'I'm just so happy to be back': First day of class underway at U of S

After a long 18 months of learning online, most University of Saskatchewan classes returned to in-person on Thursday.

Students can now socialize on campus, with many of their classes shifted from online to on-campus.

The university is calling this phase transitional as some courses are being offered remotely.

"I'm just so happy to be back, it's my last year so I'm pretty pumped to actually be with my friends and just seeing my profs one last time," said fourth year mechanical engineering student Karlene Brinkman.

Students must have once dose of the COVID-19 vaccine beginning Sept. 7 with proof of their second dose by Oct. 18.

Students and U of S staff members who are unvaccinated must provide regular and frequent negative COVID-19 test results.

According to data collected by the province roughly 54 per cent of those aged 18-29 are fully vaccinated, with over 67 per cent receiving at least one dose.

Those stats underperform the provincial average as more than 68 per cent of eligible residents have been vaccinated over 77 per cent receiving their first dose.

The campus has set up a pop-up clinic outside Marquis Hall Events Centre from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday and Friday.

"I got vaccinated now because I feel like it's good to help to reduce the spread especially working with people in the healthcare field," first year dental assistant student Emily Hurren said.

The university says it's considering keeping the clinic open longer due to its success.

U of S faculty and staff will be able to grab vaccines from the Student Wellness Centre and the campus pharmacy after the pop-up site stops running.

Do you have a story idea or news tip? Email us.