December 16, 2021
As we prepare to head into the winter holidays, we are seeing the Omicron variant spread at an unprecedented rate. Projections by the Ontario Science Advisory Table indicate that new cases in the province could reach 10,000 per day by December 31.
In this context, following discussions with public health authorities, the Council of Ontario Universities, and other institutions in the province, we will hold the first three weeks of the winter 2022 courses fully online. As part of our commitment to the health and wellbeing of our community, we are making this decision proactively to provide as much certainty as possible to students, faculty and staff in advance of the holiday break.
All winter term classes will begin online from January 10, 2022. Subject to public health guidance, we anticipate in-person instruction to start Monday, January 31 for courses currently scheduled to be delivered in-person. We are continuing to monitor the rapidly evolving situation and will provide further updates in January.
As we complete the fall 2021 semester, the small number of in person exams scheduled from Monday, December 20 and onwards will be moved online or rescheduled.
From December 20 until January 31, employees should only come to campus to perform necessary work that cannot be conducted remotely. Research that cannot be performed from home can continue to proceed on campus following public health guidelines and indoor capacity limits. Detailed plans for the library, residences and athletics will soon be communicated by these units.
We strongly recommend that all members of the Carleton community get their third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible. Everyone in our community should be eligible as of Monday, December 20, as the age limit has now been lowered to 18 years old, and the minimum interval between the second and third doses has been reduced to 3 months.
We understand that this pause in our safe and gradual return to campus is disappointing. However, in the face of such an aggressive variant, these measures are necessary to protect the health and safety of our community.
Wishing everyone a safe and restful holiday season,
President and Vice-Chancellor
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