Students at the NWT’s Aurora College facilities will be asked to provide proof of vaccination by March 1, 2022, the college said in a Friday news release.
As in the GNWT’s policy, students who decline to provide vaccination proof will be allowed to wear masks and submit to regular Covid-19 tests instead. A similar policy already exists for college staff and contractors.
The college said it would provide personal protective equipment and tests to students who need them.
“Early in the new year, the college will engage with students to get feedback on how to make the implementation of the vaccine policy as student-centred as possible,” the college stated.
“Discussion is expected to focus on how the policy can be made to work in the most effective way possible for students while still achieving the goal of having students fully vaccinated by March 1, 2022.”
The territorial government backed away from making full vaccination mandatory by the end of November over a concern that some agencies would be left unable to function, particularly in smaller communities, if staff who refused to comply were forced to take unpaid leave.
The impact mandatory vaccination would have had on the college’s student body was not contemplated by the college in its news release.
“Aurora College is committed to ensuring a safe teaching, learning, and working environment for everyone,” said Aurora College president Andy Bevan in a statement.
“Considering the new Covid-19 variants in Canada and the world, introducing a student vaccination policy at this time will help keep students, employees, and the communities we serve safe and healthy.”