Some Ontario Universities Will Keep Masking & COVID-19 Policies Until End Of School Year

Not everyone is ready to say goodbye to all COVID-19 policies just yet.

Toronto Staff Writer
University of Toronto campus. Right: Ryerson University campus.

University of Toronto campus. Right: Ryerson University campus.

Vaccine certificates and mask mandates may soon become a distant memory for most Ontarians, but that won't be the case for some university students.

The Ontario government announced on March 9 that mask mandates would come to an end in the province on March 21 except for a few select locations, and on April 27, all COVID-19 policies will drop entirely.

However, not every establishment is keen on getting rid of COVID-19 precautions so fast.

The Council of Ontario Universities (COU) put out a statement on March 11 saying that its universities will keep masks and COVID-19 vaccine policies until at least the end of the term.

"In order to minimize uncertainty and disruption and to continue to support our students, staff, faculty and university communities, Ontario's universities will maintain their COVID-19 vaccination and masking policies until at least the end of the current term," reads the statement.

According to COU's website, the council consists of "Ontario's 20 publicly supported universities," including the University of Toronto, York University, Ryerson University, University of Ottawa, University of Waterloo, McMaster University and others.

Western University released a statement on March 10 confirming their masking mandate and vaccination policy would remain in place until "at least the end of this term."

The University of Waterloo released a similar message on March 10, writing, "At Waterloo, to minimize the potential for disruption to the end of the term schedule and exams, we will maintain our current mask-wearing requirement until at least the end of the Winter term."

The Ontario Principals' Council and other organizations have also come forward and expressed their doubts about the swift removal of COVID-19 mandates.

In a statement posted on March 9, the Ontario Principals' Council urged the Ontario government to "pause the lifting of this restriction" as removing masks in schools at this point "will jeopardize the safety of students, staff and our school communities."

This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

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