MtA Sackville Bubble Tuesday Touchpoint | Mount Allison

MtA Sackville Bubble Tuesday Touchpoint

A weekly campus and community COVID-19 update will be provided each Tuesday for the Winter Term.

For full details on health and safety measures on campus, see mta.ca/campus-updates.


April 19, 2022

This will be the final Tuesday Touchpoint for the term. The current self-reported active case count on campus is 10 — nine off campus and one in residence.

As we end this term and look ahead to Fall 2022, we would like to provide an update on what’s next when it comes to continuing COVID-19 health and safety guidelines on campus.

Isolation and testing

A mandatory five-day self-isolation period following a positive COVID-19 test result will continue until further notice. Further details are available at mta.ca/campus-updates. All members of the Mount Allison community who will continue to access campus throughout the spring and summer months are asked to stay home if sick and test. Test kits are available for those who are symptomatic by e-mailing wellness@mta.ca.

Masking

Until further notice, masks will continue to be mandatory indoors including in classes and labs, except staff working alone in an area or workstation, or while seated at Gracie’s, The Pond, and Jennings Dining Hall. Certain exceptions are related to athletics/fitness activities, theatre, and music performance.

Masks will also be mandatory indoors at the upcoming Convocation Weekend events and ceremonies, except when actively eating or drinking, and outdoors when physical distancing cannot be maintained.

Further details on masking protocols for summer camps and conferences will be communicated directly to participants.

Vaccinations

While the University will no longer require mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for the 2022-23 academic year, all Mount Allison community members are strongly encouraged to get fully vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19 for their own continued protection and the protection of the community. In the upcoming academic year, the University will be asking students, faculty, and staff to identify their vaccination status in Connect.

Vaccinations are still being offered at local pharmacies. Mandatory testing for unvaccinated members of the community will end on April 30.

As has been the case all year, Convocation ceremonies and events have been organized with safety top of mind and therefore all attendees must be fully vaccinated and masked.

Classroom capacity

Classrooms will return to normal class capacities for the 2022-23 academic year with one-metre distancing removed.

Should any new COVID-19 updates and related health and safety measures arise, they will be communicated by e-mail. All future updates will also be available at mta.ca/campus-updates. If you have further questions, you can direct them to covid19@mta.ca.

Self-reported COVID-19 cases

We are still seeing cases of COVID-19 in our community — therefore it is imperative that we all continue to follow established COVID-19 measures to slow and stop the spread of infection. Behave like COVID is present wherever you are — remain diligent and continue to monitor for symptoms.

We currently have 10 self-reported active positive COVID cases amongst the University community — nine are off-campus and one is in residence. Since Jan. 3, a total of 400 cases have been self-reported to Mount Allison. This number also includes self-reported cases from individuals who were not on campus or in Sackville.

For privacy and confidentiality reasons, we will not be providing further details. If an individual tests positive for COVID-19, it is their responsibility to notify their close contacts.


Past updates

April 12, 2022

If you develop COVID-19 symptoms during this exam season, stay home and take a rapid test. If your symptoms persist, worsen, or you develop new symptoms, remain isolated and test again as a positive test result may take a few days to register after symptoms appear.

  • Rapid tests are available for those experiencing symptoms by e-mailing wellness@mta.ca 
  •  If you require an accommodation to your exam schedule due to illness or self-isolation as a close contact of positive case, submit an exam accommodation request form to the Registrar’s Office

The University currently has 14 self-reported active cases. The COVID landscape in the province continues to be challenging with large case counts and hospitalizations at an all-time high. Therefore, it’s imperative that we all continue to take precautions to keep our community safe — the pandemic is not over!

COVID-19 health and safety measures continue on campus, including masking indoors, testing, and isolation. Full details are available at mta.ca/campus-updates.

Even though measures are no longer mandatory off campus, we ask that you continue to do your part to keep yourself and others safe by wearing a mask indoors and maintaining physical distancing while interacting in the community.

To access the latest information reported on the COVID-19 situation in the province, visit COVIDwatch, which is updated every Tuesday.

If you’re unsure about your own situation when it comes to COVID-19, remember it’s best to err on the side of caution. If you have reviewed the health and safety measures at mta.ca/campus-updates and still have questions, e-mail covid19@mta.ca.

Self-reported COVID-19 cases

We are still seeing cases of COVID-19 in our community — therefore it is imperative that we all continue to follow these established COVID-19 measures to slow and stop the spread of infection. Behave like COVID is present wherever you are — remain diligent and continue to monitor for symptoms.

We currently have 14 self-reported active positive COVID cases amongst the University community — 12 are off-campus and two are in residence. Since Jan. 3, a total of 392 cases have been self-reported to Mount Allison. This number also includes self-reported cases from individuals who were not on campus or in Sackville.

For privacy and confidentiality reasons, we will not be providing further details. If an individual tests positive for COVID-19, it is their responsibility to notify their close contacts.


April 5, 2022

This week, the Government of New Brunswick moved its information around COVID-19 to the Public Health section of its website (communicable disease control).

In addition to COVID-19, remember the flu and other illnesses are still circulating in New Brunswick, including Norovirus (commonly referred to as the stomach flu). We remind all Mount Allison community members to remain diligent as we work to safely complete the winter term on campus:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water as frequently as possible during the day, including before preparing and eating food.
  • Wear a mask in indoor spaces.
  • Regularly sanitize high-touch areas in your home like door handles, light switches, bathrooms, etc.
  • If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, take a rapid test. If your symptoms persist, worsen, or you develop new symptoms, you should continue to isolate and test again as it can take several days following symptoms to test positive.  
  • If you are recovering from COVID-19 or are a household close contact of a positive case, you need to continue to be diligent up until day 10 following a positive test (positive test = day 0) — once out of isolation you need to mask continuously outside of your home (even at your workstation) and avoid vulnerable settings and gatherings.

