University of Waterloo pushes back planned start of in-person learning

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Students at University of Waterloo won't be going back to class in-person until Feb. 7 at the earliest.

The university made the announcement on Monday, citing the continued impact of the Omicron variant.

"There are some early signals that this wave is at or near its peak," university president and vice-chancellor, Vivek Goel and university vice-president, academic and provost, James W.E. Rush said in a message to students and staff posted online.

"However, the impact on the health system will be significant in the weeks following the peak. Therefore, we need to continue to do our part to limit the pressure on our community and the local health system by continuing to limit in-person contact," the administrators continued.

Goel and Rush said the university plans to return to in-person learning in February, "as soon as it is practical to do so based on advice from public health officials." In the meantime remote learning and working arrangements will continue.

University of Waterloo will provide at least 14 days notice before the start of in-person activities, meaning the earliest students and staff would be expected to be physically present on campus would be Monday, Feb. 7, Goel and Rush said.

Meanwhile in-person classes are set to resume Jan. 31 at Wilfrid Laurier University, University of Guelph and Conestoga College, according to the latest public announcements from those institutions.

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