Frequently asked questions

 

 

Updated Thursday, January 20 at 12:30 p.m.

 

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Vaccine mandate

 

What forms of proof of vaccination will be acceptable?

MRU has implemented the MRU Now app to verify vaccination proof. Read more.

 

Does a photo on a mobile device of our records suffice? Do I need to carry the physical copy of my vaccination record? Do I need to provide proof of vaccination at the start of every class for the entire semester or only once in every class?

Mount Royal uses digital vaccination verification through the MRU Now safety app. All members of the MRU community were required to upload their proof of vaccination to verify their vaccination status. Step-by-step instructions for uploading proof of vaccination can be found online. Once submitted, proof of vaccination is verified and updated in the app.

Instructors may require proof of vaccination more than once; you’ll need to be able to open the app to show your status.

 

If I can't/don't want to download the MRU Now app, what is the alternative?

If you can not or do not want to use the app, you can use the web portal. All of the same steps can be followed. You will still be required to show your vaccination status on campus. Please print the email or show the email on your phone/tablet/laptop. More information.

 

How will people check for my vaccination status?

Vaccination verification is occurring through the use of the Vaccine Verification module within the MRU Now App.

In addition to internal controls for vaccination verification and rapid testing for those with approved exemptions, MRU is adding on-campus verification points at the time of service or upon building entry. The Riddell Library and Learning Centre (RLLC), Cougars Campus Store, Recreation and food service locations are examples of these verification points.

Anyone on campus may be asked to open the app to their current status to verify it is green (able to be on campus). The MRU Now QR code system protects your privacy. The pass does not display your vaccination or exemption status.

 

Who can ask to see my vaccine verification?

  • A campus service representative
  • Security Services representative
  • An instructor
  • An event organizer
  • Your supervisor
  • Your HR business partner or a Wellness Services representative
  • A representative from the Office of Student Affairs

 

When do I need to show my vaccine verification? 

Use your MRU Now QR code:

  • When entering service spaces (e.g., library, vendors, campus & community Recreation sites, service offices, etc.)
  • When entering one-off or limited-time campus events (e.g., service visits, performances, games, conferences, etc.)
  • Upon request as needed by University, event, or campus service representatives

You will not be required to use your MRU Now QR code:

  • When entering a building other than the Riddell Library and Learning Centre
  • When entering your workspace
  • When entering your MRU Residence

 

What is Mount Royal’s vaccination policy?

In accordance with public health orders, MRU requires all employees, students and visitors to campus to be fully vaccinated. This means you have received a second dose of a World Health Organization (WHO)-approved COVID-19 vaccine, plus two weeks, to be considered immunized.

 

I am unable to be vaccinated. What do I need to do?

Individuals who are unable to be vaccinated due to a medical exemption will need to submit an accommodation request. Students will need to contact Access and Inclusion Services as soon as possible. Employees will need to submit a workplace accommodation request form to Wellness at Work.

 

I’ve had COVID-19 and have antibodies. Why do I have to get vaccinated?

We are following AHS and the Public Health Agency of Canada guidelines that those with a previous COVID-19 infection are not considered vaccinated unless they have received an approved Health Canada vaccine.

According to Health Canada, even if you have previously had a COVID-19 infection or vaccination, you must still follow public health advice.

 

What does this mean for a student living in Residence who does not want to get vaccinated? Do they have to move out? If so, when?

Students in Residence must be fully vaccinated. Unless a student has a valid medical exemption or an exemption for protected grounds under the Alberta Human Rights Act, they will not be able to remain in Residence unless vaccinated.

 

How do regular and semi-regular visitors to campus (e.g., aides to TVP students, interpreters, etc.) document their vaccination status? Is it the same for contractors who are on campus regularly?

Visitors to campus who are not students or employees, whether it be for academic, business, or recreational purposes, etc., are required to be vaccinated. Visit the Public page on Mount Royal’s COVID-19 website for information on providing acceptable proof of vaccination.

 

Will Cougars Athletics and Recreation patrons have to show our admissions person proof of vaccination?

Public users of Recreation facilities are required to be fully vaccinated. Visit the Public page on Mount Royal’s COVID-19 website for information on providing acceptable proof of vaccination.

 

Are there consequences for providing false information on the vaccination declaration? What are they?

It is a serious breach to be untruthful about vaccination status. Disciplinary actions will result if you are unable to provide proof of vaccination within a reasonable period of time. For students, discipline will be conducted under the Code of Student Conduct policy. Employees are subject to the Code of Conduct — Employees policy and their applicable terms and conditions of employment and collective agreements.

 

What are the options for students who don’t want to get vaccinated?

