Western University to require proof of vaccination this fall
University expands requirement to include students, staff and faculty
Western University and its affiliated colleges are requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination for students, staff and faculty who plan to be on campus this fall. Previously, the school said it required students in residence to be vaccinated with one dose.
The announcement comes after the university surveyed more than 62,000 members of its community in early August to gauge vaccination rates, with fifty per cent response rate.
It found that 90 per cent of respondents are fully vaccinated, and more than half of unvaccinated respondents plan to get their vaccines by September.
<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/COVID19?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#COVID19</a> Update: All <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WesternU?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WesternU</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/kingsatwestern?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@kingsatwestern</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/huronatwestern?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@huronatwestern</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/BresciaUC?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@BresciaUC</a> students, staff and faculty who plan to be on campus this fall will be required to demonstrate proof of vaccination. <a href="https://t.co/X60P7YXMgh">https://t.co/X60P7YXMgh</a>—@WesternU
People without proof of vaccination must be tested twice a week to remain on campus.
Students on work and clinical placements, in music programs, as well as varsity student-athletes, coaches and team staff are also required to get the vaccine.
Exemptions will be provided on grounds protected by the Ontario Human Rights Code.
"The health and safety of our community is our top priority – and it's a shared effort," said Sarah Prichard, acting provost and vice-president (academic), in a statement. "Vaccination is our clearest path to a safe campus."
Western said it continues to require masks for all indoor activities, and implements health and screening measures across campus.
"To support a safe return to campus this fall, the Middlesex-London Health Unit strongly supports all efforts to increase the uptake of COVID-19 vaccination," said Dr. Chris Mackie, the region's medical officer of health, in a letter to Western president Alan Shepard.
"This includes policies that require all members of a post-secondary community who present to campus to be either fully vaccinated for COVID-19 or participate in a serial and frequent rapid COVID-19 testing program."
Last week, the Council of Ontario Universities and Colleges called on the province to mandate vaccination of post-secondary students, faculty and staff.
Western's affiliates are Brescia University College, Huron University College and King's University College.