COVID-19

Message from Vice-President (Academic and Research) Dr. Kim Fenwick
Campus Health Protection Measures in Place for September
 

Monday, August 16, 2021


Since New Brunswick moved to the Green Phase of COVID recovery and lifted all public health restrictions at the end of July, we have been planning for your return. I am writing to provide you with an idea of what campus will be like in September.  

 
We had communicated in June that St. Thomas University would be open for the fall term with almost 70% of our Bachelor of Arts courses delivered in-person. Our student services will be provided both in-person and remotely to ensure that you have all the necessary supports. Our residences will be open with all food services outlets in operation.   
 
First-year and many second-year students are preparing for  and you will soon be receiving an e-mail that will provide complete information on this important start to the term, especially for new students the on September 7. 
 
Campus in September – Protective Health Measures in Place 

Significant protective health measures will be in place for the start of the term:  

  • Masks will be required in classrooms (except for professors when teaching) and when accessing administrative offices  
  • Masks will be required in hallways, elevators, stairways, washrooms, and indoor common spaces (except when eating or drinking)  
  • Classrooms will be set-up for 1-meter distancing  
  • Directional signage and protective barriers in offices will remain in place 
  • Handwashing, sanitizing, and respiratory etiquette will be promoted      
  • Heightened cleaning and disinfecting measures will be continued
  • Students, faculty, and staff will be encouraged to stay home when sick and be tested when symptomatic

Obtaining Your Vaccine  

Any student who has not yet received their first or second vaccine is strongly encouraged to book an appointment through Vitalité or Horizon Health Clinics or a pharmacy. Students residing outside New Brunswick are encouraged to seek information on vaccination in their province of residence. During Welcome Week, students can also access COVID-19 vaccination clinics offered at the UNB Campus Pharmacy (29 Dineen Drive in the UNB Bookstore):  
 
Back-to-School Immunization (Pfizer and Moderna)  
Campus Pharmacy (10 am to 5 pm)  
Tuesday, Sept. 7   
Thursday, Sept. 9  
Friday, Sept. 10  

 

For more information and to register, see . The Pharmacy encourages anyone making an individual appointment to try to bring a friend to get their vaccination as well. 
 
Your continued safety and health are our primary goals so I trust that you understand why we will be leaving these protection measures in place. If you have any questions, please reach out to ask@stu.ca.  
 
The first day of classes is Wednesday, September 8, and we are very excited to welcome you back to campus! 

Additional Resources

Federal Guidance on Isolation

Message to Students - Required Information on Travel/Isolation Plans & Return Isolation Form Due by Dec. 16

December 11, 2020

The following information is based on requirements and guidance from the Province of New Brunswick: 

 

Entering New Brunswick to Pick-up/Drop-off a Student Attending a PSE institution 

One adult driver may enter New Brunswick to pick-up/drop-off a student attending a New Brunswick post-secondary institution. The adult may enter New Brunswick for a period of not more than 24 hours and is expected to self-isolate and follow Public Health measures while in the province including limiting stops to essential needs (e.g. fuel, food), wearing a mask, and maintaining a 2-meter distance from others. These travelers should select “Other” as their Reason for Entry when registering their travel at  www.gnb.ca/travelregistration and indicate in the Detailed Reasons for Entry that they are “Accompanying a student to New Brunswick.” 

  

Returning/Entering to New Brunswick 

All travelers entering or returning to New Brunswick will be required to self-isolate for 14 days and must Register for entry and present a detailed isolation plan. STU is required to collect all isolation plans in advanced.  

 

Complete the Self-Isolation Plan when Entering or Returning to New Brunswick, Canada form prior to December 16, 2020. See the Province of New Brunswick for further information on student travelers. Public Health strongly recommends all domestic students arriving in NB, including students who leave NB for the holiday season and return to continue their studies, self-isolate independently for 14 days.   

