Message from the President and Provost regarding the fall 2022 term
Dear Members of the McMaster Community;
We hope that you are enjoying a restful summer.
In just a few weeks, we’ll be starting a new academic year — one marked by the first fully in-person Welcome Week and regular move-in to residences since the start of the pandemic. We can’t wait to see campus full of activity once again.
Health and safety continue to be a top priority in our planning as we head towards the fall term. We have continued to follow the latest COVID-19 safety guidance from public health and the Ontario government. McMaster faculty who are experts in virology and other health fields also help to guide our decisions. All have indicated that the right course given the current circumstances is to continue to pause the vaccine mandate and to strongly encourage masking. We will continue to monitor the situation closely.
As a society, we are finding balance in how we manage the ongoing COVID challenge. We have learned to be flexible and to adapt to changing times. We know now more than ever the importance of being respectful of each other and that it is up to all of us to help keep our community safe. The Back to Mac website continues to be updated and is your best source for information you need to know about COVID and the evolving pandemic.
Here are McMaster’s plans for this fall.
Stay up to date with your vaccinations
While our vaccination mandate continues to be paused, we encourage students, faculty and staff to keep up to date with their COVID vaccinations. MacCheck now offers the ability to upload proof of vaccination documentation for up to four doses.
New hires must continue to provide proof of vaccination or seek and obtain an approved human rights-based exemption.
McMaster host hospital and health partners will continue to have their own COVID policies and protocols and these need to be followed by faculty, staff and learners who attend these locations.
The university will be hosting vaccine clinics on campus in September.
We encourage our community to wear masks | Free masks are available
Masks will continue to be available for free on campus, and we encourage our community to wear a mask indoors, especially in classrooms, libraries, crowded spaces or close workspaces. Masks are still required in some settings, such as hospitals.
Stay home if you’re not feeling well
If you are feeling unwell, stay home. While daily MacCheck is not required, community members must use the provincial self-assessment screening tool if you or someone you live with has symptoms or tests positive for COVID. Staff and faculty members must continue to report confirmed cases of COVID through Mosaic, as required by provincial workplace regulations.
Air quality is an ongoing focus
Ventilation is an important component of our COVID health strategy. The high standards for air quality that were established last year continue to be maintained.
Policies may change
If the pandemic and public health advice shifts and government requirements change, we may need to quickly re-instate a mask requirement and a vaccine policy. Resumption of the vaccine mandate would mean that access to campus is limited to those whose vaccinations are up to date. This could impact the ability for students to complete fully in-person courses, and employees may not be able to attend university property and could be subject to other outcomes based on their vaccination status.
Thank you for making a difference
McMaster has successfully navigated the pandemic over the last two and half years, and we are confident that we’ll continue to do so as the fall unfolds. Caring for yourself and those around you will continue to be paramount. Thank you for all you have done to support our students and each other. We hope all of you have a fulfilling and exhilarating academic year.
David Farrar, President and Vice-Chancellor
Susan Tighe, Provost and Vice-President (Academic)Back to Mac Updates, COVID-19 Updates, Faculty and staff, Messages from leadership, Students