The University has enhanced its cleaning protocols on campus for the potential presence of Norovirus, in addition to COVID-19, and to limit the spread of both. Washing hands with soap and water is proven to be the most effective tool against cold and flu, including Norovirus.

Information about Norovirus can be found at the Public Health link (under Diseases and Conditions) or on the Public Health Agency of Canada site.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms and need a rapid test, e-mail wellness@mta.ca. If you have questions about COVID-19 health and safety measures on campus, refer to mta.ca/campus-updates  or e-mail covid19@mta.ca.

Self-reported COVID-19 cases

We are still seeing cases of COVID-19 in our community — therefore it is imperative that we all continue to follow these established COVID-19 measures to slow and stop the spread of infection. Behave like COVID is present wherever you are — remain diligent and continue to monitor for symptoms.

We currently have 17 self-reported active positive COVID cases amongst the University community — 16 are off-campus and one is in residence. Since Jan. 3, a total of 371 cases have been self-reported to Mount Allison. This number also includes self-reported cases from individuals who were not on campus or in Sackville.

For privacy and confidentiality reasons, we will not be providing further details. If an individual tests positive for COVID-19, it is their responsibility to notify their close contacts.

March  28, 2022

In response to some frequently asked questions regarding the health and safety guidelines, here are a few key points of clarification:

  • Once you have tested positive for COVID-19, you do not need any further testing during your isolation and do not require a negative test to leave isolation. You can return to class and work once your isolation period has ended and you are no longer experiencing significant symptoms, have not developed new symptoms, and have been fever-free for 24 hours. You must be diligent, avoid gatherings and vulnerable settings, and mask continuously until Day 10.
     
  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19, stay home even if you have a negative test result. A positive rapid test result may take a few days to register after symptoms appear. If your symptoms persist, worsen, or you develop new symptoms, test again. Even if it is not COVID-19, you do not want to risk spreading germs to others.
     
  • If you've had COVID-19 recently and now have new or worsening symptoms or are a close contact of a positive case, refer to section three of the Campus updates page for guidance on testing and isolation.  
     
  • For details on length of self-isolation if you test positive or are a household close contact of a positive case, see section three of the Campus updates page.  

If you’re unsure about your own situation when it comes to COVID-19, remember it’s best to err on the side of caution. If you have reviewed the health and safety measures at mta.ca/campus-updates and still have questions, e-mail covid19@mta.ca.

Self-reported COVID-19 cases

We are still seeing cases of COVID-19 in our community — therefore it is imperative that we all continue to follow these established COVID-19 measures to slow and stop the spread of infection. Behave like COVID is present wherever you are — remain diligent and continue to monitor for symptoms.

We currently have 33 self-reported active positive COVID cases amongst the University community — 24 are off-campus and nine are in residence. Since Jan. 3, 346 total cases have been self-reported to Mount Allison. This number also includes self-reported cases from individuals who were not on campus or in Sackville.

For privacy and confidentiality reasons, we will not be providing further details. If an individual tests positive for COVID-19, it is their responsibility to notify their close contacts.

March 22, 2022

COVID-19 continues to circulate in the province and in our community. As of this morning, we have 15 self-reported active cases among members of the University community. COVID and the pandemic are not over, and we will continue to maintain strong and prudent actions for everyone's health and safety.

A few important reminders:

  • If you test positive for COVID-19, please ensure you report your results both to the University through Connect and to the Government of New Brunswick. This helps us track cases on and off-campus and provide support for those who are ill or self-isolating.
     
  • Mount Allison’s COVID-19 health and safety measures require that you self-isolate if you test positive or are a close contact of someone who does. Details of self-isolation guidelines, including who needs to isolate, and how to identify close contacts, can be found in section 3 of the Campus updates page.
     
  • Please continue to be diligent:
    • Wear a well-fitted mask indoors and in classes and labs
    • Self-isolate and test if you are experiencing any symptoms
    • Follow self-isolation and self-monitoring guidelines

Your continued adherence to these safety measures helps keep you and other community members safe.

Full details of all MtA COVID-19 health and safety measures can be found on the Campus updates page.

Self-reported COVID-19 cases

We are still seeing cases of COVID-19 in our community — therefore it is imperative that we all continue to diligently follow these established COVID-19 measures to slow and stop the spread of infection. Behave like COVID is present wherever you are — remain diligent and continue to monitor for symptoms.

We currently have 15 self-reported active positive COVID cases amongst the University community — eight are off-campus and seven are in residence. Since Jan. 3, 303 total cases have been self-reported to Mount Allison. This number also includes self-reported cases from individuals who were not on campus or in Sackville.

For privacy and confidentiality reasons, we will not be providing further details. If an individual tests positive for COVID-19, it is their responsibility to notify their close contacts.


March 15, 2022

All remaining mandatory COVID-19 measures were lifted in New Brunswick on March 14. This does not mean COVID-19 is no longer circulating in the province.

We are still seeing increased case counts in our community — as of this morning 61 active cases have been reported. A similar number of individuals are self-isolating in residences.

As previously announced, Mount Allison will enforce its own COVID-19 health and safety measures, until April 30. These include:

  • Wearing a well-fitted mask indoors and in classes and labs
  • If you’re experiencing any symptoms, self-isolate and test
  • Following self-isolation and self-monitoring guidelines
  • Reporting your positive COVID-19 test results to GNB and the University through Connect
  • Submitting risk assessment forms for on-campus events
  • Requiring proof of vaccination at on-campus events

Find full details of these MtA COVID-19 health and safety measures on the campus updates page.

