Effective May 1, 2022, our proof of vaccination requirement has been suspended.
Messaging to the public from health authorities throughout the pandemic has been consistent: vaccination offers the best protection against the worst effects of COVID-19 and its variants and is the most important way to protect public health.
Waterloo will continue to monitor and respond to new information, including government and public health directives, advice, and guidance, and information received from public health experts. Waterloo will also continue to consult with other universities and stakeholders in the University of Waterloo community. Any decision to reinstate the proof of vaccination requirement will be guided by relevant information, consultation, and Waterloo’s obligations noted above. In order to minimize operational disruptions, decisions will generally be made on a term-by-term basis, and the University will endeavour to make decisions as far in advance of the start of term as is reasonably possible.
The University is committed to the prevention of illness and injury and strives to provide a safe work and study environment for its employees, students, and visitors.
September 7, 2021 to February 28, 2022
The Chief Medical Officer of Health for Ontario (OCMOH) forecast on August 17, 2021, that mandatory vaccination policies would be required for post-secondary institutions. Subsequently, on August 24, 2021, the Council of Ontario Medical Officers of Health (COMOH) issued a letter to all college and university presidents recommending that they require full COVID-19 vaccination for all individuals involved in any in-person activities on campus.
On August 30, 2021, the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health of Ontario issued instructions to post-secondary institutions requiring them to establish mandatory COVID-19 policies. The requirements were enforceable under subsection 2(2.1) of Schedule 1 and Schedule 4 of O. Reg. 364/20 under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020.
Acting on the advice from OCMOH, COMOH and in anticipation of the requirements and its obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, the University informed Waterloo’s students and employees on August 24, 2021, and reiterated in a second memo on August 27, 2021, that it would require individuals to submit proof of vaccination to return to campus in the Fall 2021 term.
March 1, 2022 to April 30, 2022
On March 1, 2022, the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health of Ontario (OCMOH) revoked instructions to universities that required the development of vaccination policies. In a letter to the Ministry of Colleges and Universities, OCMOH recognized and expressed wholehearted support for institutions that wish to retain existing proof of vaccination policies for “the remainder of the academic term and ongoing as part of overall health and safety requirements.”
In accordance with our policies set out above, Waterloo’s proof of vaccination requirement will remain in effect until at least the end of the Winter term, as indicated in the communication from Vivek Goel, President and Vice-Chancellor and James W. E. Rush, Vice-President Academic and Provost, on February 14, 2022. This approach is consistent with the approach at all other Ontario universities and will serve to minimize uncertainty and disruption to students, staff, faculty and the broader University community.
May 1, 2022 to present day
We suspended our proof of vaccination requirements for entry to campus, effective May 1.