COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

Policy Regarding Mandatory Vaccination Requirements for In-person University Activities

Approval: Senior Leadership Team

October 12, 2021

 

Definitions

An individual is Fully Vaccinated only if they have received:

a) the full series of a vaccine, or a combination of vaccines approved by Health Canada1 and they received their last dose at least 14 calendar before the date of their attestation; OR

b) a complete one or two-dose series of a COVID-19 vaccine that is not authorized for use by Health Canada, AND they receive one additional dose of an mRNA vaccine approved by Health Canada at least 14 days before the date of their attestation; OR

c) three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine that is not authorized for use by Health Canada and they received their last dose at least 14 days before the date of their attestation.

Given the changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, if an applicable public health authority announces a different meaning of “Fully Vaccinated”, that definition will take precedence.

For example, if public health authorities announce that additional vaccine doses (i.e., “booster shots”) are required, individuals will not be considered Fully Vaccinated until they have obtained the additional dose(s).


1Moderna Spikevax COVID-19 vaccine;  Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine;  AstraZeneca Vaxzevria COVID-19 vaccine; and,  Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine

Attending on the University’s campus, using University facilities, attending on any University Property, indoors and outdoors, or attending in-person activities organized by, or otherwise affiliated with, the University, whether or not on University Property; this includes University-sanctioned placements, field work/studies, and co-operative terms.

This does not include people performing their work or studies from their personal remote work/study location.

A written record indicating the date(s) an individual received COVID-19 immunization issued by the government of the province, territory or country in which they were immunized.

Proof of Vaccination documents in any language other than English or French must receive certified translation into English before they will be accepted.

A student is any individual recorded by the University Registrar as enrolled in an educational course of study recognized by the Senate and for whom the University maintains education records.

For the purpose of this policy, student also includes individuals in a Continuing Education course at the University, individuals enrolled in other secondary or post-secondary institutions who require access to University Property as part of their program, and medical residents/trainees registered with Post Graduate Medical Education.

Means property owned, leased, rented or otherwise used by the University.

Purpose/Reason for Policy

The purpose of this policy is to:

a) reaffirm the University’s commitment to a healthy and safe living, learning and working environment

b) ensure faculty, staff, students, contractors, service providers, visitors and volunteers are aware of their rights and responsibilities in relation to the University’s COVID-19 requirements.

  • service providers include all organizations that operate on and/or provide services on University Property and their staff/employees/volunteers

  • visitors include Queen’s alumni and retirees. It also includes those attending on University Property for conferences, recreation, sporting events, concerts/performances and restaurant patrons.

c) provide faculty, staff and students with information about how to access appropriate resources, supports, and accommodations related to this policy.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic (“Pandemic”) has created exceptional circumstances and risks, and, poses serious and potentially life-threatening health consequences to people on a global scale. As part of a multi-faceted approach, the University is committed to taking all reasonable precautions to ensure the health and safety of the University community in the face of the Pandemic.

Commencing with the Fall 2021 academic term, there will be an increase of In-person University Activities, in both operational and academic activities, on-campus and in other university working and learning environments. The University anticipates that even those faculty, staff and students who are currently learning/working remotely may be required to attend on campus or other In-person University Activities from time to time, and should be prepared to do so.

This policy is consistent with the University’s obligations under the Reopening Ontario Act, 2020 and the following strong recommendations received from the Council of Ontario Medical Officers of Health (PDF 180 KB) that:

d) full vaccination against COVID-19 be required for all individuals involved in any in-person activities on campus (students, staff, faculty, contractors, and visitors), with the rare exception of those individuals who cannot be vaccinated due to permitted exemptions (medical and other protected grounds under the Ontario Human Rights Code);

e) individuals be required to submit Proof of Vaccination;

f) all individuals who are unvaccinated, due to permitted exemptions or who are awaiting their final required vaccine dose, be required to adhere to additional health and safety measures, up to and including serial and frequent rapid testing; and,

g) individuals involved in any in-person activities (students, staff, faculty, contractors, and visitors) should be fully vaccinated as soon as operationally feasible.

