Please be aware that provincial COVID-19 health guidelines and federal travel regulations continue to evolve. We will update this page and share additional information via email as it becomes available. It is important to stay updated by reading all communication coming from Western. We encourage students to regularly check the Health Canada website and this FAQ page.
Academic Year 2021-22
With in-person classes resuming on January 31, we will begin to welcome students back to residence between January 27-30.
Returning students will need to register a return date and time during this period. Daily limits on the number of students allowed to return on designated days and hours will be set, to assist in managing this process as safely as possible.
To register, log in to the myHousing Portal, select ‘Residence’ and then ‘Live in Residence September 2021 – April 2022’. From there, choose 'Reserve Your Return to Residence Time Slot’ from the list of options.
The University will continue to follow public health guidance and will make adjustments accordingly. It is possible that Western will need to extend the delivery of classes virtually beyond January 31, delaying your residence return. We certainly hope that this is not the case. Should a change become necessary, we will communicate that as soon as possible.
Students are expected to complete one rapid test in advance of their return to campus, preferably the morning of your planned return.
If you were not able to pick up a rapid test kit before your leaving residence in December, you can have a rapid test done at the University’s testing centre upon your return to campus, at no cost.
You may pick up your belongings from residence before noon on Wednesday, December 22. Residence will be closed for the winter break from December 22 until January 4, and only the Ontario Hall Front Desk (519-661-2088) is accessible during this period.
If you need to access your room to pick up your personal belongings after January 4, you may contact your front desk to confirm if the desk is open and staff can provide access into the building. If your front desk is closed, you can go to Ontario Hall to gain access to your residence building. You do not need to schedule your arrival in advance, but if you have questions, please call your front desk.
To recognize the period of time that you are unable to access your residence room, a credit of your residence fees will be added to your account on Student Center for the following:
- Room rate: depending on your residence and room type, credits will range from $860 (double room in a traditional-style building) to $1,140 (single room in Essex/Elgin)
- Meal plan overhead: $350
- Connect-IT internet fee: $42
These credits are calculated based on 24 days starting January 3 to January 26, based on the plan that residences will reopen at that point. Should there be a further delay in reopening, the value of this residence credit will be re-assessed.
Please note that the above credit will be applied ONLY for students returning to residence as of January 27 onwards when residences fully reopen. The credit will be applied to your Student Center account by the end of February. You will receive email confirmation from Housing once the credit has been applied. The confirmation email will also include a detailed breakdown of your residence credit. If you are eligible for a refund (a credit balance on your Student Center account), please ensure that you have enrolled in direct deposit in your Student Center account in order to receive your refund in a timely manner. If you do not enrol in direct deposit, your credit will be held for future registration with Western.
If you require assistance in setting up direct deposit, or if you are an international student and do not have an account with a Canadian bank, please contact Student Central directly via Live Chat at Western.
Rapid Antigen Test
Students living in residence will each be offered a rapid antigen testing kit to take home with them for the winter break. Each kit contains five rapid tests. These are the same type of rapid tests being distributed to elementary and secondary schools by the province.
Students are encouraged to complete one of these rapid tests in advance of your return to campus, preferably the morning of your planned return.
Participation in the use of these rapid tests is voluntary but encouraged.
Starting Thursday, December 16, rapid testing kits will be available for pick-up at each residence front desk. Due to staggered delivery of testing kits to Western, we are distributing kits to students on the date of departure to ensure that every residence student receives one.
For students who are unable to pick up their rapid test kit before leaving campus, when you return to residence in the winter term, you can have a rapid test done at the University’s testing centre, at no cost.
The provincial government recently launched a free rapid antigen testing program available at pop-up sites across Ontario.
A rapid antigen test is a test for COVID-19 that provides results faster than a molecular PCR test, to show if you have a protein of the COVID-19 virus. A rapid antigen test can be performed anywhere and does not require shipping a specimen to a lab for processing. More information is available via the Ontario Health website.
Students living in residence are receiving rapid antigen tests that are administered through a nasal swab and take approximately 15 minutes to yield results.
Each kit contains five rapid antigen tests, as well as instructions on how to administer them.
You are encouraged to take one test in advance of your return to campus in 2022 for the winter term, preferably the morning of your planned return. The remaining four tests can be utilized at your discretion.
As a preventive measure to rebuild the health of our residence community in the winter term, all residence students are encouraged to take a rapid test prior to their return to residence, preferably the morning of your planned return.
Rapid testing kits are only to be used when you are asymptomatic. Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms or who is identified as a close contact of a confirmed case should get PCR testing at an assessment centre.
