Campus updates | Mount Allison

Campus updates

COVID-19 information

Health and safety measures for the winter term

Updated Jan. 27, 2022

Access to campus is currently limited to students, faculty, and staff — this includes the Athletic Centre (no rentals).

Mount Allison has implemented mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations and has increased health and safety measures on campus in response to developments in the COVID-19 pandemic provincially and worldwide.

For provincial updates, visit the Government of New Brunswick COVID-19 website.

Questions?

Questions about on-campus COVID-19 guidelines, requirements, and information can be directed to covid19@mta.ca.

Messages will be regularly monitored and answered in as timely a manner as possible.

Health-related questions should be directed to Tele-Care by calling 811.


Winter term adjustments

(NEW) Return to in-person instruction moved to Feb. 7

Jan. 25A Government of New Brunswick (GNB) revised mandatory order to Level 3 required Mount Allison to make some adjustments to university operations for the period Jan. 15-30.

If Level 3 restrictions are removed on Jan. 30 as expected, the University will look at reopening as much of the campus as possible under the new guidelines, including retail food operations and fitness areas.

However, some additional lead time is required to allow students, faculty, and staff time to adjust. The return to in-person instruction will now be Monday, Feb. 7. 

Adjustments to university operations (Jan. 15-30) included:

  • Inter-residence visits are not allowed.
  • The Athletic Centre and Fitness Centre are closed. Varsity and club sport athletes are not allowed to use university facilities to practice during this time.
  • Gracie’s, The Pond, and The Bean remain closed.
  • Clubs and societies activities on campus are not permitted.
  • Non-essential events or group activities are not permitted; such events scheduled will be cancelled or re-scheduled.
  • The Bookstore remains open but limited to essential activities: including shipping, receiving, and preparation and distribution of course materials. Online sales continue. 

Continuing on-campus activities:

  • Dining services for residence students will continue as usual. Meal delivery to student rooms will continue for those who are required to self-isolate.
  • Within residences students are allowed to congregate as they are now; that said, we encourage all residence students to limit contacts, as a health precaution.
  • The Wallace McCain Student Centre will remain open as a study space.
  • The Library & Archives will remain open, as will the WMSC, for student and staff access. Mask mandates indoors remain in force.

Questions about your classes? If you have any questions or concerns about specific classes, please contact your professor or instructor directly.

Live in residence? Visit residence services and resources for more information, including guidelines on what to do if you need to self-isolate in residence.

All students who can delay their return to Sackville are asked to do so, and all faculty and staff who can work from home should do so during this time.

Faculty and staff — winter term work plan

The University is encouraging faculty and staff to work from home, where possible — until further notice.

Departments requiring individuals onsite should work with their teams to determine necessary scheduling for staff the be on campus. Your leader will work directly with you to ensure that your on-campus work environment is as safe as possible, and to answer any questions you have.

Those experiencing work-related challenges due to COVID may be eligible for support programs. For example, employees experiencing challenges with balancing work and caregiver needs should speak to their supervisor about modified or flexible working hours or accessing the Special Caregiver Leave. Find out more about the available options on the Faculty & Staff Gateway.

Student services — available virtually

Tuesday Touchpoint

The University will provide a weekly campus and community COVID-19 update through the MtA Sackville Bubble Tuesday Touchpoint. As we proceed through the term, we will provide updates at a minimum each Tuesday; however, any timely decisions and news concerning our campus COVID response will be communicated immediately.


Health guidance

It is important to monitor your health, even if you are fully vaccinated.

  • stay home when you're feeling sick
  • take a PCR or rapid test if you have symptoms of COVID-19 
How to be prepared

Wellness resources:

Due to COVID-19, we suggest you have the following supplies with you in residence or your apartment:

  • Thermometer
  • Medication recommended for reducing a fever (check with the pharmacist)
  • Throat lozenges
  • Kleenex or tissues
  • Lots of fluids — non-alcoholic beverages like water, juice, tea, and Gatorade are important to avoid dehydration
  • Warm blanket and pillows
  • Non-medical masks
  • First aid kit including band aids, disposable sterile gloves, tweezers, Polysporin, etc.
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Hand soap
  • Flip flops for use in showers
  • Small fan
  • Non-perishable foods such as canned soups, noodles, and rice
  • Cleaning products that are Health Canada compliant to keep surfaces in your room or apartment clean and disinfected

How do I stay healthy?

