Photo By: Mackenzie Gerry

Correction: Following the publication of this article on Thursday August 12th, Brock University announced that all faculty, staff, students and visitors will be required to be vaccinated in order to be able to return to campus.

Brock’s plans for a return to campus during the fall semester have been made possible by vaccine roll out, which has allowed most students to be at least partially vaccinated before September. The plan is for courses to be delivered with on-campus, online and hybrid instruction and delivery elements.

The effort to return to a semblance of normalcy is aided by the university offering students the chance to sign up to get vaccinated at Brock. Students can sign up through the Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre (SWAC) website, they will then be contacted with information about when they should come to the university to receive their vaccine.

“The vaccine currently available to Niagara’s primary health care providers is Moderna, first and second dose,” said Sarah Pennisi, director of SWAC.

According to Pennisi, over 750 students have registered for a vaccine and as of writing, Brock has vaccinated 288 people.

Brock can offer vaccines to students because Niagara Region Public Health encouraged primary healthcare providers to undergo the process of being onboarded to provide COVID-19 vaccines to patients. Because SWAC and Student Health Services met the criteria to qualify as a primary healthcare provider, Brock was approved to administer the vaccine.

For students living outside of St. Catharines who have not been vaccinated and cannot make it to the university to get vaccinated, there is information on Brock’s website about how to register for a vaccine. Anyone over 18 years old in Ontario has been eligible to book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment since May, meaning that most of the student population can get the vaccine.  

Though the outlook for the fall is optimistic, precautions are still being taken. Students planning to return to campus can expect masks to be required indoors, enhanced cleaning across campus, and students and faculty will be expected to stay home if they feel unwell or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. The library, computer labs, on-campus dining, and study spaces will likely re-open with restrictions in place. Residence dining facilities will only be available for residence students.

Additionally, students who are living in residence buildings, as well as all student-athletes must be fully vaccinated in order to either live on campus and play sports respectively.

With the fall semester quickly approaching, it is important that people continue to get vaccinated even as the province moves out of the lockdown. The prospect of in-person classes may be exciting and closer than ever, but it is still important that everyone does their part to keep themselves and others safe so that our return to normal life can go off without a hitch.