Algonquin College mandates COVID-19 vaccination on its 3 campuses

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Algonquin College is mandating vaccination for all learners, employees, contractors and visitors for the upcoming term on its three campuses, including the Ottawa campus in this file photo. (Francis Ferland/CBC - image credit)
Algonquin College is mandating vaccination for all learners, employees, contractors and visitors for the upcoming term on its three campuses, including the Ottawa campus in this file photo. (Francis Ferland/CBC - image credit)

Algonquin College is requiring proof of vaccination for all students, employees, contractors and visitors across its three eastern Ontario campuses for the fall 2021 term.

The announcement comes one day after the government of Ontario updated its vaccination policies for education workers, requiring frequent rapid testing for unvaccinated staff and requiring post-secondary schools to come up with vaccine policies.

The college will require anyone accessing its Ottawa, Pembroke or Perth campus to provide proof they've received at least one dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine by September 7.

It will require proof of two doses by October 12.

"I cannot stress enough how important it is for the members of the College to contribute to the safety of our community by ensuring they are fully vaccinated," wrote Algonquin College president and CEO Claude Brulé in a statement dated Wednesday.

The college said in the statement details about the rollout are "under development" and will be released at a later date. This may include details about exemptions, mentioned in the president's message but not elaborated on.

Algonquin College "strongly encouraged" vaccination for students and staff until Wednesday. It cited public health recommendations and coronavirus variants of concern as reasons for its change.

The University of Ottawa made vaccination mandatory for anyone living on campus in mid-July, then expanded the policy one month later to apply to nearly all students, staff and visitors "accessing" campus.

Carleton and Queen's universities and Loyalist and St. Lawrence colleges followed with their own mandates shortly thereafter, as universities across the country adopted similar COVID-19 policies.

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