On August 9, the following email was shared with graduate students
To: All employees and students
From: James W. E. Rush, vice-president, academic & provost
Date: Monday, August 9, 2021
Subject: Self-declaration of vaccination required for campus access
- Starting September 1, you will need to anonymously self-declare your vaccination status to come to campus
- We are supporting advocacy efforts calling for a provincial order for mandatory vaccination in the sector
Throughout the pandemic, we have kept measures in place to try to limit the spread of the virus and to protect your health when you have needed to come to campus. As we get closer to September, we are continuing to look for ways we can promote safety and do our part to mitigate a fourth wave of COVID-19.
Ensuring high rates of vaccination remains one of the most important ways we can protect public health. Last week, the Council of Ontario Universities wrote to the provincial government calling for mandatory vaccination and validation of vaccination status or negative test results for anyone studying or working at post-secondary institutions this fall. We support these calls.
Ensuring there is a coordinated and consistent government approach to vaccine policy, that does not leave it to individual groups, businesses and institutions is essential to avoid public confusion and concern.
We will continue to monitor developments on mandatory vaccination and keep you informed.
Starting in September, you will be required to self-declare your vaccine status to come to campus
We will require anyone who comes to campus to self-declare their vaccine status. We will use this anonymous data in aggregate to plan and adapt Health and Safety approaches for the Fall 2021 term.
This step is important as we continue to find ways to create safe spaces for working and learning. Our plans will remain flexible as we assess the ever-changing risks presented by COVID-19 and as public health and government guidance also change over time.
Starting September 1, Campus Check-In will ask you to declare whether you have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. If you answer “yes”, you must have been fully vaccinated for at least 14 days.
If you respond “no” or “prefer not to say,” we will provide you with information about vaccination, booking appointments and other public health measures. We will also direct you to the rapid antigen screening program and you will be expected to participate in screening twice a week. You must continue to have a negative test result to come to campus. We will ensure that anyone who tests positive confirms the result with a PCR test at the Health Services COVID-19 Testing Assessment Centre and must self-isolate as directed by health practitioners.
Our team of medical professionals in Health Services will also monitor Campus Check-in for individuals who fail the daily screening questionnaire. Anyone who fails the screening will receive private health consultation on safe actions to take.
You can expect to see more information on this self-declaration program and other related topics on the COVID-19 information website in the coming weeks.
The Health Services COVID-19 Testing Assessment Centre is open to University of Waterloo students, employees, postdocs and their family members.
Change is difficult and can create stresses on individuals. If you are suffering or need to talk, you can contact the Employee and Family Assistance Program provided by Homewood Health at 1-800-663-1142.