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Redeemer University officials are monitoring the coronavirus situation. We are in contact with local public health officials and we continue to heed the advice of local, provincial and national health organizations to ensure the safety of the campus community.

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January 20, 2022

Full Return on January 31, 2022

After reviewing the government of Ontario plan to ease public health measures released today, the time-limited option for the first two weeks (Jan 10-21) of term will be extended for one more week. To maintain flexibility when there is still a high degree of absenteeism, all faculty and students have the option to be in person or remote next week. Redeemer plans for a full return on Monday, January 31. On that date, all faculty will return to in-person instruction and students will be required to attend according to the mode of delivery they selected in December. 

Ontario will begin easing COVID-19 public health restrictions on January 31 and this will have an impact on social gatherings, events, food services, athletics and more at Redeemer. The COVID Management Committee (CMC) will review the regulations and communicate the details for all of those areas next week. 

Redeemer asks that everyone continue to follow all the COVID-19 health protocols, including filling out the Health Check form. These layers of protection help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on campus, which minimizes the disruption for everyone.

Redeemer is no longer reporting cases and outbreaks (two or more related cases) due to the lack of access to PCR tests to confirm symptomatic cases. Public health guidance directs individuals to screen and isolate themselves if they have symptoms, along with their household. This protocol continues to be communicated to the Redeemer community during the screening process by the health check form and Campus Care Nurse and is being followed in the residences.

January 5, 2022

Winter Term Details

Context and Rationale

Since communicating on January 3rd about a return to campus in the week ahead, Redeemer received specific guidance from the Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU) that states that no changes are required regarding in-person learning and class sizes from what was laid out last December. Institutions are free to operate fully in person with no limits or distancing while implementing some new measures regarding social/event gatherings. It was recommended that institutions consider additional changes to operations where appropriate that would help mitigate the fast spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.  

In December, Redeemer decided to keep distancing in the classrooms because there was space to do so and this would maintain a helpful layer of protection in the classroom. Redeemer’s investment in dual-delivery technology means that every class is outfitted to manage both in person and online participation at the same time so that instruction could continue, regardless of circumstances. Both of these critical elements provide Redeemer with a unique flexibility to maximize relational learning while following public health regulations.

The Covid Management Committee considered a wide range of options including full return, remote learning only or delaying the start of term. Seeking to avoid a cancellation of reading break and/or extending the term, weighing the mental health concerns of remote-only learning and awareness of the prospect of potentially high absenteeism among students and faculty due to new isolation requirements led the university to a hybrid approach.

Classroom Instruction

Redeemer will continue with plans for residence move-in beginning on January 8 and for classes to begin on January 10, but everyone – students and faculty – will have the option to participate in class in person or remotely for the first two weeks of the term, as needed for their individual situations. This is a time-limited option for the first two weeks (Jan 10-21) that is tied to the re-opening of elementary and secondary schools and the relaxation of other short term restrictions. Redeemer will continue to monitor developments in the province and will communicate in the second week about what comes after. In the meantime students may choose which method to participate in their courses, either in person or remotely, without the requirement to choose a delivery method formally or to communicate their choice.

This plan for instruction means that for a time, some classrooms will have students in person with a faculty member teaching remotely, or there may be in-person classes with more students online than physically present. In the end, the dual-delivery model will be fully utilized, allowing Redeemer to operate safely within government regulations while providing the most flexibility for everyone and the least disruption to the term. 

Testing, Isolation and Vaccine Policy

Requirements for testing and isolation have seen significant changes since the Fall term. The most significant changes are that the majority of students and employees will no longer qualify for a PCR test to confirm a diagnosis of COVID-19 and that close contacts must isolate regardless of symptoms or vaccine status (though for differing lengths of time). Rapid tests will not be available beyond mandated use (vaccine policy, OCAA provisions) either. Any individual who is unwell and is displaying symptoms of COVID-19 should assume positive COVID-19 status and must follow the detailed instructions and scenarios provided by Public Health

Campus Life 

There are several changes to campus life activities. A more comprehensive overview of campus regulations can be found on the Redeemer App. 

