713 COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

Table of Contents

A.            Purpose and Scope

B.            Definitions

C.            Policy

                1.0          Mandatory Vaccination Requirements

                2.0          Exemptions

                3.0          Rapid Testing Program

                4.0          Employees

                5.0          Consequences for Contravention of this Policy

                6.0          Privacy

                7.0          Duration



  1. Consistent with its commitment to a safe and healthy work and learning environment for its community, in accordance with its legislative obligations, the University has adopted the following policy related to access to University Locations, as defined.  Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the University has sought to implement health and safety protocols and policies based on the advice and recommendations from the provincial government, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, and the Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health.
  1. COVID-19 vaccines play an important role in helping protect our community and bringing the pandemic to an end. Requiring faculty, staff, students, contractors, volunteers, and visitors to submit proof of vaccination helps the University work towards the safest possible working and learning environment for everyone. Consistent with advice received from Public Health and the Council of Ontario Medical Officers of Health, the University has taken the necessary step of adopting this policy to outline the expectations of those attending University Locations.
  1. The Council of Ontario Medical Officers of Health has indicated that vaccination against COVID-19 is the single most effective public health measure to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and has strongly recommended that mandatory vaccination policies be required for post-secondary institutions, with specific minimum requirements.  
  1. The Council of Medical Officers of Health strongly recommends that:
    1. 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).  Individuals are to be required to submit proof of vaccination.
    2. All individuals who are unvaccinated due to permitted exemptions or who are awaiting their second dose be required to adhere to additional health and safety measures, up to and including serial and frequent rapid testing.
    3. Individuals involved in any in-person activities on campus (students, staff, faculty, contractors, and visitors) should be fully vaccinated as soon as operationally feasible.
  1. This Policy applies to all faculty, staff, students, contractors, volunteers, and visitors who access University Locations.
  1. In addition to its obligations pursuant to the Occupational Health and Safety Act, universities are required under the Reopening Act Ontario and associated regulations to operate in compliance with any advice, recommendations and instructions issued by the relevant public health officer:
    1. requiring the business to establish, implement and ensure compliance with a COVID-19 vaccination policy; or
    2. setting out the precautions and procedures that the business must include in its COVID-19 vaccination policy.

For the purposes of this Policy, the following definitions shall apply:

  1. COVID-19 Vaccine – a Health Canada or World Health Organization approved vaccine
  1. Employees – faculty and staff employed by the University of Guelph
  1. Fully Vaccinated – means having received the full series of a particular COVID-19 Vaccine or a combination of COVID-19 Vaccines and having at least fourteen (14) days elapsed since the second dose of the COVID-19 Vaccine
  1. Individual – faculty, staff, students, volunteers, contractors, and visitors who want to access University Locations.
  1. Individuals with Conditions – Individuals who have received one dose of their COVID-19 Vaccine as of September 7 or who have received an approved exemption.
  1. Mandatory Vaccination Requirements – has the meaning found in section C. 1
  1. Non-Compliant Employees – Employees who are not compliant with the current Mandatory Vaccination requirements.
  1. Proof of Vaccination – a written vaccination record of an Individual’s COVID-19 immunization date(s) issued by the government of the province, territory, or country in which they were immunized
  1. Rapid Testing Program – rapid antigen screening program as identified at: U of G COVID-19 Rapid Testing - U of G News (uoguelph.ca)
  1. University Locations – all University of Guelph buildings and University managed facilities, outside and inside, including but not limited to those on its main campus in Guelph, Ridgetown campus and research stations.  Guelph Humber will be subject to Humber College requirements and procedures.

  1. Mandatory Vaccination Requirements

  1. Commencing September 7, 2021, all Individuals who want to access University Locations will be required to abide by the University’s Mandatory Vaccination requirements.  
  1. Individuals who are Fully Vaccinated must provide Proof of Vaccination using the University’s Vaccination Proof and Exemption System or as otherwise directed, prior to coming to University Locations.
  1. Individuals with Conditions may access University Locations if they follow all COVID-19 safety protocols and participate in the Rapid Testing Program.  
  1. By October 15, 2021, all Individuals who have not otherwise received an approved exemption are required to be Fully Vaccinated to be eligible to access University Locations.
  1. Exemptions

