Frequently Asked Questions: COVID-19

With so much COVID-19 information being shared, we understand that uncertainties can arise. We have created various FAQ sections below to address your questions and concerns. These FAQs were last updated on Tuesday, July 13, 2021.

If your questions are not answered below, please email

Fall 2021

Classes for the Fall 2021 semester will be held in-person with limited classes being offered online. Delivery methods for each individual class can be found within the course catalogue. Please email your professor with any questions you might have.

Classes for the Fall 2021 semester will be held in-person with limited classes being offered online. Delivery methods for each individual class can be found within the course catalogue.

For more information, click here. 

CBU is a Designated Learning Institution with an approved COVID-19 readiness plan.

For all questions related to international travel, please visit this page.

COVID-19 Health Related

The information below relates to the COVID-19 virus and social-distancing practices.

For more information about COVID-19, please consult the following websites:

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in December 2019.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, new or worsening cough, sore throat, runny nose and headache. The severity of COVID-19 symptoms can range from mild to severe.

Effective May 22, Nova Scotia has broadened its symptom criteria for when people should be tested for COVID-19. The public is being asked to call 811 for assessment if they have any of the following symptoms:
Fever (i.e. chills, sweats)
Cough or worsening of a previous cough
Sore throat
Nasal congestion/runny nose
Shortness of breath
Muscle aches
Hoarse voice
Unusual fatigue
Loss of sense of smell or taste
Red, purple or blueish lesions, on the feet, toes or fingers without clear cause

If you have two or more of these symptoms, please visit to determine if you should call 811 for further assessment.

People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease can be spread through small droplets from the nose or mouth upon coughing or exhaling. These droplets can land on objects and surfaces which can then be touched by others. It is important to stay more than one meter away from someone who is sick and refrain from touching your eyes, nose, or mouth whenever possible.

Nova Scotia is testing for COVID-19. See testing data here.

For the most recent information on COVID-19, including numbers of cases in Canada, please refer to the Government of Canada’s Public Health Agency website.

o minimize the spread of any respiratory virus (including things like the flu/influenza and COVID-19), the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness recommends the following:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water often. If soap and water are not readily available, you can use alcohol-based hand sanitizer, if hands are not visibly dirty.
  • Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
  • Use a tissue when you cough or sneeze and throw it in a garbage bin lined with a plastic bag.
  • If you don’t have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve.
  • Wash your hands immediately after coughing and/or sneezing.
  • Stay home if you’re sick.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that are shared and used often.

Since mid-January, CBU has been working closely with the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness to ensure our response aligns with the recommendations being made by the Chief Medical Officer of Health.  

In early March, President Dingwall established a Pandemic Planning Task Force to focus on contingency planning should the COVID-19 situation worsen. The Task Force includes members from various areas within the university such as academics, residence, enrolment services, operations, facilities management, communications, human resources, student affairs and more.  The Task Force currently meets regularly to make informed decisions as the situation evolves. 

As well, CBU is participating in the CONSUP (Council of Nova Scotia University Presidents) COVID-19 Working Group. Dr. Tanya Brann-Barrett, Associate Vice-President, Academic & Research, is representing CBU. 

For the Nova Scotia Government’s current regulations on travel, please click here.

New viruses like COVID-19 may cause fear and anxiety for some members of the campus community. In addition to the resources available through the Max Bell Health and Counselling Centre, support is also available: 

For students – HealthyMindsNS 

For International students Keep Me Safe Program 

For employees – EFAP

If you have flu-like symptoms, please complete the COVID-19 self-assessment online. If you, or family members, need a COVID-19 test, a Nova Scotia Health or IWK representative will call you within 24-48 hours. They will tell you where you need to go for the test and your appointment time.

If you have flu-like symptoms, do not go to the Max Bell Health Centre or the local Emergency Room. Please complete the COVID-19 self-assessment online. If you, or family members, need a COVID-19 test, a Nova Scotia Health or IWK representative will call you within 24-48 hours. They will tell you where you need to go for the test and your appointment time.

Social distancing and self-isolation are non-pharmaceutical infection control approaches used to stop or slow down the spread of a contagious disease.