  • Masking, distancing and daily Health-check Form submission are still required.
  • Chapel remains at 50% capacity but is restricted to students only
  • All services on campus will resume regular operations. Food is for takeout only.
  • Social gatherings (casual) are limited to 5 indoors and 10 outdoors with appropriate physical distancing.
  • Student activities (clubs, events, meetings, etc) must be virtual. 
  • Varsity athletics will continue when the OCAA resumes activities; intramurals will be temporarily postponed.
  • The athletic centre and Student Recreation Centre will be closed.
  • The campus remains closed to the general public and the visitor policy remains in place. 

Residence Life 

Residences are not classified as high-risk settings and will be open as scheduled on January 8. 

  • Visiting a dorm that is not your own is prohibited. No visitors allowed. 
  • No overnight stays from members of another household or guest.
  • Laundry facilities are available for isolating students by appointment.

Remote Work

Faculty and staff should maximize remote work unless their regular duties required by Redeemer can only be performed on site. 

January 3, 2022

Winter Term Plans

Redeemer’s Covid Management Committee (CMC) met today, shortly after Ontario’s announcement to move temporarily to a modified step two of the Roadmap to Reopen. At this time, there is no specific information for higher education. 

Prior to the holiday break, Redeemer communicated its plans to move forward with in-person learning, continuing with dual-delivery, physical distancing and classroom capacity limits for the Winter term. Along with new spaces on campus, Redeemer is able to maintain the layers of protection that have allowed us to operate safely throughout the pandemic. 

Reviewing the regulations for universities from the original step two (last spring/summer), as well as updated regulations for indoor/outdoor gathering and isolation requirements, it is clear that it is safe and reasonable for students to return to residences beginning January 8 and to commence classes on January 10, as planned. At the same time, there will be significant changes to campus life activities and CMC is preparing for various potential learning scenarios such as smaller class cap sizes, greater distancing requirements or mandated remote-only learning. Redeemer will continue to follow all regulations and will communicate as quickly as possible if/when new information is received. 

There are still many details related to campus life, athletics, residences, food services, and more to be worked out and a lot of preparation so that Redeemer can pivot quickly if things change. CMC asks for your prayers and patience and plans to provide more information late tomorrow or early on January 5th.

December 17, 2021

Exams Online and Winter Term Plans

Beginning on Monday, December 20, almost all remaining exams will take place remotely. Individual instructors may contact their class if an in-person exam is still an option for a particular course.

Redeemer continues to follow all Public Health regulations. In recent weeks, Redeemer decided to continue with physical distancing and classroom capacity limits for the Winter term. Classes return on January 10 and dual-delivery instruction will continue allowing both in-person and remote learning. Redeemer recognizes that some larger institutions, which are unable to maintain physical distancing and classroom capacity limits for in-person learning, have temporarily reverted to remote-only learning. Thanks to new spaces in the Charis Centre and the ability to maximize instructional space through use of the newly renovated Auditorium, Redeemer is able to maintain the layers of protection that have allowed us to operate safely throughout the pandemic. 

As exams wrap up, COVID-19 cases are rising rapidly across the province and the context can change quickly. Hamilton Public Health has provided new interim isolation guidelines related to the Omicron variant. For anyone who is a close contact of a confirmed case, there may be a requirement to isolate for 10 days, regardless of vaccination status.

With residences closing on December 22 at 5 p.m., students are encouraged to think ahead and consider the implications of testing positive or becoming a close contact of a positive case and how that may impact travel (especially flights) and other holiday plans.

 

December 10, 2021

Confirmed COVID-19 Cases at Redeemer

The university has received notification of 3 positive cases of COVID-19 involving students living in 3 campus residences. At this time, there is no severe illness. All dormmates and close contacts have been tested and the affected students are currently isolating off campus. Redeemer is praying for healing and patience as they continue their studies during isolation and recovery. 

The students who tested positive were last in the academic building on December 6. The campus continues to be cleaned thoroughly and all operations will continue as scheduled. Any contact tracing required will be managed by public health authorities and is supported by the Campus Care Nurse at Redeemer.