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Drink lots of fluids — water, juice
  • Keep your room clean
  • Don’t leave dirty laundry lying around
  • Change your bed linens weekly
  • Clean surfaces often — desktop, bathroom sink/shower, door knobs
  • Empty your garbage often — don’t let it pile up
  • Do not gather in your room — go outside for a walk with your friends
  • Have cleaning supplies on hand — paper towel and disinfectant

If you're experiencing symptoms and/or test positive for COVID-19

At this stage of the pandemic, the Government of New Brunswick has made significant changes in their testingisolation, and contact tracing protocols.

People with COVID-19 symptoms are required to register online for a PCR test or rapid test under the provincial government's new testing strategy. By completing the online form, people can determine which type of test they are eligible to receive.

Rapid test kits

Under the new GNB guidelines, rapid test kits are intended for use only if an individual is exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms.

  • Residence students: students who returned to residence were provided with two rapid tests upon arrival. Residence students who require additional rapid tests are advised to request them by emailing wellness@mta.ca (ONLY if symptomatic).
     
  • Off-campus students, faculty, and staff experiencing COVID-19 symptoms: we encourage individuals, if possible, to request a rapid test through the province before requesting one through the University. Alternatively, email wellness@mta.ca to book an appointment to pick up a rapid test kit at the Wellness Centre on Mondays or Thursdays. The kit is to be picked up and delivered by an individual who is no symptomatic or COVID positive.

Note: out of province and international students do not need a New Brunswick Medicare number to book a rapid test pick up appointment.

If you test positive for COVID-19

Self-isolation

Your isolation period starts the day you receive a positive test result.

  • Fully vaccinated individuals who have tested positive and fully vaccinated household contacts of those who have tested positive will have to isolate for 5 days, then continue to be diligent for a further 5 days — mask continuously and avoid vulnerable settings and gatherings
     
  • Unvaccinated individuals and unvaccinated close contacts of positive cases will need to self-isolate for 10 days; close contacts outside the household will be asked to mask continuously (but not self-isolate)
     
  • It is recommended you remain in self isolation beyond the 5 days if you are still experiencing significant symptoms

You may stop self-isolating when:

  • you have completed your isolation period,
  • and you have been fever-free for at least 24 hours,
  • and your symptoms are improving.

For full details, visit the GNB website.

If someone in your household tests positive for COVID-19

Self-isolation

  • Fully vaccinated individuals who have tested positive and fully vaccinated household contacts of those who have tested positive will have to isolate for five days only, then mask continuously and avoid vulnerable settings and gatherings for a further five days
     
  • Unvaccinated individuals and unvaccinated close contacts of positive cases will need to self-isolate for 10 days; close contacts outside the household will be asked to mask continuously (but not self-isolate)

For full details, visit the GNB website.

Live in residence? Visit residence services and resources for specific information for residence students.

If you're a close contact of someone who tested positive for COVID-19

Close contacts outside of a household will be asked to:

  • mask continuously outside the home
  • self-monitor for symptoms
  • avoid vulnerable settings and people
  • limit their contacts as much as possible for at least 10 days

How to self-monitor:

  • Monitor for one or more symptoms and get tested if symptoms develop.
  • Wear a mask, wash your hands often and physical distance in public settings.
  • Avoid visiting places where vulnerable people may live (i.e. nursing homes, correctional facilities and shelters).

Live in residence? Visit residence services and resources for specific information for residence students.

Information and resources for students with COVID-19

For students who need to self-isolate

Academic support

Please contact faculty members directly for missed classes and/or academic support while sick or isolating. For more options, visit academic supports for current students.

For residence students self-isolating on campus

For information on self-isolating in residence, including information on meal deliveries and shared facility use, visit residence services and resources.

For students self-isolating off-campus

Students living off-campus who are required to self-isolate because of COVID-19 symptoms or a positive test should self-isolate in their apartment or house.

