The University of Toronto (U of T) will require students, staff, faculty, and visitors attending its campuses this fall to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The university currently has a total of 95,055 students enrolled across its three Greater Toronto Area (GTA) locations.

Proof of vaccination will be required for all U of T students living in residence as well as all students, faculty, and staff, and anyone participating in specific activities including music performances, varsity athletics, and certain educational placements.

With classes resuming September 9, the time is ticking for those with plans to set foot on the university’s campuses in the not-too-distant future to become fully vaccinated (or else, make other plans for their futures).

student housingUniversity of Toronto, King's College Road

In a letter yesterday, U of T president Meric Getler made the announcement -- one that likely didn’t come as too much of a surprise to many, as a growing number of North American organizations and workplaces move to mandate vaccines. 

“This is a key part of the university’s carefully developed and extensive COVID-19 protocols, which include the mandatory wearing of masks indoors and other safety measures,” wrote Getler. “Our plans are consistent with those of our peer institutions in Ontario.”

According to the celebrated academic institution, students living in residence and community members engaging in certain activities are required to be vaccinated. Furthermore, anyone who visits the university’s three campuses is required to first declare their vaccine status. Those who answer “no” or “prefer not to say” will have to take rapid-screening tests twice a week and produce a negative result within 72 hours of heading to campus, among other public health measures.

Making things easy for U of T students and staff, the university has hosted vaccination clinics at all three of its campuses and continues to post current vaccination clinic information on their UTogether website. 

U of T had previously announced vaccine requirements for those living in its student residences and those participating in high-risk school activities, including athletics and music instruction. 

With the Delta variant causing widespread uncertainty (today's 513 new Ontario COVID cases marked the highest in two months) and the start of the academic year looming, we could very well see a growing number of Ontario universities follow suit. The Council of Ontario Universities (COU) and Colleges Ontario have jointly called for a province-wide policy that requires vaccination of post-secondary students, staff, and faculty.

U of T's move came the same day the University of Western Ontario announced it will be requiring its students, faculty and staff to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination. Queen's, Ryerson, York, etc.... it's your move.