University of Victoria no longer holding exams in person amid two COVID-19 clusters

University of Victoria no longer holding exams in person amid two COVID-19 clusters
Photo courtesy Twitter/UVic

The University of Victoria (UVic) will not be holding exams in person as of Monday in response to rising COVID-19 cases and two clusters at the post-secondary institution.

“To reduce the frequency and number of students sitting together for extended periods of time in examination gyms and rooms, we will not be holding further in-person exams and we are asking instructors to offer their assessments online or in another format,” reads the notice posted on the university’s website.

UVic says it has made this decision in consultation with Island Health, after an increase in COVID-19 cases at the school.

Island Health’s chief medical health officer, Dr. Richard Stanwick, confirmed there were about 30 cases as of Friday, related to two off-campus social gatherings.

READ MORE: UVic moves some students’ exams online after spike in COVID-19 cases linked to off-campus social gatherings

The spike in cases has not been designated as an “outbreak,” according to Stanwick, but two “clusters” — one for each party.

“We, at the direction of BCCDC, reserve the term outbreak for situations which often can be contained [when] we can put measures in place, because that can stop spread within that specific locale,” Stanwick said on Friday.

“That this occurred in something where people came together and then went back to their respective dwellings and residences, we would then treat it [and] define it as a cluster.”

Stanwick added that additional individuals had come forward for testing, as of Friday.

In the updated post to its website, UVic says students will be contacted by instructors through Brightspace or email to communicate how their exams have changed.

On-campus, in-person social events including holiday parties for staff and students must be cancelled, according to the university.

“Students are reminded not to come to campus for any reason if they feel unwell or if they are an identified close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19,” the notice reads. “Timely academic consideration will be granted in these instances through the request for academic concession.”

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Jasmine BalaJasmine Bala

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