President’s message – Important announcement about measures to limit the spread of the Omicron variant
For several days now, we have all become increasingly dismayed by the meteoric rise of Omicron, and the rise is just getting started. Yesterday, both the Trudeau and Ford governments announced a series of measures to slow the spread of this virus. As it has since March 2020, the University of Ottawa will continue to do what needs to be done to protect our students, professors, and support staff, and all members of our communities.
This why we are announcing today that working from home continues to be strongly recommended for those whose work does not require them to be physically present on campus. Managers will work with employees to strike the right balance between pursuing the activities up until the Holiday break starting on December 22 and safeguarding the health and safety of everyone.
The 2021 fall term exam period will continue as planned up until December 22. The vast majority of the remaining exams will be held remotely. The in-person exams that are currently scheduled will be held as planned.
The 2022 winter term
Since public health authorities forecast a very significant increase in the number of COVID-19 infections at the start of winter, the University has decided to postpone the return to campus until January 31, 2022. Classes will resume on January 10 as planned and will be delivered virtually for at least the first three weeks of term. We sincerely thank professors and students for their agility in coping with the current situation.
However, some courses will be offered in person because they require students to be physically present on site. In these exceptional cases, the professors and students concerned will be directly notified by their faculty. In parallel, research activities will continue in person. In all cases, we will take all necessary measures to safeguard the health and safety of all students and personnel.
The same decision applies to administrative and support staff members. The guidelines implemented to guide their return to campus after the holidays will not take effect before January 31. The health and safety of our community has always been our top priority. Postponing the return to campus will allow the University administration to analyze the impact of the virus, in cooperation with public health authorities, in the coming weeks and to better protect all members of the university community.
uOttawa will partner with public health to re-evaluate the situation in mid-January and will continue to take the decisions needed to ensure a safe return to campus this winter as soon as health conditions allow.
Jacques Frémont President and Vice-Chancellor