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Edmonton post-secondaries to temporarily move classes online for winter semester over growing Omicron concerns

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Growing concerns over rising COVID-19 cases and the rapid spread of the Omicron variant in Alberta have led Edmonton post-secondaries to temporarily move classes online in January.

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Here is a breakdown for each post-secondary who has provided a plan for the winter semester.

MacEwan University

MacEwan University president Annette Trimbee in a statement said the post-secondary has decided to temporarily move winter term classes to online delivery from Jan. 5 to Jan. 21.

For specific instructional activities that can only be delivered in person, safety measures will be in place. The university’s buildings will remain open in January however anyone coming on campus must be fully vaccinated and wear a mask.

The move to online is a temporary measure, and the university will revisit the decision in January with the goal to bring classes back to campus during the winter term.

University of Alberta

University of Alberta president Bill Flanagan said the university will move the majority of classes online for three weeks, from Jan. 4 to at least Jan. 23. Prior to Jan. 3, students who registered for in-person classes will be contacted to confirm how their course will be accessed.

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Unless noted otherwise by a department or faculty office, in-person practicums will carry forward as originally planned. Courses that were approved for in-person delivery during the 2020/21 academic year can continue in person with appropriate safety measures.

Also until at least Jan. 23, all open campus spaces must respect physical distancing of at least two metres.

Concordia University of Edmonton

Concordia University of Edmonton president Tim Loreman said all courses will move to online delivery until at least Jan. 31. Anyone who can work from home is also asked to do so. While the intention is to return to on-campus learning, the post-secondary will continue to monitor the public health situation and may extend virtual learning if needed.

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CUE’s library will close for January, however supports will be offered virtually and books may be picked up. Students are also discouraged from studying on campus.

Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology ( NAIT ) is moving all lecture and theory classes online for the start of the winter term. On-campus labs and shops, where in-person learning is required, will continue with enhanced safety measures such as face shields or approved eye protection, and physical distancing wherever possible.

Some programs may also reduce class or cohort sizes.

The measures will be in place until at least Jan. 21, and NAIT will continue to monitor the pandemic situation.

NorQuest College

Classes at NorQuest College will move online from Jan. 4 to Jan. 31, while essential in-person classes and labs will continue in-person on campus.

Student services will remain open, mainly by appointment only.

King’s University

King’s University, meanwhile, continues to watch the spread of the COVID-19 Omicron variant. No plans have been made to move courses online at this time, while students, staff, faculty, and visitors to campus are encouraged to get their booster shot when qualified to do so.

For students coming back to residence after the holidays, they are asked to take a rapid test before arriving on campus and provide the result.

ajunker@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/JunkerAnna





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