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Information for the Huron Community

Covid-19 Screening

This webpage is intended to provide the Huron Community with linkages to information regarding and updates from Western University, the Middlesex-London Health Unit and the Ontario Ministry of Health regarding COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus).

Return to Campus

Updated: September 3, 2021

Huron University College is prepared to welcome students, staff and faculty back to the Huron campus for safe, in-person learning.

In developing our return to campus policies, we have adhered to the principles of keeping our community safe while creating the civic-minded and academically rigorous community we’ve come to expect on campus. Using our strengthened policies and guidance from the Ontario government, we believe that we have put in place a plan that will allow for a safe return to campus this September.

These measures include:

  • Mandatory Vaccination on Campus: Huron and its affiliate partners are implementing a vaccination policy which will require proof of vaccination or have an exemption in order to come on campus, including living in residence. Those with an exemption must be tested for COVID-19 twice weekly. There is no testing option for those who choose not to be vaccinated. Those without proof of vaccination or an exemption will not be permitted on campus.
  • COVID-19 Testing Prior to Moving into Residence: Students will be required to produce a negative COVID-19 test (PCR or rapid) prior to moving into their space.
  • Personal Protective Equipment and Rapid Tests: Huron is making relevant PPE and rapid tests available to the community.
  • Facility Upgrades: HVAC systems have been updated across the university and Plexiglas barriers installed in the dining hall.

Based on these protocols, which are in line with guidance provided by the Government of Ontario, students, staff and faculty can expect the following across campus:

AreaPolicy
Events (non-instructional)All events taking place on the Huron campus will adhere to the requirements of the Province’s Roadmap to Reopen, currently in Stage 3 at the time of writing. This includes capacity limits, contact tracing, masking and physical distancing, as well as Huron’s vaccination requirements for students, employees and visitors. Please contact the events team prior to arranging an event for advice and guidance how to adhere to Stage 3 rules.

Until further notice Huron will not host any external events (indoor or outdoor) in the Fall semester.

MeetingsFaculty and staff may hold meetings in their office if physical distancing can be maintained. Masks are required.

If physical distancing cannot be maintained, staff may book a larger meeting room or hold meetings virtually.

Faculty who have offices where physical distancing can be maintained may choose to have office hours in person (by appointment) or virtually. Masks are required.

ClassroomsAs outlined in the provincial government’s COVID-19 guidance to post-secondary institutions, classrooms will be open for all instructor-led classes. Masks will be required but not physical distancing. No food will be allowed in class in order to limit time with masks off.

Faculty must wear a face covering while instructing. Face shields will be made available to faculty for ease of instruction if they prefer.

As per Huron’s vaccination policy, all students and employees will be required to be vaccinated in order to attend class. Those with valid exemptions will need to be tested twice weekly in order to be present on campus.

LibraryThe Huron library will be open to students and employees for work or study. Masks will be required. No food will be allowed in library in order to limit time with masks off. Loitering is not permitted.

As per Huron’s vaccination policy, all students and staff will be required to be vaccinated in order to attend class. Those with valid exemptions will need to be tested twice weekly in order to be present on campus.

VisitorsIn accordance with Huron’s vaccination policy, visitors must be vaccinated. All visitors accessing campus and interacting with community members must show proof of vaccination or approved medical accommodation. It is the responsibility of the Huron representative signing in the visitor(s) to verify their information through a jotform and notify Human Resources. Huron’s full visitor policy can be viewed here.
Off-Campus Events (Experiential education, field trips, internships, etc.)Students and staff who must travel off-campus should follow the rules of their external host. This includes masking, distancing and providing vaccine or contract tracing information, as required.

Any students with questions may contact vaccine@huron.uwo.ca. Staff and faculty are encouraged to reach out to HR at huronhr@huron.uwo.ca.

Case Tracker

Huron University is working closely with Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU), who will notify and confirm any positive COVID-19 cases linked to the community. We are also coordinating closely with our partners across the Western community to ensure information is shared and When a case is reported, Huron initiates response protocols and works closely with MLHU to contain the spread of COVID-19.

In order to keep the Huron community apprised of any developments, we will be posting the number of cases linked to campus each week. Please note, these case numbers reflect individuals who are linked to campus, however, they may not be Huron faculty, staff, or students (for example, a student from an affiliated school who attends a Huron class).

 

Date

Cases

Week of Nov. 22 – Nov. 280
Week of Nov. 15 – Nov. 210
Week of Nov. 8 – Nov. 140
Week of Nov. 1 – Nov. 71
Week of Oct. 11 – Oct. 170
Week of Oct. 4 – Oct. 100
Week of Sept. 27 – Oct. 31
Week of Sept. 20 – 260
Week of Sept. 13 – 190
Week of Sept. 6 – 120
Week of Aug. 30 – Sept. 50

 

Vaccination Policy

Why are we requiring COVID-19 vaccinations?

