The University of the Bahamas (UB) announced in a release from its Office of University Relations on Wednesday, September 1st, 2021, that all faculty, staff, students and members of the public seeking to enter any university campus or facility must show proof of being fully vaccinated.
The new ‘must be fully vaccinated’ mandate, said the institution, comes into effect on Thursday, September 30th, 2021.
Until then, UB stated that effective Monday, September 6th, 2021, “all persons entering the campuses and facilities of University of The Bahamas must show proof of being fully vaccinated OR present a negative COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test. The rapid antigen test result must have been issued within the last 72 hours. In this instance, “all persons” refers to faculty, students, staff, alumni, vendors and other members of the public.”
The statement continued, “For employees who must work on campus to ensure continued operations, but who are not fully vaccinated, University of The Bahamas will cover the cost of rapid antigen tests provided that proof of employment at UB is presented at the test site. The University will publish shortly the locations where legitimate faculty and staff may take these tests.”
After September 30th, the release clarified, “Members of the University community who are unvaccinated due to medical or religious reasons, approved by University Health Services or University Human Resources, will receive direct instructions regarding health and safety measures that they must follow while on campus.
5,000 students – the university’s approximate enrollment, in addition to all faculty, staff and the general public, are affected by the new mandate, at campuses and centres on three islands, including New Providence, Grand Bahama, and San Salvador.
In the same release, UB also announced that the university would move to predominantly remote teaching and learning as well as remote operations, effective, Thursday, September 2nd, 2021.
The statement continued, “The only exceptions to the virtual teaching and learning mode, will be courses that require face-to-face components and athletic training. These must occur in strict compliance with all COVID-19 protocols.
“At all campuses and facilities, faculty and staff are to work remotely, where possible, with the exception of essential workers (the Physical Plant department, University Police and Campus Security department and the Office of Information Technology). Other employees who must work on campus must do so for limited periods and/or in shifts only, following all COVID-19 measures, and limiting physical contact with others.”
According to the university the announced remote operations and revised COVID-19 policies, mandated by The University of The Bahamas Board of Trustees, was to remain compliant with national emergency health regulations and protect the health and welfare of the University community.
The statement from UB’s Office of University Relations, added, “Our COVID-19 response policies and protocols are being continually updated and must be strictly enforced.”
UB directed people with questions or concerns to the email: UBcovid19@ub.edu.bs.