  1. Individuals may request an exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination requirement on the basis of medical reasons or other grounds  in accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code. Mandatory Vaccination Exemption Forms based on medical grounds or Creed are available at:
    1. Statement of Creed/Religious Belief – Mandatory Vaccination Exemption form
    2. Medical Statement – Mandatory Vaccination Exemption form
  1. Mandatory Vaccination Exemption Forms must be completed and submitted using the University of Guelph Vaccination Proof and Exemption System. Individuals who cannot access the online Vaccination Proof and Exemption System can submit the forms in paper format.
  1. Rapid Testing Program

  1. Commencing September 7, 2021, rapid antigen screening will be required for Individuals with Conditions.
  1. The University will provide a supply of at-home rapid antigen screening kits for Individuals with Conditions who are Employees or students.   
  1. Individuals with Conditions are required to complete rapid testing as close as possible prior to arrival at the University and no more than 72 hours before they arrive.  If an Individual with Conditions typically visits University Locations every day or a few days each week, they must undergo rapid testing at minimum twice per week (e.g., on Monday and Thursday).
  1. All rapid testing results are to be reported through the University of Guelph Rapid Test Submission tool. Individuals with Conditions must indicate whether the rapid testing result was positive or negative and upload a photo of the completed test.
  1. All Individuals with Conditions must complete the Rapid Testing Course on CourseLink to participate in the Rapid Testing Program.
  1. A positive rapid testing result means an Individual with Conditions cannot come to the University Locations. The Individual must complete a PCR test.  Students can contact Student Health Services to arrange their PCR test.
  1. Employees

  1. Employees who are required to perform their job duties on-site at University Locations based on operational plans or the nature of the work are required to comply with the Mandatory Vaccination Requirements.
  2. Employees who are performing their work both on-site and remotely based on operational plans must abide by the Mandatory Vaccination Requirements and may work remotely if their manager or supervisor provides work that can be performed on the dates the Employee is expected to be on-site. 
  3. Non-Compliant Employees who are continuing to perform their job duties remotely based on operational plans may continue to do so. However, Employees must abide by the University’s Mandatory Vaccination Requirements when they return to work on-site at University Locations.
  4. Non-Compliant Employees who are required to perform their job duties on-site at University Locations based on operational plans or the nature of the work will be placed on an unpaid leave for the time they are expected to work on-site until they comply with the Mandatory Vaccination Requirements.
  1. Consequences for Contravention of this Policy

  1. Proof of Vaccination and Mandatory Vaccination Exemption Forms will be randomly audited to confirm that appropriate documentation has been provided.
  2. The University reserves the right to take action with respect to any Individual who contravenes this Policy or who submits fraudulent Proof of Vaccination, fraudulent documentation supporting an exemption, or a fraudulent COVID -19 test result to the University. Consequences may include but are not limited to:
    1. For employees - removal of access to University Locations and/or disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.
    2. For students – removal of access to University Locations and/or disciplinary action.
    3. For volunteers, contractors, visitors – removal of access to University Locations.
  1. Privacy

Personal information collected in accordance with the University’s Mandatory Vaccination requirements and this Policy will be collected by the University pursuant to the University of Guelph Act 1964 and consistent with Ontario’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. This Personal information will be used to determine compliance with the University of Guelph’s mandatory vaccination requirements. Personal information will be retained for at least one (1) year and otherwise for a reasonable period of time given the purposes for which it was collected. If an outbreak of COVID-19 takes place which may affect an Individual, their personal information may be disclosed to the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health or other applicable Public Health Unit to assist with contact tracing efforts.  

Personal information may be aggregated on a fully anonymized basis such that it is no longer personal information, and such aggregated anonymized information may be shared by the University with the Ministry of Colleges and Universities, the community, and stakeholders in relation to the University’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic including the University’s reinforcement of existing public health measures and the University’s own efforts to keep our community safe.

  1. Duration

This policy may be reviewed and amended from time to time and will remain in effect until September 7, 2022.

The University has the right to change, modify or revoke this Policy, including by enhancing protections in place and implementing supplementary policies which may be applicable to specific buildings, facilities, or activities, at any time.


Effective: September 7, 2021
Revised: October 7, 2021