There is an instruction card that is provided inside of each kit.
If the rapid test comes back positive, it is considered a positive preliminary test. A PCR test is required to confirm the positive case and should be taken as soon as possible.
Students with a positive rapid test result will be required to self-isolate immediately until you receive diagnostic results from the PCR test.
If you receive a positive PCR test result at home over the winter break, you will not be permitted to return to residence until you’ve completed your isolation.
If your rapid test comes back negative, you don't need to do anything. Western does not require you to share these results. You will be able to return to campus for the winter term based on the University’s return to campus schedule.
As with all COVID-19 testing there is the possibility of a false negative (a result that shows a negative, when you are in fact positive for COVID-19), therefore you should continue to monitor symptoms and limit close contacts. If you receive a negative rapid antigen test result, but are still feeling unwell, you are should have a PCR test done.
1. What to do if I don’t feel well? What if I’m waiting for my test results or have tested positive for COVID-19?
Students must report to Housing immediately by contacting our COVID-19 Case Coordinator at 519-495-3980 , if you:
- Are experiencing any COVID-19 related symptoms
- Have had close unprotected contact within the last 14 days with:
- a confirmed case or probable case of COVID- 19; or
- a person with acute respiratory illness who has been outside the country in the last 14 days
- Have been told by public health that you may have been exposed to COVID-19
- Are awaiting test results
- Have tested positive for COVID-19
2. If a student in residence tests positive, how will the University inform other students in residence that they need to take the necessary steps?
If a student tests positive for COVID-19 in residence, they will be moved off campus immediately for isolation. Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) will coordinate contact tracing, and is responsible for identifying, informing and instructing people who came in direct contact with a known or possible case of COVID-19.
If the MLHU declares outbreak in any residence building, this will be communicated via email to all residence students with instructions on the associated impacts regarding the residences and academic activities.
Residence Counselling is a free, confidential counselling service provided to all students living in Main Campus residence. You can schedule a virtual appointment with our counsellors by emailing email@example.com. We are here to listen and help!
Additionally, you can also reach out to the Mental Health Team at Student Health Care Clinic to schedule a telephone or virtual appointment at 519-661-3030, or contact Student Support and Case Management at 519-661-2111 ext. 89152.
The health and safety of our campus community is a shared responsibility. Vaccination against COVID-19 is one of the most important steps you can take to protect yourself, each other and our community.
The University and its affiliated University Colleges (Brescia, Huron and King’s) will require students living in residence to have received at least a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine within one week following your move-in date, or no later than Monday, September 13, 2021.
Students living in residence are also required to have received their second dose no later than Tuesday, October 12, 2021.
With increasing vaccine availability, Western is strongly encouraging all students living in residence to get fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to your move-in day.
Those who for medical or other protected grounds under the Ontario Human Rights Code cannot be vaccinated may request an accommodation.
If you are unable to be fully vaccinated prior to moving in, Western is operating an on-campus vaccination and testing centre which you can attend on your move-in day to receive your first or second dose. The centre will also be open throughout the fall. You can schedule a vaccination appointment online to avoid wait time on-site.
When you arrive on campus, you will be directed to a central location to verify your COVID-19 vaccination status and vaccine type. You will need the following document to complete this verification process before moving into your building.
- Government-approved photo ID (e.g. Driver’s license, passport, Ontario Photo Card, etc.); and
- A valid vaccination record/receipt (in English or a certified translation), or
- An approved accommodation letter issued by Western Housing
Students who do not have proof of vaccination or accommodation will still need to attend the vaccine verification site. These students are permitted to move into residence but will need to submit either proof of vaccination or an approved accommodation letter to Health and Wellness Services within one week following their move into residence, or no later than September 13, 2021. If a student fails to do so, their residence contract could be terminated.
After completing the vaccination verification process, you will receive a wristband which must be worn for the duration of the September 3 to 6 move-in period.
*Please note Western University will not retain copies of your documents but will record on a separate document whether you received a first dose or second dose of an approved vaccine or whether you have been granted accommodation. Personal information collected by Western University to verify your vaccination status is collected pursuant to The University of Western Ontario Act and will be used for the purpose of determining compliance with Western University’s mandatory vaccination requirement for student’s living in residence. The vaccination requirement has been implemented in order to take reasonable precautions for the health and safety of students, staff and visitors to the residences. Any questions about this collection may be sent to Director of Housing, at Room 3C10, Ontario Hall, 230 Sarnia Road, London ON, N6G 0N2, 519-661-3547 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students living in residence can receive any COVID-19 vaccine authorized by Health Canada. Vaccination documentation will be required for all students.
