Some universities delaying return to in-person classes next month as COVID cases rise

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Published December 15, 2021 at 2:36 pm

TORONTO — Some Ontario universities are delaying the start of in-person classes planned for January amid a rise in COVID-19 cases driven by the Omicron variant. 

York University’s president says the school is making “modest adjustments” to plans for its winter semester, which aims to deliver most classes in-person and resume most on-campus activities in the new year. 

Rhonda Lento says in a letter to students that the winter term will start on Jan. 10, but the in-person delivery of courses and most on-campus activities will now start on Jan. 24. 

She also says holiday events and in-person meetings planned for this month will be cancelled or switched to a remote format. 

McMaster University in Hamilton also notified its students that the winter semester will start as planned on Jan 10 but in-person classes won’t begin before Jan. 17.

University president David Farrar says the school is making “short-term modifications” to its plans as it monitors the impact of the Omicron variant. 

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

It says it will share more information about its plans for next semester in the coming days. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 15, 2021. 

The Canadian Press

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