Huron always has and will continue to prioritize the health of our community. We want everyone to feel safe and welcome at Huron. Considering the ongoing risks posed by COVID-19 and its variants, we believe requiring vaccination will help keep our community safe and contribute to stopping the spread of the virus.

Huron, as part of the Western community, is relying on data from our public health partners, and faculty experts in medicine and law to guide our decisions in health and safety measures and limiting the spread of the virus.  Achieving high rates of vaccination is one of the most important ways our community can be protected. That’s why the Council of Ontario Universities (COU) called on the provincial government for mandatory vaccination and validation of vaccination status or negative test results .

Will I need to be vaccinated in order to attend classes or take part in campus activities?

Effective Sept. 7, 2021 all members of our community – including students, employees and visitors – must provide proof of vaccination or have an exemption, and those with an exemption must be tested for COVID-19 twice weekly. There is no testing option for those who choose not to be vaccinated.

All members of the community must upload information by September 7. Those who are not yet fully vaccinated have until October 12 to submit proof of vaccination and will be required to be tested for COVID-19 twice weekly in the interim.

Will vaccines be required for those living in residence?

Yes – in order to live in residence, students will need to provide proof of full vaccination status. Student will also need to provide a negative COVID-19 test (PCR or rapid) prior to moving in.

Where and how do I get vaccinated or tested?

Western has an on-campus vaccination and testing centre. It is now open in the Graphic Services Building. Any registered student or current employee with an active Western username and password can book a test or a vaccine appointment using the online booking tools. Some walk-in appointments are available. Pre-booking guarantees you a spot, pending vaccine availability.

How do I prove my vaccination status?

Members of the Huron community will receive an email from Western University with a personalized link for a questionnaire to be completed, including detailed instructions on how to submit your proof of vaccination status.

Which vaccines are approved?

Vaccines approved by Health Canada and the World Health Organization (WHO) will be recognized under current provincial guidance.

Are there exemptions?

Any individual who cannot be vaccinated on medical or other grounds recognized by the Ontario Human Rights Code can request an exemption. Those who remain unvaccinated must be tested twice a week.

Exemption requests can be made using the following fillable forms:

Students can send their completed forms to vaxinfo@uwo.ca. Employees should submit completed forms to takecare@uwo.ca.

What do I do if am waiting to receive my second dose?

If you are waiting to receive your second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, you will need to test twice weekly until you are considered fully vaccinated.  Please note, individuals must receive their second dose by September 28, 2021, to be considered fully vaccinated no later than October 12, 2021.

What happens if I refuse to get vaccinated and my presence is still required on campus?

Everyone attending campus must provide proof of vaccination or have an exemption, and those with an exemption must be tested for COVID-19 twice weekly. Testing in lieu of vaccination is now only available to those with a medical or Ontario Human Rights Code exemption.

Individuals who have not provided proof of vaccination and have not received an exemption will not be permitted on campus.

If I receive an exemption, do I still need to get tested twice a week?

Yes – those who are unvaccinated must be tested twice a week.

What type of testing is required if I am not vaccinated?

The testing required is a Rapid Antigen Test. This test is not as invasive as the diagnostic PCR Test and only requires a nasal swab (2 cm). This testing needs to be done twice a week regardless of how often you are on campus on a weekly basis.

Western’s on-campus vaccination and testing centre is now open in the Graphics Services Building. You can book a testing appointment at Book Your Appointment – COVID-19 Testing on campus – Western University (uwo.ca).

Am I responsible for paying for testing twice weekly?

No. There is no cost to students and employees for testing. Western’s on-campus Vaccination and Testing Centre offers both COVID-19 Rapid Tests and COVID-19 PCR Tests at no cost to all Western students, employees, and alumni.

Who do I contact for more information or if I have concerns?

Staff and faculty are encouraged to reach out to huronhr@huron.uwo.ca with questions, concerns, or for support.

Students can direct questions to vaccine@huron.uwo.ca

Mental health supports are available for students and employees. Please reach out if you require additional assistance.

How will my information be safe-guarded?

Health information will be secure and will be kept confidentially by Western University with highly limited access. Aggregate data will be used to provide information on overall trends.

Will visitors to campus need to be vaccinated?

Visitors will be welcomed at Huron, however, in accordance with our vaccination policy, they will need to be vaccinated. Huron’s full visitor policy can be viewed here.

All visitors accessing campus and interacting with community members must show proof of vaccination or approved medical accommodation. It is the responsibility of the Huron representative signing in the visitor(s) to verify their information through a jotform.

Coming to Campus

Will it be mandatory for students to be on campus in the Fall 2021?

