Alberta Mirror

Friday, September 29, 2023

Omicron surge Alberta post-secondary institutions to return to online education in January


Key takeaways: 

  • Online learning in position till at least Jan. 21 in Edmonton, Calgary and Lethbridge.
  • Students at some post-secondary institutions will be virtual for most of January. 

Omicron spikes in Alberta leading to online studies: 

Post-secondary students throughout Alberta will be returning to lessons in January without returning to campus as institutions ready for an Omicron-driven spike of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The University of Alberta and the University of Calgary have both declared strategies to drive the bulk of classes virtual for almost three weeks.

On Wednesday, the U of A declared that it will stay online from Jan. 4 to at least Jan. 23, while the U of C stated that offline learning on its campus is anticipated to restart on Jan. 31.

“All open campus spaces will again be requested to respect physical distancing guidelines of two metres,” U of A president and vice-chancellor Bill Flanagan stated in a press release. Source –

“This includes research spaces and laboratories, computer labs and study spaces.”  Source –

Also read: China directs 13 million citizens into lockdown as COVID-19 cases spike

Alberta’s post-secondary institutions to return back to online studies after seeing the spike in the cases of Covid

The U of C declared equivalent precautions, stating in a press release that several training work, student services and research would resume on campus. 

Nicole Schmidt, U of C students’ union president, stated she is thankful her university created the call to go online but realised several students are dissatisfied to create the difference again.

“Overwhelmingly, students understand and are corroborative of this conclusion because obviously, it keeps our campus community and campus population safe,” Schmidt stated Wednesday. Source –

“We’re just really pleased that the university heard to the students’ union and made a judgment that permits students to plan for the following semester.” Source –

U of A students’ union president Rowan Ley stated he was hesitant at first to tolerate the idea of going back online, given the university’s victory with masking and vaccination. He finally reached around to the idea just noticing the rise in Omicron cases.

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