To the Campus Community,
I am writing to inform you that late tonight, we were notified by Nova Scotia Public Health that there was a confirmed case of COVID-19 on campus on the evening of December 7 with BIOL-2203L-14. We are currently waiting on more information from Public Health while they work through their investigation. As soon as we receive this information from Public Health we will work with them to notify any individuals who are considered close contacts. We expect this information to be provided tomorrow. However, if you were in this classroom and want to learn more about close contacts and what to do if you’ve been exposed, please visit: https://www.nshealth.ca/information-covid-19-close-contacts.
In an abundance of caution and as an extra layer of protection, we are asking everyone to move any in-person meetings they have scheduled to an online format unless it is absolutely necessary they happen in person. We are also making a concerted effort to limit any campus events in the coming days and weeks. This includes moving President Dingwall’s End of Term Address to an online-only format. The link will be provided to employees tomorrow morning.
I know exams are currently in progress and they will go ahead in person tomorrow. When we have additional information from Public Health a decision will be made and communicated immediately about delivery options for the rest of exams.
In light of growing cases across the Province, we will be increasing COVID-19 testing capacity on campus and encourage you to consider asymptomatic take-home tests during the holiday season. Please know that if you are symptomatic or are identified as a close contact, you will need to receive a PCR test at a Nova Scotia Health testing site. Please do not come to campus for testing if you are a close contact. I also strongly encourage anyone who has been at any exposure site in the province, including events in Antigonish or at St.FX last weekend, to get tested as soon as possible.
We are continuing to monitor this situation and will update you as soon as more information becomes available. Please be aware that we do have an official outbreak plan, should cases rise.
While this news may cause some concern, it is certainly not unexpected as we learn to live with COVID-19. There are a number of mental health resources available to you, and I encourage you to use them, should you feel the need. While campus vaccination rates are well above the provincial average, I urge you to remain vigilant. We absolutely must continue to wear masks, stay home if we are sick, and get vaccinated if you are not. This is how we will protect each other.
Dr. Tanya Brann-Barrett
Chair of the Return to Campus Committee
Associate Vice President, Research and Academic