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COVID-19 Vaccine Program: FAQs for Students

We have compiled the information below to provide our students with a variety of details relating to Red Deer Polytechnic's vaccination program. The information is meant to assist our students in answering questions or concerns they may have as this new program is implemented. 

Why is Red Deer Polytechnic implementing a vaccination requirement program? 

Red Deer Polytechnic is committed to protecting the health and safety of its students, staff, faculty and broader community while on its campuses. As a public, post-secondary institution, Red Deer Polytechnic will continue to adhere to current public health measures, including the Restrictions Exemption program identified by the Government of Alberta, as we all do our part to protect one another during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

COVID-19 vaccines play an important role in helping to protect our community and bringing the pandemic to an end. Requiring members of the Red Deer Polytechnic community to provide proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 tests helps work towards the safest possible working and learning environment for everyone. 

Please review Red Deer Polytechnic's COVID-19 vaccination policy


Why is Red Deer Polytechnic choosing to adhere to the Restrictions Exemption Program when it appears to be optional? 

Like all other post-secondary institutions in Alberta, Red Deer Polytechnic has chosen to adhere to current public health measures, including a separate (and sector-specific) exemption program for post-secondary institutions.  

At Red Deer Polytechnic, we have chosen to adhere to this program because we are committed to protecting the health and safety of students, staff, faculty and our broader community. The specific exemption program for post-secondary institutions was issued on September 27, with pertinent details following on September 28. 

As an organization, we believe that we should all do our part, where possible, to protect one another during the COVID-19 pandemic. 


Do I need to be fully vaccinated to come to campus?  

Starting November 8, 2021, all staff, students, faculty, vendors, contractors and other guests (age 12 years and up) must be fully vaccinated in order to attend Red Deer Polytechnic’s campuses. Fully vaccinated means that it has been 14 days since receiving all required doses of a COVID-19 vaccine approved by the World Health Organization and authorized for use by Health Canada. If you are not fully vaccinated, you will be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 rapid test.

For all two-dose vaccines, this means you must receive your first dose no later than October 4, 2021, and your second dose no later than October 25, 2021.  

Starting October 18, 2021, individuals who: receive their first dose of COVID-19 vaccination October 4, 2021, or later; choose to remain unvaccinated; choose not to disclose their vaccination status; or have an approved exemption status that requires the accommodation of rapid testing, will be required to undergo rapid testing every 72 hours. These individuals must complete and provide proof of a negative COVID-19 rapid test before attending Red Deer Polytechnic’s campuses for any reason. 

Starting November 8, 2021, all staff, students, faculty, vendors, contractors and other guests (age 12 years and up) must be fully vaccinated in order to attend Red Deer Polytechnic’s campuses. 

Some exceptions for youth (under 18 years of age) apply, based on Alberta’s current public health measures: 

Youth (under 18) sport, fitness and performance activities 

  • Indoor group classes, training, and competitions are permitted, but participants are required to: 
  • Screen for symptoms 
  • Maintain a distance of two metres, except youth while engaged in physical activity 
  • Wear a mask, except youth while engaged in physical activity 

Youth (under 18) attending sport, fitness or performance activities but not actively participating are required to show proof of vaccination or a negative rapid test.  


What happens if I am not vaccinated or not fully vaccinated? 

It’s not too late! If you are not yet vaccinated and need to know where to go, there are many options available.

See below for vaccine clinic locations: 

Westerner Exhibition Hall 
4847A - 19 St 

  • First & Second Dose Moderna 18+ 
  • Youth Clinic (born 2004-2009) Pfizer First & Second Dose 

Hours of Operation (until further notice): 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. 

You can also visit the Alberta Health Services website for more information. 

Consult a health professional if you have any questions about the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Anyone who is not partially or fully vaccinated and/or does not disclose their vaccination status as required, must complete a weekly COVID-19 PCR or rapid test and must provide proof of a negative result before they attend Red Deer Polytechnic beginning October 18, 2021.  

