Universities of Alberta, Calgary, Lethbridge to stick with online learning through February

Three of Alberta’s largest research-focused universities are working to expand online learning through the end of February.

The universities of Alberta, Calgary and Lethbridge announced Friday morning that they are delaying the return to in-person learning until February 28, after Reading Week.

“We know that returning to campus as quickly as possible is in the interest of all members of the university community,” said Yu President Bill Flanagan. “Given what we currently know about the expected peak for Omicron, we have a high degree of confidence that we can safely return to campus and our full winter 2022 schedule for in-person training on February 28.”

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University residences will remain open to residents and in-person course components, such as laboratories or mid-terms, may continue to be selected in person. The universities said in a joint press release that other previously announced health measures would remain in place.

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“The decisions we make now are not easy, but they are necessary,” Flanagan said. “The fewer points of close contact ensure that we keep the community as safe as possible while maintaining key personal training sessions as well as critical operations and services.”

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University of California President Ed McCauley said the shift from distance learning to in-person learning and back online again has been difficult for everyone.

“Students need to know how their classes are held, teachers need time to adapt their subjects and scholars, and graduate students and staff need to understand when and if they should return to campus,” McCauley said.

“We all need as much certainty as possible about how this term came to be.

“As we work our way through this semester, I want to thank all of you for the resilience and dedication you have shown. This fifth wave has been as challenging as it has been in the past two years. Please kindly be with each other, continue to support each other, and hopefully very soon we will be back together again.” “.

The decision comes as COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to increase in Alberta. As of Thursday afternoon, there were 786 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in the county — a number that has doubled in the past two weeks. On December 31, there were 349 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Alberta.

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786 patients in Alberta hospitals battling COVID-19, 79 in the intensive care unit

786 patients in Alberta hospitals battling COVID-19, 79 in the intensive care unit

New forecasts released Friday morning suggest Canada is ready for several “intensive” weeks of COVID-19 activity as Omicron continues to post a record number of infections and hospitalizations.

“While Canada could see a sharp peak and decline in cases in the coming weeks, as disease activity exceeds previous peaks, even the downside to this curve will be significant,” said Dr Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer.

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During Thursday’s update, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health said it was too early to say whether the fifth wave of COVID-19 had peaked in Alberta.

“It’s really important to remember that in which wave we see half of our cases in the second half of the wave, so we need to be careful,” said Dr. Dina Henshaw.

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“Transmission is still very high. … Our positivity rates are still very high and the rate of transmission has never been higher. So caution is appropriate.”

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Other data to shed light on coronavirus trends in Alberta in the absence of large-scale PCR testing: Hinshaw

Prime Minister Jason Kenney added that he hopes Alberta is in the latter half of the rally to the peak.

“But as Dr. Henshaw says, the numbers are massive. They are much greater than our testing can determine and there will be a lot of cases if and when we reach that peak.”

In a letter to the school community, Flanagan said the school year started differently than anyone would have hoped, and he thanked everyone for their resilience and patience during the current COVID-19 situation.

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