British Columbia

University of Victoria cancels in-person exams after spike in COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island

The University of Victoria announced Sunday it is moving its in-person exams online beginning Monday after a rise in COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island.

On-campus social events also cancelled, libraries and labs to remain open

In-person exams have been cancelled at the University of Victoria after a rise in COVID cases on Vancouver Island. (Ken Mizokoshi/CBC)

The University of Victoria announced Sunday it is moving its in-person exams online beginning Monday after a rise in COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island.

UVic said Sunday that it made the decision in consultation with the Island Health authority and following "new trends we are seeing with COVID-19 cases."

It acknowledged the announcement was "short notice" for those with exams on Monday. 

Instructors will be asked to move all assessments online or use another method so that students are not sitting together for extended periods of time. Students will be informed of alternative arrangements by their instructor directly, the school says.

Earlier in the week, the university had moved exams online for business students who were linked to two off-campus events where they were exposed to COVID-19.

 

Island Health did not declare an outbreak at the school after the off-campus events, but asked any students who attended the parties to self-monitor for symptoms.

"The increased flexibility to offer examinations online or in other formats will ensure that students can progress in their studies and meet the academic requirements of their programs," a university spokesperson said Sunday.

The Island Health authority has seen a spike in COVID-19 cases recently. It reported 127 new cases on Friday, the most of all the provincial health authorities. 

The Island also has the second-highest number of active cases per capita behind Northern Health.

UVic has said on-campus social events, including holiday parties, will now have to be cancelled or postponed indefinitely.

However, research labs, varsity athletic facilities, on-campus study spaces, and libraries will remain open with masking rules in place.

Other universities in B.C., including the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University, are continuing to have in-person exams to end the fall term.

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