Fanshawe College mandates COVID-19 vaccinations for students in residence

Fanshawe College has joined Western University is making at least a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for students who want to live in residence.

Western University issued the same requirement last week

Fanshawe College says students living in residence come September will be required to show proof of having at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccination.

The mandate comes one week after Western University issues the same requirement for their main campus, along with Brescia, Huron and King's University Colleges.

Students who wish to live in residence at Fanshawe will also be expected to get a second dose of a vaccine within the province's recommended timeframe.

"Providing an enriched residence living experience is a top priority for the Fanshawe Residence experience this fall, and that requires measures to protect ourselves and our student community to the fullest extent we can," said David Norwood, the director of residence operations at Fanshawe in a statement.

"Health officials have told us that vaccines are the best way to provide an environment for that to happen."

Fanshawe offers three traditional student residence buildings on campus with capacity for 1,220 students. There are also 66 townhouse accommodations nearby that can house another 396 students.

During a media briefing Thursday afternoon, London's medical officer of health, Dr. Chris Mackie, expressed thanks to the college for deciding to mandate vaccinations in residences.

"You'll really, certainly, prevent cases and likely outbreaks from occurring in the future by doing that," said Dr. Mackie.

"As someone with children, I think probably most or all parents want their children to be learning in environments that are safe and, certainly, living in an environment that's safer, and the vaccination really helps to get to that."

Students who are partially or fully vaccinated two weeks before they arrive on campus will be allowed to use lounges, common spaces and engage in in-person social activities. Those who are not will have to adhere to forthcoming guidelines until they are vaccinated.

International students who are not able to get a vaccine will be assisted by the college when they arrive. Students who have medical or other accommodations may request an exemption.

Fanshawe says they strongly encourage all students, faculty and staff to get vaccinated, though they are not mandatory for in-person classes, labs or other services.

More information can be found on Fanshawe College's website.