 

Returning/Entering from Outside Canada 

If you are returning to New Brunswick from outside of Canada, you are required to present a Letter of Acknowledgement of your isolation plan. You must fill out the Self-Isolation Plan when Entering or Returning to New Brunswick, Canada form to receive the letter from STU to present authorities when entering Canada.  

 

You register as soon as possible in case there are backlogs.  

 

STU Isolation Space  

Rooms with private washroom ensuites and meal delivery are available for rent at Rigby Hall for students needing an isolation location.  For additional information, call 506-452-0578 or email residencelife@stu.ca.   

 

 

Message to Students, Faculty, Staff — Mandatory Masks and Distancing Required at All Times on Campus

December 2, 2020

We want to thank everyone for their co-operation over the past days as the Fredericton region moved to the Orange Level. 
 

Public Health has been consistent in their messaging that the best way for each of us to stay safe is to practise 2m/6ft distancing and wear a mask. As a reminder,  

  •  You must wear a mask at all times, indoors and outdoors, while on campus unless you are alone in your office or eating/drinking.  
  •  You must practice distancing of 2m/6ft from others at all times.  

Thank you for your continued co-operation. 
 

Message to Students, Faculty, Staff — Fredericton Zone Moves to Orange Level / Changes to Campus Operations

November 26, 2020

The Government of New Brunswick announced this afternoon that Zone 3 (Fredericton) is moving to an Orange level of recovery due to high numbers of social interactions, multiple exposure settings, and significant population interaction between Zones 1 and 2 which are already in the Orange level. Also, anybody who returns to the province must self-isolate for 14 days.   

In the Orange level, there are requirements for single-bubble households, wearing masks inside/outside, and institutions operating with a COVID-19 plan. Public Health is focused on the impact of large social gatherings and keeping the numbers of close contacts as small and consistent as possible.  

The advice to universities and colleges is to encourage more stringent protection measures in order to move through this current wave as quickly as possible. As this relates to our campus, we will be continuing with our remote teaching/learning activities, however, any additional interactions, such as faculty and students meeting in small groups or for study groups, will be ended for as long as we are in the Orange level. (In cases where specific operational plans have already been approved, please contact the approving authority for clarification.) 

We are also strengthening our policy on masks. Under the Orange level, wearing face masks is mandatory in public spaces, both indoors and outdoors. Effective immediately, non-medical face masks are required in all common and shared spaces on campus and everyone must also maintain a 2m/6ft distance from others. 


If you are in a building on campus, you must wear a mask at all times in common areas (hallways, lobbies, washrooms, stairwells, elevators) and when accessing services in offices. As per WorkSafe NB’s guidance, a face mask does not have to be worn by an employee if a physical barrier is in place (e.g. plexiglass barrier) to protect from potential exposure.  

  • If you are in a classroom or common area for study (Great Hall, Sir James Dunn Hall Cafeteria, Student Lounge, O'Brien Study Hall, Computer Lab), you are required to wear a mask at all times. The only exception is when you are eating or drinking. In instances where people are seated and every person continues to wear a mask, distancing of 1m/3ft is acceptable.  
  • Working in offices, staff should wear a mask when interacting with others while also maintaining a 2m/6ft distance. Working alone in your office, a mask can be removed.  
  • A mask is not required while walking outside, where you are unlikely to encounter people or risk coming within two metres of people from outside your bubble.
  • Meetings should continue to be conducted through MS Teams or other technologies.  
  • At the JBOK Fitness Centre effective November 27, 2020, active screening measures will be in place including temperature checking. In addition, three metres of physical distancing is required for high-intensity activities and masks must be worn for low-intensity activities such as yoga and stretching. 

We will be reviewing our COVID-19 Operational Plan to determine if additional steps are required. 


The following links provide more information relating to  travel, self-isolation, and the mask policy: 

Information on Travelhttps://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/corporate/promo/covid-19/travel.html   

When/How to Self-isolatehttps://www2.gnb.ca/content/dam/gnb/Departments/eco-bce/Promo/covid-19/who_needs_to_self-isolate-e.pdf 

GNB Mandatory Masks Frequently Asked Questionshttps://www2.gnb.ca/content/dam/gnb/Departments/eco-bce/Promo/covid-19/MandatoryMasksFAQ.pdf  

 

Thank you.    