The new guidelines for individuals vaccinated outside of Ontario/Canada have been published by the Ontario Ministry of Health. For international students unable to access a vaccine authorized by Health Canada or listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization (WHO) before arring on campus, Western is operating an on-campus vaccination and testing centre for all community members. Students can schedule an appointment online to get their first or second dose on their move-in day.
The following chart outlines actions based on vaccination status and vaccine type:
|Vaccination Type/Status||Action Upon Arrival on Campus|
|Unvaccinated||Receive full series of COVID-19 vaccines authorized by Health Canada. Must receive first dose within one week of move-in or no later than September 13, 2021, and second dose no later than October 12, 2021.*|
|One dose of Pfizer, Moderna or Astra-Zeneca||Receive second dose of COVID-19 vaccines authorized by Health Canada, no later than October 12, 2021.|
|Two doses of Pfizer, Moderna or Astra-Zeneca||No additional vaccines required.|
|One dose of Johnson & Johnson||No additional vaccines required.|
|One dose of Sinovac or Sinopharm||Receive full series of COVID-19 vaccines authorized by Health Canada. Must receive first dose within one week of move-in, or no later than September 13, 2021, and second dose no later than October 12, 2021.*|
|Two doses of Sinovac or Sinopharm||No additional vaccines required.|
|Partial or full series of any other vaccines||Receive full series of COVID-19 vaccines authorized by Health Canada. Must receive first dose within one week of move-in or no later than September 13, 2021, and second dose no later than October 12, 2021*|
* International students seeking their first dose of the Health Canada-authorized COVID-19 vaccine, may receive one at Western’s vaccination centre as long as it is 28 days after their last vaccination. As per NACI recommendations, an interval of at least 28 days after the administration of any other vaccine should be taken before administrating the Health Canada-authorized COVID-19 vaccine.
Western will make the necessary concessions to its vaccination requirement for students who are required to wait longer than one week to receive their first dose of a Health Canada-authorized COVID-19 vaccine upon arrival on campus.
All staff working in residence including live-in staff (i.e. Residence Dons) will be required to be fully vaccinated unless granted an accommodation. Residence Dons will be provided with appropriate PPE, be expected to follow health & safety protocols, and will receive additional safety training related to COVID-19.
The University will provide a vaccination centre on campus this fall and expects to have a sufficient number of vaccines available for students needing one. You can still move in as long as you are vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination within one week after you move in, or no later than September 13, 2021. However, we strongly encourage all students to get fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to arrival at Western.
If you cannot get vaccinated for medical reasons or for sincerely held creed/religious beliefs, you may request an accommodation form by emailing email@example.com, indicating the accommodation ground pertaining to your situation (medical or creed/religious).
You will receive a response from firstname.lastname@example.org that will provide you with instructions and information about the process, including the form you will be required to submit to complete your request for an accommodation.
Please note that if you are requesting an accommodation for medical reasons, you will be asked to submit a form signed by a physician or nurse practitioner confirming you have a medical condition that prevents you from receiving the vaccine.
If you are requesting an accommodation for creed/religious reasons, you will be asked to submit a form signed by you (or your parent or legal guardian, if you are under the age of 18) and sworn by a Commissioner of Oaths.
We ask that those students intending to make an accommodation request do so as soon as possible in order to avoid any delays. Each request will be reviewed carefully, and a decision will be communicated via email as soon as possible.
7. Will Western turn students away from residence if they cannot show proof of vaccination upon arrival?
Students who can’t access their first COVID-19 vaccine before arriving at Western will have one week following their move-in date or no later than September 13, 2021 to get vaccinated. Students who have not been vaccinated with their first dose by this date, or who have not been granted an accommodation to this requirement, will not be permitted to continue living in residence.
Our current focus is on encouraging all students to get fully vaccinated as soon as possible. At this time, the University is not planning to test students upon arrival in residence. If there is a need to change course, we will. New information will be shared as early and as often as possible. Incoming students and parents are encouraged to monitor Housing’s COVID-19 updates page for the latest information on residence plans for fall 2021.
9. With the vaccination requirement, can I still withdraw from residence and receive refund of the prepayment?
We understand your circumstances may have changed and you may need to withdraw from residence. If you no longer plan to live in residence, please submit your withdrawal request to email@example.com before June 3, 2021, and you’ll receive a full refund of your $900 prepayment. If you cancel on or before August 3, 2021, you will receive a $450 refund. If you cancel after August 3, 2021, you will forfeit your $900 prepayment. Review more information on our residence website about residence withdrawal and refund policies.
