March 29, 2022
- Like other universities in Ontario, Carleton will suspend vaccination and mask requirements starting May 1, 2022.
- As we may have to reinstate vaccine mandates at a later time, faculty and staff are still required to attest to their vaccination status in cuScreen.
- All individuals are strongly recommended to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, including receiving booster doses.
- Everyone expected to respect personal choices regarding mask-wearing.
To all members of the Carleton community,
We write to provide an update on changes to campus public health measures that will be in place on campus for the summer 2022 term and beyond.
Following discussions with other Ontario universities and in light of the recent relaxation of public health restrictions as part of the Ontario government’s Roadmap to Reopen and based on current local public health conditions, Carleton will suspend its vaccination and masking requirements for participation in in-person Carleton activities beginning May 1, 2022.
As has been the case throughout the pandemic, the evolution of the virus and public health conditions are difficult to predict, so this decision is contingent on current conditions and directions continuing. We will adjust our plans as required by these evolving conditions to ensure everyone’s health and safety and to comply with public health advice or any applicable legal requirements.
Although proof of vaccination will no longer be required starting May 1, it may become necessary to bring back proof of vaccination requirements on short notice if the situation and public health advice changes. To ensure we can minimize any disruption to our learning and work environment, Carleton will maintain a requirement for faculty and staff, to attest to their vaccination status and if vaccinated, to upload proof of vaccination and subsequent booster doses in cuScreen.
We strongly recommend that all members of the Carleton community get a full course of vaccination, including booster doses as soon as they are eligible, and submit their booster dose information in cuScreen as soon as possible.
Although individuals will no longer be required to wear a mask on campus after May 1, we recommend doing so when indoors and when physical distancing cannot be maintained. Further, we support all members of our community who choose to either wear or not wear a mask, and we expect everyone to respect each other’s personal choices. Many individuals will have personal or family reasons for continuing to wear masks in public places. Please show consideration and care for each other during this transition. Masks are available to faculty and staff through their departments/units in eShop.
What this means for students
Starting May 1, proof of vaccination is not required to participate in in-person Carleton activities including in-person classes. However, please be aware that if Carleton were required to reinstate the vaccination requirement at a future time, students who did not keep their vaccination status up to date in cuScreen could find their in-person studies interrupted and may not be able to get necessary vaccinations in time to be able to return to campus to finish their term.
We strongly recommend that students who have not yet attested to their vaccination status in cuScreen do so as soon as possible even if they are not vaccinated. Being vaccinated and maintaining your up-to-date vaccination attestation in cuScreen will reduce the risk of interruption to your studies.
What this means for faculty and staff
Faculty and staff are required to attest their vaccination status in cuScreen. We strongly encourage everyone to be up to date with their vaccinations. If Carleton were required to reinstate our vaccination requirement at a future time, unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated faculty and staff will be subject to the University’s policy and appropriate action could be taken. Staff should consult with their manager or supervisor regarding their unit’s return to campus plans.
Screening requirements and symptom reporting
Remaining vigilant and not attending work or school when sick or with symptoms is critically important. The cuScreen daily screening will no longer be mandatory after May 1 but will remain active for those who wish to complete the screening self-assessment before coming to campus.
All individuals who have been on campus in the 10 days before the onset of symptoms potentially linked to COVID-19 or who have received a positive COVID-19 test result must still submit a COVID-19 Symptom Reporting Form through cuScreen.
While we will be suspending vaccination and mask requirements on May 1, we will maintain our enhanced ventilation measures and hand sanitizer stations will continue to be placed at building entrances. At this time, access to the tunnels remains restricted to authorized individuals and those with approval for accessibility purposes. Regular access to the tunnels will be reinstated once the tunnel ventilation project is completed.
As always, the health and safety of all members of the Carleton community is our top priority. We continue to strongly recommend full vaccination and booster doses against COVID-19 as advised by public health authorities. If you are eligible for COVID-19 vaccination or booster doses, please book an appointment as soon as possible. Vaccination remains the best protection against the worst effects of COVID-19 and its variants and is the most important way to protect public health.
While we see encouraging conditions, it is important to remember that the pandemic is not over. We know that the situation can change at any time, and the risks of new variants and outbreaks are very real. We also ask that you remain vigilant and supportive. Further, we encourage you to review Ottawa Public Health’s website outlining ways to reduce the risks from COVID-19.
We are immensely proud of the way that the University community has come together to keep one another safe since this pandemic started more than two years ago. This has been an extraordinarily challenging time for all of us, and we remain grateful to our community’s ability to adjust to changing circumstances in real-time and continue showing flexibility and compassion.
As always, we thank you for continuing to work together to facilitate a safe and successful return to campus.
President and Vice-Chancellor