Dear MSVU students, faculty and staff,
With September nearing, I’m writing to provide an update on COVID-19 protocols for the fall semester at MSVU.
This stage of the pandemic is in some ways our most challenging for the disproportionate impacts it is having. For many, a return to gathering in person is now a reality. But for those for whom the risk of severe disease from COVID-19 is high, the continuing pandemic and evolving protocols pose a significant challenge.
Ensuring the safety of all MSVU community members to the greatest extent possible is in keeping with our institution’s commitment to community and accessibility. Fortunately, there are simple measures we can take to help protect one another.
Masks to be required in classrooms and student labs this fall
One of the easiest things we can do to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to wear a mask. That’s why, for the fall 2022 semester (i.e. effective Sunday, September 4), masks will once again be required in classrooms and student lab spaces.
Masks will continue to be strongly recommended in all other common indoor areas, with the exception of the MSVU Health Office, Counselling Services, Career Services and Accessibility Services where masks will be required in keeping with NS Health protocols.
Instructors may choose to remove their masks to teach (while keeping as much distance as possible) and masks may be lowered to take a quick drink (or if regular eating is required for medical reasons). Plexiglass can also be installed where appropriate. Requests for plexiglass installation can be sent to Tom Strapps, Director of Facilities Management at Tom.Strapps@msvu.ca.
Students/presenters may choose to remove their mask while presenting. Students who cannot wear a mask for medical reasons must register with Accessibility Services – contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Instructors will be advised of the students in their classes who are medically exempt from the mask requirement.
Three-layer masks are recommended. For those in need of a mask, they will continue to be available for pick-up on campus at the following locations: the Assisi Security Desk (Assisi Hall main entrance), Library Circulation Desk (Main floor, EMF), Registrar’s Office (Room 207, Evaristus Hall) or Athletics & Recreation main desk (2nd floor, Rosaria Student Centre).
Most classrooms will continue to operate at 80% capacity for the fall 2022 semester. At the same time, we continue to offer a number of online courses for those who need or want to continue to learn online.
Vaccination helps reduce your chances of severe disease from COVID-19.
Though proof of vaccination will not be required to attend campus this fall, all are still strongly encouraged to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (including boosters), in keeping with Public Health guidance.
– Are you in Nova Scotia? Book a vaccination appointment via NS Public Health here.
– Living elsewhere in Canada? Information on where to get a vaccine in each province is available here.
We are working with Nova Scotia Public Health to host a COVID-19 vaccination clinic on campus early this fall (including for boosters) – stay tuned for details.
Stay home if you’re sick
Another important means of protecting our community is to stay home if you are sick. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should not come to campus, even if you have tested negative on a rapid test (you may not get a positive rapid test result until a few days after the onset of symptoms). If you do test positive for COVID-19, you should complete the Nova Scotia COVID-19 Report and Support Screening form. Please also contact your instructor or supervisor to make arrangements for your absence.
– Review common symptoms of COVID-19 here.
–Information on when those with COVID-19 are considered recovered is available here.
These past two and a half years have not been easy; and it’s been a longer pandemic journey than many of us anticipated.
Thank you for your support of MSVU protocols designed to help keep all members of our community learning and working safely.
As throughout all other stages of the pandemic, we will continue to monitor the situation and adjust our approach as appropriate. If anything needs to change, we will update you as soon as possible.
We are going to have a great fall semester together. And these simple protective measures will go a long way in making it the safest semester possible.
See you soon!
Dr. Joël Dickinson
President and Vice-Chancellor
Mount Saint Vincent University