Health impacts and coronavirus info

What is the coronavirus (COVID-19)?

COVID-19 is an illness caused by a coronavirus. Human coronaviruses are common and are typically associated with mild illnesses, similar to the common cold.

What is the risk?

Currently, both Canadian and Nova Scotian public health authorities have assessed the public health risk associated with COVID-19 as high for the general population in Canada and Nova Scotia, but this could change rapidly. For the latest Public Health Agency of Canada information and risk assessment visit the PHAC website.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of human coronaviruses may be very mild or more serious, such as:

• Fever
• Cough

• Difficulty breathing

Symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to the virus.

I’m struggling with this situation. Is help available?

The health and safety of MSVU students, faculty, staff and the broader community is of utmost importance to us. At this time of uncertainty, it is important for us to pay attention to our mental health. We encourage you to watch a great video put together by Jillian Rankin of MSVU Counselling Services, which includes Jillian’s top five tips for wellness. If you need mental health support during this time, Counselling Services has phone and video appointments available with our counsellors. These appointments can be booked by calling (902) 457-6567 or by emailing Also, additional mental health resources can be found on the Counselling Services website.

Preventative measures for COVID-19

Personal protective measures are very important to avoid getting and spreading viruses.

The NS Department of Health recommends the following:

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your elbow
  • Limit contact with other people when you’re sick
  • Limit touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Don’t share drinking glasses, utensils, bottles, mouth guards or cosmetics
  • Disinfect surfaces like taps, doorknobs and countertops (one measure we are taking currently is to increase the frequency with which we are disinfecting and cleaning high contact surfaces on campus)
  • Get your flu shot (Flu shots are also still available at the MSVU Health Office. Please call 902-457-6354 to make an appointment to get yours.)

Suggested: Non-medical masks or face coverings must be worn while in common indoor areas at MSVU, starting July 31. Wearing a non-medical mask Wearing a mask even if you have no symptoms is also recommended for periods when it not possible to consistently maintain a 2-metre physical distance from others – such as crowded public settings.

Students, faculty and staff with health-related questions or concerns about COVID-19 are encouraged to contact Maxine Brewer, RN and MSVU Health Services Manager. She can be reached at or 902-457-6353.

Proper hand washing

Washing your hands frequently with soap and warm water is the best way to reduce the spread of germs:

  1. Wet your hands with warm running water
  2. Add soap and scrub for 15-20 seconds
  3. Wash backs, thumbs, between fingers, and under nails
  4. Rinse off soap under running water
  5. Dry your hands with a clean towel
  6. Turn off tap with a towel

When soap and water are not available, alcohol-based hand sanitizers can be used if hands are not visibly soiled. Proper Hand Washing: Wet your hands with warm running water Add soap and scrub for 15-20 seconds Wash backs, thumbs, between fingers, and under nails Rinse off soap under running water Dry your hands with a clean towel Turn off tap with a towel