This update is provided for archival purposes only.

Public Health guidance and University of Waterloo operations may have changed. For the most up-to-date information, please visit our COVID-19 frequently asked questions.

Vaccination now required to live in residences

Thursday, July 22, 2021

This message was originally sent to employees and graduate students by Vivek Goel, president and vice-chancellor.

  • We will require students living in our residences during the 2021-2022 academic year to be vaccinated against COVID-19 
  • We are making changes to residence requirements based on new guidance issued this week from Region of Waterloo Medical Officer of Health 

At Waterloo, we are working with our local public health team to make sure our plans for the fall continue to support your physical and mental health, while ensuring that we can expand in-person experiences for everyone.

Earlier this week, we received new advice from the Medical Officer of Health for the Region of Waterloo that strongly recommends a change to our plans for students living in our residences. This means that students who want to live in our residences this academic year must be vaccinated against COVID-19.

We are asking students in residence to aim to be fully vaccinated with both doses before their move-in date and provide us with proof of vaccination. Recognizing that this timing may be challenging for some residents to meet, the minimum requirement is that residents should ensure that they have received their first dose of a Health Canada approved vaccine before they move in. These students must also get a second dose of an approved vaccine as soon as possible within the recommended time period and provide proof that they have done so by November 1, 2021.

Residents who can’t get a vaccine due to medical reasons or other grounds protected under the Ontario Human Rights Code will be able to submit a request for accommodation. We’re sending more information to students who want to live in residences today.

Getting vaccinated protects you and protects our community

We need to make this change as we know that people who live in congregate living spaces face unique risks for transmission of COVID-19. The Delta variant has had a significant effect on our region and we know that during recent weeks, overall case volumes have been highest among those age 20-29 years. Making sure that students who live in residences have very high rates of vaccination helps protect them and our whole community.

In fact, getting vaccinated is one of the main ways we can all protect ourselves. Even though we don’t require a vaccine to come to our campuses, I urge you to get your first or second dose as soon as possible.  Health Services is offering COVID-19 vaccines to everyone on campus. You can call 519-888-4096 to make an appointment.

We’re providing more information as well as questions to many of your questions about this change on the COVID-19 information website. Please continue to check there often for the most up-to-date information about our plans. 

Join the President’s Forum to learn more 

When:  Tuesday, July 27, 2021, 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.  

Where:  Hopin  

Everyone is welcome to join online. You can ask a question as part of registration or send your questions to