Anyone who is not fully vaccinated by November 8, 2021, will not be permitted to attend Red Deer Polytechnic’s campuses unless they have proof of a negative rapid test.  


If I am fully vaccinated, do I have to follow other safety measures like wearing masks? 

Yes. Effective September 4, 2021, the Government of Alberta has made masks mandatory in all indoor public spaces regardless of a person’s vaccination status.  

In addition to wearing a face covering, Red Deer Polytechnic has its own COVID-19 health and safety protocols which all on-campus visitors are required to follow.


If I’ve already had COVID-19, do I still need to be vaccinated?  

Yes. Vaccinations are safe and effective for individuals who have already had COVID-19. Our bodies naturally generate antibodies, but it is not known how long immunity lasts, or how many antibodies an individual will produce. As a result, in order to protect our Red Deer Polytechnic community, all individuals visiting our campuses must be fully vaccinated or provide proof of a negative COVID-19 rapid test every 72 hours.  

Once you have recovered from COVID-19, have ended your isolation period, have been fully vaccinated (with 14 days passing) and can provide proof, you will be able to return to Red Deer Polytechnic’s campuses. 


If I previously tested positive for COVID-19 and I am choosing not to get vaccinated, my rapid test may continue to show that I am positive for COVID-19 for 90 days. What can I do?  

If you have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days and are choosing to not receive a vaccination, you will need to complete the medical exemption request form. This exemption form will be available on our website starting October 5.  

Please note that completing the exemption request form does not guarantee approval of the exemption. 


If I previously tested positive for COVID-19 and I received a recommendation to wait 90 days for my vaccination, what can I do? 

Alberta Health Services recommends that individuals can receive their COVID-19 vaccination once a person is symptom-free. If you do not wish to receive your vaccination within this 90-day window, you can apply for a medical exemption from Red Deer Polytechnic. The medical exemption form will be available on our website starting October 5.  

Please note that completing the exemption request form does not guarantee approval of the exemption. 


I’ve heard or read that COVID-19 vaccine doses should be given 28 days apart, but Red Deer Polytechnic’s vaccination program provides only 21 days between people receiving their first dose and second dose, if they aren’t currently immunized. Why is there this timing discrepancy? 

The timeframe identified in Red Deer Polytechnic’s vaccination program adheres to vaccination information provided by Alberta Health Services. 

Red Deer Polytechnic has received confirmation from Alberta Health Services that the minimum timeframe is 19 days between doses one and two for Pfizer, and the minimum timeframe is 21 days between doses one and two for Moderna. 


Will students who are in their 2nd, 3rd or 4th years of studying at Red Deer Polytechnic be grandfathered into the program? Students didn’t expect to be required to receive a COVID-19 vaccination when they first applied to attend. 

At Red Deer Polytechnic, we are committed to providing a safe environment for all students in all learning environments, whether online, in person, or through blended delivery (including regional delivery and campuses).  

Given the province’s current State of Emergency and the dire situation presented by the unanticipated COVID-19 pandemic, it is imperative we ensure all students, staff, faculty, and visitors who attend our campuses, for any reason, are vaccinated or can provide a negative rapid test result. By doing so, we demonstrate our commitment to providing a safe teaching and learning environment.  

Whether a student has just started their education at Red Deer Polytechnic, or if they have attended for any number of years, it is important that we hold all students, employees and visitors to our campus to the same expectation. 


How does Red Deer Polytechnic define an individual to be partially vaccinated?

Partially Vaccinated means those individuals who have:

  • proof of receiving at least one dose of a World Health Organization approved COVID-19 vaccine that has been authorized for use by Health Canada and at least 14 have passed since the date on which the person received the first dose of vaccine.

How does Red Deer Polytechnic define an individual to be fully vaccinated? 

