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Yukon U halts COVID-19 restrictions

Masks and tests still provided. Requirments now only for campus housing
Yukon University’s Ayamdigut campus in Whitehorse has halted its planned COVID-19 vaccination requirement. (Jim Elliot/Yukon News)

Following reduced COVID-19 restrictions in the rest of the territory, Yukon University has dropped some of its precautions.

The university announced that as of Friday, March 18, it has suspended the requirement that all students, employees and visitors to all its campuses be vaccinated. Yukon U had previously announced that it would delay the vaccination requirement until April 30.

Masks will also no longer be mandatory in public spaces, classrooms and offices on campus. The March 18 date coincides with the end of the state of emergency and vaccine and mask mandates for public spaces imposed by the Yukon government.

The exception to the falling mandates is in campus housing units.

“Due to the close quarters of residential space, Campus Housing occupants must continue to adhere to the vaccine requirement until April 30. Also, occupants must continue to follow mask requirements and occupant capacity limits in eating areas and washrooms will be maintained until April 30, 2022,” the March 18 statement from the university reads.

A letter from the university’s president and vice chancellor Dr. Lesley Brown said the changes to restrictions are in response to the changes in the pandemic. It also noted public health measures being rescinded elsewhere in Canada and the Yukon chief medical officer of health’s shift from mandatory measures to allowing for personal discretion.

The university will keep some of its precautions in place including the daily cleaning of high-traffic areas and protection screens at front-line desks and counters. It will also provide free N95 masks and rapid tests while supplies last.

It suggests that employees or students who are immunocompromised or otherwise at greater risk from the virus can speak to their supervisor or instructor to come up with a plan that will keep them safe.

“We will conduct a review of the vaccine requirement by June 30, 2022.

If the situation warrants and CMOH advises, we may consider reinstating the vaccine requirement to ensure the safety of students, employees and the public,” the statement reads.

(Jim Elliot)

Jim Elliot

About the Author: Jim Elliot

I’m a B.C. transplant here in Whitehorse at The News telling stories about the Yukon's people, environment, and culture.
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