WILL I BE REQUIRED TO DISCLOSE MY VACCINATION STATUS?
Yes, attestation of vaccination status and providing documentary proof is a mandatory legal requirement.
The collection of vaccination information is carried out in full accordance with all applicable laws and regulations as mandated by the Government of Alberta. All personal health information is confidential, and will not be shared with supervisors or professors or any other member of the St. Mary’s community. The requirement to report vaccination status is a component of the university’s health and safety practices in response to the global pandemic and the Government of Alberta mandate. In collecting this information, the university will protect it, keep it confidential and only use it for the purpose for which it was collected or authorized by law.
Students, faculty and staff will be asked to provide proof of their vaccination status as of October 4th in order to access campus. Individuals can verify their vaccination status using electronic or paper records of their vaccination receipt. In Alberta, official vaccine records are available through your pharmacy, by calling 811, and on MyHealth Records.
Details about how and when St. Mary’s University will collect verification of vaccination will be communicated in the coming weeks. The collection of proof of vaccination will be carried out in full accordance with all applicable laws and regulations.
ARE THERE EXEMPTIONS TO THE VACCINE REQUIREMENTS?
At this time St. Mary’s is participating in the Provincial Restrictions Exemption Program to be able to continue to provide in-person services and classes. This program currently only allows for proof of vaccination, proof of a privately-paid negative rapid test result take within 72 hours of service or documentation of a medical exemption. Any individual who cannot be vaccinated on medical grounds can request an exemption. All individuals who are awaiting their second dose or awaiting the results of an application for exemption are required to adhere to additional health and safety measures, including frequent rapid testing. Unvaccinated individuals without an approved permitted medical exemption will not be able to attend campus or any St. Mary’s University activity in person as of November 1, 2021 as mandated by the Alberta Government unless they provide proof of negative rapid testing every 72 hours.
St. Mary’s University will take reasonable steps to accommodate students and employees who are impacted by operational changes due to COVID-19, including those who cannot or choose not to be vaccinated on the basis of a protected ground.
WHY PROOF OF VACCINATION IS NOW REQUIRED AT ST. MARY’S?
Alberta has declared a state of Public Health Emergency. COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to rise, largely in unvaccinated Albertans. New measures to protect the health care system, stop the spread, and increase vaccination rates came into effect starting September 16.
Implementation of the Government of Alberta’s Restrictions Exemption Program requiring proof of vaccination or negative test result will allow St. Mary’s University to continue operating as usual.
WHAT VACCINES MEET THIS NEW REQUIREMENT?
For the purposes of meeting the university’s vaccination requirements, St. Mary’s University recognizes a complete vaccine series approved by Health Canada and those listed for emergency use by World Health Organization (WHO).
HOW DO I PROVIDE PROOF OF MY VACCINATION STATUS?
We are currently working on a system to allow St. Mary’s University community members who are vaccinated to be able to submit proof of their vaccination status online. This mechanism will be announced to students, staff, and faculty and will be in place by October 4, 2021.
Your personal information will be kept confidential in compliance with statutory privacy requirements and will only be shared with health and safety staff as required to protect our community.
DO I STILL NEED TO WEAR A MASK OR PRACTICE PHYSICAL DISTANCING EVEN IF I AM VACCINATED?
Yes. The vaccination requirements complement the extensive health and safety measures already in place and our existing return to campus plans. Existing health and safety protocols will remain in place including mask requirements, self-assessments, and enhanced cleaning protocols. Under the exemption program, physical distancing is not required but is encouraged where possible.
WHAT ABOUT PROOF OF A NEGATIVE TEST PRIOR TO COMING TO CAMPUS?
St. Mary’s University is participating in the provincial Restrictions Exemption Program which requires either proof of vaccination or a negative test result. Tests must be privately-paid COVID-19 PCR or rapid tests completed within 72 hours of coming to campus and must not be from Alberta Health Services or Alberta Precision Laboratories. Therefore, you are required to ensure that any time you are on campus you have proof of a negative test being completed within 72hrs, effective Monday September 20th, 2021. At this time St. Mary’s is not an approved rapid testing center. A list of third party health service vendors can be found on the Government of Alberta website at COVID-19 Rapid Testing Third Party Health Service Vendors (alberta.ca)
WHAT MEASURES IS THE UNIVERSITY TAKING TO ENSURE PROPER PHYSICAL DISTANCING IN CLASSROOMS AND PROPER AIR CIRCULATION (OPENING WINDOWS AND PROPER VENTILATION MEASURES)?
AHS does not require us to maintain social distancing as St. Mary’s University is participating in the provincial Restrictions Exemption Program which requires either proof of vaccination or negative test result. We enhanced the air ventilation system and have doubled the frequency of changing the air filters.
WHY DON’T WE IMPLEMENT THE PASSPORT VACCINE RIGHT AWAY?
We are ensuring we do it properly to ensure peoples’ privacy and ease of implementation. Dr. Hinshaw has provided post-secondary institutions flexibility’ to reach the goal – which is to get as many unvaccinated people vaccinated as quickly as possible to ensure everyone’s safety.