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Community update: Vaccination requirements and timelines for winter semester

October 18, 2021

To: All students, faculty and staff

As you are likely aware, the fall was a transition semester with plans for a broader reopening of campus for the winter. Information about increased on-campus activity in the winter semester will be forthcoming as the university continues to review capacity limits, public health guidelines and provincial requirements.

With that in mind, we are providing compliance timelines for the COVID-19 Vaccination Policy in anticipation of the winter 2022 semester.

You must be vaccinated to access campus

As previously communicated, effective Monday, October 18, individuals accessing campus or in-person university activities off-campus must be fully vaccinated or have received an approved exemption from the university. Individuals who have approved exemptions are still required to participate in the Rapid Antigen Testing Program.

If you have already submitted your vaccination status in RyersonSafe

If you have already indicated your vaccination status in RyersonSafe and there has been no change in your status, no further action is required from you. For individuals who previously indicated they are not fully vaccinated or that they are applying for an exemption and have had a change in status, please update your status in RyersonSafe. Follow the instructions on how to submit proof of vaccination status.

All remaining community members required to submit vaccination status by November 1

All students, faculty and staff who have not yet submitted their vaccination status in Ryerson Safe are required to do so by November 1, 2021 in advance of the winter 2022 semester. Review information on how to submit proof of vaccination status.

Exemption requests

The university will consider exemptions to the vaccination requirement in appropriate and limited circumstances, where there is a duty to accommodate based on protected grounds under Ontario’s Human Rights Code. Please keep in mind that in accordance with the applicable law and guidance from public health officials and regulatory bodies, exemptions from the requirement for full vaccination against COVID-19 are limited.

We will consider creed based exemption requests, however, on September 22, the Ontario Human Rights Commission issued a policy statement on COVID-19 vaccine mandates and proof of vaccine certificates, external link, indicating that personal preferences and singular beliefs against vaccination do not amount to a creed for the purposes of the Human Rights Code and do not create a right to accommodation. In addition, the Commission states that even if a duty to accommodate is triggered, it would not necessarily require an exemption from vaccine mandates due to pressing health and safety considerations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition, the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) has been clear that medical exemptions are very rare, external link, stating, “Generally speaking, there are very few acceptable medical exemptions to the COVID -19 vaccination (e.g., an allergist/immunologist confirmed severe allergy or anaphylactic reaction to a previous dose of a COVID-19 vaccine or to any of its components that cannot be mitigated; a diagnosed episode of myocarditis/pericarditis after receipt of an mRNA vaccine).” Please note that approved medical exemptions may be time-limited.

Community members who wish to apply for an exemption for the winter semester must do so by November 1, 2021. Individuals who receive an approved exemption will still be required to participate in Rapid Antigen Testing. Review information on how to apply for an exemption.

Ryerson University encourages everyone who will be working and studying on campus to complete our COVID-19 Return to Campus Training, particularly those who are not fully vaccinated.

Provincial update on definition of “fully vaccinated”

On October 7, Ontario updated the definition of “fully vaccinated against COVID-19”. As a result, to comply with the applicable law and university’s policy, individuals must show proof that they have received:

(i) the full series of a COVID-19 vaccine authorized by Health Canada, or any combination of such vaccines,

(ii) one or two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine not authorized by Health Canada, followed by one dose of a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine authorized by Health Canada, or

(iii) three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine not authorized by Health Canada. Additionally, the final dose must have been received at least 14 days ago.

This update applies to individuals who were previously able to receive an Approved vaccinated status in RyersonSafe by indicating Sinopharm or Sinovac for both doses. The university is currently determining the process for impacted individuals to update their status and will follow up with them directly. For individuals who have not yet submitted proof, the university is determining if an update to the existing process is required and will provide further guidance on the Vaccinations webpage once finalized.

Key dates

Date Action
October 18, 2021 Anyone accessing campus must be fully vaccinated or have received an approved exemption from the university. Individuals who are exempt are still required to participate in the Rapid Antigen Testing Program.
November 1, 2021

Deadline for all community members to submit their vaccination status in Ryerson Safe. The options in Ryerson Safe are:

  • I am fully vaccinated.
    • This requires uploading proof of vaccination. Individuals receive a green badge with an “Approved” status upon completion.
  • I am not fully vaccinated.
    • Individuals receive a red badge with a “Not Approved” status and are not allowed to access campus. Employees should connect with their leaders about next steps. Students who indicate they are not fully vaccinated will be assumed to be pursuing full vaccination, and will be expected to be fully vaccinated by the Winter term. If students have questions about this process, they are encouraged to contact the ServiceHub.
  • I intend to apply for an exemption.
    • Individuals receive an orange badge with a “Not Complete” status and are directed to information on how to apply for an exemption. Applications for exemptions must also be submitted by November 1.

Questions?

We’ve added a new  Contact page on the COVID-19 Information and Updates website to help you determine the best point of contact for the information you need.