Saint Mary's University ramps up COVID-19 vaccination rules

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Saint Mary's University will requiring everyone on campus to submit proof of vaccination status.  (Robert Short/CBC - image credit)
Saint Mary's University will requiring everyone on campus to submit proof of vaccination status. (Robert Short/CBC - image credit)

With less than two weeks until the start of the fall semester, Saint Mary's University in Halifax has changed its COVID-19 vaccination requirements.

The school announced an updated plan Friday, this time requiring all faculty, staff and students to be vaccinated by Oct. 15.

The university had released a plan earlier this month stating certain groups — student-athletes, coaches, students living in residence — would have to be fully vaccinated.

Under the new rules, everyone on campus will have to submit proof of their full vaccination status.

In a media release, Saint Mary's said it will begin collecting vaccine records "no later than September 3 to ensure the community is ready for the return of classes."

There will be vaccination clinics on campus for those who have not yet had the chance to be vaccinated. Those who are unable or unwilling to be vaccinated, or unwilling to share their records, will have to apply for an exemption and be tested twice per week.

The university will enforce physical distancing and masks will be required to be worn in all public places on campus, including classrooms.

In the past week, some professors spoke out against the lack of a full vaccine mandate at Saint Mary's, calling on the institution to implement a broader requirement.

The university said the updated measure was created to "ensure faculty, staff and student feel safe returning to campus this September."

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