COVID-19: McMaster University pausing vaccine, masking requirements May 1

McMaster University is set to pause its policies on face coverings and mandatory vaccinations in May.
McMaster University is set to pause its policies on face coverings and mandatory vaccinations in May. Global News

McMaster University in Hamilton is joining a growing number of post-secondary institutions across Ontario that are pausing COVID-19 vaccination and masking requirements for students and staff as of May 1.

In a joint release from the president and provost on Friday, the university said the step allows the learning facility to align with the Ford government’s recent easing of COVID-19 rules.

“While these measures will be paused, surgical masks will continue to be available on campus and everyone is encouraged to continue to wear masks indoors, especially in classrooms, the libraries, crowded spaces, or close workspaces,” the university’s statement said.

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The post-secondary school has had its vaccine mandate for staff and students in place since October 2021 and is still encouraging shots, including boosters.

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“Keeping your vaccinations updated and having proof of vaccination makes our campus and community safer and will help to ease any disruption that any future changes in the pandemic may cause,” executives said.

In early March, Ontario’s chief medical officer Dr. Kieran Moore said he wanted requirements for vaccination policies at post-secondary institutions to be gone amid the forthcoming easing of COVID restrictions.

Many Ontario universities and colleges are expected to keep COVID vaccination policies at least until the end of this semester. Both the Council of Ontario Universities and Colleges Ontario alluded to the timeline in mid-February statements.

Mohawk College spokesperson Bill Steinburg says that school will have an update on its COVID protocols on April 1.


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