Redeemer will move to at-home testing for the winter term. By using a third party provider experienced in administering remote testing, Redeemer will be able to ensure test reminders, alerts, and tracking while providing convenience and increased privacy for individuals. 

As the term winds down and many prepare to return home for the Christmas break, Redeemer urges everyone to remain vigilant with protocols and recommends further limiting unnecessary gathering indoors. Let’s all work together to limit the disruption to the end of term and holiday plans. 

Redeemer is reporting outbreaks (two or more related cases) instead of individual cases and may also communicate when there are multiple unrelated cases at the same time. Contact tracing will be completed by public health. The Campus Care Nurse supports that effort and will continue to communicate directly with anyone who is a close contact to a confirmed case.

September 28, 2021

Confirmed COVID-19 Cases at Redeemer

The university has received notification of 8 positive cases of COVID-19 involving students living in 4 campus residences. All dormmates have been tested and the affected students are currently isolating. Redeemer is praying for healing and patience as they continue their studies during isolation and recovery. 

The students who tested positive were last in the academic building on September 27. The campus continues to be cleaned thoroughly and all operations will continue as scheduled. Any contact tracing required will be managed by public health authorities and is supported by the Campus Care Nurse at Redeemer.

Through contact tracing, it is clear that the spread of COVID-19 is occurring entirely through dorm-to-dorm social contact. There is no evidence that transmission is occurring in the academic building or outdoors. Therefore, as a temporary measure to mitigate the spread, visiting in dorms will be prohibited until October 18. Until then, students may only enter the dorm that they live in. Outdoor gathering is permitted within gathering size limits and while maintaining physical distancing. Everyone is encouraged to make the most of the beautiful fall weather through outdoor activities. 

A mobile vaccination clinic is coming to campus on October 14. By following all COVID-19 health protocols, including filling out the Health Check form, Redeemer continues to keep in place the layers of protection that will mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on campus.

Redeemer is reporting outbreaks (two or more related cases) instead of individual cases and may also communicate when there are multiple unrelated cases at the same time. Contact tracing will be completed by public health. The Campus Care Nurse supports that effort and will continue to communicate directly with anyone who is a close contact to a confirmed case.

September 21, 2021

Confirmed COVID-19 Cases at Redeemer

The university has received notification of 2 positive cases of COVID-19 involving students living in a campus residence together. The students are currently isolating. All other roommates have received negative tests. At this time, there is no severe illness for any of the students and we are praying for a speedy and complete recovery as well as strength and patience during isolation. 

The affected students were last in the academic building on September 20. The campus continues to be cleaned thoroughly and all operations will continue as scheduled. Any contact tracing required will be managed by public health authorities and is supported by the Campus Care Nurse at Redeemer.

By following all COVID-19 health protocols, including filling out the Health Check form, Redeemer continues to keep in place the layers of protection that will mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on campus.

Redeemer is reporting outbreaks (two or more related cases) instead of individual cases and may also communicate when there are multiple unrelated cases at the same time. Contact tracing will be completed by public health. The Campus Care Nurse supports that effort and will continue to communicate directly with anyone who is a close contact to a confirmed case.

September 18, 2021

Confirmed COVID-19 Cases at Redeemer

The university has received notification of 3 positive cases of COVID-19 involving students living in a campus residence together. The students are currently isolating. All other roommates have received negative tests. At this time, there is no severe illness for any of the students and we are praying for a speedy and complete recovery as well as strength and patience during isolation. 

The affected students were last in the academic building on September 17. The campus continues to be cleaned thoroughly and all operations will continue as scheduled. Any contact tracing required will be managed by public health authorities and is supported by the Campus Care Nurse at Redeemer.

By following all COVID-19 health protocols, including filling out the Health Check form, Redeemer continues to keep in place the layers of protection that will mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on campus.

Redeemer is reporting outbreaks (two or more related cases) instead of individual cases and may also communicate when there are multiple unrelated cases at the same time. Contact tracing will be completed by public health. The Campus Care Nurse supports that effort and will continue to communicate directly with anyone who is a close contact to a confirmed case.

