Three Alberta universities have said no to mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations on their campuses, even as others across the country are making different choices.
The University of Alberta, the University of Calgary and the University of Lethbridge will require all students and faculty to undergo regular rapid testing. Those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are exempt from this requirement.
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Non-medical face masks will also have to be worn in all public indoor areas at all three universities where physical distancing is not possible.
To maximize safety for in-person teaching and learning, new policies are being implemented across @UAlberta, @UCalgary and @uLethbridge for this September, including rapid testing or vaccination, and masks: https://t.co/sz0CncAJx2 #UAlberta pic.twitter.com/TEs8PEie0o
— University of Alberta (@UAlberta) August 17, 2021
Masks will not be necessary on campus under the following circumstances:
- Working alone in private offices
- Working outdoors AND there is a minimum of 2 metres between people
- Meeting indoors and there is a minimum of 2 metres between people
- Working alone in a shared space
- Working in a cubicle with plexiglass, wall, or other approved barrier between people AND when not providing services to anyone
- In a classroom where there is a minimum of 2 metres between the instructor or among students
“A safe return to campus in the fall remains our top priority, and in a rapidly changing situation, we recognize the urgent need for additional measures within our campus communities,” said Bill Flanagan, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Alberta, in a news release.
Any individual who cannot be tested or vaccinated based on medical or other protected grounds recognized by the Alberta Human Rights Act can request an accommodation.
“These expanded measures are a direct response to shifting COVID-19 conditions. Our health, law and public policy experts have been tracking the rise of cases and emergence of the Delta variant, providing us with data-driven approaches,” added Ed McCauley, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Calgary.
The three universities will continue to require those with COVID-19 symptoms or a positive test to self-isolate.