Vaccine requirements lift Sunday at most post-secondary schools in Waterloo region and Guelph

Kyle Faircloth, right, Associate Professor of Intercultural Studies, teaches a class at Palm Beach Atlantic University, Friday, Feb. 26, 2021, in West Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

As of Sunday, proof of vaccination will no longer be needed to enter or work at most post-secondary campuses in the region. Meanwhile mask requirements at local universities and colleges will remain in place.

Wilfrid Laurier University, the University of Waterloo and the University of Guelph will pause their vaccination policies on Sunday, May 1.

Conestoga College says on its website it will continues its vaccine and mask requirements into the spring term, which starts in May.

While the vaccination requirements may be paused, Wilfrid Laurier University warned they could be brought back “on short notice” should public health recommendations change.

“The university encourages faculty, staff and students to remain up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccinations, including third and fourth doses,” a spokesperson for the school said in an email to CTV News.

MASK REQUIREMENTS

The University of Guelph says masks will be required indoors at all U of G facilities, including off-campus research stations, until further notice.

“Due to the increasing number of cases in the province and to help stop the spread of COVID-19, the University of Guelph is keeping its mask requirement in place beyond May 1,” a spokesperson for the university said in an email.

Similarly the University of Waterloo says masks will remain mandatory for “the foreseeable future.”

Wilfrid Laurier University plans to keep its face-covering policy in place until May 31, at which point the policy will be reassessed.

UNVACCINATED EMPLOYEES

At University of Guelph, around 40 employees who did not comply with the university’s vaccination policy were placed on unpaid leave, a university spokesperson said.

Those employees have now been told to speak with their supervisors about their individual situations, the university said. People with vaccination policy exemptions will no longer be required to participate in rapid testing.

Wilfrid Laurier also placed non-complaint staff and faculty on unpaid leave. A spokesperson for that university said those with active contracts will be invited back to work in-person May 1. The spokesperson was not immediately able to say how many employees are in that situation.

University of Waterloo did not immediately reply to request for comment. CTV Kitchener has previously reported the university terminated 49 staff for not complying with its vaccination policy.