Fully vaccinated means those individuals who have: 

  • proof of receiving two doses of a World Health Organization approved COVID-19 vaccine that has been authorized for use by Health Canada in a two-dose vaccine series and at least 14 days have passed since the date on which the person received the second dose of vaccine OR

  • proof of receiving one dose in a one-dose World Health Organization approved COVID-19 vaccine that has been authorized for use by Health Canada series and at least 14 days have passed since the date on which the person received the one dose of vaccine.


Do I need to provide proof that I’ve been fully vaccinated?  

Yes. Red Deer Polytechnic is working to update our internal portal to be our central point for data collection. There will be two components. 

1) Declare your vaccination status in the portal. This must be completed no later than October 18, 2021. More information will be provided on how to submit your declaration on October 5, 2021.  

2) An auditing process will be put in place to monitor compliance of all faculty, staff and students. You will be asked to share proof of vaccination or your negative rapid COVID-19 test results.  

You are encouraged to go to https://www.albertavaccinerecord.ca/#/ and download your Alberta COVID 19 Vaccine Record if you have not done so already, as this will be a convenient method of showing proof of vaccination when required, whether by Red Deer Polytechnic or other organizations. 

In the event a student submits a false or misleading declaration or confirms their status with a fraudulent immunization record or does not provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result, disciplinary measures may be pursued under the Student Rights and Responsibilities Policy (SRRP) for Red Deer Polytechnic.   


After November 8, how can I finish my studies if I am not vaccinated?  

Students who are not fully vaccinated will not be permitted to attend Red Deer Polytechnic’s campuses in person unless you are able to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 rapid test.  


Will Red Deer Polytechnic discriminate against students based on their vaccination status and make them withdraw from their program or classes?  

Students are required to meet the learning outcomes of their courses and programs. A learner who cannot meet the learning outcomes has the choice to withdraw.  

For Fall 2021, Red Deer Polytechnic has extended its late course drop date to October 19 (with a full refund), should students choose to withdraw from their Fall 2021 Term course(s). We encourage you to studentconnect [at] rdpolytech [dot] ca (contact an Academic Advisor) if you have any questions before dropping courses, to understand the impact this decision may have for your post-secondary education path.  

Additionally, the institution has provided options for learners to participate in the institution’s vaccination program either through full vaccination or rapid testing.  

It is the responsibility of those learners choosing not to receive a COVID 19 vaccine or provide regular COVID-19 rapid tests to explore alternative means of completing their Red Deer Polytechnic courses.  

If you have any questions about your current class schedule or learning outcomes, please email studentconnect [at] rdpolytech [dot] ca


What if a student refuses to withdraw?  What if a student refuses to get vaccinated or take rapid tests? 

Students are required to meet the learning outcomes of their courses and programs. A learner who cannot meet the learning outcomes has the choice of withdraw.  

For Fall 2021, Red Deer Polytechnic has extended its late course drop date to October 19 (with a full refund), should students choose to withdraw from their Fall 2021 Term course(s). We encourage you to studentconnect [at] rdpolytech [dot] ca (contact an Academic Advisor) if you have any questions before dropping courses, to understand the impact this decision may have for your post-secondary education path and student loan funding. 

After October 18, students will not be permitted to attend Red Deer Polytechnic’s campuses unless they are able to provide proof of a negative rapid test. COVID-19 rapid testing will be available to those individuals who:  

  • have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccination October 4, 2021 
  • choose to remain unvaccinated 
  • choose not to disclose their vaccination status 
  • or have an approved exemption status that requires the accommodation of rapid testing 

Failure to comply with the institution’s COVID-19 vaccination program could impact your ability to complete your program. 


What if I cannot be vaccinated?  

An extremely limited number of individuals cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons. Generally speaking, these are limited to those with an allergy to one or more components of the vaccine or who had a severe adverse reaction to their first dose of the vaccine.  

Red Deer Polytechnic will assess vaccine exemption requests on a case-by-case basis. Exemptions granted are for attending Red Deer Polytechnic and its activities only. The exemption may not apply to partner agencies or institutions. If you are submitting an exemption request, please visit the COVID-19 vaccination program webpage for details. 


