UPEI makes vaccination on campus for students, staff and faculty mandatory
The unvaccinated will need to disclose vaccination status, undergo weekly testing and wear a mask
The University of Prince Edward Island is requiring that all faculty, staff and students be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Oct. 18.
The directive is being made "in light of the evolving pandemic situation and the rapid increase in the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19 in recent weeks," Alaa S. Abd-El-Aziz, president and vice-chancellor of the university, said in a statement.
"It was something that our members had been asking for and we've been advocating for them, and it's great that we've moved beyond discussing whether it's important to have such a policy," Michael Arfken, president of the UPEI Faculty Association, said.
"Our members are looking forward to getting back to campus. They want to be on campus. They want to be back in the classroom and doing what they do best and we see this as an important step towards that."
Arfken said that 85 per cent of the association's members had indicated in a survey that vaccine requirements were a priority.
"We have to go above and beyond what the minimum requirements were prior to this pandemic," he said.
People who are unvaccinated due to "medical, cultural or religious reasons" will be allowed to continue working and studying at UPEI but will need to disclose their vaccination status, undergo weekly testing and wear a mask at all times.
The statement says the university will release more information on the rules, including how to submit testing results, "in the coming days."
People who haven't been vaccinated yet are encouraged to do so in their home communities before coming to UPEI, but there will be an on-campus vaccination clinic on Sept. 10 for both first and second doses.
Abd-El-Aziz also encouraged the UPEI community to continue wearing masks and following enhanced health, safety and hygiene practices.
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With files from Kerry Campbell.