Through the dedication, hard work, and creativity of faculty and staff across our campus, supported by the collective commitment of students and the broader Acadia community to protect themselves and one another, together we have made our campus home a safe place to live, work, and learn through the pandemic to date.
We must sustain our commitment and vigilance a little longer as we enter what we all hope will be the end phase of the pandemic and the eventual return of many of the activities that make Acadia special for us all – students, employees, alumni, and community.
As we return from the holiday break and commence the start of term, the following are a few key updates for your information. Please take a moment to read the full document on the Policy Documents page of our COVID-19 information website.
Acadia’s COVID-19 safety plan for winter 2022
- All employees return to work on campus (unless they have a university-approved work-from-home agreement in place).
- Residence students return as planned, initially commencing January 6, 2022 (with exceptions made to accommodate international arrivals, etc.). All residence students must undertake rapid testing upon arrival and during the first two weeks of the Winter Term.
- The first two weeks of classes will be delivered online, with in-person classes starting on Monday, January 24, 2022.
- All students are required to be either fully vaccinated (official proof of vaccination must be provided to our Occupational Health nurse) OR to test twice weekly and report results to the OH nurse.
- Unvaccinated students may apply for a vaccination exemption for valid medical/health reasons. Unvaccinated students who are formally exempted will be provided access to free rapid testing
- Unvaccinated students who are not formally exempted from vaccination by the University but who choose to remain unvaccinated will be provided with access to rapid testing twice a week and will be charged a fee for two test kits per week
- All residence students are required to be fully vaccinated (or formally exempted)
- Non-exempted unvaccinated students will have until January 21, 2022, to get their first dose and February 25, 2022, to complete their second dose
- The University will be meeting with employee groups in January to determine how the changes in public health policy and our vaccination requirements affect them.
- Chipman House will remain available to students (including off-campus students and employees if requested) who are quarantining or self-isolating. Adjustments will be made if demand exceeds capacity.
- Given the change in public health policy regarding testing for surveillance purposes, the University will supply free tests to only those vaccinated students who are high-risk cases and unvaccinated students whom the University exempts from vaccination due to medical/health reasons.
- All employees, students, and visitors must wear the recommended, properly fitting face masks in all common spaces in all buildings on campus (with appropriate exceptions for employees in work locations and teaching spaces, and students in their private residence room). Students are required to wear masks in classrooms, labs, and exams, including when they are seated.
- Physical distancing of one metre is required on campus whenever possible - indoors and outdoors. Masks must be worn whenever one metre cannot be maintained.
- Pro-active contact tracing and associated isolation and quarantine measures will be supported by our OH nurse, Safety and Security, Residence Life staff, and other departments.
- Enhanced cleaning of facilities and access to hand sanitizer will continue. The University will continue the current approach and monitor air quality and ventilation on an ongoing basis and take action as and when required.
- All registered students must complete the Student Pledge and adhere to public health rules, procedures, and directives, including following community public health policies when they are off campus. Students not following the requirements of the pledge may have their registration suspended pending compliance and could potentially be deregistered from the University. Students must complete the Pledge by January 14, 2022.
- Access to campus for the public is once again restricted, except for the Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens, Woodland Trails, and the Athletics Complex for membership holders booking in advance. All university-sponsored events have been postponed, cancelled, or moved online. Externally organized events that rent Acadia space (such as the Festival Theatre or Convocation Hall) have continued to be allowed at the discretion and risk of the event organizers. Check ahead with the organizers before coming to campus.
Students, faculty, and staff together should feel a great deal of pride for how well the Acadia community has managed through the pandemic to date. It has been hard, and we are all weary. As we dig a little deeper – yet again – to find it within ourselves to push through to the end of these challenging days, I am enormously grateful to you for your efforts, and to our Board, Senate, and partners in the Town of Wolfville for their support and guidance.
Happy new year to you all. I hope 2022 brings you peace, joy, and good health.
Dr. Peter Ricketts
President and Vice-Chancellor