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NSCC's response to COVID-19: view updates

President’s Update

March 01, 2022 – Don Bureaux

As the provincial government begins easing Public Health restrictions in phases this week through to March 21, I have an update on how the College plans to respond to those significant changes in our COVID-19 safety practices and requirements. Please know we will continue to align with Public Health advice.

Safety is and will remain a priority

We are introducing significant changes to our requirements. However, we firmly believe that we can help keep each other safe by continuing to follow the proven health and safety measures that have been in place for many months now: hand-washing, distancing as much as possible, masking when possible, staying home if ill and getting vaccinated. Our facilities team will continue to ensure our buildings are clean and our ventilation system is keeping our air clean. As the Premier and Dr. Strang noted, we now all have the tools to keep ourselves safe and we are moving to a model where personal responsibility is so important.

  • Masks: Masks continue to be required until Phase 3. As of Monday, March 21, masks will continue to be strongly recommended but not mandatory on our sites. There will be some discretion in health programs where masking may still be a requirement. Those programs will be communicated with prior to the deadline.
  • Vaccine requirement: Adhering to the new phases, we will lift the vaccine requirement immediately. To remain in step with the province, the College will no longer require proof of vaccination to enter the campus or require the testing alternative. Getting vaccinated and getting boosted is the most important tool we have at hand to protect ourselves against COVID-19 and its variants.
  • NSCC rapid testing sites: To align with the lifting of the vaccine mandate, testing will remain but is voluntary and available to students and employees until the end of March – or until supplies are depleted.
  • Reporting cases: During March, people who test positive for COVID-19 will still be required to self-isolate, but they will no longer be required to notify close contacts outside their own household.

Upcoming events

  • Work placements: There will be communication with industry partners around our new requirements and timelines, however, like the College, they will be working through their own changes. All students should be aware that individual work sites can demand their own requirements that must be followed and may not reflect NSCC requirements or timelines.
  • Events: Get Started, Convocation and other major upcoming events will reflect the new gathering requirements as outlined by the Province. Again, any external venues will always dictate any specific measures which must be adhered to and may differ from the College’s measures and timelines.

Campus resources and communities

  • Fitness facilities, gyms and other campus gathering spaces will be reopening through March. Principals will provide specifics to their communities directly.
  • GED testing sites will now be fully open. Check campus Connect pages and the website for hours of operation.
  • Tenants, vendors and contractors will be communicated with to understand our evolving guidelines and timeframes.

Keeping you up-to-date

This pandemic has been anything but predictable. If the environment changes and Public Health needs to change with it, we will communicate with you immediately. We know these changes will be celebrated by some and cause further concern for others. We will continue to stay in step with Public Health and work any required changes into our operations and requirements.

Wellness is vital

Supports are there for you and several are available outside of class and work hours. Please use these to support you through what is a very unsettling time. In addition to these changes, there is a great deal happening in our province, country and the world that is upsetting. I urge you to reach out when you need help. Your mental wellness is an important part of your safety and wellbeing.  Learn more about what supports are available for students and employees (login required).

Moving forward with care, kindness

I am so grateful for the way our College community has moved through the challenges presented these past two years. While there are no assurances about what lies ahead, this is a chance to say thank you for working in step with the Province to take the difficult steps needed to survive and adapt within a global pandemic. There has been no rule book, but we have and continue to have solid leadership from our province’s Public Health guidance. As with any crisis, there is opportunity. While there have been unique challenges for everyone along the way, I believe we’ve emerged with a greater, stronger sense of community. I thank everyone within our NSCC community who have followed the safety measures and guidelines to support the health and well-being of one another. I know this spirit of understanding and cooperation will continue as we work through this easing of restrictions together… and in the hope that we are finally seeing some light at the end of a very long tunnel.
 
With gratitude,
Don

Last updated on: April 20, 2022 12:24 PM

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