Vaccination required on UWinnipeg campus this fall
“Our long-awaited return to in-person learning is nearing and we want to ensure it will be safe and successful. Manitoba infection rates have plummeted, and people are finally feeling optimistic about the future— we need to keep it that way. Vaccines are the best protection we have against COVID-19. By ensuring that everyone on campus is protected, we go the extra mile to keep Manitoba healthy and increase the likelihood of an even fuller campus reopening for the winter term,” said Dr. James Currie, Interim President and Vice-Chancellor.
Surveys conducted in recent days showed that 79% of UWinnipeg faculty and staff members and 72% of students who participated in the online questionnaire support a vaccination requirement to attend campus. Of the survey respondents, 92% of students and 97% of faculty/staff are fully or partly vaccinated.
Currently, 81% of eligible Manitobans have had their first dose and 74% have had both doses. In Winnipeg, the vaccination rate is nearly 84% — indicating the vast majority already meet the campus requirement. Anyone who cannot be vaccinated due to health reasons will be exempt from the mandate, upon medical verification.
The UWinnipeg campus will remain closed to the public for the fall term. Students, faculty members, and staff who are authorized to be on site will enter via controlled access points. All must show proof of full vaccination or attest to becoming fully vaccinated and provide proof within a specified timeframe. The University will consider options such as remote learning/working or attending campus with proof of a negative COVID test for those who do not comply.
In addition to the vaccination mandate, UWinnipeg’s robust return-to-campus safety plan includes other key measures such as mandatory masking, enhanced cleaning, and an upgraded ventilation system.
“Our vaccination requirement may inconvenience a few people, but it will give peace of mind to many. Above all, we believe it is the right thing to do. Hopefully, this mandate will motivate everyone in our community to consider the safety of themselves and others so that we may all feel positive about returning to campus,” said Dr. Currie.
The vaccination mandate does not apply to high school students who attend the UWinnipeg Collegiate. It does not apply to fitness centre members and external organizations that arrange to use space within the Axworthy Health & RecPlex.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Who must be vaccinated to come onto campus?
The vaccination mandate applies to all UWinnipeg students, faculty members, and staff who attend campus for learning, studying, teaching, research, or work. It does not apply to high school students who attend the UWinnipeg Collegiate. It does not apply to fitness centre members and external organizations that arrange to use space within the Axworthy Health & RecPlex.
What about people who want to come on campus for reasons besides school?
Most campus buildings will remain closed to the public for the Fall Term and until further notice. These sites will be controlled by access points. Only those students and employees who are authorized to enter may do so.
Will the fitness centre and RecPlex be open?
Yes, the Axworthy Health & RecPlex and Duckworth Centre will be open to all members and organizations that have arranged for facility use. For details about safety protocols and rules of use for these buildings, please see the Recreation Services website.
How do vaccinated people gain entrance to campus?
Faculty, staff and students who are fully vaccinated will be required to present one-time proof of vaccination: Manitoba Immunization QR Codes, Manitoba Immunization Cards, Manitoba Immunization Records, or proof from other jurisdictions. Once verified, a campus-access sticker will be affixed to their student or employee ID card. The card with sticker will need to be presented at designated access points to enter campus.
Can I come onto campus if I’m partially vaccinated or don’t have proof that I’m fully vaccinated?
Those who are unable to prove full vaccination — or are partially vaccinated and scheduled to complete their vaccination — will be asked to sign a self-declaration form. They will receive a temporary access sticker, which will be valid for a limited time. Once proof of full vaccination is shown, the sticker will be upgraded to full access. If compliance is not met in the specified timeframe, access will be revoked.
What are my options if I’m not vaccinated and don’t plan to be?
Those who are unable to be vaccinated and provide satisfactory medical verification will be exempted from the policy and permitted to access campus.
Those who are unwilling to be vaccinated will be provided several options:
- Remote learning (students)
- Remote working if operationally feasible (employees)
- Proof of negative COVID-19 Test (students, employees)
Are masks required on campus as well?
To reduce the risk of infection from and spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses, the University of Winnipeg is requiring that everyone wear a facemask when indoors in University spaces, effective August 7, 2021 until further notice. This mask mandate applies to all students, staff, faculty, contractors, and visitors. Exemptions will be made for individuals who require a medical accommodation. See full details of the UWinnipeg mask mandate.
Kevin Rosen, Executive Director, Marketing and Communications
The University of Winnipeg