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Western revokes COVID-19 vaccine policy, mask mandate remains in effect

A student walks towards the Western University campus in London, Ont. on Wednesday, September 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nicole Osborne A student walks towards the Western University campus in London, Ont. on Wednesday, September 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nicole Osborne
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London, Ont.’s Western University will be dropping its COVID-19 vaccination policy, the university announced Tuesday afternoon.

In a statement from Western University, the university has decided to revoke its COVID-19 vaccination policy, and will no longer require students, employees and visitors to be vaccinated in order to come to campus.

Western said it has been dedicated to regularly reviewing its vaccine policy, and therefore the decision was made following consultation with medical experts and local public health authorities.

Despite the change in policy, Western reiterates that “public health guidance remains clear: vaccination continues to be the best defence against severe illness and hospitalization. We strongly encourage everyone to remain up to date on their vaccinations.”

With the fall semester nearing an end, Western thanked its students and faculty for their cooperation. 

“Before we enter the busy exam season, we want to thank you for taking care of yourselves, each other, and our community. With your help, Western has minimized the impact of COVID-19 and offered a consistent, positive on-campus experience this term.

Masks however will still be required in instructional spaces for the winter term after the December break.

Medical-grade masks are available for free in libraries and in some of Western’s largest classrooms.

In what was seen as a controversial decision back in August, Western announced the implementation of COVID-19 vaccination and masking policies for the fall semester. This was in contrast to London's Fanshawe College, which did not mandate either for its students and staff. 

“Thanks to everyone in our Western community for keeping each other safe,” Western said in a statement. ”We look forward to seeing you back on campus in January and wish you a restful and safe winter break. 

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