*Please continue to check MSVU’s main COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information Page for the university’s most recent updates.
March 17, 2020
Dear Alumni and Friends,
As valued members of our MSVU community, I am writing to share several updates as communicated this past week to our students, faculty, and staff pertaining to our ongoing efforts to mitigate and aid in reducing the spread of COVID-19. This issue continues to evolve rapidly, and information can resultingly change in an instant, that said, my sincere thanks are extended to the entire Mount family for your continued patience as we work to keep pace with this emerging situation.
In alignment with the Nova Scotia’s government’s preventative measures to minimize the spread of COVID-19, we have made some significant and difficult, yet very necessary decisions pertaining to the operations at Mount Saint Vincent University. These decisions have been made with careful consideration and with the best interests of our students, faculty, staff, and all Nova Scotians in mind.
A commitment to the health and safety of our entire university family is at the core of our every action. Our thoughts are with you and your loved ones as we all continue to navigate these unchartered waters – please be safe.
I will continue to provide updates as they arise. In the interim, please take a moment to view my recent video message to our Mount community.
Dr. Mary Bluechardt
President & Vice Chancellor, Mount Saint Vincent University
The details below include measures announced on campus earlier this week as well as a number of new measures announced yesterday to slow the spread of COVID-19:
· Face-to-face classes will be suspended effective March 16, 2020 until the end of term and in person exams will not be held. Classes already online will continue as usual. Co-op, practica and internship placements will continue as long as placement locations are unaffected.
· Organizations and businesses must practice social distancing of two meters (or six feet) and keep gatherings below 150 or much smaller if possible. As a result of this and after careful consideration, we have decided to cancel spring convocation. We will ensure that all graduating students are awarded their degrees, certificates and diplomas, and we are committed to giving students the opportunity to celebrate this important milestone by crossing the Convocation stage at a later date, possibly in the fall. We are currently working out those details and will communicate them as soon as possible.
· All childcare centres must close as of March 17 and remain closed until at least April 3. Therefore, the MSVU Child Study Centre will be closed for this time period.
· All public schools in Nova Scotia will remain closed for at least two weeks following March Break. We understand that this (together with the closing of child care centres) will present challenges to MSVU students and employees with young children at home. We encourage students with issues to connect directly with your course instructors, and employees to speak with your supervisor to establish a work arrangement
· All events at MSVU are cancelled until at least June 1, no matter the number of participants.
· The following MSVU facilities will be closed until further notice:
· Fitness Centre, effective immediately. Visit the centre online at www.msvu.ca/fit, on Facebook or Instagram for updates.
· Art Gallery, effective immediately. Visit the Art Gallery online for updates.
· Library, as of 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 17. For more information visit the Library website.
· Curriculum Resource Centre, effective immediately. Find them online.
· Registration and Financial Services joint counter, effective immediately.
· Students can reach the Financial Services Office via the contact details at the bottom of this page. Students can reach the Registrar’s Office via the contact details on this page.
· Bookstore, effective immediately. Find them online here.
· Residence will be closing at noon (12 p.m.) on Saturday, March 21.
Students who are able to move out before then are encouraged to do so. Students who cannot return home due to extenuating circumstances (for example, international travel restrictions or exceptional personal circumstances) will be able to stay and should be in touch with Residence Life as soon as possible. Students who stay in Residence may need to be relocated. Students who move out will receive a pro-rated refund for room and meal plan fees.
· Food services continue in the Rosaria Dining Hall at this time, though with restricted hours and menu changes. Seton Cafe and McCain Cafe have closed. Updates from Chartwells are available here.
· Because EMF is closing due to the Library closure, drop-in access will not be possible for the following (please find them online or by phone/email): Teaching and Learning Centre and Online Learning, Counselling Services, Accessibility Services, Information Technology & Services and Writing Centre.
· Counselling and Health Services
· Counselling appointments will be conducted over the phone. A reminder that we also have new online mental health tools available to MSVU students 24/7.
· The Health Services Office remains open to students and existing community patients. Appointments are required.
· Further to the NS government directive to facilitate working from home to the greatest extent possible and self-isolation requirements, Human Resources has developed an FAQ for MSVU employees. Employees should speak to their managers to make working arrangements. The university will focus on continuing to provide critical services to students.
· Information Technology & Services has developed a new “Working From Home” intranet page featuring tools and links to support resources. This page will be updated regularly, so check it often if you are working from home.
This past week, the Federal Government announced new travel restrictions. You can read more about that here.
Public health authorities continue to advise on the importance of personal protective measures, such as social distancing (staying about 6 feet away from others and avoiding crowds/gatherings), frequent and thorough hand washing and cough/sneeze etiquette. Learn more here
A reminder that you can visit www.msvu.ca/coronavirus for the latest information from the University, including a regularly-updated FAQ, as well as links to NS and Canadian health authority resources.