Alberta universities to mandate vaccinations for students, staff and visitors attending campus

University of Calgary campus sign. (file)

Nine of Alberta's largest post-secondary institutions have jointly announced plans to eliminate rapid testing options and instead require proof of COVID-19 immunization to attend campus.

The schools in Calgary, Edmonton, Lethbridge and Medicine Hat will soon require students, staff, faculty and visitors to be fully vaccinated and provide proof of their vaccination status.

The post-secondary institutions who will mandate vaccinations include:

Calgary

  • University of Calgary
  • Southern Alberta Institute of Technology
  • Mount Royal University

Edmonton

  • University of Alberta
  • MacEwan University
  • Northern Alberta Institute of Technology
  • Norquest College

Lethbridge

  • University of Lethbridge

Medicine Hat

  • Medicine Hat College

"It is an approach to health and safety that is best suited for the learning, studying, researching, working, and living environments of our campuses," said school officials in a joint statement released Monday. "The safety of the large and diverse communities of post-secondary campuses remains the top consideration when making both short-term and long-term plans throughout the pandemic."

The schools had previously accepted rapid testing as an alternative to immunization but that option will be removed once the new vaccination requirement is in place.

Exceptions will be made for "campus community members who cannot be vaccinated based on medical or other protected grounds outlined in the Alberta Human Rights Act." According to the schools, people eligible for an exception will need to self-declare to their respective school and requests will be "reasonably accommodated."

Dates of implementation will vary as each school prepares to adopt the new measures.

The University of Calgary has announced students, staff and faculty will need to be fully vaccinated by Jan. 1, 2022. The vaccination rules will be in place for all visitors to the campus as of Oct. 1.

Both the University of Alberta and University of Lethbridge plan to introduce the new measures as of Nov. 1