Dear NSCAD students, faculty and staff:
Many of us at NSCAD University are apprehensive about the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) currently taking place around the world. There is a great deal of information about the outbreak available through both traditional and social media, unfortunately not all of this is accurate.
For all the latest public health updates related to COVID-19, please visit the Public Health Agency of Canada’s website. More information about health precautions and updates regarding COVID-19 is provided by the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness at novascotia.ca/coronavirus.
The Public Health Agency of Canada continues to evaluate the public health risk associated with COVID-19 as low in Canada, with the risk to public health reassessed as new information becomes available. As well, there are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia and the risk remains low at this time.
I want to assure you that we are taking the situation very seriously and are taking steps to insure NSCAD is well prepared. Our Crisis Management Team meets regularly to discuss the latest COVID-19 developments, and we are working closely with our Federal and Provincial Governments to make our students, faculty and staff aware of all the latest information.
At this time, NSCAD University continues to operate as usual. There are no plans to close the university or suspend any classes. We recognize that some students who are currently applying to attend NSCAD next September (Fall 2020) are concerned that the COVID-19 situation could impact their application and start date. However, we encourage all potential students to apply to NSCAD as they normally would and prepare to start classes with us in September.
Some of you have reached out looking for information on how COVID-19 impacts travel, both university and non-university related.
In response, we have created a NSCAD University International Travel Policy. This Policy applies to faculty, staff, students, and other persons participating in university activities that involve travel outside of Canada. The purpose of the policy is, in part, to mitigate the risks associated with travel outside of Canada for NSCAD University activities, and to improve the likelihood of safe and beneficial experiences for students, faculty and staff who travel internationally on NSCAD business.
We have also developed a university Travel Authorization Request Form in order to monitor safety, comply with federal and provincial advisories, and authorize professional and educational travel. NSCAD is also requesting that all faculty, staff and students complete the form even for personal international travel.
Please also be aware that your travel insurance will not reimburse your expenses, including medical expenses, when travelling (non essential) to a country with a travel advisory, as per captured on the Government of Canada website.
Please review our list of precautions and recommendations for travellers here. This includes information on what to do once you have returned from your trip.
Our highest priority remains the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff. We will continue to update the NSCAD community with new information related to COVID-19, and urge everyone to remember to keep their hands clean, with regular washing with soap, as well as the use of hand sanitizer.
Dr. Ann Barbara
Vice President (Academic and Research)