Western does not require students living in residence to verify proof of vaccination for other illnessess, however all students are encouraged to take responsibility for their health and well-being by following public health immunization recommendations and ensuring their immunizations are up to date before begining university studies. The Middlesex-London Health Unit fully supports Western's decision to require COVID-19 vaccination for students living in residence.
11. Is the vaccine requirement being enforced at affiliated University College campus residences too?
Yes. Any student living in a residence operated by an affiliated University College (Brescia, Huron, King's) must have received their first dose within one week following their move-in date or no later than September 13, 2021. All students living in residence are also required to have received their second dose no later than Octover 12, 2021.
With increasing vaccine availability, Western is strongly encouraging all students living in residence to get fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to your move-in day.
If you want to quarantine in residence, please make sure you arrive between August 15–18 in order to complete your 14-day quarantine before the start of the new school year. Please register your early arrival via myhousing.uwo.ca as soon as possible.
Students who have planned to arrive between August 12–14 will need to quarantine in an off-campus accommodation, until you can move into residence on August 15 to complete the rest of your quarantine. If you need support with booking a short hotel stay, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please log into myhousing.uwo.ca and update your arrival date.
Individuals who do not need to quarantine can move into residence between September 3-6. Please book your move-in timeslot in the myHousing portal.
Please note that it will be up to the Border Agent to determine if you are exempt from quarantine upon your arrival in Canada. Quarantining in residence will not be an option at that point.
As a reminder, whether or not you are eligible for the travel exemptions you must also fill out the Western Travel and Quarantine Plan and register through the ArriveCan app prior to your arrival in Canada. Please note that students are NOT permitted to arrive at residence between August 19–September 2. Please contact email@example.com if you have extenuating circumstances requiring additional consideration. mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.
4. Do I need to pay any additional fees if I move in early into residence, i.e. room charge and meals?
If you are approved for early move-in, there will be no extra room charge.
If you move in early for the required 14-day quarantine, food will be delivered to your room/suite door, with no extra cost.
If you move in early for other reasons than quarantine, food will be delivered to your room/suite during August 15-18. Starting August 19, you will be provided a gift card that you can use to have meals in the dining halls in Delaware Hall and Saugeen Maitland Hall. Tim Hortons and Starbucks in the University Community Centre (UCC) will also be open in August. You can find their hours of operations here.
5. What items should I pack before I move in? What amenities will I have access to in my room while in quarantine? Will there be a phone, microwave, etc. I can use?
Check out our Move-in Planning Guide to find out what to bring, what residence provides, what not to bring and some sustainable packing tips.
You can also visit your assigned residence building page on our website and view what’s provided in the room/suite and in your building
6. Who do I contact if I have any problems in my residence room or my meals while I am in quarantine?
You may contact our COVID-19 Case Manager 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 519-495-3980.
For any late arrivals, please email email@example.com.
If you will be arriving by the end of September, we can hold your assigned space for you and your charges will be adjusted based on your actual arrival date.
If your arrival will be later in the fall or in the new year, we will reverse your residence charges and release your space. However we will be able to create a new booking for you and apply new charges once you know when you will arrive.
Health and Safety
1. How will the shared communal washrooms be cleaned? Will in-suite cleaning be provided for the shared washrooms, and kitchenettes in hybrid- and suite-style residences?
Based on the current health and safety guidelines, we plan to continue the enhanced cleaning and sanitization of common areas (outside of suites) in all residences. In traditional-style residences, shared communal washrooms will see enhanced and more frequent sanitization by our caretaking staff, seven days a week. Cleaning supplies will also be available in shared communal washrooms should students wish to augment cleaning before and after use.
To ensure our caretaking staff provide enhanced cleaning and sanitization of high-touch common areas, in-suite cleaning will not be offered in the fall. As the pandemic continues to evolve, we will make an assessment of local health and safety conditions in consultation with the health unit, to determine an appropriate time to initiate in-suite cleaning schedules.
We encourage students to clean and maintain their own living spaces regularly. Health and sanitation checks will also be conducted by University staff at various times throughout the year. Vacuums, mops, cleaning cloths and cleaning products are available for students to borrow from their residence front desk. Students should bring their own toilet brush if living in a hybrid-style or suite-style residence.