Will Red Deer Polytechnic refund fees that I have paid for the Fall 2021 term?  

Parking Fees 

Red Deer Polytechnic will refund Residence rental and parking fees if students withdraw from their program at the institution. Refunds will be calculated based on the date that the request was received. Please visit our parking webpage below for details. 

Residence 

Residence will work with students to determine the best outcome related to their Rental Agreement and occupancy at Red Deer Polytechnic Residence.  

Students may provide a Notice to Vacate form cancelling the remainder of the Fall 2021 Term occupancy dates to receive a prorated refund based on their new approved move-out date. This offer applies only to new cancellations, with the Notice to Vacate form having been submitted prior to October 14, 2021, and the Notice to Vacate Move Out Date being no later than October 17, 2021. For those who have applied for an exemption for the vaccination program prior to October 14, 2021, and who have not yet received a response about the exemption, you can provide documentation to Residence Administration within two days of receiving notification of the outcome to vacate early with a prorated refund where applicable.  

Please contact Residence Staff at residence [at] rdpolytech [dot] ca or 403.342.3257 to begin the Notice to Vacate process.  

Please note that a Notice to Vacate will cancel the remainder of the Rental Agreement, including the Winter 2022 Term occupancy dates. For those that may choose to return for the Winter 2022 Term, you would have to reapply for housing starting November 1 through the Winter 2022 Residence Application process. As Winter 2022 Term housing is based on availability, we cannot guarantee any specific unit types assignments, including returning to your previous unit assignment. We are unable to guarantee any specific options, including roommate assignments if you vacate within Fall 2021 Term.  

Collicutt Performance Fitness Zone Memberships 

As the Restriction Exemption Program at Red Deer Polytechnic is implemented, monthly and annual members of the Collicutt Performance Fitness Zone may request a pro-rated refund of their membership fees if they no longer wish to continue as a member. Refund requests must be received by Guest Services (guestservices [at] rdpolytech [dot] ca or 403.356.5100) by November 15, 2021. 


Do I need to continue to use the RDP SAFE App when I arrive each time on campus?  

Yes, students, staff, and guests will continue to use the RDP SafeApp when attending Red Deer Polytechnic’s campuses for contact tracing purposes. It is a requirement to complete the assessment daily before attending Red Deer Polytechnic’s campuses. 


What are my options if I do not intend to get vaccinated or provide proof of a negative rapid test?  

If you are a student that attends ONLINE classes only and you choose to not get vaccinated, you will be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 rapid test completed within the previous 72 hours of each time you attend our campuses in-person for any purpose.  

All other students have two options. If you choose not to get vaccinated and will not provide proof of a negative COVID-19 rapid test: 

1) Email the Student Connect Centre at studentconnect [at] rdpolytech [dot] ca if you have questions about your class schedule and delivery methods.  

2) Withdraw without academic or financial penalty by October 19, 2021.      


Will Red Deer Polytechnic refund my tuition? 

If a student chooses to withdraw from programming prior to October 19, 2021, Red Deer Polytechnic will provide a refund of tuition and there will be no academic penalty.   


How often does a rapid test need to be done? 

A rapid test should be conducted every 72 hours.  


What is the cost of a rapid test? Are they free for students like other institutions? 

We are working on possible locations for purchasing the test. This information, along with additional options for rapid testing, will be provided by Red Deer Polytechnic on October 5, 2021


Can apprenticeship exams be challenged by those not vaccinated? 

Students that choose not to be vaccinated can attend in-person classes and exams but will be required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 rapid test every 72 hours. 


What does this mean for January-February classes for trades students? 

We are reviewing the procedures for Winter 2022 Term and will communicate this plan by November 15, 2021.  


Is it possible to submit antibody testing as proof? 

No, it is not. We will accept a negative COVID-19 PCR or rapid test result to attend Red Deer Polytechnic’s campuses, participate in activities, or access an on-campus service.  


