Western is moving in-person exams online as a precautionary measure to keep the campus community safe and healthy leading into the holiday break.
“While our case counts remain low, we are watching what is happening across the country and have decided some proactive steps are prudent in the face of Omicron,” Western president Alan Shepard said.
Exams scheduled Dec. 17 to 22 will shift online, with the exception of practical and clinical assessments, which may have to be completed in person. Exams scheduled Dec. 15 to 16 will continue in person unless students are notified by their faculties. Previously scheduled online exams will proceed as planned.
“The decision to shift exams online was made to ensure students and employees are able to enjoy the holiday break by limiting in-person contact throughout the rest of the term,” Shepard said. “We recognize this decision may prove disruptive to some, but the health and safety of the Western community is our top priority.”
Sparked by a rising number of new COVID-19 cases across the province, and the emergence of the Omicron variant, the Middlesex-London Health Unit has announced new public health recommendations to reduce transmission, including limiting indoor, social gatherings to 10 people, and advising individuals to work remotely, where possible.
Shepard stressed the university will continue to be guided by provincial and public health guidelines.
Western’s highly vaccinated campus population played a vital role in the relatively low cases of COVID-19 among the campus community since returning to in-person learning in September. To date, there has been no evidence of COVID-19 transmission in classrooms.
“We’ve all worked so hard this term so we can return to the in-person experiences we had been missing,” Shepard said. “I am hopeful that we can continue our academic year as planned – and whatever COVID-19 brings us, I know our strong and vibrant community will get through this together.”