Waterloo universities will pause vaccine and mask requirements as of May 1

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First there were protests against mask mandates. Now some Ontario students are fighting to keep the rules. Abigail Bimman explains why, as one family doctor says there isn't enough science to support masking measures in schools. – Mar 21, 2022

The University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University will pause their COVID-19 mask and proof of vaccination requirements as of May 1.

However, both post-secondary institutions said the mandates can be brought back on short notice if needed.

In a joint letter, Laurier president and vice-chancellor Deborah MacLatchy and provost and vice-president Tony Vannelli said the high vaccination rate at the school is one of the main remains reasons they are able to make changes.

“Community members should remain up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccinations, including third and fourth doses, as recommended by public health,” they said.

“Remaining up-to-date on your vaccination status will ensure your work or study is not disrupted, should vaccinations be required to access any of our campuses or locations in the future and/or the meaning of ‘fully vaccinated’ changes to include additional doses.”

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Should vaccination requirements be reinstated, the university will not offer remote or hybrid options for in-person classes for students who do not meet the vaccination requirement.

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“Failure to demonstrate proof of vaccination under a future mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy risks deregistration from in-person courses for students who cannot verify compliance,” the school said.

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The University of Waterloo said it will maintain a requirement for everyone to provide information on their vaccination status in order to minimize any disruption to work and learning if vaccine requirements return.

The school said it will also not be offering virtual or hybrid learning options for those who are unable to attend campus.

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Both universities say everyone should continue to wear a mask while on campus, especially in crowded areas.

The University of Guelph is also suspending its masking and vaccine requirements as of May 1.


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