With removal of guidelines across the province, and with roughly six weeks to go until the completion of the winter term, it is easy to relax personal safety measures and let our guard down. That is exactly what we cannot afford to do right now.

We can support our own health and safety and that of others by following these simple guidelines. Keep up your efforts and stay the course!

Self-reported COVID-19 cases

We are still seeing increased case counts in our community — therefore it is imperative that we all continue to diligently follow these established COVID-19 measures to slow and stop the spread of infection. Behave like COVID is present wherever you are — remain diligent and continue to monitor for symptoms.

We currently have 61 self-reported active positive COVID cases amongst the University community — 29 are off-campus and 32 are in residence. Since Jan. 3, 276 total cases have been self-reported to Mount Allison. This number also includes self-reported cases from individuals who were not on campus or in Sackville.

For privacy and confidentiality reasons, we will not be providing further details. If an individual tests positive for COVID-19, it is their responsibility to notify their close contacts.

March 8, 2022

With COVID-19 protocols being lifted in our province on March 14 and just seven weeks left until the end of the winter term — it’s vitally important that everyone re-commits to protecting the health and safety of our community. COVID-19 is highly transmissible and still very much present and we must all continue to do what we can to protect ourselves and others.
 
We are currently seeing increased case counts in our community — as of this morning 33 active cases — therefore it is imperative that we all continue to diligently follow these established COVID-19 health and safety measures to slow and stop the spread of infection. Behave like COVID is present wherever you are — remain diligent and continue to monitor for symptoms.
 
As announced in last week’s update, Mount Allison will be keeping COVID-19 health and safety measures in place until April 30.
 
The Campus Updates page has been updated to outline all of the measures to follow, which include:

  • wearing a well-fitted, recommended mask indoors and in classes and labs
  • isolating and testing if you’re experiencing symptoms
  • following self-isolation and self-monitoring guidelines
  • reporting your positive COVID-19 test results to GNB and the University through Connect
  • proof of vaccination for on-campus events 

The nature of living in residence makes following these rules diligently even more important. Residence students will be receiving additional information from the Housing Office.
 
If you’re unsure about your own situation when it comes to COVID-19, remember it’s best to err on the side of caution. Find full details of the COVID-19 health and safety measures at mta.ca/campus-updates and direct further questions to covid19@mta.ca.

Self–reported COVID-19 cases

As of this morning, we currently have 33 self-reported active positive COVID cases amongst the University community — seven are off-campus and 26 are in residence. Since Jan. 3, 174 total cases have been self-reported to Mount Allison. This number also includes self-reported cases from individuals who were not on campus or in Sackville.

For privacy and confidentiality reasons, we will not be providing further details. If an individual tests positive for COVID-19, it is their responsibility to notify their close contacts.

March 1, 2022

Just before the break on Feb. 18, New Brunswick moved to the Level 1 phase of the Winter Plan. This past week, GNB announced proof of vaccination requirements would be removed Monday, Feb. 28 and that the Mandatory Order and all COVID-19 restrictions — including masking, distancing, and isolation — will be removed as of Monday, March 14.

For the safety and security of our community, the University has made the important decision to maintain most current COVID-19 health and safety measures on campus until April 30.

These continued health and safety measures include:

  • Masking indoors, except while seated at Gracie’s, The Pond, and Jennings Dining Hall
  • Rapid testing/reporting positive test results to the University
  • Self-isolation for positive cases and household close contacts
  • Regular testing for unvaccinated members of the community
  • Risk assessments for events

As of March 14, masks will no longer be required outdoors on campus.

The news of restrictions being removed in New Brunswick, while welcome to some, will be very difficult for others. We ask that you continue to be kind and respect others as we move through another transition period in our communities — while continuing to stay the course on campus for the remainder of the term.

Mask up!

Mask-wearing indoors on campus — except while seated at Gracie’s, The Pond, and Jennings Dining Hall — will continue until April 30.

COVID-19 is highly transmissible, therefore wearing well-fitted, recommended masks in public spaces is more important than ever to help slow the spread.

The University is currently recommending:

  • three-layer medical or N95/KN95 masks for better protection against the Omicron variant(s)  
  • community members should not wear cloth masks alone, even those that are three layers or two with a filter, as they provide far less protection
  • you may double up your masks to include a medical mask (2 or 3 ply) covered with a (2 or 3 layer) cloth mask

The University is distributing a package of five KN95 masks to all students, faculty, and staff. Those who have not yet picked up their masks are encouraged to do so within the next two weeks. As of March 14, the remaining mask supply will be distributed based on requests.

  • All students who have yet to receive a package of masks can pick up a package at the Bookstore (Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m) Student ID required.
  • Faculty and staff members will be provided with masks based on the number of faculty and staff per department. Masks will be delivered to each building contact for distribution to each department as required.

If you have run out of masks, 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.

KN95 mask-wearing, care, and storage

5 layers | 95 per cent protection  

  • Wear your KN95 mask snug and secure around your mouth and nose.
  • Wash/sanitize your hands before and after handling a mask.  
  • Keep track of where, when, and how long the mask was worn.
  • Use up to a week (approx. 40 hours), if not wet, soiled, or stretched.
  • Store in clean and breathable spot, such as a paper or mesh bag.
  • If you have several KN95 masks, try rotating your supply, storing properly for 48 hours before re-wearing.  

