Hamilton’s McMaster University modifies campus COVID-19 restrictions, delays in-person learning in January


Published December 14, 2021 at 6:54 pm

McMaster University indicated that it intends to have in-person learning come January, but not during the first week back from the break.

The Hamilton institution announced Tuesday (Dec. 14) that it is making some “short-term modifications” to its COVID-19 restrictions as cases increase in the city and across Ontario. The changes are in response to advice from Dr. Kieran Moore, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health.

The winter term will begin as scheduled, but in-person instruction for the winter term will not begin until Jan. 17. The move-in date for residences has also been pushed back a week, from Jan. 7 to 14.

“Classes for the winter term will maintain their current schedule and will begin January 10,” McMaster president and vice-chancellor David Farrar stated. “We are asking instructors, with limited exceptions in clinical settings, to hold classes virtually for the first week with in-person instruction beginning January 17.”

That would be just under two weeks after most McMaster undergraduates would be eligible for their third COVID-19 vaccine dose. Ontario residents age 18 and over are eligible as of Jan. 4.

Students living in McMaster residences are directed to contact the university’s housing office if their individual circumstances mean the original move-in date is a must.

The university is currently in the fall exam period.

Libraries will remain open with physical distancing recommended. Mandatory masking and no eating rules are currently in place. Students should expect to be asked for their MacCheck (vaccination proof + symptom screening) upon entry.

Farrar added remaining virtual exams and any programs still in session will continue as planned until the holiday break.

Athletic facilities will close as of Dec. 20 and re-open on Jan. 17.

“Exceptions will be made for structured varsity activities and elite athlete training,” Farrar stated.

As of Wednesday, Mac employees who able to do so are asked to work 100 per cent remotely. Areas providing direct student services will work to met student needs.

Farrar’s full statement can be read at covid19.mcmaster.ca.

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