MSVU requires all students, faculty and staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible and by October 13 at the latest. Proof of vaccination will be required. Those who choose not to be vaccinated for medical, religious or cultural reasons must be tested for COVID-19 twice a week.

This page contains information about frequently asked questions about the vaccine mandate, and other questions around COVID-19

Vaccine Requirement Frequently Asked Questions


I’m a student, faculty or staff member, can I come to campus if I’m not vaccinated?

If you choose not to be vaccinated for medical, religious or cultural reasons, you can still come to campus, but you’ll be required to get tested for COVID-19 twice a week (you must be tested within 72 hours before coming on campus). On-campus rapid (asymptomatic) testing clinics are available (details below). Proof of vaccine or testing status will be required and monitored regularly.

Are campus visitors included in this mandate?

Yes, we are expecting all those who come to the MSVU campus to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo twice weekly testing if they choose not to be vaccinated (for medical, religious or cultural reasons). Visitors must complete a Visitor Declaration Form before they come to campus and bring proof of their vaccination status or a negative COVID-19 test result (obtained within 72 hours before coming on campus).

Note that at this time, visitors are not permitted in Residence (MSVU Residences are governed by the Caring Community Code), however a Residence Visitor Policy is in development.

Does the MSVU vaccine mandate apply to students participating in program cohorts studying at other locations (e.g. in other communities)?

Yes, students attending in-person programs being hosted by MSVU in other communities (often referred to as “cohorts”) are required to adhere to MSVU’s vaccine requirement. This means that students in off-campus cohort programs must upload their proof of vaccination or vaccine exemption form as soon as possible. If a student chooses not to be vaccinated (and thus submits a vaccine exemption form), then they must continue to submit proof of a negative COVID-19 test twice a week throughout the semester.

How do I submit my proof of COVID-19 vaccination or test result?

The forms to submit your proof of COVID-19 vaccination/testing or request an exemption are available online. All students, faculty and staff are asked to complete those forms that apply to you as soon as possible, but no later than September 15. Those who choose not to be vaccinated (for medical, religious or cultural reasons) will continue to submit proof of a negative COVID-19 test twice a week throughout the semester.

What if I don’t submit proof of COVID-19 vaccination nor participate in regular testing?

If you don’t comply with the MSVU vaccine requirement or testing program (with a vaccine exemption), then you will not be able to attend campus – for students, that means you won’t be able to take classes on campus, nor use on-campus facilities/services.

What if I’ve only received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine so far?

Until you’ve been fully vaccinated (i.e. you’ve received two doses of vaccine), you will need to be tested twice a week and provide proof of negative test results (received within 72 prior to coming on campus).

Do I still need to be tested twice a week if I will only be on campus once a week?

Those who choose not to be vaccinated and who will only be attending campus once per week (for example, students attending just one in-person class a week, and not participating in other on-campus activities or services on other days of the week), will only be required to be tested for COVID-19 (and upload a negative test result) once per week, within 72 hours before coming on campus. If this applies to you, you will need to indicate this status in the comments section of the exemption form that is currently in development (i.e. so that we know not to follow up with you regarding the second test).

Will a rapid test suffice or do I need a PCR test?

If you choose to be regularly tested instead of vaccinated, you will be required to have a negative rapid COVID-19 test result twice a week (rapid testing is for asymptomatic individuals only). PCR tests are only required for symptomatic individuals; PCR tests can be booked through Public Health.

Note: the rapid test being administered on campus doesn’t “tickle your brain.” It is less invasive than the traditional PCR test and is self-administered (with a support person standing by in case you need them).

How does this requirement affect those who were vaccinated abroad (i.e. with a vaccine not authorized by Health Canada)?

Nova Scotia Public Health has advised that those who have received one or two doses of a non-Health Canada authorized COVID-19 vaccine (see list below) or one dose of Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine, and are within the authorized age group, are eligible to receive one additional dose of a Health Canada authorized mRNA vaccine at least 28 days after their last dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

Non-Health Canada authorized COVID-19 vaccines (as of August 17, 2021):

  • CoronaVac/Sinovac
  • Sinopharm/BBIBP
  • Covaxin
  • Sputnik V
  • Sputnik Light
  • CanSinoBIO

Students for whom this applies can contact MSVU’s Manager of Health Services for guidance at Faculty and staff should speak to their health care provider.

