Virtual courses pushed to February 25 at Niagara College’s campuses; no more cloth facemasks

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Published January 12, 2022 at 11:23 am

Niagara College president Sean Kennedy said with the Winter Session slated to begin on January 10, there have been some changes to the potential on-campus schedule.

Courses at both the Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake campuses that have been shifted to online delivery will see that extended from January 28 to February 25.

As well, the college just announced for those students whose course can only be delivered on campus, cloth facemasks are not longer acceptable. All masks now must be “medical grade.”

Kennedy said that due to the highly transmissible nature of the Omicron varient, “Current and projected trends require us to adapt our operations once again as we prioritize the safety of our learning environment and workplace, while ensuring that students have the opportunity to achieve the learning outcomes in their programs – including essential and required practical elements.”

Kennedy noted that prior to the Christmas Break, the college announced the temporary shift of some program elements to online delivery until January 28. “Given the latest data and projections provided by government, and to ensure students and employees have as much certainty as possible for the start of term,” Kennedy said, “this change in delivery has been extended to February 25, which is the last day of classes before the mid-term break.

He added he was hopeful for on-campus returns in the second half of the Winter term but “that decision will depend on the available data and government and public health guidance and direction at the time.”

With regards to facemasks, the college said, “Cloth masks alone are no longer acceptable under the College’s masking policy. Medical-grade masks will now be required for entry to campus.”

However, if students don’t have access to medical-grade masks, they “will be provided at designated access points for those who arrive without one. A medical-grade mask must be donned before proceeding past the access point. Hand-sanitizer should be used when changing masks and will also be available at the access point.”

The college noted they’d monitor the distribution of the masks “through the first weeks of the term and adjusted as required.”

As well, due to the lab nature of some on-campus courses, they added “that some program areas or departments may have additional masking protocols or requirements. In these cases, further information will be provided at the program/departmental level.”

 

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