  • Students in living situations with shared bathrooms and kitchens who are required to self-isolate for any reason should ensure they wear a mask when transiting to and from communal areas. They should also follow good hygiene practices, including washing hands after using the washroom, and sanitizing surfaces before and after use with cleaning products. 
     
  • Students living in the same household as an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 should consider themselves a close contact. These students must also self-isolate. Housemates of students feeling unwell are strongly encouraged to isolate as well. If you are informed that you are a close contact of a positive case of COVID-19, please refer to the Government of New Brunswick guidelines for information.

Students in need of supplies or items are encouraged to contact local pharmacies with delivery options, and to reach out to non-isolating friends who may be able to safely deliver supplies.

Off-campus students can place orders for meal and grocery deliveries through local restaurants and grocery stores. The Sackville Food Bank (536-4164) is available confidentially to anyone experiencing food insecurity.

Grocery options

  • Rose's Independent Grocer, 75 Main St., (506) 536-1349 — For pick-up or delivery, visit pcexpress.ca. Choose the delivery option from Sackville Cab when placing your order and note you are self-isolating (or have a friend who is not self-isolating pick up and deliver).
  • Sackville Foodland, 11 Wright St., (506) 536-0679 — E-mail fl9299mgr@sobeys.com with your specific order. Include your name, contact number, and location. You will be called about payment information — Visa or Mastercard only. You will be asked about delivery options when called — Squires Courtesy Cab will deliver or you can ask a friend who is not self-isolating to pick your order up.

Restaurants that deliver

  • Goya's (Pizza): 506-536-5000
  • Jack's (Pizza): 506-536-8000
  • Snack Shop (Pizza): 506-536-0200
  • Joey's (Pizza, Pasta, Bar & Grill): 506-536-4040
  • Cackling Goose (Gluten-free bakery and café): 506-536-2303
  • Song's (Korean food and sushi): 506-536-1450

Pharmacy

  • Corner Drug Store — 106 Main St. (506) 536-2255
  • Jean Coutu — 97 Main St. (506) 536-0230

Convenience

  • East Main Esso — 222A Main St. (506) 364-8994
  • Irving / Circle K — 211 Main St. (506) 364-4383
  • Middle Sackville Variety — 328 Main St. (506) 536-3013
  • Tantramar Gas Bar — 4 Cattail Ridge (506) 364-901
For students with COVID-19 feeling unwell

In the event of a health emergency, such as difficulty breathing or other severe symptoms, contact 911.

Health support

  • Students feeling unwell can notify Sarah MacKinnon, Vaccination Testing & Verification Clerk, at smackinnon@mta.ca. Your message will be responded to by a support person, such as the University nurse about strategies or supplies to alleviate symptoms.

Other health and wellness supports


Health and safety protocols on campus

Increased health and safety measures on campus will continue for the winter term in response to developments in the COVID-19 pandemic provincially and worldwide.

For provincial guidelines, visit the Government of New Brunswick COVID-19 website.

Mask-wearing
  • Indoors — required at all times, except staff working alone in an area or workstation, actively eating or drinking, and certain exceptions related to athletics, theatre, and music performance.
     
  • Outdoors — required whenever physical distancing is not possible.
     
  • Residence and dining hall — required, except when eating at Jennings, in your residence room alone, or in washrooms.

Masks can be removed in certain limited cases:

  • when actively eating or drinking (but otherwise masks should remain in place, even in food service spaces)
  • when performing (music, theatre, etc.)
  • in the Fitness Centre/Athletic Centre while participating in athletics and fitness activities, but should be worn in the facility at all other times

Consult with your supervisor if you have questions about mask-wearing due to the nature of your work on campus.

MASK OPTIONS

Currently, the University is recommending the use of three-layer medical or N95/ KN95 masks for better protection against the Omicron variant. Community members should not use cloth masks, which provide far less protection for the wearer and community members in general. You may double up your masks to include a medical mask (2 or 3 ply) covered with a cloth mask.

Individuals should ensure their mask is close-fitting, covering nose and mouth area.

A large number of KN95 masks have been ordered by the University.

The priorities for the mask distribution are residence students and faculty and staff who must work on campus regularly. The University will also reserve a small number of masks for all students, faculty, and staff who come to campus.