Yes – with limited exceptions for some international students who cannot arrive on campus due to flight bans or visa permit delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Do I still need to wear a mask after I am fully vaccinated?

Yes – provincial regulations mandate the use of face coverings in all indoor settings. Anyone on campus must continue to wear a three-layer, non-medical mask while indoors in public spaces or within 2 meters of another person, regardless of vaccination status.

Faculty who can maintain two meters’ distance between themselves and the closest students would be permitted to instruct without a mask. Face shields will be made available to faculty for ease of instruction if they prefer

Do I still need to complete the daily COVID screening?

Yes – anyone entering a Huron building are required to complete the daily screening form. QR codes are posted at all entrances and the form is also accessible here. This is a public health requirement and facilitates contact tracing.

What will classes look like this year?

Classrooms will be open for all instructor-led classes. Masks will be required but not physical distancing. No food will be allowed in class in order to limit time with masks off.

Faculty must wear a face covering while instructing. Face shields will be made available to faculty for ease of instruction if they prefer.

This policy is in line with guidance provided by the provincial government to Ontario’s post-secondary institutions.

Can I invite guest speakers to take part in classes?

Yes, however, they must adhere to the same vaccination guidelines as students, staff and faculty. It is the responsibility of the Huron representative signing in the visitor(s) to verify their information through a jotform.

You are also encouraged to create a back-up plan in the events that restrictions change.

Will student services like wellness counselling and academic advising be available in person?

Student services and wellness are planning to offer services to all students who require support.

Meeting may be held in offices if physical distancing can be maintained. Masks are required.

If physical distancing cannot be maintained, larger meeting room may be booked or meetings may be held virtually.

What library services will be available?

Library & Learning Services at Huron will offer a full complement of learning and research support to the Huron community in 2021-2022. The Library’s website (https://huronatwestern.ca/library) is the best place to connect with us and to learn more about both in-person and online options to access course and learning materials, as well as the diverse array of in-depth, one-on-one academic communication, information, learning, research, and writing support services we offer.

Huron’s academic librarians and academic staff offer in-class, integrated instruction as well as targeted workshops to help you develop the critical skills, knowledge, and capacities you’ll need to thrive in university. We also offer both peer-based and professional one-on-one consultations for: English Language Learning, course tutoring (business, economics, and math), internship applications, learning and research skills, and writing.

The library itself will be open to students and employees for work or study. Masks will be required. No food will be allowed in library in order to limit time with masks off. Loitering is not permitted.

Will other parts of campus be open and what are the expectations for students on campus in the Fall?

Most parts of campus will be open and operating in accordance with Stage 3 rules, until things change at the provincial level. Classes will be open for in-class learning, as per guidance provided by the provincial government. We have included a matrix of information at the top of the page to give staff, faculty and students of sense of what to expect on all areas of campus.

Will there be extra-curriculars and orientation activities in September 2021?

Yes. OWeek will be taking place Sept. 6 – 11, while adhering to Stage 3 guidelines of the province’s Roadmap to Reopening. We expect extra-curricular activities will take place throughout the year in accordance to provincial guidelines.

How will events be handled on campus?

Events (non-instructional) will be organized in compliance with Provincial Health guidelines and are subject to change. We ask that staff and faculty check in with the Events Group prior to scheduling any events on campus for the most up to date rules.

Note, until further notice Huron is not hosting events by external groups.

As a guideline, Ontario is currently in Step Three of the province’s Roadmap to Reopen.

Can we continue to partner with off-campus organizations to host classes?

We encourage faculty to provide the best experiences for students as long as we follow Provincial COVID restrictions. Off-campus classes providing experiential learning where classes are facilitated with off-campus partners will be permitted but will be subject to the current provincial and local public health guidelines and the guidelines put in place by the host site. If a faculty member is scheduling such a class, they should have a backup plan in place if circumstances change and the class needs to be held on campus.

Will staff/faculty be required to meet with students in their office?

Faculty and staff may hold meetings in their office if physical distancing can be maintained. Masks are required.

If physical distancing cannot be maintained, staff may book a larger meeting room or hold meetings virtually.

Faculty who have offices where physical distancing can be maintained may choose to have office hours in person (by appointment) or virtually. Masks are required.

COVID Protocols

What do I do if I test positive for COVID-19?

All students, staff, and faculty are required to report a positive test result immediately. Do not come to campus and follow the public health guidelines. If you are a student in residence, isolate in your room immediately.

  • Staff and faculty should report to their leader or Human Resources
  • Students in residence should report to either of the Residence Life Managers or the AVP, Student Engagement
  • Students should report to the Registrar’s Office for accommodation purposes
What should a colleague do if a Huron Faculty/Staff member tests positive for COVID-19?

The impact of a positive test will need to be determined case-by-case and will follow provincial health guidelines.

If a student, faculty, or staff member is identified as close contact, then the recommendation of public health is that they be tested.