2. If someone in residence is symptomatic or gets positive for COVID-19, where will they be isolated?
Western follows the guidance of Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) who leads on these incidents to develop strategies to prioritize the health and safety of our students and the entire Western community, and minimize risks associated with COVID-19.
We've established a protocol and secured a location in the event we're advised by the MLHU to isolate a sick community member outside of residence. If a community member gets sick, we take the direction from the MLHU and the health experts at Student Health Services.
Residence Admissions and Refund
Western plans to return to face-to-face instruction this fall. The university will require students living in residence to have received at least a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, assuming Ontario’s supply allows. Residences are an integral part of this in-person educational experience, and Western plans to honour the first-year residence guarantee and accommodate students on campus this September. In the event that government or public health officials issue any directives to advise this is not possible, or if de-densification is required, we will update impacted students as soon as possible.
2. What will happen with my residence fee if there is a delay in occupancy or termination of residence contract due to COVID-19?
We hope to resume as much as possible our normal activities in the fall of 2021. However, we must also prepare should the pandemic threaten the health and wellness of our community. Due to the uncertainty created by COVID-19, Western University reserves the right to delay occupancy or terminate the Residence Contract with you in the event that: (1) the University determines that it is prudent or necessary to do so for reasons of public health or student safety, or (2) the University is required by law, order or directive to close one or more of its residences, to limit the number of persons residing in residence, or such other law, order or directive affecting the normal operation of its residences. In such circumstances, Western University will provide you with reasonable notice and either reduce your residence fees or refund you a prorated amount of any prepaid residence fees.
3. My friend and I want to live together, are we guaranteed to be roommates? Will there still be roommates due to COVID-19?
Roommates are guaranteed to be placed together as long as they join the same roommate group in the Residence Placement Questionnaire ( myhousing.uwo.ca) and meet all the criteria:
- You both receive residence offers and submit your Residence prepayment and complete your Residence Placement Questionnaires before the deadline.
- You both join the same roommate group in the myHousing Portal
- You both rank your preferences identically. You can find the details on this process on our Residence website FAQ under "Roommate Selection and Placement".
- You have both received at least your first dose of the COVID vaccine prior to move-in.
A lot of our students do not request roommates, and in that case, we will match you with roommate based on the applicable information you provide on the Residence Placement Questionnaire. Over the years, we've received many compliments about our roommate-matching process and it has been the start of so many friendships!
We are currently consulting with local health officials to guide our decisions on the occupancy strategy for the fall. For the past 2020-21 academic year, when we were unable to place roommates together due to de-densification, we placed them in rooms beside each other (if in traditional-style) or in the same suite (if in suite-style buildings). We hope that things go back to normal this year, but will adjust as needed and keep students informed in the process.
If you accept a residence offer and later formally defer your academic admission until the following year, our normal cancellation policy will apply. That is, if you cancel before August 3, 2021, you would receive a $450 refund. If you cancel after August 3, 2021, you would forfeit your $900 prepayment.
For the following year, to accept your residence offer you will follow the below process:
- Complete your Residence Placement Questionnaire on the myHousing Portal by the deadline date on you offer letter.
- Pay the $900 prepayment on the myHousing Portal by the deadline date.
- Once you arrive to residence in September, the Cancellation Fee from 2021 will be will be credited back to your on your Student Center account.
Please note that unfortunately, if you choose not to attend, the Cancellation Fee from 2021 will not be waived. The new $900 prepayment for 2022 will also be subject to the current cancellation policy.
Review more information on residence withdraw and refund policies. This is where we’ll communicate any updates once they’re available.
If you are a single student, coming directly from high school, and have received an offer of full-time, first-year admission to Western by mid-May, your accommodation is guaranteed. You are required to pay a $900 prepayment to accept your residence offer on or before the deadline date indicated with your academic offer. It is important to complete the online Residence Placement Questionnaire at myhousing.uwo.ca on or before this deadline. Please pay close attention to additional deadlines. The first instalment of residence fees is due August 3, 2021 for first-year students. Failure to meet the requirements by these deadline dates may result in the cancellation of your residence space.
Students who do NOT meet our guaranteed offer requirements are still eligible to apply to the residence waiting list if they are single and are academically admissible for full-time studies on Main Campus. Residence offers will be made throughout the summer if spaces become available.
For upper-year students (second-, third- and fourth-year undergraduate and graduate students), residence will not be offered for the 2021-22 academic year. Uncertainty associated with COVID-19 and the rollout of vaccines has added a level of complexity to our planning. In order to honour our residence guarantee to the incoming first-year class, we are unable to accept upper-year residence applications at this time.