The University has also received instruction from the Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health for Ontario to implement a COVID-19 vaccination policy.

Scope of this Policy

This policy outlines the actions and requirements for people participating in In-person University Activities, and these are in addition to existing and future safety and control measures, which include mandatory masking, physical distancing2, personal hygiene practices, and ongoing cleaning and sanitization protocols. These actions, requirements and measures are subject to change as directed by public health officials or applicable law.

This policy applies to all individuals (including, but not limited to, staff, students, faculty, contractors, service providers, visitors and volunteers who intend to access any University Property, indoors and outdoors, or participate in In-person University Activities, whether or not on University Property.

Certain people involved in high-risk activities, as identified by the University, may be subject to additional protocols than those outlined in this policy. For example, different protocols have been or may be implemented for students in Residences, Varsity Athletics, those using Athletics and Recreation facilities, and those in the Faculty of Health Sciences, Faculty of Education and other programs that require student placements, and the Dan School of Drama and Music, as well as other areas designated as high risk by of the University. In those cases, individuals are required to comply with any additional measures that the University has identified to be most appropriate for their high-risk activity.

Concerns or questions about the interpretation or application of this policy can be directed to:

a) Student Affairs for support for students
b) Human Resources for support for staff
c) Faculty Relations for faculty and academic staff
d) Others, your primary University contact

From time to time, this policy may be updated, as necessary, based on new public health guidance, new legal requirements, or other changing circumstances related to the Pandemic. The University will be guided by public health information, legislative requirements, and its existing legal obligations under, among other things, the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the Human Rights Code.

This policy will continue to apply until it is amended or revoked.


2. Those in instructional spaces are not required to physically distance. All other public health and safety measures continue to apply in those spaces, including masking.

 

Policy Statement

This policy is intended to keep the University community safe and healthy. It also addresses several legal obligations of the University. While not an exhaustive list of legal obligations, universities are required under the Reopening Ontario Act, 2020, to implement the recommendations of public health authorities, and to maintain a safe work environment under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

This policy outlines the mandatory vaccination requirements for those attending In-person University Activities and are in addition to existing and future control measures such as mandatory masking, physical distancing, personal hygiene practices, and ongoing cleaning and sanitization protocols and any other requirements necessary to comply with public health requirements.

Vaccination Requirement

Individuals (including, but not limited to, students, staff, faculty, contractors, visitors and volunteers) are required to be Fully Vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to participating in any In-person University Activities, with the rare exception of those faculty, staff and students who cannot be vaccinated due to validated exemptions (medical and other protected grounds under the Ontario Human Rights Code). If requesting an accommodation, the appropriate office must be notified no later than September 13, 2021 (See below, under “Responsibilities”).

Faculty Staff and Students:

All faculty, staff and students must submit their vaccination status declaration form no later than September 13, 2021.

Faculty, staff and students intending to request an accommodation must notify the appropriate office no later than September 13, 2021 (See below, under “Responsibilities”).

Faculty, staff or students who are seeking an accommodation from this vaccination requirement must complete the required form(s) (see links at bottom of webpage) and submit them to the University as indicated on those forms.

Until October 15, 2021, individuals who wish to participate in In-person University Activities must provide the University with Proof that they are Fully Vaccinated or have received their first dose of a two-dose vaccine or must have requested an accommodation.

Individuals who are not Fully Vaccinated or who have a validated and approved accommodation will be subject to additional public health measures, including mandatory twice-weekly rapid testing and disclosure of test results pursuant to the University’s testing procedures and protocols. Those who have submitted a request for an accommodation and are awaiting the university’s decision are permitted to participate in In-person Activities during this time, subject to additional public health measures, including mandatory twice-weekly rapid testing and disclosure of test results pursuant to the University’s testing procedures and protocols.

