The following message was distributed to all Conestoga employees on December 17 on behalf of President John Tibbits.
Through the past week, we have continued to evaluate our plans for the upcoming Winter 2022 semester at Conestoga in light of the surge of new COVID-19 cases resulting from the emerging Omicron variant. This new, highly transmissible variant has altered the anticipated trajectory of the pandemic, spreading across our communities at a much faster rate than previous variants.
The safety and well-being of our college community remains Conestoga’s highest priority.
As a result, we will begin the Winter 2022 semester with a continued focus on delivering only essential learning activities and services on-campus. For the period from January 3 until January 30, 2022, students and employees will learn and work remotely where it is possible to do so.
This modification to our plans for fully re-opening campuses will provide time for employees and students who are eligible to receive the vaccine booster doses that will enhance their immunity against the new variant while also reducing the social contact that contributes to community spread of COVID-19.
Conestoga remains committed to returning to a full on-campus, in-person learning experience for all students. We plan to fully re-open campuses for in-person learning activities and delivery of services on Monday, January 31, 2022, assuming public health conditions allow.
Some important things to note:
- Academic dates for Winter 2022 will not change. Apprenticeship programs will begin Monday, January 3. Classes for most other students will begin on Monday, January 10, with some programs beginning on alternate dates as previously scheduled.
- Essential learning activities will continue to be delivered in labs, shops and studios on-campus as planned. Most other classes and services will temporarily be delivered remotely until January 31. Students will receive additional information from their program areas with details regarding course delivery plans for January.
- There will be no charge for parking on campus for the month of January.
- All students and employees are required to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 in accordance with Conestoga’s COVID Community Safety Policy, including those who will begin the semester remotely as a result of these changes to Winter 2022 plans. We will be returning to in-person activities in the near future, and need to continue our efforts to protect the safety and well-being of our college community.
- From January 3 through January 30, on-campus access will be restricted to essential learning activities and services only. Individuals accessing campus will be required to wear college-issued masks at all times and follow established infection prevention and control measures.
- We will continue to work closely with public health officials and let you know as soon as possible if these plans for the Winter 2022 semester need to change as a result of evolving conditions.
Thank you for your continued patience and understanding through these challenging times. Best wishes for a safe and happy holiday season.
John Tibbits, President