UW to require proof of vaccination status for fall 2021 As of Sept. 7, those who wish to come to campus will have to show proof of their vaccination status or get tested regularly

Graphic by Gina Hsu

Students, faculty, staff and visitors to the University of Waterloo’s campus will be required to provide proof of their vaccination status beginning Sept. 7.

In a memo sent to students and employees on Aug. 24, UW president and vice-chancellor Vivek Goel said the Council of Medical Officers of Health recommended that all post-secondary institutions in the province require proof of vaccination against COVID-19 for people coming to campuses. 

“This provides a consistent set of recommendations for implementation of vaccination policies across regions. I am therefore encouraged that all members of the Council of Ontario Universities have agreed to act on this recommendation,” Goel said.

In the email, Goel also said the university will be sending instructions on how campus visitors can submit their proof of vaccination or apply for accommodation in the days following the announcement. 

According to the email, anyone who is not vaccinated must provide proof of being fully vaccinated no later than Oct. 17. If those who are not fully vaccinated choose to come to campus before Oct. 17 or before they are fully immunized, they must have a negative rapid antigen test result no more than 72 hours before coming to campus.

The university will also provide accommodations for individuals who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons or grounds protected by the Ontario Human Rights Code. However, the email does not disclose these grounds of exemption.

This announcement follows the university’s previous plans to require that all students, faculty, staff and visitors to campus self-declare their vaccination status, which was expected to begin on Sept. 1. Students living in residence are also required to be vaccinated.

In an email to Imprint, UW spokesperson Pamela Smyth said the self-declaration process will be replaced by the proof of vaccination status requirement.

Smyth also mentioned that students, faculty staff and visitors to campus can begin submitting their proof of vaccination status before the Sept. 7 implementation date.