(Update) SMU and MSVU: Current COVID-19 vaccination rules

The Covid Chronicle

**** MSVU Release

New vaccine requirement at MSVU – A message from the Interim President & Vice-Chancellor

As the start of the fall semester nears and the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, so too do our safety measures at MSVU.

I am writing today to share that MSVU will be requiring all students, faculty and staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible and by October 13 at the latest. Proof of vaccination will be required. Those who choose not to be vaccinated for medical, religious or cultural reasons must be tested for COVID-19 twice a week.

There is much planning still being undertaken to operationalize this protocol. We want to ensure that personal information is protected. As well, we have asked Public Health for guidance on whether those who have received vaccinations abroad that are not currently approved by Health Canada can or should be vaccinated with Health Canada approved vaccines upon arrival in the country. We will provide more information on that matter – and its implications at MSVU – as soon as possible. Please watch your MSVU email account for updates.

Students are encouraged to get vaccinated in your home community before coming to campus if at all possible. That said, if you are travelling to Halifax to study and need a vaccine when you arrive, you can get one or both doses here. COVID-19 vaccine appointments can be booked through Nova Scotia Public Health. If you have a Nova Scotia Health Card, you can book online. If you don’t have an NS Health Card, you can make a vaccine appointment by calling 1-833-797-7772 (you need to be in Canada to call and the call must be made from a Canadian telephone number). If you are currently residing elsewhere in Canada, you can get more information about local vaccination clinics here.

Additionally, an on-campus vaccination clinic for students, faculty and staff will be held on Thursday, August 26 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. (more information for students / faculty and staff – log-in required).

With a pandemic fourth wave gaining traction across the country at the same time as we seek to safely return to on-campus learning, working, and student life opportunities, a vaccine mandate is an important step. The evidence is clear: getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is the best way to protect yourself and others, and is our surest way out of this pandemic.

Of course, we will also continue to implement a number of other important pandemic safety measures on campus, including reduced classroom capacities, enhanced cleaning protocols, improved ventilation and mask use in common areas. We are also offering rapid COVID-19 testing on-campus for all students, faculty and staff. Regardless of your vaccination status, regular testing is still strongly recommended by Public Health (more information for students / faculty and staff – log-in required).

While aspects of this semester will look unlike anything we’ve experienced before, I have no doubt it will still be a rewarding time. Thank you to all members of our community who continue to work to keep one another safe, both by following Public Health advice and adhering to university protocols.

Students with questions about MSVU’s COVID-19 response are encouraged to contact the Office of Student Experience at ose@msvu.ca. Faculty and staff with questions are encouraged to speak to their dean, chair, director or supervisor, or contact human.resources@msvu.ca.

I look forward to seeing you soon at our cherished university home on the hill.

Onward together,

Ramona Lumpkin, CM, PhD
Interim Vice-President and Chancellor


**** SMU Release

Disclosure of Vaccination Status Procedures – Update

Saint Mary’s University will require proof of full vaccination from all faculty, staff, and students. The university will begin collecting this no later than September 3 to ensure the community is ready for the return of classes.

Anyone who is not fully vaccinated or who refuses to provide proof of vaccination will be required to undergo COVID testing twice per week at on-campus facilities and will be given information about how to access on-campus vaccine clinics or local pharmacies.

To learn more about new measures for masking, social distancing, check-in/out and vaccination requirements please visit the Fall 2021 COVID-19 Protocols page.

It is mandatory for all those accessing campus to continue to check in using the online Campus Check-In form.

All Students 

All students arriving from outside Atlantic Canada (Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland and Labrador) must fill out the Nova Scotia Safe Check-In Form. You are encouraged to fill in the Nova Scotia Check-In form one week before travelling to ensure enough time to process your request. International students also need to complete the SMU Arrival Form at least two weeks prior to your travel in addition to other steps outlined on our Virtual University website.

Students Currently Residing in Canada

If you reside in Canada, you may or may not need to complete a quarantine period and testing upon arrival in Nova Scotia, depending on your vaccination status. Information on the provincial quarantine requirements can be found here. 

Students Arriving from International Destinations

Students can apply for an exemption to the federal quarantine requirements if they are fully vaccinated and meet other conditions set out by the Government of Canada. Information on this exemption process can be found here.

If you do not qualify for an exemption, you must travel directly to Nova Scotia to complete the 14-day quarantine period. International students arriving from outside of Canada who are not exempt from quarantine can apply to stay at any location to complete their quarantine, provided it meets the requirements for suitable quarantine locations. International students must get approval to stay in off-campus or private accommodation for quarantine. You must complete the SMU Quarantine Plan Approval Form before arriving in Nova Scotia. You will be notified if your quarantine plan is approved.Learn more about travel and quarantine requirements. 

For the most current information, please visit the Nova Scotia Government COVID-19 page.

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