September 2, 2021

Updates to Vaccination Policy and Instructions for Students and Employees

On the evening of Tuesday August 31, Redeemer received direction from the province with respect to the vaccine policy that post secondary institutions must have in order to open this September in Step 3 of Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopen.

Information has now been published on the Redeemer App on how to provide proof of full vaccination or medical exemption, as well as how to take the education module (once) on Discovery for students and employees who are unable to provide proof. Furthermore, the direction received from the Ministry of College and Universities (MCU) has now set the appropriate frequency of rapid testing as once per week. The vaccine policy and instructions have been updated to reflect this and more information about free testing on campus will be communicated soon. 

All the requirements of the vaccine policy take effect on September 13, 2021 but students and employees are encouraged to provide proof or complete the education module ahead of time.

August 27, 2021

Step 3 Adjustments and Vaccine Policy

Last week, the government of Ontario announced that the province would remain in step 3 of its Roadmap to Reopen and that vaccine policies were required for high-risk settings, including post-secondary institutions.

In step 3, Redeemer is able to continue with its plan for a full return to campus with some adjustments to classroom spaces to allow for physical distancing. Some rearrangement of the schedule is also required and being implemented immediately. 

Residence and campus life will continue as planned and has been previously communicated. Redeemer is subject to Ontario’s step 3 regulations in terms of gathering sizes, with masks and physical distancing required in the academic building. The campus remains closed to the public and only authorized visitors are allowed in accordance with the visitors policy.

Since the announcement, the Covid Management Committee (CMC) has been working on the requirement to implement a vaccine policy. After careful thought and much deliberation, the CMC has approved an interim vaccine policy. This policy is designed to show love and care for the whole Redeemer community. As created and embodied beings, teaching, learning, and serving is richest in person. To this end, the policy seeks to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19 on campus by requiring that all faculty, staff, students, and visitors coming to campus provide proof of full vaccination or complete a COVID-19 education module along with receiving regular rapid antigen tests. 

The requirements of the policy take effect the first full week of classes, on Monday, September 13. Rapid antigen testing will be available at Redeemer for residence and commuter students, as well as faculty and staff. Tests will be valid for 72 hours. Details on providing proof of full vaccination, the education module, and testing times and locations will be provided next week. 

Additional information about vaccines, including benefits and risks have been published in a Q&A format on Redeemer’s website with many helpful links to information sources.

August 18, 2021

Ontario Pauses Reopening; Requires Vaccine Policies

Redeemer is continuing to move forward with a full return to learning and campus life in September while taking into account that Ontario is “pausing the province’s exit from the Roadmap to Reopen” that would loosen most remaining restrictions. Therefore, while taking into account previous guidance from the Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU), it appears that Redeemer will start the year in stage 3 with exceptions to regulations for classroom teaching only.

There will be limits and distancing in the academic building. Here are some of the key protocols and implications:

  • Whether in stage 3 or not, masks are mandatory indoors unless alone in a private office or in residences.
  • Social gatherings (casual) are limited to 25 indoors and 100 outdoors
  • Event gatherings (clubs, committees, meetings etc.) are limited to 50% capacity with distancing indoors and 75% of space or 5000 people outdoors. 
  • Chapel is a religious gathering with a capacity limited to what is allowed while following distancing rules. 
  • The Library, 21Five, Refresh, The Market and Tim Hortons will resume regular operations.
  • All other food services, including refreshments, must be served in the Dining Hall and EDR. No classroom or meeting room food services will be provided. (Please contact Campus Services for details about a specific meeting or event)
  • The campus remains closed to the general public and the visitor policy remains in place. 
  • Varsity sports will continue as planned; the athletic centre will be open.
  • Students may visit other residences while in stage 3.

June 16, 2021

Looking Forward to Fall 2021

Following the recent announcement of Ontario’s reopening plan, Redeemer is increasingly confident that we will be able to safely offer many on-campus activities this fall. While it’s too early to define what specific restrictions may still be required, as more Ontarians are vaccinated and COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to decrease, September is beginning to look like a return to normal. Chapel, clubs, launch weekend, sports, events, internships and many more activities are likely to resume in a way similar to their pre-covid formats.

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