While some academic institutions in North America are only allowing those fully vaccinated back to their campuses this fall, the University of Guelph has no intention to impose any such restrictions.
“The University of Guelph has no current plans to impose a mandatory vaccination policy for those who live, study or work on campus at the University of Guelph,” said U of G’s communications officer Deirdre Healey in an email.
Healey said the decision comes after discussions with university leaders, public health officials and scientists. She said the university may reconsider its decision as circumstances and the understanding regarding vaccines evolve.
“The decision is based on the current status of certain factors including vaccine availability and scientific evidence regarding efficacy of vaccines and transmission of the virus and variants,” said Healey.
On Tuesday, Seneca College was the first academic institution in Ontario to announce that those who want to return to any of their three campuses must be vaccinated. Those who choose not to get vaccinated are asked to utilize online academic options.
“It is our understanding that the university’s decision is consistent with those of many other universities as well as government and public and private-sector organizations at the provincial and federal level,” said Healey.
U of G plans to offer face-to-face classes for 60 per cent of its courses at every level when it opens this coming fall. It also has an enrolment cap of 250 students for those in person classes and will have campus safety protocols in place as per Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health recommendations.
Healey said the university strongly encourages all those eligible to get vaccinated to get their COVID-19 vaccination. The university has vaccinated thousands of residents since it opened its COVID-19 vaccination clinic on campus in March.
“The university will continue to utilize public health guidance regarding other means to manage the virus and work to provide a safe working and living environment,” said Healey.