Yesterday the Ontario Government, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health, announced that the province will be pausing its Roadmap to Reopen and will remain in Step 3 at this time. The Province also announced that it will be supporting vaccine policies in post-secondary institutions to enable a safe return to campuses this fall.
The University is pleased to see this support for a vaccination mandate across the sector and we have been told that further guidance is forthcoming from the Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU) by early next week. Given these latest updates, we wanted to reassure the community that we remain on track for our plans to gradually reopen in-person activities on York’s campuses this fall and our plans have not altered. When we receive further guidance from the MCU, we will update you again on any impacts to our planning.
As well, we continue to advance our plans for implementing the recently announced requirement for all community members and visitors to our campuses to be vaccinated against COVID-19. For those still seeking to schedule appointments, we encourage you to use the provincial booking system, consult local pharmacies or walk-in vaccination clinics across the province. Individuals can prove they are fully vaccinated by showing the physical or emailed receipt that was provided to them at the time of vaccination and vaccination receipts can be downloaded or printed through the provincial portal or by calling the Provincial Vaccine Booking Line at 1-833-943-3900.
At this time, researchers are still required to be approved in advance to access research facilities on campus. Existing approvals remain in place, and new requests for approval are being accepted, including those for in-person research involving human participants. All researchers must use the Campus Access System to request access from their Faculties and complete daily screening before coming to campus. Research activities must continue to follow necessary health and safety planning and precautions. Associate Deans of Research will be available to answer any questions posed by the research community.
We also recognize that the public health situation continues to shift and that this can cause confusion and anxiety. We want to reassure you that the health and safety of our community members continues to be our top priority, and we are advancing multiple strategies and initiatives to protect health and safety.
This week, we launched YU Screen, a new automated COVID-19 self-assessment screening tool that all faculty, staff, instructors, students, researchers and visitors must use before coming to campus to self-screen and confirm that they have not been exposed to COVID-19. For clarity, completing YU Screen before every trip to campus will be additional to complying with the University’s vaccination requirement. More details on this new tool will be shared with you shortly.
We want to thank all of our community members for continuing to do their part to protect themselves and others throughout this pandemic. We look forward to sharing more details with you very shortly about our plans to safely welcome you back to campuses this September.
Provost & Vice-President Academic
Vice-President, Research & Innovation