Yukon University is moving to push its deadline for imposing a vaccine requirement on all students, employees and contractors visiting their campuses in person by more than two months.
The vaccine requirement had been set to come into effect on Feb. 18. The university issued a notice on Feb. 15 pushing it back to April 30.
“Until then, students who are immuno-compromised or at greater risk from COVID are encouraged to speak with their instructor or chair to determine a safe, healthy path forward. Similarly, employees who are immuno-compromised or at greater risk from COVID are encouraged to speak with their supervisor about working from home,” a statement from the university reads.
A letter sent to students and employees by Yukon University president Dr. Lesley Brown says that while the vaccine requirement was conceived as a way to reduce the need for future COVID-19-specific restrictions on campus and to support a return to normal, the high transmissibility of the Omicron variant has challenged their ability to do this. Brown’s letter said that while vaccination is important, the university has other tools available including N95 masks that are being provided for free and 2,000 rapid test kits that were provided by the Council of Yukon First Nations.
In the process of preparing the vaccination requirement, the university also found that vaccination rates among students and employees are already very high with 99 per cent of permanent employees and 88 per cent of credit students already fully vaccinated.
On Feb. 28, the university plans to reinstate many of the in-person classes and services that were shifted online in early January.
“We will continue to monitor the ongoing dynamic pandemic landscape and act accordingly. We will continue to assess the necessity of implementing the vaccine requirement. In the meantime, please continue to act with your health and safety, and those of your family, colleagues and students top of mind,” Brown stated in the letter.
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