McGill, News

Tribune Explains: Winter 2022 exams amid sixth wave of COVID-19

McGill’s Winter 2022 final exams will take place in a hybrid format from April 13 to 29, amid increasing COVID-19 cases and waning restrictions. Experts say that Quebec is officially in a sixth wave fuelled by the highly contagious BA.2 subvariant, a trend evident in McGill’s rising case numbers. At the same time, Quebec is standing by its plan to end restrictions and begin “living with the virus.” McGill, for its part, has rolled back measures like the vaccine passport and strict isolation for those who test positive in residences. The McGill Tribune looked into the updated exam procedures that students can expect for Winter 2022 exams.

What are the distancing and masking guidelines for exam rooms?

Students are required to wear masks for the entirety of their exams. According to Frédérique Mazerolle, McGill media relations officer, “Ventilation in exam rooms has been verified based on room capacities. In some cases, rooms are at reduced capacity based on ventilation assessments.” Mazerolle emphasized that members of the McGill community can feel safe writing in-person final exams due to these ventilation measures, as well as McGill’s over 96 per cent vaccination rate, as of April 2022. 

What should students do if they test positive for COVID-19 before an exam?

Just like the Fall 2021 semester, students are directed to fill out the COVID-19 accommodation form and isolate for the required five-day period if they test positive. Those who test positive may not attend in-person exams, and should seek alternate accommodations including deferred exams or supplemental exams when necessary. Students should also report any COVID-19 cases to McGill’s Case Management Group.

What are the accommodations available to students who cannot attend an in-person exam?

Those who cannot go to in-person exams, for any reason, are encouraged to email their instructors to explain their situation as soon as possible. Students can also apply for deferred exams, approvals for which are not always guaranteed and are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. While the university continues to offer accommodations for health-related issues, according to the dean of students, online exams will not be offered as an alternative to in-person exams when students are unable to attend, so students should plan to be in Montreal for any in-person exams.  

Are accommodations available for students with ongoing health issues?

According to Robin Beech, McGill’s dean of students, students with ongoing health issues are expected to have already completed the COVID-19 Academic Accommodations Request Form on Minerva, and to have sent the relevant medical documentation to the Office of Students with Disabilities. For immunocompromised students who have not yet filled out the accommodations form, it is recommended to contact the Office of the Dean of Students as soon as possible.

Mazerolle maintained that McGill has learned to quickly adapt to the changing circumstances of the pandemic, and that the health and well-being of the community remain the university’s top priorities.

The dean of students, Robin Beech, encourages students with questions regarding final exams or COVID-19 procedures to reach out to his office at [email protected]. Additionally, students should report their COVID-19 cases directly to McGill’s Case Management Group at 514-398-2920.

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