Dear UWindsor Campus Community,
Throughout this pandemic, our number one priority has been the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff.
In keeping with our commitment to sharing as much information as possible as it becomes available, we want to inform you that the Ministry of Colleges and Universities released a set of guidelines yesterday evening with respect to the fall opening of post-secondary institutions.
The guidelines address a number of the protocols that we have been planning for as we return to campus, including mandatory vaccination policies, testing regiments, and information and supports for all staff, students, and faculty.
However, it should be noted that the Ministry guidelines also suggest that institutions have the flexibility to change the requirements related to physical distancing and capacity limits set under Stage 3 of the Roadmap for Reopening Ontario for indoor instructional spaces (e.g., classrooms, laboratories, libraries, in-person experiential learning). All other indoor spaces (e.g., CAW Centre, Forge fitness centre, office spaces, meeting rooms) were not included in these changes.
The University of Windsor has often taken a more robust approach to our health and safety protocols than others across the sector, and despite this recent Ministry announcement, we made a promise to staff, faculty, and students that once announced, class schedules, and delivery modes would not change. This remains a promise kept.
Clearly stated, we will not be increasing capacity limits or changing physical distancing requirements for campus instructional spaces in response to the Ministry guidelines. We have had discussions with our partners at the Windsor Essex County Health Unit who fully support our position.
We are confident in our health and safety standards as we are following the advice of the Council of Ontario Medical Officers of Health as well as the guidance from our local health authorities. Given the COVID-19 situation locally as cases begin to steadily increase, we must take all available precautions to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on our campus and help to keep our community safe.
We know you have questions about our recent vaccine policy announcement, and we will be sharing specific details this week about the policy and next steps.
This has been a challenging period for all of us for many reasons, and we thank you for your tireless dedication, patience, and understanding.
Rob Gordon, PhD
President & Vice-Chancellor