Local academic institutions surrounding the Region of Waterloo and City of Guelph will require students to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before moving into residences this fall. WLU, Conestoga College, UW and University of Guelph require all students living in residence to be almost or fully vaccinated.
Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang, Waterloo Region’s medical officer of health, is encouraging high rates of vaccination in student populations, and noted that these types of residences involve high-density living arrangements. High vaccination rates will assist in the prevention of COVID-19 outbreaks when students return in the fall.
Students returning to WLU are now encouraged to have at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine 14 days before arriving. Any student who can not get vaccinated before their arrival will need to book a dose within one week of their move-in date. WLU has said they will help coordinate access to vaccines for students.
Students returning to live in the residences at the University of Guelph or UW will need a vaccine approved by Health Canada or the World Health Organization. Students living on-campus at Conestoga College will be required to have at least their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine 14 days before moving in.
Earlier this week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the country now has enough COVID-19 vaccine doses to fully vaccinate every eligible person over the age of 12. More than 66 million of the COVID-19 doses were received on Tuesday.
However, the region’s vaccination rollout is beginning to slow down. While local vaccination clinics have not received a closing date, there are new efforts to administer vaccines and address concerns that might prevent some eligible residents from getting their doses.
As of last Monday, approximately 81.43 per cent of residents in the Waterloo Region aged 12 and older have had at least one shot of a vaccine. Over 65.14 per cent are now fully vaccinated.
With the rise of cases due to the Delta variant, health officials are urging residents to get their second shot as soon as they can. Currently, any walk-ins for first and second vaccine doses are being accepted at all vaccination clinics in the region.
As of July 27, Waterloo health officials have confirmed 18,302 total cases of COVID-19, including approximately 281 deaths. Approximately 108 cases are considered active in the Region.