 

Message from the President - St. Thomas University to Continue Remote Teaching and Learning Model for the Winter Semester that Begins January 2021

October 6, 2020

 

While we continue to settle into our new teaching and learning environment for the fall semester, I know many of you have been anticipating a decision regarding course delivery for the winter semester. Recognizing the planning required for both students and faculty to prepare for a new term, I am writing to inform you that we will continue with the current remote teaching and learning model for the winter semester.  

 

There are many reasons for this decision, and we have communicated already with the Students’ Union, Faculty Association, and PSAC. The primary factors that support the continuation of remote teaching and learning are the concern for the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff, as well as the desire to minimize the disruption to the current learning and living arrangements of our students. We also want to communicate the decision early to provide as much certainty and stability as possible to our community. 

 

From a public health perspective, a university is viewed as a high-risk setting given the cumulative number of potential contact points from in-person teaching, residence living, dining halls, etc. The Chief Public Health Officer of Canada recently spoke of her on-going concerns about COVID-19 cases in Canada, particularly accelerated growth rates in those aged 20-39. Although the pattern has been more positive in our region, this is likely due to the precautions taken in Atlantic Canada and we must remain cautious in our planning for the immediate future. 

 

The factors that influenced our initial decision to opt for remote teaching and learning for the fall term remain relevant. These factors include the likely continuation of border restrictions, self-isolation requirements, and practicing physical distancing as the best public health protection measures. While we have a much better understanding of risks and how to mitigate them, there are still many barriers to a resumption of in-person classes and campus life. While the circumstances have improved in our province and region, we do not want to contribute to a setback. There are also factors specific to the second term and complications arising from the upcoming cold/flu season including testing, self-monitoring, and self-isolation.   

 

While the winter semester is currently scheduled to begin January 6, 2021, we will be taking a resolution to Senate in October to have the semester begin Monday, January 11, 2020. This will allow faculty and students as much time as possible to prepare for the term and for students who leave the Atlantic bubble to have more time to self-isolate upon their return. 

 

Given this decision, the next cycle of questions naturally relate to traditional in-person, second-term activities and events, from athletic competitions to Spring Convocation to the mode of delivery for Intersession and Summer Session.  For these, we will continue to monitor the situation, take guidance from Public Health, and inform you of any decisions as soon as possible.  

 

I wish to express my appreciation for the hard work that faculty, staff, and students have put into navigating the many major adjustments we have had to make as a community. It has not been easy. Your dedication, compassion, and creativity have been evident over the past few months. Let’s continue to work together and support each other through the ongoing pandemic.    

 

Thank you.    

 

Dawn Russell 

President and Vice-Chancellor  

 

Gradual Reopening Scheduled - Staff to Return July 20 and Campus Opened to Students and Public August 4

July 10, 2020

Updated University Operational Plan - July 10, 2020

 

As New Brunswick is in the yellow phase of the Provincial Recovery Framework with businesses and activities operating with distancing and other public health measures, we will continue to the next stage of the gradual reopening of campus.

 

All staff will be expected to return to campus beginning Monday, July 20 and we are planning to reopen campus to students and the public two weeks later on Tuesday, August 4. This two-week period will give us the opportunity to ensure that distancing and other public health measures we are implementing will be adequate for a larger number of people on campus. Prior to the August 4 reopening to students and the public, we will share more information about the operation of campus on issues such as food services.

 

(Until campus is open to students and the public on August 4, buildings will remain locked; if you need to access a different building from the one in which your office is located, please make arrangements for an employee to meet you at an entrance. As well, we are presently working on an operational plan for the JB O’Keefe Fitness Centre so that facility will remain closed in the near-term.)