With what scientific evidence can Red Deer Polytechnic identify that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective?  

If you have questions about COVID-19 vaccines, we invite you to learn more by visiting Alberta Health Services’ website, which includes this document and an FAQ section with a range of questions and answers to help inform you. You may also wish to speak with your personal health care provider or to contact Alberta Health Link


If a student receives the COVID-19 vaccine, will Red Deer Polytechnic be held liable for making them get the vaccine if they have adverse effects or die? Many workplaces are offering WCB to employees who are being required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. 
 
WCB: Student Coverage identifies those students who are registered in and attending an academic program at a post-secondary institution, including Red Deer Polytechnic, are considered workers of the Government of Alberta. Workers’ Compensation Board – Alberta provides resources about WCB and COVID-19 on their website


Can you guarantee that vaccinated individuals are not at risk of catching or transmitting the virus to others after vaccination? 

If you have questions about COVID-19 vaccines, we invite you to learn more by visiting Alberta Health Services’ website, which includes an FAQ section with a range of questions and answers to help inform you. You may also wish to speak with your personal health care provider or to contact Alberta Health Link


Is my vaccine information confidential?  

All personal information provided is confidential and will not be shared except as strictly required to enforce the policy. The requirement to provide proof of immunization, report vaccination status or provide proof of a negative rapid test is one measure Red Deer Polytechnic is taking in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic to protect the health and safety of our community. In accordance with Red Deer Polytechnic’s Information Access & Privacy Policy, your personal information will be kept confidential, and only used for the purpose(s) for which it was collected or authorized, in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) Act of Alberta. Should you have questions about the collection or use of your personal information, please contact Red Deer Polytechnic's Access & Privacy Coordinator by privacy [at] rdpolytech [dot] ca (email).


Does this vaccination program infringe on my human rights?  

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Red Deer Polytechnic has the duty to help keep its students, faculty, staff, and visitors safe while on its campuses. Red Deer Polytechnic is following COVID-19 recommendations from Alberta Health Services. Other post-secondary institutions in Alberta are also implementing a vaccination plan for on-campus students, faculty, staff, and visitors.  

If you believe Red Deer Polytechnic’s vaccine protocols violate human rights under the Alberta Human Rights Act, you may apply for an exemption


Questions and Answers Below Were Added on October 5, 2021

 

What if I am an online student? Do I still need to be vaccinated for COVID-19? 

If you are fully online, you can study from home. However, if you are required to attend our campuses for any portion of your studies, or require support services, when you attend our campuses in-person you will be required to show proof of vaccination or provide a negative rapid test result (completed within 72 hours of each time you attend our campuses).   

If you are fully online but will take part in an in-person practicum (that is located off of Red Deer Polytechnic’s campuses) you are required to meet the Red Deer Polytechnic vaccination requirements prior to commencing your assigned practicum placement. If you take part in an in-person practicum on a Red Deer Polytechnic campus, you  will be required to show proof of vaccination or provide a negative rapid test result (completed within 72 hours of each time you attend our campuses).

For Winter 2022 Term (effective January 1, 2022), all Red Deer Polytechnic students attending our campuses or practicum agencies in-person, or for any activity on campuses will be required to be fully vaccinated. 


How can Red Deer Polytechnic request a person to provide their vaccination status? This is private and confidential medical information. 

Alberta’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act [Section 33(c)] permits public organizations, such as Red Deer Polytechnic, to collect personal information from individuals when that information is directly related to, and necessary for operating a program within the organization. 

In this context, Red Deer Polytechnic is permitted to collect proof of vaccination for use only in identifying an individual’s compliance with the institution’s vaccination program. 


What if I have additional questions? 

Students who have additional questions can email studentconnect [at] rdpolytech [dot] ca.  

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Main Phone: 403.342.3400
Toll-free: 1.888.732.4630 (in Canada only)
Email: inquire [at] rdpolytech [dot] ca


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