The University of Ottawa has made the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for all students, faculty, staff and visitors returning to campus on September 7. 

UOttawa is the first university in Canada to institute a campus-wide COVID-19 vaccination mandate, though Seneca College introduced their mandatory vaccination policy earlier this summer.

In a statement released on Tuesday, UOttawa announced students, staff and visitors will have to “attest” their vaccination status beginning on September 1 using the online “COVID-19 Assessment Tool” questionnaire.

Prior to this announcement, the University of Ottawa was only going to require students living in residence and student-athletes to be vaccinated. 

The decision to mandate vaccines for everyone on campus was made by the University’s Executive Committee of the Board of Governors. 

“At the dawn of a fourth wave, it is even more important to have everybody vaccinated so that we can enhance our collective immunization against COVID-19 and the variants that are emerging,” the university stated.

According to the university, “any individual who cannot be vaccinated based on medical or other grounds recognized by the Ontario Human Rights Code can request an accommodation.”

UOttawa has one-upped the University of Waterloo, which will require students and staff to self-declare their COVID-19 vaccination status using a “Campus Check-In” system. Those who are not vaccinated will need to provide a negative COVID-19 test twice a week.

According to the University of Ottawa, fully vaccinated individuals must still wear masks while inside campus buildings.

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