How does this vaccine requirement apply for children under 12 coming to campus?

Vaccination Status: For children under 12 to participate in programs at MSVU, their parents/guardians must be vaccinated against COVID-19 or have received a negative rapid COVID-19 test result within the 72 hours prior to coming on campus. The vaccination status of the least vaccinated parent/guardian in a household will apply – in other words, if a household includes two parents/guardians and one is fully vaccinated, while the other is not, then testing will be required.

As a parent/guardian, you will be required to show proof of your vaccination or negative test result to an MSVU day camp staff member at drop-off on the first day of camp. If you are unable to provide this documentation, your child will not be able to attend camp at MSVU.

Visitor Declaration Form:  All visitors (including parents/guardians of children under 12 attending campus activities) must complete the online Visitor Declaration Form before coming to campus. The form requires you to confirm that you are following MSVU’s vaccine/testing requirement.

Other Frequently Asked Questions

How will testing be monitored?

An individual has been assigned to confidentially monitor student, faculty and staff submissions of vaccination and testing documentation (for those with a vaccine exemption). The university will follow-up directly with all those who do not submit their documentation as required.

How will my personal information be protected?

We will review proof of vaccination and testing submitted via a secure online form and then it will be deleted – in other words, the documentation you submit will not be stored after review. We will only record your overall status of compliance with the university’s vaccine mandate (or testing protocol). These records will be kept strictly confidential and only accessed by authorized individuals.

Can I come to campus if I have symptoms of COVID-19?

You should stay home if you’re feeling sick and seek testing if required.

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, you should complete a COVID-19 self-assessment to determine if you require a COVID-19 test. If you do require a test, you may need to self-isolate until you get a negative COVID-19 test result – please follow the guidance of Nova Scotia Public Health. You can also call 811 (in Nova Scotia) for advice.

Should I come to campus if I’ve been exposed to COVID-19?

When Public Health issues a potential COVID-19 exposure advisory and it names a location where you have been, your vaccination status (fully vaccinated or not fully vaccinated) will determine your next steps. For more information, please review the exposure instructions issued by Nova Scotia Public Health.

If you have received direct notification of a COVID-19 exposure from Public Health (e.g. relating to a member of your household or other close contact), then you should follow the instructions provided directly to you by Public Health. If you have questions, you can reach them by calling 811.

What if my classes are all online?

If you’re taking classes online, but planning to use campus facilities, you will need to get fully vaccinated by October 13 or tested for COVID-19 before coming on campus (if you choose not to be vaccinated for medical, religious or cultural reasons). Please keep in mind that regardless of whether you’re planning to come on campus, Public Health strongly recommends that all those who are eligible to do so get fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible. If you will not be coming on campus at all, you will be asked to submit confirmation of this status via the comments section of the vaccination exemption form (currently in development) to indicate that no follow-up is required.

Where can I get tested for COVID-19?

We are offering rapid COVID-19 (asymptomatic) testing on-campus for all students, faculty and staff. Drop-in clinics are taking place weekly on the following dates/times:

  • Mondays – 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. (EMF 207)
  • Tuesdays – 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. (EMF 207)
  • Wednesdays – 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. (EMF 207)
  • Thursdays – 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. (EMF 207)

On Thursday, October 21st, testing will take place in the MPR due to the vaccine clinic.

Additional details:

  • The test is a quick and easy self-administered one (with a support person standing by in case needed).
  • No appointment is required. Just drop in.
  • This clinic provides asymptomatic testing only. Those with symptoms should arrange for a PCR test through Public Health.
  • Results will be sent to you by text. If you don’t have a cell phone, you can return to the testing location in one hour to receive your results.
  • Testing is entirely confidential. No records of your test or result will be kept by MSVU. Positive test results, however, will be reported to Public Health after the affected individual has been notified.
  • Masks must be worn to the clinic.
  • This clinic is for MSVU students, faculty, and staff only. We cannot accommodate family members and friends at this time.

Find out more information about COVID-19 testing offered by NS Public Health.

Regardless of your vaccination status, we should all be getting tested regularly to help keep one another safe, as recommended by Public Health.