Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada
COVID-19 FAQs

COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions

Updated as of 9:00 AM, Thursday, October 22, 2021

Welcome to StFX University's COVID-19 web portal.

Here you will find the most up-to-date information about our COVID response and the steps we're taking to help ensure your health and safety this year. We encourage you to review this information closely and check back regularly for updates, as new information will be added throughout the summer.

 

CONTACT US WITH QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS:

We have a new email box for the campus community to use should they have questions/concerns that are not covered within our FAQs. This is an opportunity for students, faculty and staff to reach out with any comments, questions or concerns related to COVID-19: Comments&Questions@stfx.ca 

The mailbox is monitored Mon – Fri, 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM.

 

Recent updates from the University



Policies and Resources



Frequently Asked Questions

 

Mandatory COVID-19 Testing Policy and Program

+ What is StFX’s Mandatory COVID-19 Testing Policy?

StFX has announced a mandatory COVID-19 testing policy for students and employees. Under this policy, students and employees must undergo twice-weekly COVID-19 testing on campus unless they can provide proof of full vaccination status, in which case they are exempt. Although fully vaccinated students and employees will not be required to undergo this testing, the university still encourages regular asymptomatic testing as part of its response to COVID-19. 

Read StFX's COVID-19 Testing Policy Here.

+ Who must participate in the mandatory asymptomatic testing program?

Any StFX student, staff or faculty member who has not provided proof of fully vaccinated status to the university.You must be symptom-free to get tested.

+ What does “fully vaccinated” mean?

In Nova Scotia, you're considered fully vaccinated 14 days after you have any of the following COVID-19 vaccines:

  • 2 doses of AstraZeneca or COVISHIELD
  • 2 doses of Moderna
  • 2 doses of Pfizer
  • 2 doses of a combination of COVID-19 vaccines (AstraZeneca, COVISHIELD, Moderna and Pfizer)
  • 1 dose of Janssen/Johnson & Johnson
  • complete series of a COVID-19 vaccine authorized by the World Health Organization

If you received 1 or more doses of a COVID-19 vaccine that's not approved by Health Canada and the World Health Organization, you’re not considered fully vaccinated and need two doses of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna).  Book a vaccine online by clicking here.

+ Where is the testing centre located? What are its hours?

StFX’s COVID-19 Testing Centre is located in the hospitality suites on the second floor of the Keating Centre. The centre is open Monday – Friday, 10 AM – 4:30 PM (closed for lunch from 12:00- 1:00 pm). Testing is by drop-in only.

+ How many times a week do I have to get tested?

All students, staff and faculty who have not provided proof of full vaccination are expected to be tested twice per week. There are no appointment times; those who need to be tested under this policy should present to the testing centre during its open hours. The centre is open Monday – Friday, 10 AM – 4:30 PM (closed for lunch from 12:00- 1:00 pm and is located in the hospitality suites on the second floor of the Keating Centre.

+ How long will mandatory testing be required?

Mandatory testing will be required indefinitely.

+ What happens if I don't show up for testing?

Students and employees who do not show up for testing will be subject to the following disciplinary procedures:

Students:

  • First infraction: verbal warning
  • Second infraction: written warning and meeting with university officials
  • Third infraction: suspension from student privileges and classes

Employees:

  • First infraction: written warning
  • Second infraction: second written warning and meeting with university officials
  • Third infraction: employee is placed on unpaid leave
+ What if I’m supposed to participate in the mandatory program but I have COVID-19 symptoms?
  • Notify us about your situation by emailing covidtest@stfx.ca.
  • Do not come to the testing centre.  Book an appointment for a COVID test at the NS Health testing centre, isolate until you receive your test results, and follow the directions from Public Health.
  • Book a symptomatic COVID-19 test here.
+ If I get my vaccine, do I have to continue testing?

Once you are fully vaccinated (and at least two weeks past your final vaccine) you can show your proof of full vaccination and will no longer be required to be tested under the policy. Employees can email proof of vaccination to HR@stfx.ca and students to studenttesting@stfx.ca.

+ I am vaccinated but haven't submitted my proof yet. What do I do?

Employees should email their proof of vaccination record to HR@stfx.ca.

Students should email their proof of vaccination record to studenttesting@stfx.ca or bring it to the Student Life office on the 4th floor of the Bloomfield Centre.

+ Can I get tested at the centre if I’m not a StFX student or employee?

No, this program is only for StFX students and employees who need to be tested under StFX’s mandatory testing policy.

+ What if I want to be tested but I’m already vaccinated?

