COVID-19/Health Related FAQs

On this page you will find FAQs relating to general COVID-19 information as well as social-distancing practices.

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

General COVID-19 FAQs

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illness 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, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually.

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.

To 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 weekly, with sub-committees meeting daily, 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. 


The use of masks by the general public for respiratory illnesses such as influenza and novel coronavirus have not been shown to be effective in preventing virus spread and are not recommended for prevention.

If you are currently traveling or will be traveling for personal reasons, upon returning to Canada, all travelers will be required to self-isolate for 14 days, regardless of whether or not symptoms are present.

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 Centre, support is also available: 

For students – HealthyMindsNS 

For International students Keep Me Safe Program 

For employees – EFAP

There are no cases of COVID-19 on CBU’s campus. To view up to date test results, visit the Nova Scotia listing here. 

If you have flu-like symptoms, stay home from class or work. Prior to calling 811, please complete the self-assessment questionnaire here. If you answer Yes to any of the questions under Section A and Yes to Question B, please call 811 and you will be advised of next steps. Please do not visit the Max Bell Health Centre or local Emergency Rooms for COVID-19 symptoms.

If you have flu-like symptoms, stay home from class or work. Do not go to the Max Bell Health Centre or the local Emergency Room. Please complete the self-assessment questionnaire here. If you answer Yes to any of the questions under Section A and Yes to Question B, please call 811 and you will be advised of next steps. The Max Bell Health Centre is open for regular health and counselling services.

Social Distancing and Self Isolation FAQs

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.

People should avoid gathering in public places, and stay home as much as possible. These measures have worked to get transmission under control in other areas of the world.

Now is the time to cancel get-togethers. Dating, family visits and house parties should all be postponed or held virtually if possible.

There are personal situations where you must go out for work, for supplies or to help someone else in need. In those cases, take precautions to keep your distance from others, and wash your hands frequently.

If you develop a fever or cough, don’t go out unless it is necessary to seek medical care and wear a surgical mask when seeking medical care. If you are sick, wearing a surgical mask will protect others around you.

At this time, people shouldn’t be initiating in-person-contact with anyone. Feel free to build connections with others virtually.

If you don’t have symptoms, going out in nature and staying six feet away from other people is okay. We need to look after our mental and physical health, and fresh air, nature and exercise are very important for that.

That being said, meeting people is risky and could undermine our collective isolation to reduce viral transmission, especially if you don’t keep your distance. If you do go out with a friend, stay at least six feet away and avoid physical contact (Especially don’t drive together in the same car!)

Try to shop at times when there are very few other shoppers. That could mean going first thing in the morning when the store opens, or late at night. Consider a delivery service. Only go to the grocery store if necessary and only buy what you need, do not hoard.

While you’re out, consider getting some groceries for someone who is elderly, ill or on self-isolation.

First, people who have the opportunity or the option of working at home should absolutely use that option now. For people who must be at work and have any flexibility in their schedules, they should try to ride at non-peak hours.

On busses, people should try to sit as far away from other people as possible. In the CBRM, people are now prohibited from standing on busses. And of course, everyone should be using good hand hygiene and “Respiratory Etiquette.”

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.

One of the best ways we can show love to the people we care about is to step back and to stay away. In many cases that takes courage, and it takes speaking out over these social norms that dictate that we should be polite, and we should be together, and we should celebrate and gather.

Yes. We know that’s really tough, and encourage you to set things up so you can visit them virtually. That way, they can see you and say hello, without putting them at extra risk. All Long-Term Care Facilities in Nova Scotia are closed to visitors.

Try to schedule your use of those common spaces so you’re going at times when other people aren’t around. If you know there are not a lot of people in the laundry room or mailroom at 6 a.m., go at 6 a.m. People will be inconvenienced, but it’s important to try to spread ourselves out. As well, surfaces in these spaces may be contaminated, so be careful what you touch and wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after touching any surface.

This is really hard to do. Again, what we’re really worried about are larger gatherings. If you get sick, try to maintain some distance. Otherwise, households should go about their normal business.

If you have been in close contact with a person who has a confirmed case of COVID-19 or a person you suspect may have COVID-19, self-isolate for 14 days and monitor your health. If you develop a fever greater than 38 C or a cough with 14 days of your exposure, call 811 to arrange testing.

For people who live in areas that are not densely populated, walking around in their yard is probably safe. The idea is that they should not come into contact with any other people. They need to be strict about it. We are not going to defeat this disease and halt transmission if people loosely interpret what it means to self-isolate.