Social Distancing means putting distance between yourself and other people.

Self-isolation means staying indoors and completely avoiding contact with other people.

Respiratory Etiquette is

  • Covering your mouth and nose in the crook of your elbow when coughing or sneezing.
  • Using tissues and disposing of them in an appropriate container when you have a chance
  • Washing your hands or using a hand sanitizer every time you touch your mouth or nose.

Campus & Student Services

As we continue to navigate this new normal, we are continuously looking for new ways to support you, our students. We know that this adjustment hasn’t been easy but our students always persevere, and we are so proud of you. We are now in a position where we are able to offer classes and student services in person.

Your health, safety and well-being is our number one priority, so we’ve created this FAQ section so you can easily access and understand the information related to returning to campus. 

To learn more about what services are available to students and how to make an appointment, read our Student Handbook, sent to your CBU email address.

The following services are now available for in-person appointments: 

  • Max Bell Health Centre
  • CBU Library 
  • Enrolment Services
  • Beaton Institute
  • Art Gallery
  • Writing Centre
  • Math & Science Centre
  • Jennifer Keeping Centre
  • International Student Services
  • Academic Success Coaching
  • Career Services
  • CBU Bookstore
  • IT Services

Contact information and how to book an appointment for each of our services can be found in our student handbook. 

No. If you aren’t feeling well, do not come to campus. If you begin to feel unwell while you are already on campus, please return home immediately to monitor your symptoms.

Yes. When you access campus, you must sign in and out with the Campus Security Officers located at one of our designated entrances. Designated entrances currently include Campus Centre, the Courtyard and the Marvin Harvey Building and the Great Hall. 

Yes. All those on campus will maintain a distance of two meters (six feet) from others while on campus. When you enter campus, you are asked to go directly to your designated location and keep time spent in common areas as brief as possible.

Yes. When in hallways and common spaces, please keep to the right, just as you would if you were driving. Keeping to the right in these spaces allows us to leave enough space around us for those going in the other direction to pass by safely. 

Please note that infrastructure at entrances won’t always allow visitors to keep to the right as they enter or exit the building. In these instances, please respect physical distancing and use common sense. 

Wherever signage is posted, please be sure to follow what it says. 

Yes. To protect one another, students must wear non-medical masks in all public areas and common spaces on campus. It is recommended that masks be worn at all times, but individuals may choose to remove their mask when seated at an appointment if all participants are spaced at least two meters (six feet) apart and both people are comfortable.

The Max Bell Health and Counselling Centre continues to operate from 8:30am – 4:30pm AST. To make an inquiry or appointment, please call 902-563-1359 or email For more information on Health Services at CBU, please click here

International students can also access health services through insurance, by using the mobile doctor app. Please be sure to have your insurance number ready as you will need it to access these services. 

The CBU Library is open by reservation only through our Book a Seat Program. 

This program allows CBU students to reserve a study seat, study room, computer station or study carrel (private desk and seat) in the library. Reservations can be made here. 

Available services include access to the library Wifi, printers, scanners and physical collections. Anyone looking to take items out of the library are encouraged to do so through the Curbside Pickup process. 


  •     Bookings must be made 24 hours in advance.
  •     Students must enter campus through one of the designated entrances (Campus Centre, Great Hall, Marvin Harvey) and sign in at the sign in station before accessing the library.
  •     Please use hand sanitizer upon entering the library. 
  •     Students must check in and out using the code emailed to them, or by scanning the QR code found at the seat when they arrive.
  •     Masks must be worn at all times while in the common spaces of the library.
  •     Please do not move furniture: all seating has been arranged to respect physical distancing requirements.
  •     Students are encouraged to wipe down workstations prior to use and at the end of their session. Sanitizing wipes will be provided in these areas. 
  •     If you are feeling unwell, please do not come to campus.

Appointments are mandatory. Students will not be permitted to enter the library if they have not booked an appointment. 

Information on Moving Throughout the Library 

The flow of traffic in the library has been adjusted to reduce the likelihood of being in close proximity to others. Please follow the directional signage that lets you know which areas are one-way only. Please stay to the right at all other times, including when entering and exiting the library. 