Effective October 16, 2021, all individuals who wish to participate in In-person University Activities must:

a) be Fully Vaccinated and have Proof of Vaccination to the University;

OR

b) have received their final required dose of vaccination and have provided Proof of Vaccination to the University. These individuals are not considered Fully Vaccinated until 14 days after the administration of the final dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and will be subject to additional public health measures, including mandatory twice-weekly rapid testing and disclosure of test results pursuant to the University’s testing procedures and protocols, until the 14-day period has expired;

OR,

c) have a validated and approved accommodation from the vaccination requirement. Individuals who cannot be vaccinated due to an approved permitted exemption will be subject to additional public health measures, including mandatory twice-weekly rapid testing and disclosure of test results pursuant to the University’s testing procedures and protocols.

Others:

Other Individuals will be required to submit Proof of Vaccination in a form acceptable to the University. Submissions of Proof will be audited. 

The University reserves the right to implement further health and safety measures as it deems necessary or as it may be directed by public health officials or other government authorities.

It is a violation of this policy:

d) to attend In-person University Activities without fully complying with this policy;

e) to fail to participate in required rapid COVID-19 testing and/or to submit testing results;

f) to provide any false, misleading, or otherwise dishonest information or documents to the University in relation to this policy; or,

g) to otherwise fail to comply with any COVID-19 health or safety requirements put in place by the University, whether or not such requirement is expressly set out in this policy.

 

Responsibilities

Reasonable care and diligence shall be exercised to prevent contravention of the laws of Ontario and this policy. The University has identified roles and responsibilities as follows:

a) The Office of Risk and Safety Services are responsible:

  1. for ensuring that the parties or party responsible for the day-to-day implementation and enforcement of this policy understand their responsibilities and for monitoring their compliance with those responsibilities accordingly; and
  2. for monitoring compliance with this policy.
     

b) Employment Supervisors/Managers will:

  1. ensure their employees are notified of the policy;
  2. provide the resources and support necessary to ensure compliance with this policy; and
  3. take appropriate administrative action for non-compliance with the policy in conjunction with advice from Human Resources and/or Faculty Relations as applicable.
     

c) Faculty and Staff: are required to comply with the policy as well as all other University environmental health and safety requirements, programs and procedures.

All faculty and staff must complete their vaccination status declaration form no later than September 13, 2021.

Faculty and staff who will be seeking an accommodation must notify Human Resources prior to September 13, 2021.

They must download and complete the SeQure App daily self-assessment prior to attending University Property. For those without a cell phone or tablet, a web version and a document version of the assessment (PDF 200 KB) are also available.

SeQure App results (“Cleared” or “Not Cleared”) may be verified for compliance on a “need to know” basis.
 

d) Students: are required to comply with this policy as well as all other University environmental health and safety requirements, programs and procedures.

All students must complete their vaccination status declaration form no later than September 13, 2021.

Students seeking an accommodation must notify QSAS no later than September 13, 2021.

Students should conduct a daily self-assessment before they attend University Property. Students are encouraged to download and complete the SeQure App self-assessment. Alternatively, they can use the Ontario government self-assessment tool.
 

e) Volunteers: Every Faculty, School, Department and Unit that engages services of volunteers must ensure that every volunteer is Fully Vaccinated and must maintain a record demonstrating they have verified each volunteer’s proof of having been Fully Vaccinated. Proof of may include official vaccination receipts in combination with photo ID, a QR code supplied by the government or other official documentation or record.
 

f) Others: All contractors and services providers and their respective employees/personnel who attend on University Property or who will interact with Queen’s faculty, staff or students must be Fully Vaccinated against COVID-19. All contractors and service providers must certify in writing that all of their employees, staff and personnel entering University Property are Fully Vaccinated and that they have collected or affirmed each individual’s proof of their Fully Vaccinated status. A separate Procedure will be developed with additional instructions.

