Thompson Rivers University will require students, faculty and staff to self-disclose their COVID-19 vaccination status upon returning to school this fall.
This will include at the Williams Lake campus.
“This will be a confidential process, with details on implementation to come in the days ahead,” said Thompson Rivers University president and vice-chancellor Brett Fairbairn in a note issued to students, faculty and staff.
“For those not yet vaccinated, TRU will require individuals to undertake regular rapid COVID testing, which will be available on campus.”
TRU noted, however, testing is still being worked on for both campuses, and will provide an update once further information is available.
A vaccination clinic will be available at the Kamloops campus for those who have not yet had an opportunity to access a vaccine, and Fairbairn said the expectation is that students, faculty and staff, as able, will be vaccinated this fall.
In Williams Lake, a vaccine clinic will be open at 540 Borland St. on Wednesdays and Fridays, Sept. 1 to Sept. 29, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The clinic will be closed from noon to 1 p.m. Appointments are preferred, and limited drop-ins are available. Paradise Cinemas in Williams Lake will also be hosting a drop-in vaccine clinic on Wednesday, Sept. 1 from 4 to 8 p.m.
“Achieving a return to campus life as we once knew it is a shared responsibility requiring the participation of all members of our university community,” he said.
“We heard clearly from many students this year that their learning has suffered during the pandemic, and that they want to be back on campus.”
Fairbairn noted with the announcement by government for additional measures to support safety including mandatory masks while indoors and proof of vaccination for accessing non-essential services, an increase in vaccination rates has been proven.
“This is so critical as the success of the BC COVID-19 vaccination program is vital to our return to in-person learning,” he said.
He noted other ways the university is working to make the campus safe include:
• Enhanced cleaning
• Barriers in high-traffic service areas
• Vaccination proof for: student housing, door-entry campus restaurants, athletics activities, events
• Mandatory masking indoors
• Improved ventilation to mitigate the spread of communicable diseases
Fairbairn noted TRU is following the guidance offered by the Provincial Health Office and is working closely with the post-secondary sector.