After you arrive in the library, please go directly to the circulation desk, or to your assigned seat and booked location. 

Library services continue to be offered digitally as well. Online services and supports include:


We encourage you to register with the CBU Library so resources are readily accessible to you when you need them. To speak with a library staff member, call 902-563-1320 or email

If you are returning your library materials, there is a return box located in Campus Centre, next to the Campus Security Office. 

The Beaton Institute is open for research by appointment only. Please follow the same guidelines listed under the Library heading, including booking appointments 24 hours in advance. Reservations can be made here.

To book an appointment with an enrolment services professional or the Registrar’s Office, please email or call 902-563-1330. 

CBU’s Writing Centre offers free one-on-one appointments virtually, by email, and now in-person, by appointment only. The Writing Centre helps students understand assignments, make writing plans, learn formatting styles, incorporate citations and more. You can book an appointment online, email questions or book an in-person appointment by emailing

CBU’s Math and Science Centre offers free tutoring services for current CBU students who require help in introductory-level math, science and business courses. The Centre is now using a digital platform called Discord for virtual tutoring. Set up an account and connect with tutors as you need to. If you require an in-person appointment, please email

Academic Success Coaching is currently available by email, video chat and in-person. To book an appointment, click here.

The Career Services team at CBU is here to work with you before, during and after your time as a student as it relates to your academic and career planning decisions. To book a meeting with our Career Services team, email or phone 902-563-1818.

The Jennifer Keeping Centre works to provide the necessary supports and accessibility accommodations for students with a medically documented disability. To find out if you are eligible for services related to your disability, or to book an in-person appointment, email or phone 902-563-1208.

International students who require more information or have questions about immigration, student work permit eligibility or medical coverage can connect virtually with one of our International Student Advisors, including a Certified Immigration Consultant via email. To book an in-person appointment, please email or phone 902-563-1278.

CBU’s IT Help Desk is the first point of contact for IT Services and offers a variety of technical services, such as login access and troubleshooting, email support and more. All Help Desk services are currently being offered via email.

The Cape Breton Health Recreation Complex (The Dome) is now open for residence students only, by appointment only. To book an appointment, please call 902-567-2808.

The CBU Art Gallery’s exhibitions will be accessible for visits by appointment only from Monday – Friday, 10 am – 4 pm, excluding a midday closure from 12noon – 1 pm. Appointments may be made by contacting the Gallery by email at, or by phone at 902-563-1342. 

Requests to view works from the permanent collection will be by appointment only. These should be made at least one week in advance. For further details on our programming, exhibitions and collection, please click here.

Facilities Management will ensure that a schedule of increased cleaning and disinfecting is implemented. Cleaning practices will comply with the Health Canada recommendations and will include the use of disinfectants approved by Health Canada for use against COVID-19. An increased schedule of cleaning of high-touch surfaces such as elevator buttons, door handles and stairwell railings will be prioritized.

We are committed to your health and well-being and recognize that you may be experiencing increased anxiety or other health impacts. Health services, supports and resources, including Healthy Minds NS, keep.meSAFE and access to personal counselling are available on our website. 

What to do if you become symptomatic: 

CBU students who are symptomatic with COVID-19 are to self-isolate at home and take the 811 Self-Assessment. Please do not visit the Max Bell Health and Counselling Centre or anywhere else on campus if you are symptomatic. 

Student information will be treated confidentially with the understanding that we are required to assist Public Health in their investigations in accordance with the Nova Scotia Health Protection Act. Contact tracing and notification are performed by Public Health and are not the responsibility of individuals at Cape Breton University. However, maintaining attendance records and ensuring proper hygiene must be part of routine operational procedures.

If you test positive for COVID-19, Public Health will contact you directly and work with you to identify contacts and conduct risk assessments to determine whether those contacts need to self-isolate and be tested. 

If someone who has visited campus tests positive for COVID-19, special cleaning of the area will be completed, and all those who have visited campus must closely monitor their personal health whether identified as a contact of the case or not. 

In the event of a confirmed case of COVID-19 on campus, CBU will consult with Public Health, the Department of Labour and Advanced Education, and occupational health and safety experts to decide on best practices for closures and disinfection of the affected areas.