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Mandatory Vaccination Policy 

Update regarding your studies and recent announcements

October 15, 2021 9:00AM

Dear Colleagues and Learners:

Driven by public health recommendations and the growing impact of COVID-19 variants of concern, Westervelt College, in accordance with the Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health (OCMOH), is required to implement a mandatory vaccination policy, effective September 7, 2021.

From the onset of the pandemic, Westervelt College has made the health and safety of students, staff, and community our top priority. From active screening and strict safety protocols to limiting our campus populations, we have done our best to keep students and employees safe while delivering on our mission to provide a great education.

COVID-19 is a deadly and persistent virus. Its variants continue to wreak havoc. Thousands of people in Canada, and millions around the world, have died after being infected. With varying degrees of success, the world is racing to bring the virus under control through vaccinations.

With the steady supply of vaccines in Canada, and increased on-campus activity this fall, today, we are announcing that the College will make vaccinations a condition for students, contractors, and employees to come on campus, starting Tuesday, September 7, 2021. All other existing health and safety protocols we currently have in place will remain.

To be clear, we are not mandating that anyone receive a vaccine. We will continue to respect medical exemptions upon presentation of appropriate documentation. Those students, faculty, or staff members who have been granted an accommodation, who are waiting for accommodation approval, or who are waiting to be considered fully vaccinated*, will be required to undergo rapid antigen testing as determined by the college.

COVID-19 vaccines are free and widely available to everyone over the age of 12 in Ontario, and they are the most effective tool we have to protect one another and end this pandemic.  This vaccine requirement is an additional measure we are taking as a college to protect the health and safety of our community.

We are proud of the work that has been done and the commitment from this community to continue to go above and beyond to protect one another, and we are confident that this is one more thing we can all do reduce the risks of COVID-19 and to get back to the things we love.

If you have any questions about this announcement, or for details of where you can go for more information, please contact your campus.

Thank you for continuing to do your part to keep each other safe.

*As defined by the Province of Ontario, individuals are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series or two weeks after receiving the Johnson and Johnson one-dose protocol vaccine. 

Westervelt College COVID 19 Vaccine Policy

To continue to protect the health and safety of the Westervelt College community from the spread of COVID-19, this policy provides direction on the conditions under which individuals will be permitted on Westervelt College campuses as of September 7, 2021. 

Scope

This policy applies to all Westervelt College students, including students on practicums, employees, clients, contractors, visitors and/or any other attendees on campuses. 

KEY DEFINITIONS

Accepted vaccine

A COVID-19 vaccine that has been approved for use by Health Canada. 

Attestations

A sworn statement indicating that an individual has taken an education session.

Campus(es)

Westervelt College owned or -leased grounds, buildings, offices, and instructional spaces

Client

An individual or company that comes on campus to access educational services provided by Westervelt College.

Contractor(s)

An individual or company that provides services, materials and/or labour on campus.

Educational Sessions

Information sessions provided to those individuals who refuse to receive COVID -19 vaccination.

Fully vaccinated

Having received the completed series of an accepted COVID-19 vaccine. An individual is considered fully vaccinated 14 days after receiving their completed dose as per public health guidelines. 

Grace Period

The period of time, as determined by Westervelt College, that a student or employee can attend an Westervelt College campus/es after receiving their first dose of an accepted two-dose vaccine before receiving their second dose, provided that vaccines are reasonably available. 

Medical Exemption

Grounds to be exempted from getting a COVID-19 vaccine based on the risk of substantive injury and/or disability. The medical reason for not being fully vaccinated against COVID -19 must be documented, along with the effective time-period for the medical reason.

Proof of Vaccination

Proof of vaccination, in the form of an official dose administration receipt, is required by all students and employees coming on campus. The only proof of vaccination which will be accepted is the official receipt from the Ministry of Health, including a QR Code, the individual’s name, date of vaccination, and product name. All individuals visiting the campus will be required to present secondary identification matching the information on the dose administration receipt.

Student

A person who has contracted with Westervelt College for a diploma or certificate program.

