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Classes will remain online until February 19

By Sophia Lopez, January 14 2022––

The University of Calgary announced this morning that online classes will be extended until Feb. 19. Students can expect to return to in-person classes after reading week on Feb. 28.

In an email sent out by U of C President Ed McCauley, he explained the Omicron variant has been monitored by public health officials, medical experts and health policy analysts in order to help make the decision on whether or not classes were to remain online. 

“Initial data indicates that this fifth wave of COVID-19 is expected to peak in early February,” said McCauley. 

The data collected has allowed U of C to come to the conclusion that online classes would be the best option for students, staff and faculty until the end of February in order to reduce the spread of the new variant.

“Thus far, this variant has led to fewer hospitalizations than previous variants, but it is very contagious,” said McCauley. “Our decision to temporarily hold off on returning to in-person teaching and learning will allow the University of Calgary to play its part in reducing the spread. This should help ease the burden on our health-care system at this key time.”

In the email, McCauley outlines the plan in place until the end of February, indicating how classes or class components that originally were intended to be in-person will resume on campus on Feb. 28, but that classes originally intended to be remote will continue online.

However, the university will not be closed during this time, and any faculty, staff and thesis-based graduate students who are expected to be on campus will continue to do so.

McCauley concluded by reminding students that this decision was not an easy one, and that the university understands the difficult nature of switching back and forth between in-person and online formats of learning.

“As we work our way through this semester, I want to thank all of you for the resilience and dedication you have shown,” said McCauley. “This fifth wave has been a challenge, as have the previous two years. Please be kind to one another, continue to support each other and hopefully very soon we will all be back together again.”

Effective Jan. 1, all students and employees must be fully vaccinated and have provided proof of vaccination through COVIDSafe Campus’ web platform, My Thrive Health. Any student who is not fully vaccinated may continue to take classes as long as they are online. The rapid testing program is now only available to faculty, staff and students who have received an approved accommodation.

For an overview of the university’s COVID-19 response, such as the vaccination directive and isolation guidelines, visit the U of C website. For more information on vaccination status declaration and masking rules, visit COVIDSafe Campus.

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