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Saint Mary’s expands vaccination policy, St. F.X. announces mandatory testing only

Saint Mary's University is seen in this undated file photograph. File/Global News

Saint Mary’s University in Halifax has expanded its vaccination requirements, saying it will now require proof of full vaccination from everyone.

In its previous update, the university said it will only require proof of vaccination for varsity athletes, students in club sports, coaches, staff in the athletics department and people living in residences.

But that has changed, with Saint Mary’s now mandating all faculty, staff and students to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 15.

READ MORE: Cape Breton University latest N.S. school to mandate COVID-19 vaccination

The expanded mandate released Friday matches what many other universities in the Maritimes are doing, including Dalhousie University.

According to Saint Mary’s, anyone who is not fully vaccinated or who refuses to provide proof of vaccination will be required to take a COVID-19 test twice per week at on-campus facilities.

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In the meantime, the school says maintaining masking requirements and physical distancing when possible is required from everyone on campus.

St. Francis Xavier University announces mandatory testing

St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, N.S. released a statement late Thursday announcing free mandatory testing for the campus community.

The university has not mandated vaccinations at this point, however its teachers union has issued a statement calling on administration to make it mandatory.

“Members are worried about having classrooms at full capacity with poor ventilation, especially in some of the older buildings,” wrote Martin van Bommel, president of the St. Francis Xavier University Association of University Teachers.

“Some Members and their close contacts are immunocompromised or unable to receive the vaccine for medical reasons, and many Members have young children for whom the vaccine is not approved.”

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The university said it will conduct a campus-wide census survey to help them understand the vaccination status of all staff, faculty, and students for planning purposes.

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In the meantime, vaccinations will be available on campus.

“The university has begun consultations with our union leadership and the Students’ Union related to a mandatory testing policy for all students, staff, and faculty,” the school said in a release.

READ MORE: COVID-19 vaccine tracker – How many Canadians are vaccinated?

St. F.X. said they believe a large number of their community have already been vaccinated.

It said the number of students who have registered to isolate on campus was only 20 people.

“The data we have received to date from the province related to its mandatory Nova Scotia Safe Check-in form indicates 93% of students en route to StFX from outside of Atlantic Canada will be arriving fully vaccinated (based on a sample size of 324 so far),” the university said it a statement.

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