Rapid Antigen Test

A rapid antigen test is a rapid diagnostic test which directly detects the presence or absence of the COVID-19 virus. It is an enhanced form of screening that many people complete daily before attending work or school.

Undue Hardship

Special or specified circumstances that partially or fully exempt a person or organization from performance of a legal obligation so as to avoid an unreasonable or disproportionate burden or obstacle.

Vaccinated

As defined by the Province of Ontario, individuals are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series or two weeks after receiving the Johnson and Johnson one-dose protocol vaccine. 

Visitors and/or any other attendees

Individuals seeking to enter Westervelt College campuses who are not Westervelt College students, employees, clients, or contractors working in the College’s facilities.

Policy

Policy Statement

  1. To protect the health and safety of our community, Westervelt College is requiring that individuals be vaccinated as a condition to come on campus.
  2. Westervelt College ’s on-campus activities, as well as this policy, will continue to be subject to federal, provincial, and local public health regulations related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  3. Public health guidance on measures for fully vaccinated, partially vaccinated, and unvaccinated individuals may continue to evolve and could affect this policy.
  4. Public health guidance on measures for fully vaccinated, partially vaccinated, and unvaccinated individuals may continue to evolve and could affect this policy.
  5. According to Public Health, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is the last line of defense. Current masking, social distancing and other measures in effect will continue.

 Accepted vaccines

  1. Westervelt College  will accept the COVID-19 vaccines approved by Health Canada.
  2. Individuals who have been vaccinated with a vaccine other than those approved by Health Canada will not be allowed on campus until 14 days after either having received their approved single-dose vaccine or the first dose of an approved double-dose vaccine. 

Proof of COVID-19 vaccination

  1. Students and employees coming on campus will be required to provide proof of having been fully vaccinated with an accepted vaccine or of having received the first dose of a two-dose vaccine.
  2. Personal health information, including attestations and other proofs of vaccination, collected by Westervelt College will be stored in accordance with Westervelt College ’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Policy and Personal Health Information Protection Act Statement.
  3. Students and employees’ private health information will not be disclosed alongside any other identifying data.
  4. Students and employees who make false attestations about, or provide false documents related to, being vaccinated may be subject to disciplinary actions, up to and including expulsion for students, termination for employees, voiding of contracts for clients and contractors, and removal/restriction from campus for visitors and/or any other attendees; they could also be at risk of criminal liability. 

Partial COVID-19 Vaccination Grace Period 

  1. Students and employees who have received the first dose of an accepted two-dose vaccine will be required to complete rapid antigen testing (for a minimum of 14 days after receiving the first dose) to participate in on-campus activities, for a grace period that allows them to receive a second dose, provided that vaccines are reasonably available. 
  2. Students and employees who are not fully vaccinated will be required to follow additional health and safety precautions not applicable to those who are fully vaccinated.
  3. Restrictions applied during the grace period will continue for 14 days after the second dose is administered. Rapid antigen testing for COVID-19 will be performed at an interval determined by the college and must provide a negative test result for students and employees to be allowed on campus.
  4. Vaccination grace periods will not be extended to clients, contractors, visitors and/or any other attendees. 

Exemptions

  1. Westervelt College will consider requests from students and employees for exemptions on medical grounds on an individual basis.
  2. To continue to protect the health and safety of the campus community, at the sole discretion of Westervelt College, students, or employees with an approved exemption to being vaccinated may be accommodated through measures which will continue to keep the Westervelt College community safe.
  3. Students and employees who are not vaccinated will be required to follow additional health and safety precautions not applicable to fully vaccinated student and employees, such as regular rapid antigen testing for COVID-19 at an interval determined by the college, which must provide a negative test result for the unvaccinated individual to be allowed on campus, as well as complete an educational session as determined by the college.
  4. Requests for medical exemptions will be considered upon completion and presentation of Westervelt College ‘“Request for Medical Exemption Form”. The college reserves the right to have the form reviewed by applicable medical specialists.
  5. Exemptions will not be extended to clients, contractors, visitors and/or any other attendees. 