 

This staged reopening is based on our COVID-19 operational plan that has measures to assess and mitigate risks. Since it was issued in late May, we have adjusted the plan to account for changes to the provincial mandatory order. It has also been updated to include public health measures for classroom and other spaces. There are items that faculty in particular will find relevant to classroom space. Administrative unit employees can contact their supervisor if they have questions or concerns regarding the specific operation of their department including any requirement for potential accommodation.

 

It will be very important for us to adhere to these new ways of working in order to keep each other safe. Two of the most important measures relate to wearing non-medical masks and maintaining visitor logs:  

  • Physical distancing of two metres is the most important public health measure.  However, for the many situations where it is not possible to ensure a physical distance of two metres, faculty, staff and students must wear a non-medical mask. This includes hallways and when using washrooms on campus. Employees are also encouraged to wear a mask when walking across campus where physical distancing may be difficult to maintain. 

  • In the unlikely situation that an area/room is to be used in a way where minimal interaction of people within two metres of each other is not possible, the Director of Facilities Management must be contacted so that a visitor/employee log can be utilized and other preventive measures put in place. 

As always, please refrain from coming to campus if you have any of the symptoms listed by the New Brunswick Government FOUND HERE. Please self-isolate and call 811 if you have two or more of the symptoms.   

Updated University Operational Plan - July 10, 2020

If you have any questions, please submit your question to ask@stu.ca 

Thank you.
Lily Fraser 

Vice-President (Finance and Administration)

 

COVID-19 Administrative Operational Plan

May 23, 2020

 

The Government of New Brunswick announced the implementation of the Yellow Phase of the Provincial Recovery Framework on May 22 which involves the reopening of more businesses and activities. St. Thomas University can be open to staff and faculty provided we follow Public Health directives including the requirement to have a COVID-19 operational plan that documents measures to assess and mitigate risk consistent with Public Health guidance and the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

 

Beginning Monday, May 25, we are moving away from an “essential services” model to a gradual return to campus for staff and faculty—please note that the campus remains closed to students and the public until further notice, and buildings will remain locked.

 

St. Thomas University Administrative Operational Plan includes a University-wide Administrative Operational Plan, as well as individual plans for each administrative department. The Directors responsible for administrative departments have prepared operational plans based on a gradual return to campus in order to facilitate physical distancing measures. Given the nature of the work and the time of year, the Administrative Plan is a first step in the gradual reopening of campus. It will be followed by an Academic Plan at a later stage.  

 

The information includes:

 

  • What to do to in a situation where an employee tests positive for COVID-19 and may have been in the St. Thomas workplace.

  • Instruction on the personal protective equipment required to protect against COVID-19. This will include the selection, use, washing (if applicable), storage, handling, and limitations of non-medical masks.

  • The supervisors’ responsibilities and the employees’ rights under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and work-refusal process.

  • The requirement that an employee who has been outside New Brunswick must self-isolate for 14 days after their entry to New Brunswick, and, if they experience symptoms of COVID-19 during that period, must remain self-isolated until they meet the clearance criteria set by the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

  • Additional guidelines and processes established by Public Health applicable to COVID-19.

  • Mental health support is available to all STU employees through our Employee and Family Assistance Program.  

For situations where it is not possible to ensure a physical distance of two meters, employees must wear a non-medical mask. This includes but may not be limited to hallways in ECH, GMH, DDH, and HCH, and when using public washrooms on campus. As a precaution, employees are encouraged to wear a mask when walking across campus or moving around inside a building as they may unexpectedly encounter others (for example, such as when exiting a meeting room or office).  If an area/room is planned to be used in a way where minimal interaction of people within two metres of each other is not possible, the Director of Facilities Management must be contacted so that a visitor and employee log can be implemented.

 

Additional Resources

Questions

 

If you have a question regarding the Administrative Operational Plan or the policies, procedures and guidelines related to COVID-19, please submit your question to ask@stu.ca 

 

Lily Fraser

Vice-President (Finance and Administration)