This message was originally sent to students and employees by Vivek Goel, president and vice-chancellor.
- We are strengthening our safety measures against COVID-19
- Anyone coming to our campuses and locations must provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19
- Proof of vaccination is mandatory with accommodations available for medical or human rights grounds
Ensuring high rates of vaccination remains the most important way we can protect public health during the pandemic and reduce the spread of COVID-19. In recent weeks, we have progressively strengthened our own approach to health and safety on campus while we advocated for a coordinated and consistent government approach to vaccine policy.
I am pleased that the Council of Medical Officers of Health have recommended today that all post-secondary institutions in the province must require proof of vaccination against COVID-19 for people coming to campuses. This provides a consistent set of recommendations for implementation of vaccination policies across regions. I am therefore encouraged that all members of the Council of Ontario Universities have agreed to act on this recommendation.
This means that we are further strengthening the plans we announced on August 10 regarding self-declaration of vaccination status. Starting September 7, everyone in the University of Waterloo community, including visitors, must provide proof of vaccination before coming to campus.
We will send you instructions on how to submit your proof of vaccination or apply for accommodation by the end of this week. We are encouraging everyone to submit proof of vaccination as soon as possible. We recognize that some people may not yet have started or completed their vaccination process, so anyone who is not yet vaccinated must provide proof of being fully vaccinated no later than October 17, 2021 and must participate in the rapid testing program if coming to campus before that date.
We will provide accommodations for rare cases where individuals cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons or grounds protected by the Ontario Human Rights Code. Any unvaccinated individuals who are granted an accommodation and anyone not yet fully vaccinated must test negative on a rapid antigen test no more than 72 hours before coming to our campuses and buildings.
We also expect further guidance today from the government on the health and safety regulations and guidance that will be in place for the fall term. You can expect to hear more from us on this guidance and what it means for our fall plans later this week.
We are grateful for your understanding, patience and adaptability as we prepare for an important fall term ahead.
More information will be available later this week on the COVID-19 information website.
COVID-19 testing, rapid screening and vaccination is available through Campus Wellness for all University of Waterloo students, employees, postdocs and their family members.
If you are struggling with your mental health during these changing times, reach out for support through Human Resources, Occupational Health, Here247 and Wellness Together Canada. Ongoing employees can access supports through Homewood Health, the University’s Employee and Family Assistance Program partner or at 1-800-663-1142.