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 will have a reduced capacity to accommodate physical distancing.
  • Classrooms will also be subject to increased cleaning and staggered class times. New traffic flow patterns will further minimize contact.
  • Virtual office hours will be provided by faculty and instructors for all courses, and the University will encourage faculty to ensure these hours are flexible to accommodate students in different time zones.
  • Transition programming is provided for 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

  • During the semester, the meal hall will be 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 will be single occupancy only
  • Students have been given a clear explanation of the rules and expectations for residence living
  • Residences will 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 will be a 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

Acadia University has long favoured an asymptomatic testing protocol as an additional layer of defence. It is pleased to support the Province of Nova Scotia's August 20, 2020 directive to test asymptomatic post-secondary students entering the Province from outside the Atlantic Bubble. Part of the Public Health Act, the new health measures became law on August 21 and instructs students to view Nova Scotia's post-secondary website to better understand the process of entering Nova Scotia.

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.

Self-Isolation

Acadia is providing a fee-for-service airport pick-up for students requiring self-isolation to support direct travel to accommodations where possible. Acadia is coordinating with Airport Security to ensure there is a waiting area as students await their shuttle time. Shuttles will operate within the Nova Scotia health and safety directives. Residence (dormitory) students will be greeted by an Acadia representative and directed to their rooms. Off-campus students will be transported to campus, where Acadia employees will be on hand to assist in procuring transportation to a final destination for off-campus students.

Students arriving at Acadia University (and all institutions) from outside of Atlantic Canada must:

Approximately 500 Acadia students, evenly split between on-campus and off-campus accommodations, are required to participate in the asymptomatic testing initiative. Acadia has communicated the directive to students, and Public Health officials are following up to arrange appointments. The tests will be conducted over the 14-day self-isolation period.

Public Health has advised that students in self-isolation have opportunities for restricted outdoor exercise on campus (or in their off-campus yard) and travel limited to and from COVID-19 testing. Practices and protocols have been established to prevent contact with those in isolation.

Self-Isolating in Residence (dormitory)

During on-campus self-isolation the following measures will be in place for on-campus students:

  • All students will receive a daily check-in by Acadia staff to monitor physical and mental health
  • All students are required to complete a self-health assessment daily and report COVID-19 symptoms to 811 and Acadia's occupational health nurse
  • Acadia Student Services and the Students' Union are providing virtual opportunities to socialize and receive information remotely (i.e. Get to know your student services staff, virtual yoga, residence chat groups, games, and more)
  • Dining Hall meal service is provided to the door of residence rooms
  • Access to laundry facilities is scheduled to accommodate for proper cleaning and sanitation
  • Washrooms are assigned and shared by a maximum of four students
  • All common room spaces are closed
  • Gatherings and guests are not permitted in rooms at any time (including those residing on the same floor)
  • Alcohol consumption is not permitted
  • Students in Residence required to self-isolate must remain in self-isolation for 14 days

Self-Isolation Off-campus (apartments, private accommodation)

Students required to self-isolate while living off-campus must:

  • Provide Acadia with their isolation plan
  • Complete a self-health assessment daily and report COVID-19 symptoms to 811 and Acadia's occupational health nurse
  • Remain in self-isolation for 14 days

Information regarding the Province's isolation requirements and expectations are communicated to students in its Post-Secondary Fact Sheet.

Acadia and the Students' Union have engaged student volunteers to provide practical support (errands, groceries, etc.) during the isolation period. The Students' Union is providing virtual opportunities to socialize and receive information remotely (i.e. get to know your Student Services staff, virtual yoga, games, etc.).

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.

Responsible Behaviour

The global coronavirus pandemic has forced everyone to adopt new practices and to become more deliberate in their actions. In the academic year starting in September 2020, 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. The following is a sample of the pledge, which is subject to change as public health directives are refined:

As a member of the Acadia community, including the Town of Wolfville and surrounding communities, it is my responsibility to help protect those around me by "flattening the curve" and preventing the spread of COVID-19. I recognize that by voluntarily joining the campus and broader community, and attending in-person classes, I am doing so in full awareness that I am accepting the risk that I might contract COVID-19 from a student, an employee of the University, or a member of the public. I also acknowledge that I may endanger the health of others if I am carrying the virus, and all reasonable precautions must be taken by me.

Although Acadia University will undertake reasonable steps, as required by the Nova Scotia Public Health authorities, to minimize all related risks, the risk of contracting COVID-19 cannot be eliminated.

I understand and accept my responsibility to do all that is required of me and to comply with all policies, procedures and directives that the University may develop from time to time. During this critical time, to protect me, preserve medical resources, and help protect others (especially those who are most vulnerable), I pledge to:

  • strictly adhere to all University and Nova Scotia Public Health directives
  • practice physical-distancing of at least 2-metres (six feet) whenever possible
  • wear a non-medical mask when physical distancing cannot be guaranteed
  • monitor my health daily and report any symptoms immediately to 811 and the Acadia occupational health nurse
  • practice these requirements even if I do not feel sick
  • practice these requirements at all times, whether I am on-campus or off-campus

I acknowledge that if I fail to follow this pledge, I put myself and others in the University Community at risk and that I could be subject to discipline under the Student Code of Conduct.

I hereby acknowledge that I have read, understand, and agree to be bound by the Student COVID-19 Safety Pledge. I will take all reasonable steps to comply with this pledge and any related policies, directives and public health orders.

Students are 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.

Related Resources

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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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