Island universities want to know the vaccination status of students and staff

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The University of Victoria and Royal Roads University are asking all students and employees to declare that they are fully vaccinated or to undergo periodic rapid tests. The University of Vancouver Island will also ask community members to report their immunization status, the university said on Friday, and details are still being worked out regarding what accommodations will be in place for those who do. cannot be vaccinated for health, religious or other reasons.

UVic’s new policy extends to all interior spaces on campus, which means that entry into classrooms, laboratories, learning areas, student support centers and learning centers well-being, and work areas in general will require proof of vaccination or periodic rapid tests, said Kane Kilbey, associate vice president of human resources at UVic.

Details on how often those who are not vaccinated will need to be tested, the cost of the tests and when the policy will go into effect are still being worked out, Kilbey said. The exam fees will be covered by the university.

Marran Dodds, director of outreach and academic relations for the UVic Students’ Society, said the policy will reduce barriers to education for immunocompromised students.

“It really alleviates student concerns about whether their classmates are vaccinated or have COVID. It’s a very good step, ”said Dodds. The student union is also pushing for a blended learning model to improve access for students who are more vulnerable to COVID-19 or who have barriers to studying in person.

Greg Melnechuk, president of CUPE 4163, which represents around 1,500 UVic staff – such as lecturers, teaching assistants and cultural assistants – said he believed the vast majority of UVic members would feel relieved by the new policy. “There was real concern about the safety of the return. “

Monica Prendergast, vice president of the UVic Faculty Association, also welcomed the news, although she said the association was concerned about the process of reporting full immunizations.

“A simple self-report – basically a yes or no saying survey, are you vaccinated? Yes or no – is not good enough. What we’re going to be looking for is disclosure of vaccine status when proof is required, ”she said.

The university is still working on the details of the questions it will ask its 26,000 students and staff, Kilbey said, but it will not require proof of vaccination status.

Students and employees will be asked to declare their status, certify that it is true and agree to provide proof of vaccination if necessary, he said. The university could do audits, but they won’t ask everyone to prove they are fully vaccinated, Kilbey said.

“We will trust our community to supplement this information with the honesty and integrity that we expect,” he said.

Kilbey said the university had polled her community and the vast majority said she was fully vaccinated.

Camosun College said on Friday it would not be making any additional measures. The college has been shown to be able to operate safely, with around 30 to 40 percent of classes being conducted in person in the past year, as they require hands-on training, college spokesperson Rodney Porter said.

In addition, colleges are seen as agents of the government, unlike universities, and must follow government recommendations, he said.

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© Colonist of the time of copyright


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