Western lifts vaccine policy, masking remains in place

The entrance gates at Western University. (Capture via Google Street View.)

Students, staff, and faculty at Western University will no longer need to provide proof of vaccination

In a statement released on Tuesday, the university announced it is removing its vaccination policy, which previously required those in the school community to submit proof they’d received three doses of the COVID-19 vaccine by January 9, 2023.

“Western has committed to regularly reviewing our vaccination policy. Based on the latest consultation with our medical experts and local public health, we are revoking our vaccination policy and will no longer require students, employees, and visitors to be vaccinated to come to campus,” the statement from the university read.

University officials are still encouraging the school community to get vaccinated.

“That said, public health guidance remains clear: vaccination continues to be the best defence against severe illness and hospitalization. We strongly encourage everyone to remain up to date on their vaccinations.”

While proof of vaccination is no longer necessary, Western is remaining firm on its masking policy.

The university said medical-grade masks will still be required inside instructional spaces for the remainder of the fall term and into the winter term, which begins after the December break. Western said it will continue to have masks available for free at various locations around campus.

Since the fall term began in September, Western has re-jigged it’s COVID-19 health and safety policies several times. Ahead of the semester, Western said students, staff and faculty would have until October 1 to submit proof of vaccination. Then in September, the university opted to extend the deadline to January 2023 to allow those interested, an opportunity to receive Moderna’s Omicron vaccine.

Western also previously said it would continue to reassess the need for masking throughout the term, and make changes as necessary. Though, the university did not mention plans to revisit its masking policy any time soon in its update on Tuesday.