Accommodations For Students and Employees

  1. Only those students and employees with a medical exemption will be considered for an accommodation.
  2. To continue to protect the health and safety of the campus community, at the sole discretion of Westervelt College students or employees with an approved exemption to being vaccinated may be accommodated through measures which will continue to keep the Westervelt College community safe.
  3. Students and employees who are not vaccinated will be required to follow additional health and safety precautions not applicable to fully vaccinated, such as regular rapid antigen testing for COVID-19 at an interval determined by the college and must provide a negative test result and complete an educational session to be allowed on campus.
  4. Students and employees who receive a medical based exemption and are legally required to be accommodated will be accommodated to the point of undue hardship.
  5. Accommodations will not be extended to clients, contractors, visitors and/or any other attendees. 

Students and Employees Who Do Not Provide Proof of Vaccination (during the grace period)

Student and employees who do not provide proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and who wish to attend the campus in person will be required to provide proof of having completed the following educational session, COVID-19 Vaccination Understanding the Benefits and Risks, which discusses the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination. The education sessions will address:

  • How the COVID-19 vaccine works;
  • Vaccine safety related to the development of the COVID 19 vaccinations;
  • The benefits of vaccination against COVID-19;
  • Risks of not being vaccinated against COVID-19; and
  • Possible side effects of COVID-19 vaccination

Students and employees will be required to sign an attestation to the completion of educational session. Students and Employees who do not provide proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID 19 must:

  • Submit to regular rapid antigen testing for COVID-19 at an interval determined by the college (minimum once weekly).
  • Provide proof of a negative test result in a manner that the college has determined.

Clients, Contractors, Visitors and/or Any Other Attendees

  1. Clients who choose not to be fully vaccinated will not be allowed on Westervelt College campuses.
  2. Contractors must ensure that all of their employees on Westervelt College campuses are fully vaccinated. Individuals not fully vaccinated will not be allowed on Westervelt College campuses.
  3. Sending an employee who is not fully vaccinated to an Westervelt College campus will be deemed cause for the college to terminate the contract with that contractor.
  4. As of September 7, 2021, Westervelt College of campuses will not be open to visitors and/or any other attendees with the exception of individuals on approved, official college business.
  5. Approved visitors and/or any other attendees must comply with this policy. 

Collection, Documentation and Reporting

The college will collect, maintain, and disclose statistical (non-identifiable) information and summarize the information to submit to the Ministry of Colleges and Universities for statistical studies.

The documentation includes:

  • The number of students and employees that provided proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • The number of students and employees that provided a documented medical reason for not being fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • The number students and employees that completed educational sessions about the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination, where applicable.
  • Students and employees who provided attestations (only accepted to October 12, 2021. Note: this date may change in accordance with public health guidelines).
  • The total number of students and employees to whom the Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health (OCMOH) instructions apply.
  • Number of COVID-19 rapid tests performed per month.

Canada Emergency Student Benefit

  • Provide support to students and new graduates who are not eligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. This benefit would provide $1,250 per month for eligible students or $1,750 per month for eligible students with dependents or disabilities. The benefit would be available from May to August 2020.

Canada Student Service Grant

  • Will help students gain valuable work experience and skills while they help their communities during the COVID‑19 pandemic. For students who choose to do national service and serve their communities, the new Canada Student Service Grant will provide up to $5,000 for their education in the fall.

Please remember that the most effective way to prevent the spread of COVID 19 are things you do yourself.

  • Wash your hands often.
  • Wear a mask when around others
  • Please follow self isolation requirements if required
  • Do observe proper social distancing of at least 2 meters
  • When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth with a tissue or the inside of your elbow.
  • If you have flu-like symptoms, inform the people around you including the College. If your symptoms aren’t mild, please seek medical care.

On behalf of all of us at Westervelt College, let me again say how committed we are to ensuring the health and safety of our employees, students and communities.

Sincerely,

Don Thibert
President and CEO
Westervelt College

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