COVID-19: Fanshawe College to require those on campus be fully vaccinated

Matthew Trevithick/980 CFPL

Fanshawe College will mandate that all staff, students, contractors and visitors required to be on campus this fall be fully immunized against COVID-19.

Officials with the post-secondary institution revealed few details Thursday about the school’s vaccination policy, which remains under development, only saying that those not vaccinated and without an “approved exemption” would be required to take part in testing.

“Further details from public health officials are expected soon, and the College will finalize the policy once that direction is received,” a statement from the school read.

“Fanshawe has partnered with the Middlesex-London Health Unit to offer eight immunization clinics for staff and students at the College’s London campus… and the London South campus… starting August 30.”

980 CFPL has reached out to Fanshawe College for further comment.

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The update comes less than two weeks before the start of the upcoming term, and two weeks after Fanshawe’s post-secondary neighbour, Western University, unveiled a similar vaccination policy.

Earlier this month, Western announced that students, staff, and faculty would be required to show proof of vaccination in order to be on campus, with exemptions under the Ontario Human Rights Code. Those without proof of vaccination could get tested twice a week.

However, the university announced Wednesday that it had removed the option for regular testing in lieu of vaccination, “except under rare circumstances,” meaning that most people will now need to get the shot if they want to be on campus.

“Only those with a medical or Ontario Human Rights Code exemption will be eligible for the regular, twice-a-week testing in order to be physically on campus this fall,” a statement from the school read.

Western says the strengthened policy came in light of a letter from the Council of Ontario Medical Officers of Health (COMOH), in which the group, “strongly (recommended) mandatory vaccinations in all postsecondary institutions in the province.”

Other institutions, including Carleton University and McMaster University, have announced similar measures. They’ve issued October deadlines for students and staff to get fully immunized.

The Council of Ontario Universities and Colleges Ontario has called for a provincewide policy that requires the vaccination of post-secondary students, staff and faculty.

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Last week, the province’s top doctor said there are plans for vaccination policies in post-secondary institutions, though those have not yet been made public.

Click to play video: 'Concern for back-to-school as COVID-19 case count rises in Ontario'
Concern for back-to-school as COVID-19 case count rises in Ontario

The Middlesex-London Health Unit has recorded an uptick in cases this month, driven largely by people who are either unvaccinated or who are partially vaccinated.

Of the at least 545 cases reported locally over the last six weeks, only 74, or 13.6 per cent, were breakthrough cases involving fully vaccinated individuals, health unit data shows.

Of the 20 people hospitalized for COVID-19 in the same time period, only one was fully vaccinated. Two COVID-19-related deaths were reported, both involving people who had not gotten a single shot.

— With files from Andrew Graham and The Canadian Press


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