Self–reported COVID-19 cases

Individuals are responsible for self-reporting if they test positive for COVID-19, including if they test positive while out of province:

  • To the Government of New Brunswick through an online form
  • To the University through a new secure 'Positive COVID Test Confirmation' in Connect

As of this morning, we currently have 15 self-reported active positive COVID cases amongst the University community — 11 are off-campus and four are in residence. Last week’s case counts for Reading Week included 13 off-campus. Since Jan. 3, 125 total cases have been self-reported to Mount Allison. This number also includes self-reported cases from individuals who were not on campus or in Sackville.

For privacy and confidentiality reasons, we will not be providing further details. If an individual tests positive for COVID-19, it is their responsibility to notify their close contacts. Everyone should behave like COVID is present wherever you are — remain diligent and continue to monitor for symptoms.

Sackville vaccination clinics

You can continue to book your booster dose or other vaccine doses.

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.

Self-isolation guidance

If you test positive for COVID-19 or are a household close contact, it’s critical to self-isolate according to the GNB guidelines. If you are unable to attend class due to illness or self-isolation, please contact your professor or supervisor directly to make arrangements for the missed time and assignments.

New Brunswick Public Health has introduced an updated approach to determine whether individuals need to isolate and test for COVID-19.

People with one of the following symptoms should isolate and get tested for COVID-19:

  • fever
  • loss of sense of taste
  • loss of sense of smell

People with two or more of the following symptoms should isolate and get tested for COVID-19:

  • a new cough or worsening chronic cough
  • difficulty breathing
  • runny nose
  • sore throat
  • headache
  • diarrhea
  • new onset of fatigue

Take the time to review the health guidance section on the campus updates page, so you are informed about the steps to take if you test positive or are a household or close contact — off campus or in residence.

It’s important to note that if you have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past three months, a rapid test may still give a positive result, even though you are no longer contagious. This does not necessarily mean you have been re-infected. If you have questions regarding a possible re-infection of COVID-19 or being considered a close contact within that three-month period after COVID-19 infection, please contact 811.

Rapid test kit pick-up on campus

Rapid test kits are available for students, faculty, and staff who are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms.

  • request a rapid test through the province before requesting one through the University; note that New Brunswick Public Health has introduced an updated approach to determine whether individuals need to isolate and test for COVID-19 (see self-isolation guidance section above for details)
  • if you have symptoms and are unable to receive a GNB test in a timely manner, you can e-mail wellness@mta.ca to book an appointment to pick up a rapid test kit at the Wellness Centre on Mondays or Thursdays
  • an individual who is not symptomatic or COVID positive must pick up and deliver the kit

Please note: Health Canada is advising Canadians about potential risks associated with the misuse or accidental ingestion or spillage of COVID-19 rapid antigen test kit solutions on the skin.

Procedures and guidelines for on-campus events

All campus event organizers are required to fill out a risk assessment form (RAF) for each event and can also request health ambassadors to help with COVID-19- related logistics. These measures will continue until April 30.

Forms will be provided to the organizers once a space is booked through the MASU Office (students) or MtA BookIt 25 LivePro booking platform (faculty/staff). Please allow sufficient time for your RAF to be evaluated prior to your event.

Listings for online events should also be submitted through MtA BookIt to assist with promotion on the University’s Events Calendar (mta.ca/events)

Feb. 15, 2022

Please note: There will be no Tuesday Touchpoint during Reading Week. The next regular update will be sent March 1.

Reading Week (Feb. 21-25)

No classes, University offices closed on Feb. 21 only for Family Day

  • Be vigilant when travelling.
  • Keep informed of any Public Health and travel protocols in place where you are travelling.
  • Continue to keep your number of close contacts low.  
  • If you develop symptoms of COVID-19, please take a rapid test and follow provincial guidelines for self-isolation if required.

Mask up!

Don't let your guard — or your mask — down. COVID-19 is highly transmissible, therefore wearing well-fitted, recommended masks in public spaces is more important than ever to help slow the spread.

In the hallway in your residence? Sitting in Gracie’s alone at a table? Studying at the Library or Student Centre? Getting food at a station in Jennings? Walking with a group of friends across campus? You still need to wear a mask — except when actively eating or drinking. Lower it to take a sip or bite only. In Jennings, once you have finished eating, put your mask back on.

The University is currently recommending:

  • three-layer medical or N95/KN95 masks for better protection against the Omicron variant(s)  
  • community members should not wear cloth masks alone, even those that are three layers or two with a filter, as they provide far less protection
  • you may double up your masks to include a medical mask (2 or 3 ply) covered with a (2 or 3 layer) cloth mask

The University is distributing a package of five KN95 masks to all students, faculty, and staff.

  • All students who have yet to receive a package of masks can pick up a package at the Bookstore (Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m) Student ID required.
  • Faculty and staff members will be provided with masks based on the number of faculty and staff per department. Masks will be delivered to each building contact for distribution to each department as required.

If you have run out of masks, 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.

KN95 mask-wearing, care, and storage

5 layers | 95 per cent protection  

  • Wear your KN95 mask snug and secure around your mouth and nose.
  • Wash/sanitize your hands before and after handling a mask.  
  • Keep track of where, when, and how long the mask was worn.
  • Use up to a week (approx. 40 hours), if not wet, soiled, or stretched.
  • Store in clean and breathable spot, such as a paper or mesh bag.
  • If you have several KN95 masks, try rotating your supply, storing properly for 48 hours before re-wearing.  

Self–reported COVID-19 cases

Individuals are responsible for self-reporting if they test positive for COVID-19, including if they test positive while out of province:

  • To the Government of New Brunswick through an online form
  • To the University through a new secure 'Positive COVID Test Confirmation' in Connect

As of this morning, we currently have four self-reported active positive COVID cases amongst the University community — two are off-campus and two are in residence. All previous cases are reported as recovered. Since Jan. 3, 98 total cases have been self-reported to Mount Allison. This number also includes self-reported cases from individuals who were not on campus or in Sackville.

For privacy and confidentiality reasons, we will not be providing further details. Everyone should behave like COVID is present wherever you are — remain diligent and continue to monitor for symptoms.

Sackville vaccination clinics

You can continue to book your booster dose or other vaccine doses.

  • Sackville pharmacies booking through their respective websites:
  • Horizon or Vitalité clinics
  • Upcoming clinics at the Sackville Visitor Information Centre:
    • Feb. 17 — 11 a.m.-7 p.m. (ages 5-11)
    • Feb. 24 — 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. (ages 18+)

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.

Self-isolation guidance

If you test positive for COVID-19 or are a household close contact, it’s critical to self-isolate according to the GNB guidelines. If you are unable to attend class due to illness or self-isolation, please contact your professor or supervisor directly to make arrangements for the missed time and assignments.

On Feb. 9, 2022, New Brunswick Public Health introduced an updated approach to determine whether individuals need to isolate and test for COVID-19.

People with one of the following symptoms should isolate and get tested for COVID-19:

  • fever
  • loss of sense of taste
  • loss of sense of smell

People with two or more of the following symptoms should isolate and get tested for COVID-19:

  • a new cough or worsening chronic cough
  • difficulty breathing
  • runny nose
  • sore throat
  • headache
  • diarrhea
  • new onset of fatigue

Take the time to review the health guidance section on the campus updates page, so you are informed about the steps to take if you test positive or are a household or close contact — off campus or in residence.

Rapid test kit pick-up on campus

Rapid test kits are available for students, faculty, and staff who are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms.

  • request a rapid test through the province before requesting one through the University; note that on Feb. 9, 2022, New Brunswick Public Health introduced an updated approach to determine whether individuals need to isolate and test for COVID-19 (see self-isolation guidance section above for details)
  • if you have symptoms and are unable to receive a GNB test in a timely manner, you can e-mail wellness@mta.ca to book an appointment to pick up a rapid test kit at the Wellness Centre on Mondays or Thursdays
  • an individual who is not symptomatic or COVID positive must pick up and deliver the kit

Procedures and guidelines for on-campus events

All campus event organizers are required to fill out a risk assessment form (RAF) for each event and can also request health ambassadors to help with logistics such as proof of vaccination.

Forms will be provided to the organizers once a space is booked through the MASU Office (students) or MtA BookIt 25 LivePro booking platform (faculty/staff). Please allow sufficient time for your RAF to be evaluated prior to your event.

Listings for online events should also be submitted through MtA BookIt to assist with promotion on the University’s Events Calendar (mta.ca/events)

Feb. 8, 2022

Masks, masks, masks!!!

It’s not the time to let your guard — or your mask — down. COVID-19 is highly transmissible, therefore wearing well-fitted, recommended masks in public spaces is more important than ever to help slow the spread.

In the hallway in your residence? Sitting in Gracie’s alone at a table? Studying at the Library or Student Centre? Getting food at a station in Jennings? Walking with a group of friends across campus? You still need to wear a mask — except when actively eating or drinking. Lower it to take a sip or bite only. In Jennings, once you have finished eating, put your mask back on.

If you haven’t already, it’s time to step up your mask game.

The University is currently recommending:

  • three-layer medical or N95/ KN95 masks for better protection against the Omicron variant(s)  
  • community members should not wear cloth masks alone, even those that are three layers or two with a filter, as they provide far less protection
  • you may double up your masks to include a medical mask (2 or 3 ply) covered with a (2 or 3 layer) cloth mask

The University is distributing a package of five KN95 masks to all students, faculty, and staff.

Residence students may pick up one package containing five masks this week from the Jennings Banquet Room (located on the upper level of Jennings Dining Hall). When visiting the pickup location, please follow all directional and distancing signage. Student ID required.

  • Tuesday, Feb.8
    • 11:45 a.m.-2 p.m.
    • 5 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, Feb. 10
    • 8:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
    • 11:45 a.m.-2 p.m.

Off-campus students can pick up a package of five masks at the Bookstore (Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m) Student ID required.

Faculty and staff members will be provided with masks based on the number of faculty and staff per department. Masks will be delivered to each building contact for distribution to each department as required.

If you have run out of masks, 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.

KN95 mask-wearing, care, and storage

5 layers | 95 per cent protection  

  • Wear your KN95 mask snug and secure around your mouth and nose.
  • Wash/sanitize your hands before and after handling a mask.  
  • Keep track of where, when, and how long the mask was worn.
  • Use up to a week (approx. 40 hours), if not wet, soiled, or stretched.
  • Store in clean and breathable spot, such as a paper or mesh bag.
  • If you have several KN95 masks, try rotating your supply, storing properly for 48 hours before re-wearing.  

Self–reported COVID-19 cases

Individuals are responsible for self-reporting if they test positive for COVID-19:

  • To the Government of New Brunswick through an online form
  • To the University through a new secure 'Positive COVID Test Confirmation' in Connect

As of this morning, we currently have six self-reported active positive COVID cases amongst the University community — five are off-campus and one in residence. All previous cases are reported as recovered. Since Jan. 3, 92 total cases have been self-reported to Mount Allison. This number also includes self-reported cases from individuals who were not on campus or in Sackville.

For privacy and confidentiality reasons, we will not be providing further details. Everyone should behave like COVID is present wherever you are — remain diligent and continue to monitor for symptoms.

Sackville vaccination clinics

You can continue to book your booster dose or other vaccine doses.

  • Sackville pharmacies booking through their respective websites:
  • Horizon or Vitalité clinics
  • Upcoming clinics at the Sackville Visitor Information Centre:
    • Feb. 17 — 11 a.m.-7 p.m. (ages 5-11)
    • Feb. 24 — 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. (ages 18+)

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.

Self-isolation guidance

If you test positive for COVID-19 or are a household close contact, it’s critical to self-isolate according to the GNB guidelines. If you are unable to attend class due to illness or self-isolation, please contact your professor or supervisor directly to make arrangements for the missed time and assignments.

Take the time to review the health guidance section on the campus updates page, so you are informed about the steps to take if you test positive or are a household or close contact — off campus or in residence.

Rapid test kit pick-up on campus

Rapid test kits are available for students, faculty, and staff who are exhibiting COVID symptoms.

  • request a rapid test through the province before requesting one through the University
  • if you have symptoms and are unable to receive a GNB test in a timely manner, you can e-mail wellness@mta.ca to book an appointment to pick up a rapid test kit at the Wellness Centre on Mondays or Thursdays
  • an individual who is not symptomatic or COVID positive must pick up and deliver the kit

Clubs and societies events

Clubs and societies are now able to host in-person events, which can be booked through the MASU Office by e-mailing masu@mta.ca.

Organizers are required to fill out a risk assessment form (RAF) for each event and can also request health ambassadors to help with logistics such as proof of vaccination. Both forms will be provided to the organizers once a space is booked through the MASU Office. Please allow sufficient time for your RAF to be evaluated prior to your event.

Feb. 1, 2022

Self–reported COVID-19 cases

Individuals are responsible for self-reporting if they test positive for COVID-19:

  • To the Government of New Brunswick through an online form
  • To the University through a new secure form in Connect

As of this morning, we currently have seven self-reported active positive COVID cases amongst the University community. One of these cases is on-campus (residence) and six are off-campus (students/faculty/staff). All previous cases are reported as recovered. Since Jan. 3, 83 total cases have been self-reported to Mount Allison. This number also includes self-reported cases from individuals who are not presently on campus or in Sackville.

For privacy and confidentiality reasons, we will not be providing further details. Everyone should behave like COVID is present wherever you are — remain diligent and continue to monitor for symptoms.

Based on follow-up with these individuals, we understand they are all managing their symptoms at home. We will continue to be in contact with them to offer support and health advice during self-isolation.

Booster clinics

Thank you to Guardian Pharmacy, nurse/educator Cindy Crossman, and all the volunteers who helped make Saturday’s booster clinic at the Athletic Centre happen, even with the inclement weather. A total of 111 people received their booster dose, including 95 students.

You can continue to book your booster dose or other vaccine doses.

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.

Rapid test kits on campus

Rapid test kits continue to be available for students, faculty, and staff who are exhibiting COVID symptoms. We encourage individuals, if possible, to request a rapid test through the province before requesting one through the University.

If you have symptoms and are unable to receive a GNB test in a timely manner, you can e-mail wellness@mta.ca to book an appointment to pick up a rapid test at the Wellness Centre on Mondays or Thursdays. An individual who is not symptomatic or COVID positive must pick up and deliver the kit.

KN95 mask distribution

Starting this week, mask distribution will take place as follows:

  • Residence students may pick up one package containing five masks from the Jennings Banquet Room (located on the upper level of Jennings Dining Hall). When visiting the pickup location, please follow all directional and distancing signage. Student ID required.
    • Tuesday, Feb. 1
      • 11:45 a.m.-2 p.m.
      • 5 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
    • Thursday, Feb. 3
      • 8:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
      • 11:45 a.m.-2 p.m.
    • Tuesday, Feb. 8
      • 11:45 a.m.–2 p.m.
      • 5 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
    • Thursday, Feb. 10
      • 8:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
      • 11:45 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Off-campus students can pick up a package of five masks at the Bookstore (Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m) Student ID required.
  • Faculty and staff members will be provided with masks based on the number of faculty and staff per 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.

Student wellness supports

We’re here to help! Comprehensive wellness support services are available for students to look after their mental and physical well-being. 

Full list of wellness services

E-mail wellness@mta.ca with any questions or to book an appointment for any of the services offered.

Employee health and wellness supports

With COVID fatigue and continued challenges in our personal and professional lives, it’s important to reach out if you need support. Taking care of yourself is more important than ever — for your benefit and the benefit of others who depend on you.

Here are a few specific resources that might help.

Note: If it's your first time accessing the first two links, you may need to list Mount Allison University as the organization in order to open them. You should be automatically redirected in subsequent link clicks. 

For a full list of resources, visit the employee health and wellness resources page.

If you are caring for a family member who is sick or in self-isolation, you must advise your supervisor of your intent to be absent for this purpose, and you may request a “Special Caregiver Leave with pay” from your supervisor in order to stay home with pay for an initial maximum of 20 workdays.

CUPE 2338 members should contact their supervisor to report their absence using the normal procedures and to request a “Special Caregiver Leave with pay”.

Jan. 25, 2022

In recent days, GNB has signaled a desire to revise the mandatory order that currently has the province in Level 3 of their Winter COVID Plan. Our sense is that the Level 3 restriction will be removed as scheduled on Sunday, Jan. 30 at 11:59 p.m. However, we feel that 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. 

If GNB removes Level 3 restrictions as expected, we will look at reopening as much of the campus as possible next week under the new guidelines, including retail food operations and fitness areas.

Self–reported COVID-19 cases

Individuals are now responsible for self-reporting if they test positive for COVID-19:

  • To the Government of New Brunswick through an online form.
  • To the University by e-mailing Sarah MacKinnon, vaccination testing and verification clerk, at smackinnon@mta.ca. (Note, this process is currently being revised and will soon be available in Connect. We will communicate as soon as it is available.)

As of this morning, we currently have 21 self-reported active positive COVID cases amongst the University community. Nine of these cases are on-campus (residence) and 12 are off-campus (students/faculty/staff). Since Jan. 3, 62 total cases have been self-reported to Mount Allison. This number also includes self-reported cases from individuals who are not presently on campus or in Sackville.

For privacy and confidentiality reasons, we will not be providing further details. Everyone should behave like COVID is present wherever you are — remain diligent and continue to monitor for symptoms.

Based on follow-up with these individuals, we understand they are all managing their symptoms at home. We will continue to be in contact with them to offer support and health advice during self-isolation.

KN95 mask distribution

A KN95 mask distribution plan has been developed to supplement masks that students, faculty, and staff may already have, or may purchase for themselves in the future. The University will not be able to provide masks for every person throughout the winter term. Medical, KN95, and N95 masks are still widely available to the public in southeastern New Brunswick and through online sources.

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 more information:

Self-isolation requirements reminder

Fully vaccinated individuals who have tested positive and fully vaccinated household contacts of those who have tested positive must follow these guidelines:

  • isolation is required for 5 days
  • individuals must continue to be diligent for a further 5 days — masking continuously, avoiding vulnerable settings and gatherings, and monitoring for new or worsening symptoms
  • it is recommended you remain in self isolation beyond the 5 days if you are still experiencing significant symptoms — until your symptoms start improving and you are fever-free for at least 24 hours

Unvaccinated individuals and unvaccinated close contacts of positive cases must follow these guidelines:

  • 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 10 days if you are still experiencing significant symptoms — until your symptoms start improving and you are fever-free for at least 24 hours.

For more information on who is considered a close contact or household contact, visit the Government of New Brunswick website.

If you live in residence, visit residence services and resources for specific information for residence students.

COVID-19 booster clinic on campus

Mount Allison is hosting a COVID-19 booster clinic at the Athletic Centre on campus this Saturday, Jan. 29 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. This clinic is being run by The Guardian Corner Drug Store in partnership with NB Public Health and hosted by Mount Allison University. 

This is a booster-only clinic (third dose Pfizer) open to individuals aged 18-29 and by appointment only.

To register for this clinic:

  1. Visit https://www.thecornerdrugstore.ca/
  2. Click on “Get Notified for your COVID or Flu Shot”  
  3. Select “Get Notified: COVID-19 Vaccine (Dose 3 — Pfizer)
  4. Fill out the online form and submit. You will receive an e-mail with time options and further info.
  5. Please bring the completed COVID-19 consent form and your Medicare card (if you have one) to your appointment. Those without a Medicare card are still eligible.

This clinic will take place at the gym in the Athletic Centre. Please wear a mask, keep your distance, and follow the direction of staff. Only come to your appointment if you are feeling well.

If you do not meet the criteria noted above for this clinic, you can still book to receive a vaccine (first, second, and third 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 us at accessibility@mta.ca or call (506) 364-2175.

Vaccination proof for new students, faculty, and staff (January)

Students, faculty, and staff who are new to Mount Allison in January will be required to follow the University’s COVID-19 vaccination 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.

While two doses of an approved vaccine is still considered full vaccination in New Brunswick and at Mount Allison, all individuals are strongly encouraged to get the third booster dose for the best protection against COVID-19 variants.

Students who have not yet indicated vaccination status can do so in Connect under “COVID Vaccination Status” and e-mail Meighen Centre Intern Dolli Sukkar at dosukkar@mta.ca to arrange a time to provide proof of vaccination virtually. Faculty and staff can e-mail hr@mta.ca to make arrangements. 

Updated rapid test method of collection 

While GNB has not officially made this recommendation to date, studies show that swabbing the back of the throat, as well as both nostrils, provides a more accurate rapid test result and is now considered the preferred method of collection.

Please note: This video is a U.K. resource. While the swabbing procedures are the same, the procedures for sharing results are not applicable in New Brunswick. Please see mta.ca/campus-updates for information on sharing positive test results with the University and the province.

Jan. 18, 2022

Self–reported COVID-19 cases

Recently GNB changed its approach to tracking and reporting of COVID cases. As we advised last week, individuals are now responsible for self-reporting if they test positive for COVID:

  • To the Government of New Brunswick through an online form.
  • To the University by e-mailing Sarah MacKinnon, vaccination testing and verification clerk, at smackinnon@mta.ca. (Note, this process is currently being revised and will soon be available in Connect. We will communicate as soon as it is available.)

As of this morning, we currently have 14 self-reported active positive COVID cases amongst the University community. Four of these cases are on-campus (residence) and 10 are off-campus (students/faculty/staff). Since Jan. 3, 38 total cases have been self-reported to Mount Allison.

For privacy and confidentiality reasons, we will not be providing further details. Everyone should behave like COVID is present wherever you are — remain diligent and continue to monitor for symptoms.

Based on follow-up with these individuals, we understand they are all managing their symptoms at home. We will continue to be in contact with them to offer support and health advice during self-isolation.

Support for students

  • Residence students who require support in the form of meal delivery (if they are self-monitoring or self-isolating) should visit residence services and resources
  • Virtual health and counselling services are available by e-mailing wellness@mta.ca
  • The Student Peer Tech Support Team will be available after-hours at student-peer-tech-support@mta.ca to assist students with issues related to Moodle, Teams, Microsoft 365 apps, WiFi and more:
    • Mon.-Fri. 4:30 p.m.-9 p.m.
    • Sat. 12 p.m.-5 p.m.
    • Sun. 12 p.m.-9 p.m.
    • Hours may change based on tech availability
  • List of student services available virtually 

Rapid test kits

  • Under the new GNB guidelines, rapid test kits are intended for use only if an individual is exhibiting COVID symptoms.
  • Residence students were provided with two rapid tests upon return to residence. Residence students who require additional rapid tests are advised to request them by e-mailing wellness@mta.ca (only if symptomatic).
  • Off-campus students, faculty, and staff who are experiencing COVID symptoms:
    • We encourage individuals, if possible, to request a rapid test through the province before requesting one through the University.
    • Alternatively, please e-mail wellness@mta.ca to book an appointment to pick up a rapid test at the Wellness Centre on Mondays or Thursdays. An individual who is not symptomatic or COVID positive must pick up and deliver the kit.

Mask-wearing

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 (two- or three-ply) covered with a cloth mask.

Please review information on mask wearing.

A large number of KN95 masks have been ordered by the University and a plan for distribution is being developed. At this time, the focus is on frontline faculty and staff, residence staff, and students who are accessing campus.

While some KN95s have arrived, we are expecting the majority of the supply next week, which may enable distribution to students, faculty, and staff who access campus and/or are in Sackville. Further information will be provided as soon as possible.

Third vaccination (‘booster’) dose

A third vaccination against COVID-19 is available to those 18+ who have had two vaccinations at least five months ago. We strongly recommend booking your third dose appointment 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 are also providing all vaccination doses, which can be booked through their websites.

Summary of Community Conversation about Navigating the Pandemic

A community conversation, open to all students, faculty, and staff was held virtually on Jan. 14, 2022. Below is a summary of the main points and questions raised during the discussion.

The Community Conversation was opened by Elder William Nevin.

“I look at Mount Allison like a Native community. In a Native community when something happens to one, it happens to all: we all care about each other. We are all together and we are going to solve this together.”

Uncertainty and mental health

  • The number of impacts on each person is extraordinary and it is difficult to do our best work. We should be giving ourselves permission to focus on core activities and not try to do everything we normally would.  
  • Uncertainty — not knowing what is coming next — is creating a lot of anxiety for students. Switching back and forth from online to in-person is challenging, especially when the timelines keep changing. It is difficult for students to make travel plans and to keep up a steady routine. Long-term decisions would be welcomed over short-term ones.
  • Current timeline for return to in-person learning will see students heading back to class right as mid-terms are beginning, and with only three weeks until Winter Break, when some students will travel, raising concerns about further spread of COVID.
  • Many concerns about mental health and the additional impacts current restrictions on gyms and fitness facilities, athletics, extracurriculars, and one-household bubbles will have.  
  • Faculty are noting an increase in mental distress among students and are concerned about access to counsellors or other resources to support students.

Academics 

  • Students are concerned about several aspects of academics going forward:
    • how they will be accommodated if they have to self-isolate or if they are unable to attend classes because they are symptomatic
    • having to remain on campus for very minimal in-person elements (i.e. one class with in-person elements while the remainder are online)
    • if online learning is extended, what happens with activities (such as music ensembles) that are required, but very difficult or impossible to deliver online
  • It was suggested the University commit to offering the same three types of courses it has since the beginning of the pandemic (in-person, online scheduled, or online unscheduled) for this term to give students the flexibility to choose for themselves whether to take online only classes or to sign up for in-person elements knowing there is a risk the class may need to move to online only periodically depending on provincial directives.  
  • Instructors are finding it difficult to accommodate missed labs in some cases due to limited seating because of physical distancing requirements.

Safety

  • There is a shift in the way we think about COVID — from trying to prevent the spread altogether to trying to live with it as safely as we can. This has led to some changes in approach, but a lot of the things we have been doing all along (masking, distancing, handwashing, and increased sanitation) are still important.
  • A concern was expressed over the current five-day isolation period required by the province as being too short.
  • Each person needs to take responsibility for their own safety and ensure you are routinely masking, sanitizing, and limiting contacts.  
  • There was a question about supports and accommodations for immunocompromised and disabled students. The University is staying in contact with all students who test positive to ensure they have what they need during their illness; academic and other accommodations and support is available through the Meighen Centre.
  • Supports for vulnerable faculty and staff can be found on the Wellness resources page in Gateway.
  • There was a question about the approach for student employees under the current restrictions and guidance to work from home where possible. Managers were encouraged to speak with student employees about their options and to maintain employment relationships as many on-campus jobs are critical to students' financial well-being.

Residence

  • Questions were asked about what is being done to mitigate the spread of COVID in residence and support for residence students. (More information can be found on the residence services and resources page.)
  • Concerns were expressed about how information about cases is shared in residences (for example, why not all residents are told when there is a case on their floor). It was noted the University must follow Public Health guidelines on notification and only those considered close contacts (those who need to self-isolate or self-monitor) are informed. Public Health is no longer offering public exposure notices; instead it has stated that we all should assume we may have been exposed to COVID anytime we are around others.
  • Concerns were expressed about availability of bottled water for those self-isolating and sanitation supplies for bathrooms. Relevant staff were assigned to follow up on these questions.
  • An isolation unit is still available for residence students, but will only be used for students who require nursing staff to monitor them.
  • There was a request for self-isolating students to be able to go outside. The University will follow up with Public Health.