A message from Vivek Goel, President and Vice-Chancellor and James W.E. Rush, Vice-President, Academic & Provost.
In two weeks’ time we will begin a new academic year, welcoming new and returning students to our campuses. Over the summer we’ve kept up-to-date with the latest data from Ontario’s Science Table on COVID-19 and with colleagues in public health to inform our plans for the health and safety of our campuses this Fall.
The University continues to track the evidence very closely. Any decisions we make about our operations will continue to be based on that evidence, and the science that supports it. We also rely on direction and advice from the government, local public health units, other universities and our own campus experts to develop our COVID-19 response plans.
This Fall promises to be as unpredictable as any other point in this pandemic. So as always, we may need to change course and we’ll continue to let you know if our plans change by email and on the COVID-19 information website.
Here's what you need to know.
Stay up to date with vaccinations
Experts agree that staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations is the most important way to keep you and others safe; vaccination offers the best protection against severe illness, hospitalization and death. You can book your booster dose on the provincial vaccination portal or by booking with Health Services.
We are a mask-friendly campus
We continue to strongly encourage you to think of the people around you and help limit the spread of COVID by wearing a mask.
Wearing a mask is an easy way to protect yourself and the people around you against most airborne diseases. When you are in close contact with others, we strongly encourage you to consider wearing a tight-fitting, multi-layer mask. A medical-style mask is best.
We’ll continue to make masks available for pick up on campus. You can check the COVID-19 information website for more information on mask pick up. We are confident that everyone in the Waterloo community will continue to do what is necessary to stay safe and to protect each other. Most of all, we ask you to respect people’s choices and work together to make our campuses inviting and friendly.
To be sure, we will not hesitate to bring back a requirement to wear masks if the situation requires it at any point during the term.
If you are sick, stay away
Another way to care for the people around you and limit the spread of disease is to stay away if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or think you were exposed to the virus. Ontario public health requirements still require you to do the Ontario self-assessment to get advice on what to do and whether you should stay home if you have any symptoms.
If you have symptoms and you want to access rapid antigen tests, many local grocery stores and pharmacies have them available for free. Routine testing with rapid antigen tests is not recommended for anyone without symptoms. We have a limited supply of Rapid Antigen Tests available on campus and we will share information on how to access these tests on the COVID-19 information website in the coming weeks.
If you’re a student who needs to miss classes you can self-declare your absence in Quest to let your instructors know what is going on. If you’re an employee, talk to your supervisor about arrangements for work if you need to isolate, and remember to log sick time in WorkDay.
As always, we’ll keep the COVID-19 information website up to date with information. Please continue to check the site often throughout the term.