New COVID-19 Restrictions

Updated November 30, 2020

The province has set new protocols for everyone living in Nova Scotia and additional restrictions have been announced related to living and travelling into the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) that took effect on Thursday, November 26, 2020.

This page contains new protocols regarding access to campus buildings, effective on Monday, November 30. 
In order to responsibly manage increased strain on staffing levels, work expectations and to protect the university’s ability to deliver essential services, the university must temporarily increase the restrictions and approval requirements for accessing faculty and staff offices, workspaces and research labs.
This decision was not made lightly and we want to assure everyone that this action is not an indication of any change to the safety of the campus and our ability to protect the community. In fact, our levels of cleaning and sanitization, health screening, contact tracking and security coverage exceeds health and safety expectations.

However, every person that comes onto campus increases the load on our critical services. During this period of increased testing requirements and associated self-isolation in the community, we must ensure we are in a ready-state for any associated increase in employee absences. We cannot risk over-extending the teams that are responsible for keeping our campus safe.
The following measures are needed to ensure the university can sustain critical services should there be situations that affect our staffing levels.
From November 30 to December 10, inclusive, the following protocols will be in place: 

  • Staff may come to campus only if they work in the following areas and their work cannot be completed remotely, as determined by their manager:
    • Residence & Food Service Operations
    • Facilities Management
    • Financial Services
    • Human Resources
    • Enrolment Management
    • Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research (FGSR)
    • Enterprise Information Technology (EIT)
    • Patrick Power Library
    • Student Health Centre
  • Faculty members cannot access their offices unless it is essential to teaching continuity. In the event that there are unique circumstances that necessitate the use of a faculty office or workspace for teaching delivery, a Dean must authorize a special access request for limited office access (see below for special access request process). 
  • Approved Return to Research activities must be restricted further, beyond the Temporary Scale-Back of Return to Research that was announced on November 25, reverting to the Return to Research Phase 1 – COVID-related research only on-campus, and only essential field research off-campus.  Special requests for lab or other campus access for non-COVID research to wrap-up research activity, transition research to remote work environment or to sustain experiments to protect data or materials should be directed to Dr. Adam Sarty, AVP Research, and will require the approval of the Vice-President, Academic and Research.
  • All space and meeting bookings on campus are cancelled, with the exception of bookings for the Video Capture Classrooms (3) – see below. 
  • The bookable Video Capture Classrooms (3) will remain operational for lecture capture. These spaces can be booked through the on-line booking system. All faculty members who have a booked time will receive instructions for accessing the classroom and the mandatory health and safety protocols. Faculty members using the Video Capture Classrooms are required to go directly to their booked location and to leave campus following their booking.
  • Patrick Power Library: Booking of study space is suspended; however virtual operations, and access to physical collections through paging and curbside delivery will continue. For more information on library services, please visit the Library’s website
  • Special campus access requests should be submitted through your Deans/Senior Manager to Conference Services and will require the approval of the Vice-President, Finance & Administration. 
  • All special access entry to campus buildings will be via the McNally Building Security Entrance (rear of McNally Building) and you will be required to check-in with Security.
  • Anyone approved to enter campus must use the SMU Check-in/out form every time they enter and leave the campus and abide by all university health and safety protocols, without exception. 

Athletic & Recreation Facilities and Activities

The Homburg Centre for Health & Wellness, Huskies Stadium and the Dauphinee Centre will remain closed until December 10 unless otherwise notified.

Residence Operations

Residence and the Dockside Dining Hall will continue to operate for students in residence under strict safety measures. Additional information will be communicated to those students directly.   

University Notifications for COVID-19 Positive Tests

The university is contacted by Public Health regarding a positive test result for Saint Mary's community members if they determine there is potential for impact on our campus community. Contact tracing, exposure notices, and public health advice are provided by Public Health. The university assists through the use of our Check-in and Check-out process.

The university may also be notified directly by a student, staff, or faculty member who receives a positive test result. When this happens, the university is available to provide support if needed.

Staying Safe, Healthy and Protecting our Community

An important part of our COVID-19 response is ensuring our community is kept informed and engaged in health and safety measures on campus and in our community. We will continue to share updates and any changes to operations that affect our community. Please take the time to read all university communications and visit this website for updated information.

It is very important that all members of the Saint Mary’s community remain informed, be vigilant, and take action to follow all public health directives and advice for the jurisdictions where you are living or travelling.  Everyone in the Saint Mary’s community has a role to play and with your help, the university will continue to be a leader in responding to the changing environment.

The university is in direct communication with Public Health to ensure we continue to meet and exceed all public health requirements. For more information about our health and safety protocols, please see here.

As community members, we all have a responsibility to protect our families, each other, and the broader community. We are counting on everyone to do your part and follow all public health directives and university protocols.

  • Regularly wash your hands and use hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available. 
  • Stay home if you feel sick and follow provincial testing protocols if you show symptoms of COVID-19.
  • The gathering limit in public in Halifax is no more than five people (or up to the number of members of an immediate family in a household). 
  • Pay attention to potential exposure notices and testing instructions, the latest of which can be found here.
  • Wear your mask in all indoor common/public spaces and maintain a safe social distance whenever possible. 
  • Download the COVID Alert app
  • Follow proper procedures (including self-isolation/quarantine) if you do have to travel.   

From the beginning of the onset of COVID-19, we have worked together to stay healthy and to protect academic continuity and safe university operations. We want to thank everyone for their cooperation and dedication.

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