Vaccination, masking not mandated at Queen’s University this fall

Kingstonist file photo.

Queen’s University, in line with current provincial and public health guidance, will continue the suspension of mandatory masking and proof of vaccination across campus as students return to classes this September.

According to a statement from the university, members of the Queen’s community are still strongly encouraged to wear a medical-grade mask in indoor spaces where physical distancing cannot be maintained.

“Queen’s University is a mask-friendly campus, and we ask that our community be considerate and respectful of one another’s decisions regarding masking,” the university said. “Individuals who enter private offices or other confined spaces where face-to-face interaction is required may be asked to wear a mask as a condition of entry. Some activities and roles may have mandatory requirements for masking, such as those in health clinics, hospitals, some laboratories, and in some organizations where students complete their placements.”

Proof of vaccination is not required to attend most in-person university activities or to live in Queen’s residence this fall. The university continues to strongly encourage all Queen’s students, staff, and faculty to stay up to date on their COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters.

“Students, faculty, and staff in the Faculty of Health Sciences accessing hospital or other external facilities are required to adhere to the guidelines, policies, and procedures of the institution which they are attending,” the university stated. “As well, activities that involve any other third parties (such as health clinics, elementary and secondary schools, and other organizations where Queen’s students complete experiential learning placements) will continue to be subject to the COVID-19 safety requirements of those third parties, including any proof of vaccination requirements. Students, staff, and faculty are advised to contact their respective Faculty for further details.”

The university said that it may reinstate a mask mandate and/or its Policy Regarding Mandatory Vaccination Requirements for In-person University Activities, possibly on short notice, if the local public health environment changes, or if government mandates or public health recommendations restore masking or proof of vaccination requirements.

If the university does reinstate its vaccination policy, all students, faculty, staff, and others who cannot provide satisfactory proof of vaccination, based on the definition of “fully vaccinated” in place at that time, could find their in-person university activities restricted or discontinued, Queen’s explained, noting that this could impede students’ ability to remain in their classes or in residence. It could also impact employment status of faculty and staff and the permitted activities of university contractors and visitors.

Read the university’s full statement here.

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