Dear King’s students, faculty and staff,
This evening, Dalhousie circulated the memo below with important information about Dalhousie’s exams. King’s examinations have concluded for the semester, but if you are a King’s student taking classes at Dalhousie and still waiting to take exams, it is vital that you read this information.
With case numbers in Nova Scotia again on the rise, we encourage you to take careful note of the following steps for members of the King’s community who screen positive on a rapid test.
All students, faculty and staff are encouraged to continue getting tested regularly, throughout the holiday season. Consider getting a negative rapid test result before traveling. Frequent testing remains critical to keeping our community safe.
Regardless of vaccination status, it is important that anyone who tests positive on a rapid test proceed to self-isolate and get a PCR lab test. If that confirmatory PCR test is negative, the individual may stop isolating if they have no symptoms, or unless otherwise directed by Public Health.
King’s screening clinic is open through December 23. It is in the KTS Lecture Hall, in the NAB and is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and on Fridays from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. You can also pick up take-home tests at the King’s clinic. In Dalhousie’s memo you will also find information about increased testing capacity on the Dalhousie campus.
Stay up to date on Covid exposure locations. All close contacts, including those who are fully vaccinated, now need to isolate until they have a negative result from a lab-based (PCR) test. The lab test should be performed at least 72 hours after the exposure.
We remind you to stay home if you feel unwell and self-monitor for symptoms.
President and Vice-Chancellor
We continue to closely monitor the emerging COVID-19 cases in our community and on our campuses. Since our last update on Saturday, we have seen an increase in confirmed and presumptive cases among our student community, and one initial presumptive case among faculty/staff. We have also been in ongoing conversations with Public Health and the provincial government on our collective response to keep our students, faculty, staff and community safe.
Out of an abundance of caution, Dalhousie is implementing the following measures:
We have a great deal of confidence in our institutional safety plan, guided by the approved postsecondary framework and Public Health advice. However, the speed at which this emerging COVID-19 situation is moving asks us to take these strong measures to support our community’s safety while ensuing continuity of university operations.
We understand these developments are concerning, particularly as they come at the end of term right before the December break. But this is a situation we anticipated was possible and have prepared for. Our top priority remains everyone’s safety and well-being. Now more than ever, everyone must follow Public Health and university safety protocols, including masks and rules/restrictions in residences.
Now is also the time to get tested. This is particularly important for our students who may be coming in contact with COVID-19 through their peer group. Identifying cases through rapid testing, before any symptoms, can help stop the spread. If you are on-campus, please pick up and complete two free rapid tests this week. Rapid tests are also available in the community, including at community libraries. If you have any COVID-19 symptoms or are told you are a close contact, self-isolate immediately and book a PCR (lab) test.
Below is a more detailed summary of current information. Please review relevant items carefully.
As of 3 p.m. Monday afternoon, the following confirmed and presumptive cases have been reported to the university:
(Positive PCR test)
|Additional presumptive cases
(positive rapid test awaiting PCR results)
|Faculty and staff||0||1|
All students in residence who have tested positive with either a rapid or a PCR test are self-isolating and receiving support from the Residence Life team. We thank all students for getting tested and cooperating in our efforts to keep our community safe.
We have been made aware of one positive rapid test among our faculty/staff community. That individual is self-isolating and awaiting a PCR test result.
All cases remain under investigation, and Public Health has not provided Dalhousie with any additional information to share at this time about the source of these cases or their transmission. Because of the spike in testing and positive cases across the province, Public Health is experiencing some delays in follow up with close contacts. If you are informed that you have been a close contact, either by Public Health or someone who has tested positive please self-isolate immediately and book a PCR test.
Please check our exposure webpage regularly for updates and instructions. Public Health will inform the university of any precaution or exposure notifications related to these cases.
Precaution notifications are currently posted for shared spaces in the Killam, Mona Campbell and Tupper buildings, as well as a close-contact exposure notification at Dalplex.
We also remind everyone to pay close attention to community exposures at this time, as updates related to current cases are being added daily.
In-person exams will cease effective 8 a.m. Tuesday, December 14. Remaining December exams will be online, postponed or cancelled — with exceptions in select accredited programs where physical in-person assessments are required. In these exceptions, students will be contacted and expected to attend in person.
The Registrar’s Office is working through the implication of this decision. Guidance will be provided directly to instructors through Associate Deans Academic as to how to manage exams that were originally scheduled for in-person.
Students: you should expect to hear from your instructor in the coming days on next steps. Please have patience as we work through the details with your instructor; once an alternative plan has been developed, your instructor will contact the class with details.
For students who are unable to complete exams due to a confirmed case of COVID-19, a sick note is not required. The requirement for a sick note was previously waived for the fall term and exam period. All students must inform their instructors. For residence students, please ensure you have contacted Residence Life at 902-220-9038 and for off-campus students, please inform the university through Student Health & Wellness of your illness.
This is a challenging time for our residence community, and our entire residence team is dedicated to supporting the safety and comfort of our students — including those who are self-isolating.
Nova Scotia Public Health will be delivering additional supplies of rapid tests to our campuses today. By Tuesday we expect to have an additional 30,000 rapid tests available alongside our regular supply.
We know our students, faculty and staff are great at getting tested — you’ve picked up or completed more than 65,000 rapid tests since the start of September. We’re depending on your enthusiasm for testing now more than ever. Whether you’re a regular or a first-time tester, now is the time to get tested.
If you’re able to do so, we encourage you to pick up and complete a set of rapid tests (2) this week. Let’s do our part to keep ourselves and our community safe. Tests will be available at all residences and through all regular pick-up locations. Tests are also available in the community, including at community libraries.
TRAVEL AND TESTING: Nova Scotia Public Health recommends that all students complete at least one rapid test prior to leaving for home for the December break.
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: We need help putting test kits together. Volunteers are needed at the Macdonald Building on Studley Campus between 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily — no sign-up necessary. Volunteers must provide proof of full vaccination.
We will continue to provide updates regularly as more information becomes available. We also encourage our community to take advantage of the following resources:
If you are a student with a positive rapid test result: Confidentially notify Dalhousie Health & Wellness of your rapid test result — 902-494-2171 (Halifax) and 902-893-6369 (Truro). This notification will give your PCR test priority processing. You can book your PCR test here. Residence students must also call the Residence Life Manager on call at 902-220-9038.
Students with general health concerns can make an appointment at Student Health & Wellness in Halifax or Truro.
Students with questions about requirements under Public Health can contact Dalhousie Health & Wellness— 902-494-2171 (Halifax) and 902-893-6369 (Truro).
Employees seeking additional support are encouraged to speak with their manager/supervisor or connect with supports available through our Employee Family Assistance Program, which can be accessed at workhealthlife.com or at login.lifeworks.com.
Stay safe and look out for one another. We have gotten through this pandemic thus far by supporting one another and will get through these next few weeks the same way.
President and Vice-Chancellor
Provost and Vice-President Academic