U of R pushes back start of winter term, return to in-person classes due to coronavirus Omicron variant

·2 min read
The University of Regina unveiled its new $1 million sign project, located on the corner of Kramer Boulevard and Wascana Parkway on Friday.  (Kevin O'Connor/CBC - image credit)
The University of Regina unveiled its new $1 million sign project, located on the corner of Kramer Boulevard and Wascana Parkway on Friday. (Kevin O'Connor/CBC - image credit)

The University of Regina says it is pushing back the start of its winter term and its return to in-person classes as the result of the coronavirus Omicron variant.

Classes will not begin on Jan. 5, as originally scheduled but will start on Jan. 10.

All classes at the University of Regina (U of R) will be delivered remotely up to and including Jan. 22, the university said in a letter distributed to staff and students.

"This is not how we envisioned starting the Winter 2022 term," wrote Jeff Keshen, president and vice-chancellor.

"It is our hope that delaying in-person instruction for two few weeks will help the University of Regina resume near-normal operations sooner rather than later, and allow us to return to campus in the safest environment possible."

While the coronavirus Omicron variant has not emerged in Saskatchewan as quickly as it has in other areas of Canada, the province reported 10 confirmed cases of the variant and 72 suspected cases on Tuesday.

That's an increase of 17 suspected cases from the day before.

Faculty at the school are set to immediately begin working with the Deans/Associate Deans to ensure they are positioned to temporarily deliver their courses remotely.

Staff members who are not required to be on campus to support essential infrastructure and can work remotely are being encouraged to do so.

Students are being asked to check UR Courses leading up to Jan. 10, for specific information on how to access their courses remotely.

"We ask for your patience as we work through the numerous details associated with this transition," wrote Jeff Keshen. "I appreciate and understand that a temporary shift to remote teaching and working will mean additional work for all members of our community."

The U of R says students, staff and faculty are encouraged to get a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose if they qualify and to keep any gatherings over the winter break small.

The university says it continues to monitor the situation and that they will re-evaluate in mid January.

Any updates will be communicated to all members of the University community as soon as they become available.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting