Acadia University's return-to-campus strategy is based on a community harms reduction strategy that focuses on caring for oneself and others, community, and compliance. To help make our campus and the broader community as safe as possible, Acadia, in partnership with the Students' Union and in compliance with all public health directives, has implemented comprehensive practices, policies, and protocols to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19. The following is a summary of these:
Due to on-campus restrictions for those not studying or teaching, we are offering a new initiative called "Pick up at the Public" in partnership with the Annapolis Valley Regional Library.
Members of the public can request Acadia and Novanet print items through the library catalogue. The items will then be delivered each week to the Wolfville Memorial Library. Borrowers will receive a message when the material is available for pick up and will have two weeks to pick it up. Most materials will have an extended loan period this fall. Materials can be returned at any Nova Scotia Public Library.
As an additional layer of defence, asymptomatic asymptomatic post-secondary students entering the Province from outside the Atlantic Bubble were tested for COVID-19 three times. All students from outside of the Bubble were required to follow provincial guidelines and self-isolate for two weeks.
Acadia has developed a series of protocols designed to support the containment of an outbreak of COVID-19 on Campus. These protocols, which were approved by the Chief Medical Officer of Health and the Department of Labour and Advanced Education as part of the University's re-opening plan, will be enacted in complete partnership with Public Health authorities.
The Province's 811 referral process, in partnership with Public Health and the Nova Scotia Health Authority, will manage COVID-19 testing for students displaying symptoms. Acadia has developed a plan to quarantine and support on-campus students who have or may have been exposed to COVID-19. These students will use a separate washroom and will be provided with food delivery, supplies, and support during their quarantine period. The quarantine process will be directed by Nova Scotia Public Health officials in collaboration with Acadia staff. Upon request from the Province, Acadia will provide all assistance possible in contact tracing.
The global coronavirus pandemic has forced everyone to adopt new practices and to become more deliberate in their actions. Acadia students are committing to personal safety practices that promote the health and well-being of both the campus community and citizens of Wolfville by signing the Student COVID-19 Safety Pledge.
Students are also apprised of the Student Code of Conduct. They will be informed of how off- or on-campus violations of this Code will result in non-academic judicial action. Students understand that failure to meet the standards of the pledge may initiate a series of consequences, including expulsion.
Acadia representatives, along with the President of the Acadia Students' Union, meet with the Town of Wolfville officials regularly. The group has a weekly standing meeting to enable rapid discussion on matters of mutual interest or concern.
All parties are committed to working collaboratively to support a safe community, where residents and students alike can enjoy the amenities and activities that remain accessible under pandemic rules.
The Town has heightened its physical presence (patrols) in neighbourhoods where parties are known to occur. Acadia and the ASU are working to educate students about expectations of good neighbourly conduct and the consequences of failing to meet them.
Acadia has enacted stringent pandemic-related safety practices and protocols to comply with all public health directives, including directive and information signage, and the wearing of masks. Acadia's mask policy requires anyone entering publicly accessible buildings on campus to wear a non-medical mask or face covering. Masks are not required in a single-person office or a private residence room, or when another PPE is in effect, such as a plexiglass barrier. However, face coverings must be worn when it is not possible or predictable to maintain two-metres (six-feet) of physical distance. Examples include hallways, elevators, classrooms, and restrooms. Masks are also recommended in outdoor spaces on campus and required where physical distance cannot be maintained. Exceptions will be considered for those individuals for whom wearing a face-covering poses health concerns, or physical challenges.