Post-Secondary Schools Across Canada Announce Their Covid-19 Mandates for September
With students back on campus, schools across Canada have reached decisions about mask and vaccination requirements. Find out what you'll need to stay safe this semester.
As the beginning of school gets closer, most universities and colleges are preparing to welcome students back in-person. One thing that schools have been considering is what Covid-19 policies will be in place, if any.
As provincial and territorial requirements are lifted, universities and colleges are reviewing their masks and vaccination policies for students coming onto campus this fall. So, what does this mean for you? What will you need to do to keep yourself and others safe on campus?
Most schools have lifted mask and vaccination mandates
After the past year of masking and getting vaccinations and booster shots, it seems as though most schools are following their province’s lead and aren’t making masks and vaccinations mandatory for students to come on campus. Although wearing a mask is not required for most schools, they’re still encouraging students to wear masks indoors or in highly populated areas. But keep in mind that schools’ Covid-19 policies can change at any point — as we’ve seen in the past. Dr. Darcy Marciniuk from the University of Saskatchewan says, “the mask mandate could be brought back. The pandemic is not over and we do have evidence of Covid activity and transmission.” So, make sure you check your school’s policies and mandates to stay up to date!
Want to know which schools aren’t enforcing a mask or vaccine mandate? Here’s a few universities and colleges with no mask or vaccine requirements:
While these schools aren’t requiring you to wear masks, you’re still free to wear them on campus.
What schools are enforcing mask mandates?
Schools that are enforcing mask requirements are in the minority this year. Fourteen out of 83 universities that were surveyed by the Canadian Press have indicated they’ll require students and employees to wear masks on campus. This list includes schools like:
Some schools will specifically require students to wear masks while in classrooms and other designated areas, whereas other schools have stated masks must be worn in all campus buildings. If a student refuses to wear a mask, they may be asked to leave the classroom or will receive further disciplinary action based on the student code of conduct.
What schools require Covid-19 vaccinations?
While schools with mask mandates are in the minority, universities and colleges that require students to be vaccinated to come on campus are even fewer. Students at Western University and its affiliated schools — Huron University College, Brescia University College, and King’s University College — are required to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19, have received at least one booster shot, and must wear medical-grade (ASTM level 3) masks in classrooms. Medical-grade (ASTM level 3) masks are available for students to pick up at all Western library locations and at some building entrances. Students will have to submit their proof of vaccination by October 1, 2022. Similarly, at Seneca College all staff and students must be fully vaccinated (two vaccinations) and wear masks in classrooms and other instructional spaces.
While vaccination requirements aren’t too common on campuses, some schools have declared that students who will be living in residences must be vaccinated. The University of Toronto has stated that students living in residences must be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and have received at least one booster dose before they can move in. Not all schools are following this rule, but if you’re moving into residence then make sure you find out what your school requires from you.
Although most universities and colleges have reduced or eliminated their mask and vaccination requirements, you should continue to take the proper precautions to stay healthy — get vaccinated, wear masks, and wash your hands frequently. Make sure you check with your school to see what requirements they may be asking of you before you go on campus this September.
Discover your school’s Covid-19 policy