One of Hamilton’s major post-secondary facilities will keep its classes online until the end of the winter semester due to the uncertainty amid the recent surge in the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a note to students, Mohawk College says the school will keep the bulk of its population learning remotely until late April with exceptions for some who require hands-on learning.
“Courses that were previously identified as being entirely online for the winter semester will remain online for the duration of the semester,” president and CEO Ron McKerlie said in a release on Tuesday morning.
“This decision will allow students to plan ahead with certainty.”
McKerlie went on to say that should conditions improve, the facility may allow for some “optional campus activities.”
Large parts of Mohawk and McMaster have largely continued remote learning since the fall semester, particularly for courses in which in-person delivery is not required.
It differed from some Ontario counterparts, like London, where both Western and Fanshawe saw the bulk of students return to a normal fall semester.
The two Hamilton post-secondary entities had been eyeing a full return for students closer to February.
Public schools students in Ontario logged into virtual classrooms for the winter term last Wednesday due to the Omicron-driven wave threatening the province health system.
On Tuesday, the Ford government hinted at a return to in-person learning on Jan. 17.
In his communication to students, McKerlie said the possibility of resuming in-person activities, including athletics, would be decided by the middle of February.
Some varsity athletics training and competition are on hold until at least Jan. 21.
All students, faculty, staff and visitors attending facilities have to have proof they are fully vaccinated with some exemptions for medical conditions and those who can provide a “validated human rights ground.”
As of late 2021, more than 95 per cent of students at both Mohawk and McMaster reported proof of vaccination to administrators.
The school’s masking initiative, requiring a college-supplied mask, also continues.