Members of the campus community who would like an asymptomatic test should access the free take-home tests located at the Joyce Family Atrium in Mulroney Hall and the 3rd Floor of Bloomfield Centre. If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, please book a test via the Nova Scotia Government’s online COVID-19 portal.

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Health and Safety Protocols

+ I do not have COVID-19 symptoms but want to take an asymptomatic test. Where can I access one?

Members of the campus community who would like an asymptomatic test should access the free take-home tests located at the Joyce Family Atrium in Mulroney Hall and the 3rd Floor of Bloomfield Centre. If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, please book a test via the Nova Scotia Government’s online COVID-19 portal.

+ Are vaccines mandatory for StFX students and employees?

Vaccines are not mandatory for students and employees, but we are strongly encouraging that everyone receive two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine in accordance with public health recommendations.

However, related to vaccines, please note the university has introduced mandatory testing policy for all students, staff, and faculty. Under this policy, students and employees must undergo twice-weekly COVID-19 testing on campus unless they can provide proof of full vaccination status, in which case they are exempt.

+ Will vaccines be made available for students from other provinces who don’t receive either their first or second dose before coming to Nova Scotia?

Yes. Vaccination appointments can be made for any number of local pharmacies by visiting www.novascotia.ca/vaccination. Persons who want to make an appointment but do not have a Nova Scotia health card can do so by calling 1-833-797-7772. 

The university continues to strongly encourage all students and employees to receive two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine at first opportunity if they have not already done so.  

+ Will masks be required on campus?

Non-medical masks will be mandatory at all times in campus buildings, including in classrooms and labs, until at least the end of fall term. The only exceptions to this rule are when students are in their own residence buildings, and staff and faculty are within their personal office spaces. For those employees that share office space, masks may be removed when employees are at their desks, appropriately socially distanced.  

In alignment with current Public Health directives, masks will not be required while outdoors.

Please note: all students are expected to bring a number of non-medical masks with them to campus regardless of guidelines related to mask wearing. As we have seen, guidelines for COVID-19 prevention can evolve rapidly and students should come prepared to adapt if and when things change.

+ Should students who are not showing COVID-19 symptoms still get tested on a regular basis?

The university has made a number of rapid take-home tests available free of charge to students and employees. These tests are currently available at Bloomfield Centre (3rd floor) and at the Joyce Family Atrium in Mulroney Hall. All members of the campus community are encouraged to make use of these rapids when they are asymptomatic. Any person experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should arrange to get tested via Nova Scotia Health's COVID-19 testing service.

+ What are the COVID-19 legal waiver and Student Community Protocol documents? Why do students need to sign them?

Students must sign two documents in order to attend StFX this year:

  1. A COVID-19 legal waiver, acknowledging the assumption of risk in attending StFX during the time of COVID-19.
  2. A set of Student Community Protocols, outlining the university’s expectation for students to do their part in keeping the campus community safe and healthy. The document also includes an overview of the university’s actions to help ensure the safety, health, and wellbeing of all students and employees.

For more information on these documents, including why students must sign them to attend StFX, please visit www.StFX.ca/waiver.

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Travelling to Nova Scotia and Self-isolation

+ Who needs to self-isolate?

Decisions about who needs to self-isolate (and for how long) upon entering Nova Scotia are made by the provincial government. Please consult Nova Scotia's COVID-19 portal for the latest information.

+ What do I need to know about travelling to Nova Scotia?

Many travellers entering Nova Scotia will need to submit a Safe Check-in Form before leaving home. This form is required by the provincial government in order to be granted entry to the province. For a full list of Nova Scotia’s travel protocols, please click here.

Please be advised that if you are travelling by car, you may also be required to abide by entry restrictions in other provinces. 

+ How and When is Nova Scotia Re-Opening to the Public?

The provincial government has implemented a five-stage reopening plan, with varying levels of activity and travel permitted within each phase. You can access the plan here.

As of October 4, 2021, Nova Scotia has entered a modified Phase 5 of its re-opening plan.

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Mental Health Supports

+ How will you support students’ mental health and wellbeing?

The health, safety, and wellbeing of students is our top priority. To this end, we are taking a number of steps this year to foster positive mental health and resiliency:

  • All new StFX students are assigned a dedicated student life advisor who can help connect them with resources and supports for social, mental, and academic wellbeing.
  • StFX offers a robust array of services through our Health and Counselling Centre, and we will work to make sure that students understand the range of services at their disposal.
  • We have increased our staff capacity, with the addition of a Community Health Nurse who will be available to assist students on an as-needed basis.
  • Parents and family members play a critical role in helping their students stay healthy. To this end, we are committing to enhance our parent communication with proactive and targeted updates through the year.

For more information on mental health and other wellness supports, please visit the Health and Counselling Services website.

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