The UBC sign is pictured at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver on April 23, 2019. The president of the University of British Columbia says the emergence of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 means classes are going back online at both its Vancouver and Okanagan campuses.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

The UBC sign is pictured at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver on April 23, 2019. The president of the University of British Columbia says the emergence of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 means classes are going back online at both its Vancouver and Okanagan campuses.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Omicron prompts University of British Columbia courses to go temporarily online

Instruction after the holiday break will be provided online until at least Jan. 24

The University of British Columbia is moving its classes temporarily online at both its Vancouver and Okanagan campuses in the new year because of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

In a statement, university president Santa Ono says campuses will remain open but instruction after the holiday break will be provided online until at least Jan. 24.

Ono says the school intends to allow in-person learning after that date, but university officials will monitor the situation and provide an update in the first week of the new year.

He says the decision allows time for faculty and staff to prepare course materials and other services.

The statement says some courses, including those with clinical or performance and studio components, will continue in-person with appropriate safety protocols in place.

The fast-spreading Omicron variant led provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry to announce new restrictions in B.C. on Tuesday, closing bars, gyms and dance studios.

—The Canadian Press

RELATED: B.C.’s largest universities move classes online amid coronavirus spread

CoronavirusUniversities and Colleges

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