Currently, fully vaccinated individuals are not required to isolate if asymptomatic. Those that are not fully vaccinated are still required to isolate for 14 days.

It is important to complete the daily COVID Screening tool as required by Public Health as it also allows for contact tracing to occur.

How will students be accommodated should they test positive for COVID-19?

Prolonged student absence for any reason will be handled by academic advisors who will work with the student directly to determine accommodation.

How will staff/faculty be accommodated should they test positive for COVID-19?

All department chairs have been asked to consider contingency plans in the event that a faculty member is required to isolate or becomes ill with COVID. Specific plans and coverage will be determined on a case-by-case basis as each situation will have different variables and factors to consider.

If a staff member is feeling well enough to continue to work during an isolation period or if positive for COVID but asymptomatic, they could discuss the option of working from home with their leader. This will not be a requirement but simply offered as an option.

Where applicable, staff and faculty can utilize sick days if required to isolate.

What happens if a family member is required to isolate due to a high-risk exposure?

If a family member is considered a close contact and is not showing symptoms, then a faculty or staff member will need to follow the public health guidelines based on vaccination status. Currently, fully vaccinated family members of asymptomatic individuals are not required to self-isolate.

If the family member is symptomatic and tests positive for COVID, then public health will provide further guidelines for the rest of the household.

Huron will follow our regular policies if a faculty or staff member is unable to attend work due to family responsibilities.

What provisions will be in place for faculty/students who are immuno-compromised?

In addition to our mandatory vaccination policy, masking, hand washing, and daily screening will still be required for everyone coming to campus. As well, Huron has voluntary rapid testing as an additional health and safety measure that is available.

If someone has health concerns they are encouraged to address their individual concerns with HR for further review.

What is Huron doing about air quality around campus?

Huron’s HVAC system upgrades have been a major focus of the summer project execution. Preventative Maintenance is completed proactively on all systems.  System filters are being upgraded to MERV13 or highest existing equipment will support.  This is to help filter incoming and recirculated air within the systems.

Since March 2020, 11 major pieces of HVAC equipment have been installed to replaced aged or poorly functioning systems:

  • West Wing – 2 units complete, 4 in progress in August
  • Kingsmill Room
  • Library Reading Room/Stacks
  • Library Commons
  • Valley Wing – 1 in progress in August
  • O’Neil Ridley – new chiller for A/C
Will Huron consider moving teaching online again?

Huron is currently planning for a return to campus in the Fall, with in-person classes. Moving online would be determined by the level of community spread of COVID-19 and any changes to the stage of reopening that the Province may pursue. Senior Leadership is monitoring the situation carefully and are confident in our ability to provide safe, in-person classes this Fall. Should the situation change, we will ensure all students will have the ability to continue their studies online.

How will I know if things change as the year progresses?

We have all experienced how dynamic and rapidly changing the conditions have been when it comes to COVID and decision-making related to the pandemic. We expect the next few months will follow a similar pattern, with new decisions and information coming from the government that may impact our decisions as an institution. Timely and accurate information will be provided through a number of channels, including via regular statements from our President, Dr. Barry Craig, updates to FAQs on our website, emails to incoming and returning students, and social media announcements.

Academics

I have applied to Huron for September 2021. Will I be allowed to defer until 2022?

If you have been admitted to Huron for the September 2021 intake, you may submit a request to defer your admission until September 2022. In order to do so, please email Meklit Haile at mhaile2@huron.uwo.ca

How do I set up an academic accommodation due to a documented disability?

If you have an ongoing need for accommodation due to a documented disability, you need to reach out to Student Accessibility Services at Westernhttp://academicsupport.uwo.ca/ It is advised for students to reach out in the summer to provide time for accommodations to be assessed and processed.  Western will keep your documents on file and your instructors and Academic Advisor will be able to review any accommodations that you require.  Western will also outline the process you will need to follow in advance of using your ongoing accommodations.

International Students

What if I cannot arrive in time for the first day of class because of visa delays?

Huron will work directly with international students to support their learning starting in September 2021. If you cannot travel to Canada in August due to Study Permit processing delays, please fill out this form.

I am an international student arrived at Huron this September. What do I need to do to prepare for my arrival?

We are incredibly excited to welcome you at Huron this September! You can get the most up-to-date information on international student arrivals here: https://huronatwestern.ca/sept2021-intl/

As you prepare for your arrival, there are a few things you can do to get ready:

Completing these steps will help us better prepare to welcome you to Huron and make sure you’re comfortable when you arrive.

As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, requirements for entering Canada are changing. Huron is continuing to monitor these changes and we will do our best to keep you updated as we learn more.

For the most up-to-date source of information on the requirements for travelers arriving in Canada is: https://travel.gc.ca/travel-covid