This message was originally sent to the UWaterloo community by Vivek Goel, President and Vice-Chancellor, James W.E. Rush, Vice-President, Academic and Provost, and Kate Windsor, Director of Safety.
Earlier this week we sent you an update about health and safety at the University for the spring term. We have previously announced that our plans to relax some of our requirements at the start of the spring term on May 1 were based on public health conditions.
We have been monitoring changes to the public health environment on our campus, in Waterloo Region, and beyond, using a variety of indicators including campus data, case counts, test positivity rates, local hospitalization and wastewater data, and consulting public health guidance.
Face covering requirement extended
Based on current trends, we have determined that it is necessary to extend our current face covering requirement until further notice. This requirement will continue through our Convocation ceremonies in June, at which point we will review public health conditions and advise of any updates.
This means that masks remain mandatory in most indoor spaces for the foreseeable future. The University has appropriate options for face coverings available at no cost to units for employees and students. Check the COVID-19 website for more information. Ongoing, in work areas not accessible to the public, employees are not required to wear a mask if physical distancing of 2m is maintained.
Wear a mask that fits well, has multiple layers, and includes an effective filter layer. Masks are worn properly only if they cover the mouth, nose and chin and fit snugly.
As we have stated previously, 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. For this reason, we continue to strongly recommend that you have a full course of vaccination, including third or fourth doses when you are eligible. You should also ensure that you have access to your proof of vaccination and QR code if you have been vaccinated in a region that provides one.
We will provide information on how to keep your vaccination records up to date with the University before May 1 to help minimize any disruption to work and learning if we need to bring back a proof of vaccination requirement.
More information is available online on the COVID-19 Information website.
We understand that these changes in guidance can be stressful, but they are necessary. Thank you yet again for everything you are all doing to keep one another safe. Please follow the links embedded above for more information, and send any questions you may have to firstname.lastname@example.org.