Canadian Mennonite University will begin its winter term with two weeks of online classes, and will require that its students, teachers and other staff Receive a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible.
The Winnipeg-based postsecondary institution announced the new COVID-19 protocols for its 2022 winter term in a press release Thursday afternoon.
The university aims to resume face-to-face classes on January 24, after a two-week remote learning start for the winter term, which begins on January 10.
The changes come in the wake of significant jumps in the number of COVID-19 cases in Manitoba this week, including 556 new cases reported Thursday. Provincial officials estimate that up to one-third of all new cases in Manitoba are now caused by the highly communicable variant of the Omicron coronavirus.
CMU plans to host a third dose vaccine clinic on its Shaftesbury campus on January 10. Registration for the clinic will begin on January 5, the university said.
Additionally, all CMU students, staff, and faculty will be required to participate in a rapid testing program twice a week once in-person learning resumes.
Once back on campus, the university will require that all faculty, staff, and students wear three-layer surgical masks, N95 or KN95, or that they wear a drape over a two-layer mask.
Red River College Polytechnic announced a similar mask policy on December 17.
The Universities of Manitoba and Winnipeg have also said that their winter terms will begin with distance learning. They have said that they do not expect face-to-face classes to resume until at least February.
The Université de Saint-Boniface also announced this week that its winter term classes will return to remote learning until February 18.
The laboratories of the Faculty of Sciences of the USB will continue to be offered in person, as well as the activities and laboratory simulations of nursing and health studies.
Brandon institutions make changes
Assiniboine Community College and Brandon University are also returning to remote learning in different capacities.
BU announced Thursday that it will delay the start of the winter term by one week, from January 5 to 12, and most classes will be taught online until the end of January.
The The institution's senate voted on that measure to give students and teachers "additional time to prepare for a temporary switch to online instruction," a BU news release said.
Some of the required classroom instruction, determined by the deans in consultation with faculty, will continue on the BU campus. Strict COVID-19 precautions will be followed, including mandatory proof of vaccination, mandatory masking, physical distancing, and enhanced disinfection.
In an email to CBC News, an ACC spokesperson said the school has moved some of its programs to partial or full distance learning from January 5-14.
However, instruction for some programs at the beginning of the winter term will continue to be fully face-to-face, Assiniboine said.