The Stevens Centre and Raymond Field on an early morning.
COVID-19 Updates

Community Information

Taking Health and Safety Seriously


Acadia University's return-to-campus strategy is based on a community harms reduction strategy that focuses on caring for oneself and others, community, and compliance. To help make our campus and the broader community as safe as possible, Acadia, in partnership with the Students' Union and in compliance with all public health directives, has implemented comprehensive practices, policies, and protocols to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19. The following is a summary of these:

General Measures

  • The campus remains closed to the general public. Exceptions are in place for those transporting students, contractors, and service providers. Exceptions for the general public also include access to the:
    • Athletics Complex (appointments only)
    • Woodland Trails
    • flo EV charging station (Athletics Complex)
    • Rail Trail through the Athletics Complex parking lot
    • Tower Skateboard and Basketball Park
  • Maintaining physical distancing
  • Wearing of non-medical masks
  • Installation of physical barriers (i.e. Plexiglass screens)
  • Pedestrian traffic flow routes and signage
  • Handwashing and hand sanitizing stations
  • Enhanced cleaning protocols
  • Limiting in-person interaction (i.e. More virtual contact, fewer appointments and meetings)
  • All faculty, staff, and students are required to take a daily self-assessment survey to check for symptoms
  • "Stay away if you have symptoms or not feeling well" and "we are in this together" messaging
  • Communication of restrictions and expectations for conduct, behaviour, and compliance
  • Robust communication of policies and procedures to employees and students
  • Promotion of educational resources and materials created by the province
  • Online training for staff and students on the risks and mechanisms of control
  • Making COVID-19 testing easy and accessible for both on- and off-campus students during the self-isolation period
  • Creating mechanisms for contact tracing
  • Informing contractors, service providers, and other visitors to campus with relevant information about expected and appropriate COVID-19 measures

Communications

  • Official communications are shared with students by email, though instructors, via the Student Life and through social media.
  • Employees receive information via email and through the University's COVID-19 information webpage.

Academic

  • A small number of courses, about 9%, are offered in-person only, roughly 49% are offered in a blended model of both in-person or remotely, and about 42% of classes are fully online (remotely).
  • Masks are mandatory in classrooms in which social distancing cannot be achieved, and classrooms have reduced capacities to accommodate physical distancing.
  • Classrooms are subject to increased cleaning and staggered class times. New traffic flow patterns further minimize contact.
  • Virtual office hours are provided by faculty and instructors for all courses, and the University encourages faculty to ensure these hours are flexible to accommodate students in different time zones.
  • Transition programming was provided to first-year students in the form of 'Acadia University 101' program

Health Services

  • Virtual mental health supports, including the services offered by HealthyMindsNS, is provided by Acadia for all students
  • Information regarding virtual alternatives to in-person health services is provided to students through Student Services staff or the Acadia Health Clinic

Dining Hall

  • Meal hall is open to students with a reduced capacity, ensuring the continuation of physical distancing
  • Enhanced cleaning practices have been implemented, as have signage and labelled routes

Residence

  • All Residence (dormitory) rooms are single occupancy only
  • Students have been given a clear explanation of the rules and expectations for residence living
  • Residences operate under a three-phase model, in which red will be utilized during self-isolation, yellow will allow for some socially distanced activity, and green will see the return to regular operations without emergency conditions or public health directives
  • There is collaboration between Student Services staff, Residence Assistants and ASU House Council members in planning and hosting events that create safe opportunities to socialize while following public health guidelines

Access to Library Materials for the General Public

Due to on-campus restrictions for those not studying or teaching, we are offering a new initiative called "Pick up at the Public" in partnership with the Annapolis Valley Regional Library.

Members of the public can request Acadia and Novanet print items through the library catalogue. The items will then be delivered each week to the Wolfville Memorial Library. Borrowers will receive a message when the material is available for pick up and will have two weeks to pick it up. Most materials will have an extended loan period this fall. Materials can be returned at any Nova Scotia Public Library.

Testing and Public Health Advice Adherence

As an additional layer of defence, asymptomatic asymptomatic post-secondary students entering the Province from outside the Atlantic Bubble were tested for COVID-19 three times. All students from outside of the Bubble were required to follow provincial guidelines and self-isolate for two weeks.

Acadia has developed a series of protocols designed to support the containment of an outbreak of COVID-19 on Campus. These protocols, which were approved by the Chief Medical Officer of Health and the Department of Labour and Advanced Education as part of the University's re-opening plan, will be enacted in complete partnership with Public Health authorities.

Managing Symptomatic or Positively-Diagnosed Students

The Province's 811 referral process, in partnership with Public Health and the Nova Scotia Health Authority, will manage COVID-19 testing for students displaying symptoms. Acadia has developed a plan to quarantine and support on-campus students who have or may have been exposed to COVID-19. These students will use a separate washroom and will be provided with food delivery, supplies, and support during their quarantine period. The quarantine process will be directed by Nova Scotia Public Health officials in collaboration with Acadia staff. Upon request from the Province, Acadia will provide all assistance possible in contact tracing.

Responsible Behaviour

The global coronavirus pandemic has forced everyone to adopt new practices and to become more deliberate in their actions. Acadia students are committing to personal safety practices that promote the health and well-being of both the campus community and citizens of Wolfville by signing the Student COVID-19 Safety Pledge.

Students are also apprised of the Student Code of Conduct. They will be informed of how off- or on-campus violations of this Code will result in non-academic judicial action. Students understand that failure to meet the standards of the pledge may initiate a series of consequences, including expulsion.

Working Together

Acadia representatives, along with the President of the Acadia Students' Union, meet with the Town of Wolfville officials regularly. The group has a weekly standing meeting to enable rapid discussion on matters of mutual interest or concern.

All parties are committed to working collaboratively to support a safe community, where residents and students alike can enjoy the amenities and activities that remain accessible under pandemic rules.

The Town has heightened its physical presence (patrols) in neighbourhoods where parties are known to occur. Acadia and the ASU are working to educate students about expectations of good neighbourly conduct and the consequences of failing to meet them.

Masks and Signage

Acadia has enacted stringent pandemic-related safety practices and protocols to comply with all public health directives, including directive and information signage, and the wearing of masks. Acadia's mask policy requires anyone entering publicly accessible buildings on campus to wear a non-medical mask or face covering. Masks are not required in a single-person office or a private residence room, or when another PPE is in effect, such as a plexiglass barrier. However, face coverings must be worn when it is not possible or predictable to maintain two-metres (six-feet) of physical distance. Examples include hallways, elevators, classrooms, and restrooms. Masks are also recommended in outdoor spaces on campus and required where physical distance cannot be maintained. Exceptions will be considered for those individuals for whom wearing a face-covering poses health concerns, or physical challenges.

Learn More

Visit Acadia's COVID-19 information website
Review the Province's Fact Sheet for Post-Secondary Education

 

Students walking downtown on a warm summer day.

Community Updates

Our plan is to welcome back our community users with memberships to the Athletics Complex's Fitness Centre on Monday, October 12. Only those with existing memberships will be allowed to access the Fitness Centre. No drop-ins are allowed at this time – you must be an existing member to access the Fitness Centre.

Use of the Fitness Centre requires an appointment and a valid membership card. Masks are mandatory.

The onset of the global Coronavirus pandemic has challenged us to improvise and adapt to new ways of living our lives, conducting our business, and relating to one another. Our personal wellbeing, and the health and safety of our neighbours and loved ones has been in sharp focus over the past six months.


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