Contractors and service providers are required to take all reasonable steps to ensure that any of their contractors or sub-contractors they engage are Fully Vaccinated before attending University Property.

Any contractor, service provider, visitor (including alumni and retirees), or other person (including delivery personnel) must be prepared to provide proof that they are Fully Vaccinated, upon request. Proof of Vaccination may include official vaccination receipts in combination with photo ID, a QR code supplied by the government or other official documentation or record.

Contractors and service providers, visitor and volunteers should conduct a daily self-assessment before they attend University Property. They are encouraged to download and complete the SeQure App self-assessment. Alternatively, they can use the Ontario government self-assessment tool.

 

Consequences

Faculty and Staff

Any employee found to be in violation of this policy will be prohibited from participating in In-person University Activities, on or off University Property and will be subject to remedial and/or disciplinary action. Collective agreement requirements, if applicable, will be followed.

Students

Any student found to be in violation of this policy will be prohibited from accessing University property and In-Person University Activities and may be subject to proceedings outcomes and/or sanctions under the Student Code of Conduct (PDF 1.4 MB).

Others

Any contractor, service provider, visitor, volunteer or other person who is not Fully Vaccinated, or who cannot provide proof that they are Fully Vaccinated will not be permitted to attend In-person University Activities or remain on University Property.

Despite the above, the following individuals will be permitted to attend University Property even if they are not Fully Vaccinated:

a) An individual who attends University Property for the purpose of seeking or obtaining health care, provided that the individual does not access any other areas on University Property.

b) A child under the age of 12 years old, until such time as such children become eligible to obtain a vaccination.

 

Privacy

Personal information under this policy is collected under the authority of the Royal Charter of 1841, as amended, and because it is necessary to the proper administration of a lawfully authorized activity. Proof of Vaccination, requests for accommodation, supporting documents, and proof of negative COVID-19 test results will be collected, used, and stored in accordance with the University’s obligations under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. F.31 (“FIPPA”) and the Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004, S.O. 2004, c. 3, Sch. A (“PHIPA”), as applicable, and University policies, including but not limited to the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Policy, Policy on the Handling of Personal Health Information, and the Privacy Breach Protocol.

The University will ensure that access to any personal information provided under this policy is limited to those who require access on a “need to know” basis only in accordance with FIPPA, and that personal health information is handled in accordance with PHIPA. This information will be securely stored and will only be used for the purpose of assessing whether an individual is permitted to participate in In-person University Activities, to assess compliance with the policy, to determine whether there has been a breach of this policy, and to address health and safety concerns arising during In-person University Activities, including whether additional or enhanced safety protocols are necessary in the event of an outbreak or otherwise, and for related administrative and statistical purposes.

Proof of Vaccination documents will be retained until the end of the academic year. Other information (requests for accommodation, supporting documents, and proof of negative COVID-19 test results) will be retained until the purposes for which it was collected are fulfilled.

Other than the employees tasked with implementing this policy, people should refrain from asking or requiring one another to disclose their vaccination status or their reasons for not being Fully Vaccinated; they should not engage in any reprisal against one another.

Responsible Office: Office of the Principal and Vice-Chancellor

Responsibility: 

Date: October 12, 2021

Date initially approved: September 8, 2021
Date of last revision: October 12, 2021

Contact: safe.return@queensu.ca

Date for Next Review: TBD

Related Policies, Procedures, and Guidelines:

  • Academic Accommodations Policy for Students with Disabilities
  • Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Policy
  • Harassment and Discrimination Prevention and Response Policy
  • Policy on the Handling of Personal Health Information
  • Policy on Workplace Accommodation
  • Privacy Breach Protocol.
  • Student Code of Conduct
  • Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act
  • Personal Health Information Protection Act
  • Human Rights Code
  • Occupational Health and Safety Act
  • Reopening Ontario Act, 2020

Policies Superseded by This Policy: N/A