Message to Students - Return to In-Person Education, Health, and COVID-19 Protocols
As we prepare to return to the classroom on Monday, January 24, 2022, some of you have questions, so we are providing some answers and helpful links to help you with your transition back to in-person learning.
We know most of you have been in residence or in Wolfville since the beginning of term, eager to rejoin your classmates and professors. We look forward to returning to engaging classrooms, exciting campus events, and offering you the educational experience Acadia is renowned for. We are almost there!
Still, it will take some time for everyone to adjust to current Public Health strategies. Anxiousness regarding COVID-19 and its variants is understandable, and the risk of severe illness is real for some individuals. Thank you for doing your part to ensure everyone at Acadia is as safe as possible through these challenging times.
Returning to campus and the classroom is safe
Nova Scotia Public Health has deemed schools, at all levels of education, safe. While Omicron will enter communities and schools, we need to do everything we can to keep them operating for the well-being of students and our community.
The way we deal with the COVID-19 virus has changed since the Omicron variant started making its way through our communities. Public Health is focused on supporting those who become ill rather than stopping the spread altogether. As such, Public Health is no longer doing contact tracing, isolation requirements have changed, and individuals are asked to monitor and manage their health and wellness closely.
Throughout the pandemic, we have seen a relatively low number of cases on campus and no severe illness from the COVID-19 virus. We will continue to work closely with Public Health to keep our community as safe as possible.
Acadia is taking extra precautions to maximize health and safety
For the winter term, Acadia has made vaccinations mandatory for residence students. It has also made proof of vaccination or regular testing mandatory for all off-campus students, faculty, and staff. We will continue to require masks in all public spaces, observe social distancing, honour gathering limits, and we have increased building airflow and enhanced cleaning procedures on high-touch surfaces across campus. We will also continue to provide on-site vaccination and testing clinics where needed to support our students and employees.
Being fully vaccinated is still the best protection for you and those around you. As we approach 100% of eligible employees and students being fully vaccinated (or medically exempt) for the winter term, the Acadia community has shown it will do what it takes to keep one another as safe as possible.
For the full Acadia COVID-19 Safety Plan, visit here.
What should I do if I develop COVID-19 symptoms?
Watch for symptoms daily. If you experience any of these symptoms, follow these steps:
- Self-isolate in your residence room or off-campus housing,
- If you live in Residence, notify Safety and Security at email@example.com
- Find out if you need a COVID test by filling out the Self-Assessment Survey, and
- Follow these guidelines, depending on your individual circumstances.
Acadia has many people in place to support you should you test positive. Continue reading for more details.
What should I do if I test positive for COVID-19?
If you test positive for COVID-19, please remain isolated in your residence room or apartment.
- If you live in residence, notify the Safety and Security and your Residence Assistant (RA) who will help you with the next steps, including meal deliveries to your room
- If you live off-campus, follow the Nova Scotia Public Health procedures found here
You can reach out to your instructors to let them know you will be absent from class because of illness and to stay up to date on course work. We encourage instructors to accommodate students who cannot attend a class for medical reasons. If necessary, the Registrar’s Office can provide help through a declaration clause, if you miss course requirements.
If you have health concerns that put you at greater risk of severe illness, please speak to our Occupational Health Nurse, Caroliina Landry Caroliina.firstname.lastname@example.org, to discuss available supplementary supports, including temporary housing on campus in the event that it is required.
What should I do if I am a close contact of someone who tested positive for COVID-19?
If you are fully vaccinated and not experiencing symptoms, you do not need to isolate. Public Health asks that you keep your movement restricted to attending classes, going to work, or getting essentials. Do not remove your mask while in public and minimize contact with others. Continue to monitor yourself for symptoms daily.
Depending on factors such as whether you share a household with your close contact (residence buildings count as a household), whether you are vaccinated, or your work environment, Public Health recommends specific timelines for testing. Please visit here for details.
Supplementary supports for Acadia students
If you need support, please reach out. Our service staff are in place to support you. Here are some helpful links.
- Occupational Health Nurse
- Student Counselling Centre
- Student Health Centre
- Residence Life
- International Centre
- Safety and Security
For more information
For more information about how Acadia is managing the challenges brought on by the pandemic, please visit the COVID-19 information website . Acadia will continue to provide the most up-to-date information possible.
Nova Scotia Health also offers a very informative website with all the up-to-date information you need regarding COVID-19 and public health strategies. It can be found here.
Again, we thank you for doing your part in keeping our community as safe as possible.
With warmest regards,
Vice-Provost, Students, Recruitment, and Enrolment Management