“As the Delta variant rapidly spread over the summer, we knew that further measures around vaccination requirements and proof of vaccination would be necessary for a successful fall term,” said Peter Stoicheff, USask president and vice-chancellor. “The USask community has met every challenge of the pandemic with resourcefulness and resilience. The low case and transmission rates on our campus to date confirm that the steps we have taken have truly helped ensure the health and safety of our university and broader community.”
Since rolling out the proof of vaccination status process at the end of August, close to 25,000 students, faculty and staff – 92 percent of the total campus population for the fall term – have submitted their vaccine status. Of those who have done so, 91 per cent are fully vaccinated and 97 per cent have received at least one vaccination dose.
“The numbers speak for themselves and far exceed those of the general population in this province, and indeed across the country,” Stoicheff said. “We will continue to work to get these numbers higher, as full participation is vital to continue offering in-person activities, and to protect our community.”
Three per cent of those who have responded are either not vaccinated or have chosen not to disclose. Those individuals are now required to submit two negative rapid test results each week and complete a daily symptom record to participate in on-campus activities.
Stoicheff said that submitting status is required and that there are consequences for non-compliance, including loss of access to course tools, unpaid leave and no longer being permitted on campus, which have now been communicated to those who have yet to declare.
“We acknowledge that even with these outstanding numbers, COVID-19 will continue to have a presence on our campuses and in our communities,” said Stoicheff. “As fall term progresses and the number of COVID cases in our province evolves, we will continue to monitor the status of COVID-19 and its effects on USask, and respond accordingly by updating processes and activities.”
In addition to USask’s mask policy for all indoor spaces, the university is also now requiring masks be worn at any outdoor on-campus gathering of more than 20 people, including Huskies games. Additionally, USask will be flexible in operations if further government safety measures are announced.
“Implementing the guidelines, systems and processes around vaccination and proof of vaccination is a complex and comprehensive undertaking,” he said. “But as is always the case at USask, we have come together and worked tirelessly for the common good. I am confident in our response and our continued flexibility and strength as we work through the fall term.”
For more information, contact:
USask Media Relations