Western is adopting a phased approach to the return to in-person learning, a precautionary move to ensure the health and safety of the campus community.
Beginning Jan. 31, all second-, third- and fourth-year undergraduate and graduate courses, as well as second-entry professional programs, will resume in person. This is the date the university originally planned to be in person.
All first-year undergraduate-level courses will resume in person on Feb. 28. As most first-year students are living in residence, the decision to delay their return was made to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission in residences where there are more shared spaces and washrooms.
“Our ultimate goal is to return to full, in-person learning for the remainder of the winter term, and this phased plan will allow us to accomplish this as safely as possible and ensure the best possible teaching and learning experiences for our community,” said Western’s acting president Dr. Sarah Prichard.
Students living in residence will receive further information regarding refunds and early arrival requests on Jan. 18.
In December, Western announced a temporary move to online learning and delayed the start of the winter term amid concerns about increased COVID-19 transmission due to the Omicron variant.
The Western community continues to maintain a vaccination rate of over 99 per cent, which was vital in preventing in-classroom transmission during the fall term. The university is encouraging students and employees to get their booster shots before returning to campus.
Western’s COVID-19 vaccination and testing centre for students and employees is open Monday to Friday at the Graphic Services Building.
“As always and with consultation, our plans will continue to align with the latest provincial and local public health guidelines, and we will adjust course as needed,” Prichard said.