After Jan.1, 2022, rapid testing will no longer be an option for employees or students seeking access to the University. As a result, all individuals must be fully vaccinated to attend campus in person beginning in the Winter term.

Rapid testing is an interim measure, whereas vaccination is the most effective way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and reduce its impacts. Rapid testing is not an effective long-term alternative to being fully vaccinated.

Students can discuss their particular circumstances with Student Affairs.

 

Masking and vaccination

 

What kind of mask should I wear?

To promote a healthy learning and working environment, face masks must be worn in all indoor areas at MRU. This includes all teaching spaces, hallways, and meeting and study rooms. Masks may be removed only under the following conditions:

  • When alone at a workstation.
  • When eating or drinking in designated areas only. Please do not eat or drink while walking through hallways.

For added protection, you are encouraged to use, at minimum, a triple-layer mask – two layers of a tightly woven fabric and a middle layer of a filter-type fabric — a three-layered surgical mask or an N95 mask to help prevent COVID-19 transmission.

Gaiters or ‘buffs’ are not accepted. Plastic face shields can be worn only with an accommodation approved through Access and Inclusion Services (students) or HR (employees).

 

How do I declare my vaccination status?

Visit the vaccine verification web page.

 

Why is MRU no longer allowing rapid testing as an alternative?

Rapid testing is an interim measure, whereas vaccination is the most effective way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and reduce its impacts. Rapid testing is not an effective long-term alternative to being fully vaccinated.

 

What can I do if I was advised by medical professionals to not receive a second dose of the vaccine?

If there is a medical basis for why you are unable to be fully vaccinated, you will need to submit an accommodation request and supporting medical documentation. Students need to contact Access and Inclusion Services as soon as possible. Employees will need to submit a workplace accommodation request form and supporting medical documentation to Wellness at Work.

 

What if a student has a vaccine exemption letter from a doctor?

Students should contact Access and Inclusion Services as soon as possible to review the documentation and assess the accommodation request.

 

Do contractors working or visiting this site on a regular basis have to declare their vaccination status?

Contractors coming to campus for any reason are expected to be fully vaccinated. Visitors to campus are required to show proof of vaccination. Visit the Public page for details on acceptable proof of vaccination.

 

What measures are in place to deter false declarations?

The University will be verifying proof of vaccination status through a random selection audit process and through the MRU Now app, through which people must upload their proof of vaccination. Campus community members who declare as fully or partially vaccinated must be prepared to provide proof of vaccination.

 

How will classes be held in the winter semester?

All health measures that have been put in place have been done to strive to deliver, and maintain delivery, in the planned modality, whether online or in person. However, given the ever-changing nature of the pandemic, it is not possible to guarantee that changes will not occur. The first priority is the health and safety of students, faculty and staff. Mount Royal University will continue to follow guidance from the Alberta government on how classes are to be delivered.

 

What is Mount Royal’s Declaration of Vaccination Policy?

Mount Royal University is doing its best to find a balance between returning to an in-person learning environment while still managing the risks of COVID-19. Consistent with many other post-secondary institutions in the province we have implemented mandatory masking, vaccine verification and a rapid testing program. Our health measures are consistent with Alberta Public Health guidelines and requirements. The COVID-19 website is kept up to date with current information.

 

Are you able to offer accommodations or alternative methods of learning such as online learning to those with compromised immunity caused by a chronic condition?

Anyone seeking accommodation can contact Access and Inclusion Services who will review the necessary documentation and information.

 

How do I know my private health information will stay private?

The information being collected is a declaration of vaccination status or results of rapid testing and is done in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. This information is collected, reviewed and maintained by a small team of trained professionals working on the rapid testing program.

 

What happens if there is an outbreak in a class?

MRU will closely monitor the health and safety of the campus community and follow the guidance and direction of Alberta Public Health when it comes to any possible outbreaks.

 

Why is MRU mandating vaccination?

These decisions were not made lightly. According to Health Canada, vaccination is one of the most effective ways to protect our families, communities and ourselves against COVID-19. Every member of our campus community — students, faculty, staff and visitors — must be a part of the effort to provide the safest environment possible given the ongoing threat to public health and the health-care system. Without mass vaccination, the risk of community transmission of COVID-19 increases.

 

Where can I get more information on the vaccines and the rollout of them?

Alberta Health has information about the vaccine rollout in the province. Health Canada is another reputable source of information about COVID-19 and vaccination.

 

How is my information used and stored?

Vaccination status is kept securely in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Privacy Act. Access to this information is limited to those who will be required to facilitate the rapid testing program.

 

Campus safety

 

Why is there no physical distancing in classrooms?

Post-secondary institutions fall under a physical distancing exemption related to education, similar to the K-12 school system. Mount Royal has implemented campus health measures to reduce the risk of transmission. The best way to protect yourself and the campus community is to be fully vaccinated.