Beginning next week, mask distribution will begin as follows:

  • Masks for residence students will be given out at Jennings on Tuesday and Thursday. More details to follow from the Housing Office.
  • Off-campus students who access campus can pick up a package of five masks at the Bookstore.
  • Masks for faculty and staff members will be provided based on the number of faculty and staff in that department and delivered to each building contact for distribution to each department as required.

Requests for additional masks may be made to covid19@mta.ca and will be considered after the initial distribution of masks has occurred. Distribution will be possible until our supply of masks is exhausted.

For information on mask usage, please review Health Canada’s latest advice.

Physical distancing in classrooms

Reduced capacity seating to allow for physical distancing will continue in all classrooms and instructional spaces, as was done for the fall term.

Cleaning and sanitizing

In addition to routine custodial cleaning, the University has implemented an enhanced cleaning frequency to clean and disinfect common areas and commonly touched surfaces in buildings.

Touchpoints such as entrance handles, handrails, elevator buttons, tables, restroom stall handles/doors are being cleaned at least twice daily using disinfectants approved by Health Canada.

Hand sanitizing stations have been installed at building entrances. Although hand sanitizer can help prevent the spread of the virus, maintaining frequent and proper handwashing is considered to be more effective.

Departments may request cleaning supplies (campusservices@mta.ca) in order to supplement the cleaning of commonly touched surfaces such as lab benches, lab equipment, desks, phones, remote controls, printers, fax machines, or computer keyboards and mice. Always use cleaning products as recommended on manufacturer labels.

If a COVID-19 case was confirmed within a building, the University would arrange for prompt cleaning and disinfection by special cleaning crews as needed. Assigned personnel are trained to follow the cleaning and disinfection standards established by Public Health.

 Ventilation and air quality

Mount Allison has assessed the ventilation in its campus spaces with respect to heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Spaces used for in-person activity have been modified to upgrade air quality standards. Facilities Management consulted external experts and referenced standards based on guidelines published by the leading HVAC authority, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

Numerous improvements have been made to ventilation and air quality in buildings around campus.

These include:

  • Upgraded air filtration systems
  • Ventilation systems programmed to increase the level of fresh air intake/purge
  • Enhanced maintenance and inspection of ventilation systems
  • Local air filtration devices equipped with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters installed where required

The University will continue to monitor all ventilation systems and make adjustments as required.

Spaces with mechanical ventilation systems

Last summer the University upgraded filtration systems by replacing MERV-8 filters with the higher-rated MERV-13 filters. A higher MERV rating, or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, indicates a filter’s ability to capture a higher percentage of smaller particles from the air.

Ventilation systems have been programmed to increase the level of fresh air intake and to have a two-hour fresh air purge every morning and evening. We will also undertake regular maintenance and inspections to ensure the air distributed into indoor spaces is clean, fresh and flowing properly.

Non-mechanically ventilated spaces

Most other spaces on campus are expected to be able to achieve the ventilation standard with minor adjustments to existing ventilation systems.

In some cases, in particular those shared spaces without local air filtration devices, high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters have been installed. The University has chosen air purifiers that are highly rated to ensure that they do not interfere with other classroom equipment and teaching.

Offices

In the case of offices used by one person or a small group of people there is a greater element of control. These have been assessed as not requiring separate local air filtration devices.

Event planning

When booking an event or room on campus, individuals will be notified by “Book It” if a risk assessment form must be completed.

Students booking through the MASU Office will also be asked to complete a risk assessment form two weeks in advance of your event in order to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. 


Vaccinations

Mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations

A high percentage of students, faculty, and staff who come to campus are vaccinated (98 per cent). Students, faculty, and staff who are not fully vaccinated are required to continue to participate in the twice-weekly campus COVID-19 testing program until further notice.

New January students, faculty, and staff (such as those beginning their degree in January or transfer students) are required to follow the mandate and provide proof of full vaccination (two doses) or report for regular testing by Jan. 31. These details have been communicated directly to those individuals.

On-campus Covid-19 Booster Clinic — Jan. 29

Booster-only clinic (3rd dose Pfizer) now open to individuals aged 18+.

