University of Victoria students and staff show high vaccination rates in a recent survey. (Courtesy of UVic)

University of Victoria students and staff show high vaccination rates in a recent survey. (Courtesy of UVic)

University of Victoria survey shows high vax uptake; campus return details clarified

More than 95 per cent of students, faculty and staff responding have had first or second dose

The University of Victoria has provided more details about what students should expect when they return to campus next week, amid the ongoing pandemic.

A recent survey of UVic students and staff hints that the university community’s inoculation rates are well ahead of the province’s general population. More than 95 per cent of the 8,300 students and 1,100 faculty or staff members who responded said they’re fully (92 per cent) or partially (3.4 per cent) vaccinated.

Another 1.5 per cent said they aren’t currently vaccinated, but plan on getting the jab. The survey on vaccination rates received 9,400 confidential responses and represented about 38 per cent of registered students and about a quarter of faculty and staff.

On Thursday, UVic president Kevin Hall provided some more clarity for how campus life will work for the remaining Vikes choosing to forego the highly-effective vaccines or those who refuse to share their vaccination status. In a news release, Hall said these students, staff and faculty will be required to participate in weekly rapid testing if they want to participate in activities on campus.

The university is working with public health authorities to have a rapid testing program operational by Sept. 13.

UVic has partnered with Thrive Health to introduce a self-declaration program that will allow students, staff and faculty to confidentially and securely declare their vaccine status. The program will be accessible on a desktop or smartphone for anyone who has a NetLink ID. UVic hopes to have the self-declaration process ready for next week.

ALSO READ: POLL: Should the province provide enforcement for its new vaccine requirements

Campus activities like dining, fitness centres, events, clubs and libraries will be subject to the B.C. government’s proof-of-vaccination requirement program when it takes effect on Sept. 13. The university said it will communicate with its members as more information about the government program becomes available.

Drop-in vaccination clinics will be available on campus for those needing their first or second dose starting on Sept. 7. More information about the clinics is available at bit.ly/3jLoFIZ.

UVic reminded students that masks are required in all indoor public spaces, including classrooms, labs, restaurants and pubs, fitness centres and indoor events.

“I am confident that all of you will adhere to current safety guidelines to demonstrate your care for the health and safety of everyone in our community,” Hall said. “We will continue to provide support for those of you with medical exemptions for masking and vaccination.”

READ: UVic among 4 B.C. universities to require rapid COVID-19 tests for unvaccinated students, staff

– with files from Jake Romphf


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