Phasing out Rapid Testing Sites at NSCC
Jan. 25, 2022 – Don Bureaux
During the Omicron surge, we’ve seen a worldwide disruption to testing supplies as well as changes in Public Health guidance regarding the role of testing in stopping or slowing spread of COVID-19 and its variants. Vaccination continues to offer the best protection against serious illness and death from the virus and has been widely available to all Nova Scotians over 18 years of age for more than six months.
With all of this in mind, NSCC is updating our vaccine requirements originally announced in August 2021. Our current COVID-19 Vaccine Requirements procedure requires students and employees to provide proof of full vaccination in order to be on site. It also outlines the option to participate in a testing protocol for those who cannot provide proof of full vaccination, supported by rapid testing sites on every campus.
Effective Monday, May 30, 2022, NSCC employees and students will no longer be able to choose to test rather than provide proof of full vaccination in order to work, learn or access NSCC services and supports on site.
- Employees and students currently in a testing protocol should begin their vaccine series as soon as possible - but no later than mid-March - in order to meet the requirement to provide proof of full vaccination by Monday, May 30. Information on how to submit your proof of full vaccination is available on Connect (employees) and nscc.ca (students).
- In exceptional circumstances, an individual may be eligible for accommodation based on medical or religious/creed reasons. The updated process to apply for an accommodation will be shared as soon as it is finalized.
- Rapid Testing Sites will close at end of day on Friday, May 27, 2022. Access is already limited to those following a testing protocol and students in campus housing who are directed to take a rapid test through the provincial self-assessment tool. It is important to note that NSCC may need to further tighten access before May 30 depending on supply. Everyone in a testing protocol who can get vaccinated should get vaccinated as soon as possible to ensure they can continue to access our sites.
- NSCC will work directly with tenants, vendors and contractors to ensure compliance with our updated vaccine requirements before May 30, 2022.
We will reach out to those participating in a testing protocol directly to ensure they are informed and prepared for this update to our vaccine requirements.
- We are working toward a return to on campus learning and working for Monday, February 7. We continue to monitor Public Health guidance and if we need to adjust these plans we will let the community know by January 28.
- Visitors continue to be limited to campus business only until further notice.
- We will revisit the opportunity for community bookings of our sites in early February, following our planned return to on campus learning and working.
Safety on site
Regardless of vaccination status, everyone on an NSCC campus or site must continue to follow these safety measures:
- 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.
- Hand washing: Wash and/or sanitize your hands – this continues to be a basic but ever-important action to protect ourselves.
My sincere hope is that all those who can get vaccinated will get vaccinated as soon as possible and before these deadlines, so that they can continue to work and learn with us on site. But mostly, I hope they do so for the proven protection it will offer them, their loved ones, and the broader community. Finally, as a College community, I would ask that as we move forward through this latest surge, and as we strengthen this important safety measure, we continue to treat one another with patience, respect, and kindness.