Students, representatives worry about spread of COVID-19 at in-person exams at UBC

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VANCOUVER — Students and their representatives at the University of British Columbia are calling for the cancellation of in-person exams as the province deals with a surge in cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

The university's Alma Mater Society issued a public letter to administration saying students have come forward expressing concerns about the lack of distancing in exam halls that hold hundreds of students, as well as symptomatic students attending these exams.

The university did not immediately return a request for comment on the issue.

Ava Peacock, a second-year student, says she has written several exams during this period with roughly 900 other students, which has left her feeling worried for her health.

She says the lack of clarity on how many students are vaccinated against the virus and if people are attending after contracting COVID-19 is concerning.

Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s provincial health officer, announced new restrictions to come in to effect on Monday over fears of the Omicron variant overwhelming hospitals.

They include a 50-per-cent capacity limit on venues that hold more than 1,000 people, a ban on youth and adult sports tournaments over the winter holiday period, and the cancellation of all New Year's Eve parties.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 18, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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