Waterloo Region, Guelph Post Secondary Schools To Continue Mask, Vaccine Requirements

Several post-secondary institutions in Waterloo and Guelph will continue to enforce health measures even if the Ontario government lifts mask mandates for indoor environments on Monday.

Provincial government policies extend to post-secondary institutions, but several schools in the Waterloo region and Guelph are maintaining the mandate until at least the end of the winter period to avoid any disruptions to student learning, schools say.

Other health measures, including proof of vaccination and daily health screening, also remain in place.

Post-secondary schools that will enforce mandatory masking and vaccination requirements for students and staff include:

  • University of Waterloo.
  • Wilfrid Laurier University.
  • University of Guelph.
  • Conestoga College.

The move is in line with the approach of most Ontario post-secondary institutions.

Schools to provide updates

Last week, Vivek Goel, president of the University of Waterloo, and James Rush, vice president of academics, gave an update to the school community.

“To minimize the potential for disruption to the schedule and exams at the end of the school year, at Waterloo we will maintain our current requirement to wear masks until at least the end of the winter period. We hope this helps to minimize uncertainty and disruption and continue to support our students, staff, faculty and university community,” the statement said.

Final exams at the University of Waterloo end on April 26. The requirements are under review and an update is expected before the start of the spring period.

University of Guelph students and staff are required to wear a medical-style mask on campus until at least the end of the winter semester, which ends April 25.

Conestoga College’s winter term ends on April 30. A spokesperson said the mandates will remain in effect until then “to provide assurance to students and faculty and minimize potential disruptions to the academic term.”

The school’s plans for the spring of 2022 are not yet final and will be announced in the coming weeks.

Wilfrid Laurier University will maintain its mask policy, mandatory vaccination policy, and daily self-evaluation protocols until further notice. The university has not given a clear date on how restrictions will be lifted.

Primary school students, high school students

Meanwhile, the boards of primary and secondary schools in the region are following the Ontario government’s decision when it comes to disclosing masking requirements.

From Monday, the following school boards will no longer require students to wear face masks:

  • Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB).
  • Waterloo Catholic District School Board (WCDSB).
  • Upper Grand District School Board (UGDSB).
  • Wellington Catholic District School Board (WCDSB).
  • Viamonde school board.

Students and employees may still wear a face mask if desired, according to the boards.

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