The clinic will be taking place at the Mount Allison Athletic Centre on Saturday, Jan. 29 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

The clinic is by appointment only. To register, visit https://www.thecornerdrugstore.ca/

This clinic is being run by The Guardian Corner Drug Store in partnership with NB Public Health and hosted by Mount Allison University.

If you do not meet the criteria noted above for this clinic, you can still book to receive a vaccine (1st, 2nd, 3rd dose) at The Guardian Corner Drug Store at their downtown location. Visit https://www.thecornerdrugstore.ca/ to book.

If you require accessibility support, please contact accessibility@mta.ca or call 506-364-2175

Full details on mandatory vaccinations

Mount Allison has implemented mandatory vaccination for all students, faculty, and staff.

  • Fully vaccinated means you have received two doses of an accepted COVID-19 vaccine. Approved COVID-19 vaccines in Canada are Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Janssen/Johnson & Johnson.
  • All students, faculty, and staff were asked to submit proof of full vaccination by Oct. 1, 2021.
  • A deadline to provide proof of vaccination for those arriving in January will be announced and shared early in the term.

Individuals who were unable to get vaccinated, chose not to be vaccinated, or who did not provide proof of full vaccination are required, until further notice, to: 

  • participate in regular testing for COVID-19 — two tests per week for the duration of the fall term
  • continue to wear masks on campus 

Those who did not provide proof of vaccination are not prevented from pursuing work or study at Mount Allison. 

  • Students may continue to work or study on campus, but are subject to increased health and safety regulations that include mask-wearing and regular testing provided by the University.
  • No Mount Allison employee’s job is at risk as a result of their vaccination status. 

It is important to monitor your health, even if you are fully vaccinated:

  • stay home when you're feeling sick
  • get tested if you have symptoms of COVID-19

Why is COVID-19 vaccination required at Mount Allison?

Mount Allison has implemented mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations and has increased health and safety measures on campus in response to developments in the COVID-19 pandemic provincially and worldwide, including:  

  • the continued evolution of the COVID-19 situation in New Brunswick, Canada, and worldwide
  • the persistent impact of infectious COVID-19 variants
  • continued uncertainty about how the COVID-19 virus may result in additional waves of infection

Members of our community recently answered important questions about how vaccines work, why the second dose is important, and more:

Unvaccinated students, faculty, and staff

Unvaccinated students, faculty, and staff are subject to regular testing for COVID-19. E-mail were sent directly to those who indicated that they were not fully vaccinated advising them of testing procedures and relevant details.

Testing involves two tests per week, three days apart, and will continue until proof of vaccination is provided or until the testing mandate is ended.

To provide proof of vaccination, you can make an appointment:

Third dose vaccinations (booster)

Those 18+ (with five months since second dose) are now able to book their booster in New Brunswick. For the strongest protection against COVID-19, book your third vaccine (booster) dose as soon as you are eligible.

If you encounter trouble booking a vaccination appointment online at a Horizon or Vitalité clinic, call 1-833-437-1424. Anyone who is eligible for a third vaccine can receive one, even if you do not have a NB Medicare number.

Jean Coutu and The Corner Drug Store in Sackville are also providing all vaccination doses, which can be booked through their websites.

Proof of vaccination when accessing services and events

The Province of New Brunswick requires people to show proof of vaccination when accessing certain services and events not connected to “for-credit” courses.

When are people required to show proof of vaccination at Mount Allison?

At Mount Allison, people are be required to show proof of vaccines when:

  • Using facilities in the Athletic Centre, including the pool, gym, and weight room
  • Accessing the Fitness Centre in the student centre
  • Using the Pond (campus pub) when it is open for services
  • Participating in indoor intramurals and varsity athletics
  • Attending President’s Speaker Series events and drama and music performances (other than those related to a course)
  • Visiting the Owens Art Gallery
  • Attending workshops and services at the Chapel 

Find more information on GNB’s Proof of Vaccination.


Travel

Every person entering New Brunswick must pre-register online. This includes New Brunswickers re-entering the province.

If you are not fully vaccinated, you must self-isolate for 14 days or until you receive a negative COVID-19 result. For the latest information, visit Government of New Brunswick — Travel information.

