for both our instructors and our students to return to the classroom as soon as possible. However, our decisions regarding academic delivery must continue to be driven by our collective health and safety, with full consideration of the best public health guidance available. “

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The campus is scheduled to reopen on January 4, but faculty and staff who can work remotely are encouraged to do so during the first two weeks of January.

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The research spaces will remain open, but again, people who have some activity that can be done remotely should do so. Safety precautions such as masking, hand washing, and distancing should be followed.

“On-campus in-person services that are essential to supporting our students, faculty, staff, and general operations will remain open, but we expect many services to go into virtual or mixed mode of delivery during this period if they can,” he said.

Most of the Dalhousie libraries will be open on January 4, but there will be some changes to the regular hours of operation. Dalhousie is asking people to check the location schedule on their website.

For other services, students are asked to check with individual service providers for specific details.

Residence students

The memo noted that Dalhousie residents in Truro are already closed and Halifax residences are scheduled to close at noon Monday for all students not staying for recess or not in accredited programs with face-to-face classes.

All Dalhousie residences and dining rooms will be closed until at least Friday, January 14, while King’s residences will reopen on January 4 as scheduled.

“Please be sure to monitor your email from Dalhousie for the latest information before making travel plans,” the memo read. “All students at the Dalhousie residence must complete a rapid COVID test before leaving the residence and before returning to their rooms. The tests will be available at the entrances of the buildings. “

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The school said room and board reimbursements will be issued for all students in the residence during the period from January 4-14.

There are about 15 students who will be spending the December break at Dalhousie due to self-isolation requirements, and they said another 130 or so students stay in residence during the break. The school said it will provide additional support for those students, including daily check-ins, time outside for the asymptomatic and delivery of personalized meals.

The memo ended by asking people traveling during the December holidays to follow all restrictions and guidance from Public Health, and to make testing a regular part of their plans.

“Having spent almost two years living and working through uncertainty, being here at another time of significant uncertainty, especially after all the accomplishments of the past year, will be incredibly frustrating for everyone,” he said.

“But we have learned in the last two years to get through these times by relying on our compassion, our understanding and our patience. This is what unites us as a university community: that we are in this together and we will get through it together. “

NSCC also moves online

Nova Scotia Community College also announced Friday that it will begin the winter term online.

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A to update On Friday, NSCC President Don Bureaux said that all learning and service delivery on campus will move online through January 21, 2022. The winter term will begin as scheduled on January 6 for the students and January 4 for employees.

“There is deep concern about our current situation as a province,” he said. “We want to be part of the solution that ends this outbreak and gets us back on track for a safe return to the activities we enjoy, including work and in-person learning.”

He said the school will reassess in early January whether it will need to extend the date for online learning.

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