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March 4, 2020

This may be a concerning situation for some members of the MSVU community. We encourage you to access the resources noted below as you need them, and want to reassure the MSVU community that we continue to be in touch with public health officials (including the NS Department of Health’s Public Health branch) and take our guidance from them. As always, we will also work to ensure organizational readiness should a more significant response be required. 

Risk in NS remains low

A reminder that at this point there are no cases of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia and public health authorities continue to advise that the risk in Canada and in our province remains low. 

Affected countries

The Government of Canada has updated its list of affected countries. In addition to mainland China, areas affected now include: Hong Kong, Iran, Italy, Japan, Singapore, and South Korea. You can access the government’s latest list of affected areas at any time here. As well, all travel health notices are posted here.  

The Government of Canada is directing those travelling to Canada from Hubei, China and Iran to self-isolate for a period of two weeks, even if you have no symptoms.

And while only travelers from Hubei, China and Iran need to self-isolate at this point, travelers coming to Canada from any of the affected areas should closely monitor their health for 14 days after their arrival in Canada. (COVID-19 symptoms usually appear within two weeks.) If you have travelled to an affected area and develop a fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, call 811 for an assessment. You can also contact Maxine Brewer, Registered Nurse and Manager of Health Services at MSVU, for health advice: Maxine.Brewer@msvu.ca, 902-457-6353. Please advise the MSVU Health Office (902-457-6354) office of your situation before visiting so that your case can be managed appropriately.

We will continue to monitor impacts on MSVU students, faculty, and staff, and be in touch with anyone directly affected.

As conference season approaches, we encourage MSVU travelers to monitor Canadian travel advisories. And while there has been no directive to avoid large gatherings in Canada, some conferences in our region could be impacted should large numbers of attendees be unable to attend from other countries or should situations change locally. 
  • Students with travel questions should contact the International Education Centre at Amy.Braye@msvu.ca or 902-457-6130.
  • Faculty and staff with travel questions should contact Human Resources at Stephanie.Girard@msvu.ca or 902-457-6368. 

Importance of prevention

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
  • 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.)
  • Note that wearing a face mask if you are asymptomatic does not necessarily help prevent infection. In fact, some evidence suggests that it may increase the likelihood of acquiring an infection due to contact between your hands and face.
Please be reminded that it is flu season in Canada, so it’s likely that someone experiencing a cough, runny nose, headache, sore throat or fever (who hasn’t returned from one of the affected countries within the past two weeks) may have the seasonal flu or common cold.

Resources

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 msvu.ca or 902-457-6353. 

The Government of Canada has established a COVID-19 information line which can be reached at 1-833-784-4397.

As always, Counselling Services are available for students in need of support. Faculty and staff support is available through our Employee and Family Assistance Program

More information: