Dear MSVU students, faculty and staff,
As the start of the fall semester nears and the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, so too do our safety measures at MSVU.
I am writing today to share that MSVU will be requiring 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.
There is much planning still being undertaken to operationalize this protocol. We want to ensure that personal information is protected. As well, we have asked Public Health for guidance on whether those who have received vaccinations abroad that are not currently approved by Health Canada can or should be vaccinated with Health Canada approved vaccines upon arrival in the country. We will provide more information on that matter – and its implications at MSVU – as soon as possible. Please watch your MSVU email account for updates.
Students are encouraged to get vaccinated in your home community before coming to campus if at all possible. That said, if you are travelling to Halifax to study and need a vaccine when you arrive, you can get one or both doses here. COVID-19 vaccine appointments can be booked through Nova Scotia Public Health. If you have a Nova Scotia Health Card, you can book online. If you don’t have an NS Health Card, you can make a vaccine appointment by calling 1-833-797-7772 (you need to be in Canada to call and the call must be made from a Canadian telephone number). If you are currently residing elsewhere in Canada, you can get more information about local vaccination clinics here.
Additionally, an on-campus vaccination clinic for students, faculty and staff will be held on Thursday, August 26 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. (more information for students / faculty and staff – log-in required).
With a pandemic fourth wave gaining traction across the country at the same time as we seek to safely return to on-campus learning, working, and student life opportunities, a vaccine mandate is an important step. The evidence is clear: getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is the best way to protect yourself and others, and is our surest way out of this pandemic.
Of course, we will also continue to implement a number of other important pandemic safety measures on campus, including reduced classroom capacities, enhanced cleaning protocols, improved ventilation and mask use in common areas. We are also offering rapid COVID-19 testing on-campus for all students, faculty and staff. Regardless of your vaccination status, regular testing is still strongly recommended by Public Health (more information for students / faculty and staff – log-in required).
While aspects of this semester will look unlike anything we’ve experienced before, I have no doubt it will still be a rewarding time. Thank you to all members of our community who continue to work to keep one another safe, both by following Public Health advice and adhering to university protocols.
Students with questions about MSVU’s COVID-19 response are encouraged to contact the Office of Student Experience at email@example.com. Faculty and staff with questions are encouraged to speak to their dean, chair, director or supervisor, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
I look forward to seeing you soon at our cherished university home on the hill.
Ramona Lumpkin, CM, PhD
Interim Vice-President and Chancellor