Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada
St. Francis Xavier University

COVID-19 & FAQs

In fall 2020, StFX welcomed students back to campus and is offering fall term classes via mixed-method course delivery (in person and on-line.) We have implemented a number of mandatory health and safety guidelines to ensure the wellbeing of all members of the campus community, and continue to closely monitor developments related to the spread of COVID-19. We will continue to adapt and evolve our response strategies as necessary.

 

Winter Term 2021 Key Dates

In October 2020, StFX University Senate discussed and approved an approach for the beginning of the winter term. Here are the key highlights:

  • Classes will continue to be offered via a mixed-method course delivery, with online and in person options. The academic timetable for winter term will be released on October 30th, 2020; at that point it will be possible to see which courses are offered in-person and which are online.
  • December 14th will be the last day of exams for fall term. The university will close on December 23rd for Christmas break.
  • All students from outside the Atlantic bubble must return to their on-campus residence or other accomodations by January 4th/5th to begin mandatory 14-day self-quarantine (isolation). International students, please be aware that within the last 48 hours the province has informed all universities that international students who live off-campus and leave the country for the Christmas break will not be permitted to quarantine within their off-campus accommodations upon their return. We are currently working through how we will incorporate this recent decision into our plans. In the meantime, if an international student has any questions, I encourage them to contact Larissa Strong, our Director of Internationalization – lstrong@stfx.ca or (902) 867-5197.
  • All classes will begin the week of January 13th, and will be offered via online delivery for the first week of term.
    • January 19th is move-in day and there will be no classes scheduled. Students from inside the Atlantic 'bubble' who do not need to quarantine are to return to residence, or into off-campus accommodations within the community.
    • In-person classes will transition to in-person delivery beginning the week of January 20th.
    • Online classes will continue online for the rest of the term.

There will be more details about the start of the winter term in the weeks ahead.

 

Campus Reopening Plans

StFX has worked with public health and community officials to develop comprehensive plans to welcome our students and employees back to campus. We are pleased to share these plans with you via the links below.

Please note that these plans are living documents, and will continue to evolve alongside directives from public health officials: 

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Information for Students

Information for Faculty & Staff

Information for Parents

Financial Support for Students

Information for Community Members

 

WHAT WE’RE DOING

As noted above, StFX shall remain operational under very specific conditions. We have based our decisions on how the university will proceed in its operations on the latest health reports from the Public Health Agency of Canada, on careful conversations with other universities but, most importantly, following the advice of Nova Scotia Public Health.

The university has activated a committee to oversee our pandemic preparedness. The mandate of the committee, chaired by Randy Peters, Director of Risk Management, is to ensure the safety of our community, including keeping the university community informedand to monitor and develop contingency plans that address conditions that may affect operations and programming.

 

Updates from the University

News You Can Use: Update from Elizabeth Yeo, August 19

Important Things to Bring, August 9

COVID-19 Memorandum of Understanding with StFX Students' Union, August 4

Legal Waiver - Update to Students, July 30

Click here for updates archive...

 

ABOUT CORONAVIRUS DISEASE (COVID-19)

COVID-19 is an illness caused by a coronavirus. Human coronaviruses are common and are typically associated with mild illnesses, similar to the common cold. Symptoms of human coronaviruses may be very mild or more serious, such as fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. Symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to the virus. Coronaviruses are most commonly spread from an infected person through:

  • respiratory droplets when you cough or sneeze
  • close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • touching something with the virus on it, then touching your eyes, nose or mouth before washing your hands

These viruses are not known to spread through ventilation systems or through water.

 

REDUCE THE RISK: PREVENTION TIPS

The Nova Scotia Government has produced a comprehensive list of tips and best practice actions you can do to reduce the likelihood of catching or spreading the virus. We encourage you to familiarize yourself with the entire list, but some key actions include:

  • Stay at home. Only venture out for essential pusposes. 
  • Wash your hands on a regular basis. Wash using soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, taking extra care to ensure you clean all areas of your hands. If no soap or water is available, use an  alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Use enough to cover the fronts and backs of both hands and between all fingers.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Use cough and sneeze etiquette. Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or into your elbow.
  • Maintain an appropriate ‘personal space.’ Position yourself at least 6-feet away from other people.
  • Avoid unnecessary travel. Stay up to date regarding travel advisories by checking the Government of Canada travel advisories.
  • If you’re feeling sick, stay home. Don’t put yourself or others at further risk.

You can also stay informed. The Government of Nova Scotia and the Government of Canada are excellent resources for information on COVID-19.  

 

TRAVEL

  • All faculty and staff non-personal travel to countries for which the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has issued a travel health notice related to COVID-19 at any risk level (1-4 inclusive) is prohibited. 
  • All academically-related student travel to any international destination is prohibited
  • All StFX students, faculty and staff who have travelled internationally as of Friday, March 13, 2020 are to impose a 14-day self-isolation protocol before they can return to campus. Upon returning to Canada, all travelers should monitor their health for fever, cough and difficulty breathing for 14 days. If you have these symptoms, contact your local public health authority (811 in Nova Scotia) immediately. This applies to all StFX students, faculty and staff who were outside of Canada, whether for university or personal travel, as of Friday March 13, 2020.
  • If you are planning personal travel, you are encouraged to stay informed of Global Affairs Canada travel advisories.  You should also check your travel insurance coverage to understand what will and will not be covered at your destination should you become ill – especially if a travel advisory is issued for your destination while you are still there. 

 

RESOURCES

StFX Health and Counselling Centre

St. Martha’s Regional Hospital - 25 Bay Street, Antigonish

  • Emergency: Call 911 or proceed directly to the Emergency Department; open 24/7; after 11 pm enter through the main door

Emergency: Call 911

Government of Canada Public Health

Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness (Public Health)

Mental Health Crisis Line: 1-888-429-8167

Good2Talk Nova Scotia (available 24/7)

  • Professional counsellors provide free, anonymous and confidential telephone counselling to postsecondary students.
  • 1-833-292-3698 (toll-free)

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