Details on NB travel registration
  • If you are fully vaccinated, no self-isolation will be required. Vaccinated individuals will register one time and will be able to apply for a multi-use pass. Once your request is successfully processed, you will receive an e-mail with your multi-use pass.
  • If you are not fully vaccinated, you must self-isolate for 14 days or until you receive a negative COVID-19 result from a test taken on Day 10 or later. Unvaccinated individuals will be required to register for each trip into the province. Individuals who cannot receive a vaccine because of a medical exemption will be required to provide proof of such exemption.
Details on restrictions for NS-NB Border

Everyone (12 or older) who travels from another Canadian province or territory (outside Nova Scotia) needs to complete the Safe Check-in Form before they travel to Nova Scotia.

Proof of vaccination status needs to be provided for each traveller when you complete the Safe Check-in Form. Learn more: self-isolation requirements based on vaccination status and testing.

When you arrive in Nova Scotia, you need to show your confirmation e-mail to border officials. You also need to provide required documentation, including proof of vaccination.

Find out more about self-isolation requirements when travelling to Nova Scotia.

For frequent travellers

Workers and students who frequently cross the border with New Brunswick and people who need to make quick trips will not have to self-isolate as long as they follow the COVID-19 Protocol for Atlantic Canada Travel.

Details on international travel

The Government of Canada is currently advising against any non-essential international travel.

Travel for faculty and staff

Travel inside Canada
Travel outside Canada

The Government of Canada is currently advising against any non-essential international travel.

  • The University highly encourages all faculty and staff to register their international travel with the University, as well as ROCA (Registration of Canadians Abroad) or the equivalent system of their home country/country of citizenship. This will ensure you receive government travel advisories and will allow the University to assess the risk and notify you of changes to the travel risk of certain countries. 
  • Review Government of Canada guidance regarding international travel and travel advisories for your destination.
  • Consider medical and any other health benefit coverage.
  • Reimbursement of international travel will be approved for travel beginning Jan. 1, 2022.

Outbound exchange and study abroad

The University will permit outbound exchange and study abroad programs effective Jan. 1 for certain programs. Students will need to complete the necessary documentation, including waivers. For questions, contact International Affairs Co-ordinator Robin Walker at rwalker@mta.ca.


Community commitment

The MtA Sackville Bubble has always represented a space where students and the entire community can feel a shared inspiration and connection — enveloped by the belief that we are all in this together.

Last year, the Mount Allison and Sackville communities pulled together successfully to ‘Protect the Bubble.’ This was successful based on a shared commitment from students, faculty, staff, and community members. We live, work, and study alongside each other and our actions and decisions have a direct effect on each other.

Make the commitment

Make the commitment to do your part to protect and respect everyone in the MtA Sackville Bubble:
 
1 — Commit to respecting other’s feelings, giving them space, and being kind and compassionate. Everyone will adapt to being together again on campus and in the community at their own pace.

2 — Commit to doing your part to keep our community healthy and safe. Get fully vaccinated, adhere to applicable health and safety regulations, respect physical distancing, wash your hands frequently, and wear a mask as may be required.

3 — Commit to remaining vigilant and protecting yourself and others. If you are experiencing symptoms, stay home, and get tested. If you need health advice, call 811 or complete the online self-assessment at gnb.ca/coronavirus. If you have been at a potential public exposure site, book a test and self monitor for symptoms. 

4 — Commit to staying informed on the latest COVID-19 health, safety, and travel regulations. Keep up-to-date on health, safety, and travel regulations at the University, in Sackville, and in the Province of New Brunswick.


Understanding the risks

Due to the contagious nature of COVID-19, the University cannot guarantee that any individual attending the University’s campus, using the University’s facilities, or participating in any activities organized by the University (whether on-campus or off-campus), will not contract COVID-19.

Staff, students, and those participating in University activities should understand that they participate voluntarily and knowingly during the COVID-19 pandemic. University activities may present a heightened risk of contracting COVID-19.

Contracting COVID-19 could result in changes to the delivery of university services, extended quarantine, serious medical intervention, and other potential complications, including ones not currently known at this time.

The University is committed to supporting staff and students as much as possible during these challenging times by putting in place many different measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 within our community.