Important Covid Update

Important Covid Update

Dear students, faculty and staff,

Last week, the province updated its schedule for lifting public health measures to limit the spread of Covid infections that are still mandatory under the Public Health Order. Already, gathering limits have been loosened and organizations, including universities, which have been required under Public Health Orders to require proof of vaccination for participation in discretionary activities, are no longer required or authorized by the Public Health Order to require proof of vaccinations. On March 7, gathering limits for performing arts, weddings, funerals, and concerts will be loosened further. On March 21, unless the province decides before then to extend them, the requirement to wear masks, to observe gathering limits and to maintain social distancing, will also no longer be mandatory.

Our Occupational Health and Safety Committee has begun consideration of these changes and how we should respond to them at King’s. The consideration is complicated given that our safety policies are intertwined with the provisions of previous Public Health Orders. But in general terms, the view of the committee is that King’s should maintain the mandatory requirements set out in our Covid safety policies until the end of this academic term.

So far, the committee has given me more specific advice which allows me to communicate the following decisions on behalf of the university:

  • The obligation of everyone on the King’s campus to wear at least a 3-ply mask continues and will remain in effect at King’s until May 1, 2022;
  • The obligation of students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated unless they have been medically exempted from this requirement or were submitting two negative rapid test results per week in the fall term, in accordance with the Dalhousie/King’s vaccination or testing policies (generally called Campus Check), as updated for the winter term, will remain in effect at King’s at least until May 1, as previously recommended by the Occupational Health and Safety Committee
    (It should be noted that everyone who studies or works at King’s who is required to be vaccinated is vaccinated. Nevertheless, I agree with the committee that the requirement should continue to be in force for the duration of this academic year);
  • Loosening the limits on the size of permitted gatherings will change at King’s in parallel to the loosening of gathering limits in the Public Health Order;
  • The provisions of King’s Covid safety policies that require organizers of specified kinds of events and gatherings to submit a safety plan to the Occupational Health and Safety Committee for its review before the event or gatherings happens will remain in place until May 1, 2022; and
  • King’s will no longer continue to require proof of vaccination for public attendance at discretionary events and gatherings for the rest of this academic term.

Further updates will be provided as decisions are made on the basis of the ongoing deliberations and advice of the Committee. Further changes to our policies at King’s may also be required to maintain consistency, to the extent possible, between the policies in effect at King’s and those in effect at Dalhousie, where a parallel process of deliberation is underway. We will continue to pay attention to the decisions announced at Dalhousie since we must comply with them when we are on the Dalhousie campus.

To end, I want to stress what Dr. Robert Strang has stressed: the pandemic is not over and we are therefore encouraged to continue to follow public health measures such as maintaining social distance, practising proper hygiene, and wearing a mask after they cease to be required by law. I also want to once again say, “get boosted” if you are eligible and have not done so already. The additional protection this provides both to those who are boosted and those they interact with will only become more important after the termination of the province’s Public Health Order and the revocation of Covid related public health requirements across the country and beyond.



William Lahey
President and Vice-Chancellor

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