NSCC joins list of post-secondary schools to require vaccination
Faculty associations pushing for strong vaccination policies at several N.S. universities
The Nova Scotia Community College will require all students and employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 this fall or else be subject to testing and masking policies.
NSCC students and employees will have until Oct. 12 to provide proof of vaccination. Anyone who cannot or chooses not to get vaccinated will have to get tested for COVID-19 twice weekly and wear a mask on campus.
"We firmly believe a vaccinated population is a vital part of keeping us, our friends, families and communities protected from the virus and the developing, fast-moving variants," said NSCC president Don Bureaux in a statement released Tuesday.
Most post-secondary institutions in Nova Scotia are encouraging vaccination, but NSCC is only the second to announce a universal vaccine requirement.
Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax will require all students, staff and faculty to show proof of full vaccination no later than Oct. 13, or else get tested twice weekly.
Saint Mary's University in Halifax is requiring vaccination for students who live on campus or who participate in athletics programs, in addition to staff and coaches who work in athletics programs.
Several other post-secondary schools across the country have adopted vaccine requirements.
Faculty associations have been pushing for strong vaccination policies at several Nova Scotia universities, including Dalhousie University in Halifax and Cape Breton University.
The faculty association at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, N.S., is the latest to make the demand.
Association president Martin van Bommel said many staff at St. FX are worried by the spread of the Delta variant, the recent rise in case numbers in New Brunswick, and the return to full or nearly full capacity in classroom this fall.
"Some of these classrooms are in smaller rooms in older buildings with a lack of ventilation or improper ventilation, so that's where members are really concerned," said van Bommel.
St. FX administrators said last week they were not planning mandatory vaccines because they have not been deemed necessary by Public Health. But the school will continue with a masking policy, in addition to offering testing and vaccine clinics on campus.
With files from Gareth Hampshire