Some Colleges Delay Returning to Face-to-Face Classes After Winter Break as COVID Cases Rise | The Canadian News

TORONTO – Some Ontario universities are delaying the start of classes scheduled for January amid a surge in COVID-19 cases driven by the Omicron variant.

The president of the University of York said the school is making “modest adjustments” to plans for the winter semester, which aims to teach most classes in person and resume most activities on campus during the new. anus.

The winter term will begin on January 10, he said, but in-person course delivery and most activities on campus will now begin on January 24.

“In light of recent guidance issued by the Ontario government, and the reduction in activity on our campuses due to the completion of classes, York University will limit campus attendance in person to those who are required to help complete the period, effective immediately “. Rhonda Lento said in a letter to students Tuesday.

“From the beginning of the semester until January 23, all classes will be taught remotely unless it is essential that they be delivered in person.”

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He also said that holiday events and in-person meetings planned for this month will be canceled or switched to a remote format.

McMaster University in Hamilton also notified its students that the winter semester will begin as planned on January 10, but in-person classes will not begin before January 17.

University President David Farrar said the school is making “short-term modifications” to its plans while monitoring the impact of the Omicron variant.

“We are asking instructors, with limited exceptions in clinical settings, to teach virtually the first week with in-person instruction beginning January 17.”

“The remaining virtual exams (in December) and any programs still in session will continue as originally planned,” he said.

Meanwhile, the University of Waterloo said it canceled all meetings and gatherings on campus during the holiday period and asked employees and students to cancel any planned off-campus events.

University of Waterloo President Vivek Goel and Vice President James WE Rush said in a letter to staff and students that the school will share more information about its plans for the next semester in the coming days.

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“Scientists around the world are learning about Omicron every day,” they said. “We need to act to protect the things that are most important to us, like keeping schools open and allowing our students to take tests and learn together in person.”

Queen’s University in Eastern Ontario also postponed in-person exams earlier this week due to the increase in COVID-19 cases in the community. Exams will be changed to an “alternate delivery format” if possible, and those that must be taken in person will be postponed until the new year.

That came after the Kingston, Ontario school confirmed a virus outbreak in the student community, and after the local health unit announced a case of the non-travel-related Omicron variant.

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