The University of Alberta and eight other post-secondary institutions in the province are introducing a vaccination mandate, required vaccination proof and changes to rapid testing programs. Red Deer Polytechnic is not one of these institutions. (U of A Facebook photo)

The University of Alberta and eight other post-secondary institutions in the province are introducing a vaccination mandate, required vaccination proof and changes to rapid testing programs. Red Deer Polytechnic is not one of these institutions. (U of A Facebook photo)

Red Deer Polytechnic not among post-secondary schools introducing vaccine mandate

Nine Alberta post-secondary institutions introducing vaccine mandate

Nine Alberta post-secondary institutions are making vaccinations, and proof of vaccinations, mandatory for campus members and visitors.

A vaccination mandate, required vaccination proof and changes to rapid testing programs are being introduced at University of Alberta, University of Calgary, University of Lethbridge, MacEwan University, Medicine Hat College, Mount Royal University, NAIT, SAIT and NorQuest College.

“Vaccinations are the safest and most effective way to protect communities from COVID-19’s damaging effects,” a joint-statement said Monday.

“At Alberta’s post-secondary institutions, vaccinations have proven to be a critical part of our fall safety plans. Today, we are building on previously announced measures by strengthening the role that vaccinations will play on post-secondary campuses moving forward.”

Red Deer Polytechnic does not plan to introduce similar rule changes at this time.

“We are aware that some of Alberta’s post-secondary institutions have implemented policies requiring COVID-19 vaccines, rapid testing and other protocols that they deem appropriate for their institutions,” said Jim Brinkhurt, academic vice-president at RDP.

“Red Deer Polytechnic has no existing requirements for students or employees to be vaccinated for COVID-19, nor to implement rapid testing. Factors such as costs and logistical implementation, including current lack of consistent vaccine documentation, are among the reasons that the institution has determined that mandatory vaccines and rapid testing will not be implemented at this time.”

The nine institutions introducing increased measures will make the following changes:

  • Campus community members and visitors will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to attend campuses.
  • Campus community members and visitors will be required to provide proof of vaccination.
  • Rapid testing will no longer be accepted as an alternative to vaccination, except for campus community members who cannot be vaccinated based on medical or other protected grounds outlined in the Alberta Human Rights Act. These individuals should follow the self-declaration exemption procedures already in place at their post-secondary institution and will be reasonably accommodated.

Implementation dates and details for these new measures will vary from institution to institution according to their specific needs and policies.

“These Alberta post-secondary institutions are working together and taking a coordinated approach to ensure safety on our campuses for students, faculty, staff and visitors,” the joint-statement from the nine institutions said.

RDP is strongly encouraging everyone on its campuses to be vaccinated and continues to implement a number of other protocols, including requiring face coverings, use of a daily COVID-19 contract tracing and health check-in app for people attending campuses, enhanced cleaning, enhanced signage for traffic flow and physical distancing measures.

“We will continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic across our province and adapt protocols and operations, as needed, to continue to ensure that we create a teaching and learning environment in which students, faculty, staff and visitors are safe,” said Brinkhurst.



sean.mcintosh@reddeeradvocate.com

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