COVID-19: Students cheer while faculty gives failing grade to new B.C. rules for post secondary schools
Post-secondary students must be fully vaccinated if they want to live in campus residences or take part in studies that require them to work in seniors’ care homes, but students will not have to be immunized to attend lectures in classrooms.
The new provincial health orders were announced Tuesday and come into effect on Sept. 7.
However, masks will be required in lecture halls and classrooms under Monday’s mask order by B.C.’s provincial health officer.
“We thought we would be able to release some of the restrictions, however, we know there is a need to take further measures,” Dr. Bonnie Henry said in announcing the new orders, which come as COVID-19 cases have been creeping upwards in B.C.
Marks said more than 2,900 students and faculty in B.C. have signed a petition calling for mandatory immunization or, alternatively, rapid COVID-19 testing before unvaccinated students attend classes at post-secondary institutions. She said she does not understand why Henry has rejected their request.
“Dr. Henry is creating barriers to education by refusing to give B.C. institutions the ability to do what most other universities across the country are doing,” said Marks. “Her proposal makes it impossible for people who are immunocompromised or have an immunocompromised kid or just have kids under 12 to feel safe in classrooms.”
B.C’s post-secondary institutions have been given the autonomy to demand immunization of its employees, but cannot order it for students.