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NSCC's response to COVID-19: view updates
Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

President's Update

Safety Measure Reminders, Communication Protocol Updates

Jan. 20, 2022 – Don Bureaux

Good afternoon,

Beginning on Monday, January 24, students and employees with scheduled on-campus practical learning – including shops, lab, classroom and studio time – will begin working and learning on site as part of our plan for a return to in-person learning by Monday, February 7.

As we look ahead to the next few weeks, there are some basic practices we must all continue to follow.

Safety is a priority and everyone’s responsibility

When on campus, it’s everyone’s responsibility to take these measures seriously to support a safe return to campus.

  • If sick, please stay at home: Anyone with symptoms should stay home and test. Close contacts should follow public health guidance. If you test positive, do not come to a campus/site and follow the directions from Public Health.
  • Mask wearing: Wear masks at all NSCC campuses, learning centres and sites to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses. Public Health recommends a 3-layer or medical mask that covers nose, mouth and chin. View our mask procedure for details.
  • Distancing: Maintain physical (social) distancing – at least 1 metre or 3 feet (classrooms) or more where possible – and follow posted room capacity limits.
  • Vaccination is key: Getting vaccinated and getting boosted is vital in protecting yourself and others against the virus and its variants. Access to COVID-19 boosters has again been expanded to additional age groups.
  • Hand washing: Wash and/or sanitize your hands – this continues to be a basic but ever-important action to protect ourselves.
  • Cleaning, ventilation: All campuses/sites have continual cleaning protocols that are followed by our Facilities team members and are properly ventilated to support a safe environment. There are sanitizing wipes for everyone to use in common spaces.
  • NSCC rapid testing: NSCC rapid testing sites are limited to employees and students required to be on-site who are following the testing protocol as well as students in campus housing who are directed to take a rapid test as part of Nova Scotia Health’s self-assessment tool. As testing supplies continue to tighten and Nova Scotia Health guidance on testing changes, expect NSCC to further restrict access to rapid tests.

Enforcement of safety rules

The College has policies in place to ensure we all follow these rules. Those who refuse to follow the rules around masking, distancing and our vaccine requirements will be asked to leave. Sanctions, as outlined in our Codes of Conduct, may be applied. We all have a responsibility to support one another and support the safety of our community.

Communication of positive cases

Public Health is now advising all of us to act as though the virus is in every setting and take the precautions noted above to protect ourselves and each other to slow the spread. Public Health is focusing its contact tracing efforts on high-risk settings, such as long-term care facilities and hospitals, and is limiting exposure notifications to high-risk settings such as flights. They are directing most others who test positive for COVID-19 to identify and inform their own close contacts. Given these changing protocols and the level of community spread in Nova Scotia, NSCC campuses will not be notifying their communities of positive cases unless directed to do so by Public Health.

It remains vital that you do not come to campus if you are sick. If you test positive, alert your close contacts and follow Public Health rules as they relate to your situation. If you can’t attend class, please let your faculty know. NSCC is working to ensure learning and operations can continue safely, should absence due to illness become an issue.

Watch for further updates

We continue to monitor the COVID-19 environment and Public Health guidance. If further changes to our planned return on Monday, February 7 are needed, we will update our community by Friday, January 28.

Take good care and be kind to one another

While we are adjusting to this latest phase of the pandemic and learning to work and live with COVID-19, I am certain some of you have concerns. Please know that we have a wealth of services to support you (login required). In addition, our annual Wellness Week takes place next week (January 24-28) and will provide you with a variety of online resources and opportunities to explore at your own pace. Watch your email on Monday for more information.

Thank you so much for your ongoing commitment to the many measures in place to support the safety and well-being of our entire community.

Don Bureaux

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