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Coronavirus: Western University delays return to in-person classes until Feb. 21

Students walk across campus at Western University in London, Ont., Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Robins

Western University has announced that in-person classes originally scheduled to resume at the end of January will be delayed until late February because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The university released a statement Friday saying in-person class will be delayed until Feb. 21 due to an increase in COVID-19 cases throughout the province and a continued provincewide lockdown.

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“After consultation with numerous campus leaders, and out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to delay in-person instruction to Feb. 21, following Reading Week,” the statement from Alan Shepard, president of Western University, said.

Read more: ‘As fresh as yesterday’: remembering the Western University students killed in Iran plane crash

There are some clinical learning programs in health sciences and medicine as well as a small number of approved non-health related programs that will begin in-person sessions on Monday.

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Shepard said the announcement will not impact the beginning of virtual classes already set to begin on Jan. 11.

The university is also staggering the return of students to residences, only allowing a small number of those with pre-arranged travel and personal circumstances to come back.

Western’s president said all other students will receive information in the coming days about pushing their return to a time in February.

Throughout the provincewide shutdown, research activities, access to campus for employees and campus services will continue, with restrictions in place.

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