University of Alberta extends online learning to end of February

The University of Calgary and the University of Lethbridge are also delaying their return to in-person learning

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The University of Alberta is extending online learning until the end of February as the province grapples with the fifth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Omicron variant.

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In a news release Friday, the university announced it would delay the return to in-person classes until Feb. 28, after Reading Week which runs Feb. 22 to Feb. 25. The University of Calgary and the University of Lethbridge are also delaying their return to in-person learning.

“We know that a return to campus as soon as possible is in the best interests of all members of the university community,” said U of A President Bill Flanagan in the release.

“Given what we currently know about the anticipated peak of Omicron, we have a high degree of confidence that we can safely return to campuses and our full Winter 2022 schedule of in-person courses on Feb. 28.”

Teaching will remain primarily online until the end of February, along with enhanced safety measures. Residences remain open to students living there, and select in-person course components such as labs or exams may take place in person with appropriate safety measures before the full return to in-person.

“The decisions we make now are not easy, but they are necessary,” said Flanagan. “Fewer points for close contact ensures that we keep the community as safe as possible while maintaining key in-person courses as well as critical operations and services.”

More to come.

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