 

How is air quality managed on campus?

The University follows best practices around the management of indoor air quality in line with the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers and follows all of its specific recommendations. Most importantly, indoor air is filtered at the maximum highest commercial level and MERV-13 (the level recommended by health authorities). Watch this short video with Grant Sommerfeld, associate vice-president of facilities management, explaining how the HVAC system works to keep the indoor air as clean as possible.

 

Students

 

What to do if you feel sick on campus

If you develop COVID-19 signs and symptoms while on campus, notify your instructor and go home immediately. Ensure you have arrangements to get home safely; do not use public transportation, ride-sharing services or taxis. Isolation spaces on campus are available if you cannot drive yourself home and must wait to be picked up.

 

 

What if I have symptoms/have tested positive for COVID-19?

Please stay home if you are ill. Students are required to submit an Early Support Covid report if they are experiencing symptoms or have tested positive for COVID-19. The Early Support team will work with students to ensure they are complying with health requirements and liaise with them prior to their return to campus/work experience. Students should notify their instructor or relevant contact who will let them know of the academic implications.

Students can also refer to mru.ca/StudentGuide for more information.

 

If I have COVID, when can I come back to campus?

Currently in Alberta, if you have symptoms or if you test positive by PCR testing or by rapid antigen testing, you must isolate for at least five days (fully vaccinated) or 10 days (not fully vaccinated) from when your symptoms started or until they resolve (whichever is longer).

For fully vaccinated people who have just completed the five-day isolation and no longer have symptoms, masks must be worn at all times outside of home for an additional five days.

Check additional testing and isolation requirements that may apply to you:

 

Who should I tell if I know another student has COVID-19?

This is private and confidential medical information and it should only be shared between the student and the instructor and/or another relevant employee at Mount Royal.

 

Will professors be flexible with attendance and assignments if students feel unwell?

Faculty have the authority to determine the methodology by which they arrive at the final course grade and are encouraged to ensure students are not disadvantaged for circumstances beyond their control.

 

Can students move fully to online courses?

There is no plan at this time to make an online-only option for academic programs.

 

Can students get a full refund if they don't want to get vaccinated?

Students who do not comply with vaccination requirements can drop courses prior to the add/drop deadline:

 

How can I find out about online options for the winter semester?

The Winter 2022 list of online courses is available here.

 

What does this mean for a student living in Residence who does not want to get vaccinated? Do they have to move out? If so, when?

Unless a student has a valid medical exemption or an exemption for protected grounds under the Alberta Human Rights Act, they will not be able to remain in Residence unless vaccinated. 

 

Employees

 

Human Resources has developed an FAQ, including information on what to do if you are symptomatic or COVID-positive. It also includes updates to Mount Royal’s sick leave provisions for COVID-related absences. If you have a question that you do not find in the FAQ and your manager or chair does not know the answer, please email returntoworkquestions@mtroyal.ca.

 

What guidance should I give to vendors and contractors who are on campus at Mount Royal?

Contractors and vendors must follow government measures, along with directions from their employer and current campus health measures. Like all those who attend campus, contractors must be vaccinated and able to provide proof of vaccination. Visit our Public page for more information on visitors to campus.

 

How will instructors know that their students have been vaccinated and/or are producing regular negative tests?

Instructors can request proof of vaccination from students by asking them to open the MRU Now app where their vaccination status is recorded. Anyone with a green (verified) or orange (pending) QR tag can be on campus. Access to the rapid testing program data will be strictly limited to trained staff, but those with approved exemptions are required to upload proof of a negative test result before being allowed on campus.

 

What is expected of a faculty member when a student declares illness (symptoms or a positive COVID-19 result)?

Students should not come to campus if ill. Students are required to submit an Early Support COVID report if they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. The Early Support team will work with students to ensure they are complying with health requirements and liaise with them prior to their return to campus/work experience.

Students can also refer to mru.ca/StudentGuide for more information.

 

Should instructors plan on keeping a seating plan and maintaining attendance records for contact tracing purposes?

As described in the Instructor Toolkit, faculty are advised to have their students sit in the same seat for the semester. Instructors could document the planned seating arrangements for record-keeping purposes and contact tracing should that become necessary.

 

If I have COVID, when can I come back to campus?

Currently in Alberta, if you have symptoms or if you test positive by PCR testing or by rapid antigen testing, you must isolate for at least five days (fully vaccinated) or 10 days (not fully vaccinated) from when your symptoms started or until they resolve (whichever is longer).

For fully vaccinated people who have just completed the five-day isolation and no longer have symptoms, masks must be worn at all times outside of home for an additional five days.

Check additional testing and isolation requirements that may apply to you: