COVID-19 Information and Updates

March 22, 2020

NS declares state of emergency

The province’s new restrictions, which limit any gatherings to not more than 5 people, will help authorities ensure social distancing is being practised in public places.   

NSCAD has been following the direction of NS Public Health and practising social distancing.  The state of emergency highlights how important it is to remain calm and fully embrace remote learning, social distancing, and handwashing protocols.   

Unfortunately, some people in the community at large haven’t been following the guidelines, and with COVID-19 expected to spread through community transmission soon, now is the time to ensure everyone is doing everything they can to slow the spread.   

Watch this video to see how easy and how fast germs spread. Share it with your family, friends and colleagues.  

Emergency restrictions’ impact to NSCAD services  

In response to the declaration of a state of emergency, NSCAD will further limit access as follows:  

    • The Service Center will be moving to reduced hours for shipping and receiving. Information and signage will be posted on March 23. 
    • The Art Store will be open to NSCAD faculty, staff and students ONLY until further notice. Additionally, the store will be open by appointment only between the hours of 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday. An appointment request for will be available on the NSCAD website this week. For now, email or call at 902.494.8176 to arrange for an order and pick up.  
    • Foodbank visitors must request access to the Fountain Campus and book an appointment to pick up the parcels the security entrance. Once visitors tell us what they would like off the shelves, only the SUNSCAD executive will be handling foodbank items. 

Campus access authorization form

Book a food parcel pick up

I appreciate everyone’s commitment to the health and welfare of the NSCAD community. We are #StrongerTogether.

Be well,

Ann-Barbara Graff
Vice President (Academic and Research)
NSCAD University

All communications distributed by NSCAD aims to support our community in following direction from government and health authorities.

Learn more through FAQs for

Students

Faculty

Staff

Community and Extended Studies

Prospective Students

Alumni and donors 

Get the latest federal and provincial information on COVID-19

Canadian travel restrictions update

Health Canada COVID-19 update

NS Public Health COVID-19 update

Protecting yourself and others from COVID-19

Watch this: The coronavirus explained and what you should do

The best way to protect yourself and others is to always practice social distancing, regardless of age, health and fitness levels, travel history or other risk factors. It’s important to remain calm, support each other, remember that no one is immune, and avoid behaviours that risk spreading the coronavirus.

Anyone can be seriously affected, like the recovering 25-year-old McMaster University student who brought COVID-19 back from spring break in Miami.

Advice from government health agencies

  • Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds using soap and water.
  • If a sink is not available, 60-90% alcohol-based hand rubs (hand sanitizer) can be used to clean hands if they are not visibly soiled. If they are visibly soiled, you can use an alcohol-based disposable hand wipe to remove the dirt and then use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Do not touch your eyes/nose/mouth with unwashed hands.
  • When you sneeze or cough, cover your mouth and nose with a disposable tissue or the crease of your elbow, and then wash your hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people and always practice social distancing.
  • Stay home to avoid spreading the illness to others.
  • If you are ill, have symptoms of flu like a fever or cough, you and everyone in your household should isolate in your home for 14 days.

Preventing the spread of COVID-19

 What does social distancing mean?

Social distancing means staying about 2 metres (6-7 feet ) away from other people as much as possible. That’s the length of:

  • two shopping carts end-to-end
  • a car
  • a dining table for six

How long will social distancing have to last?

The global reality for everyone is that it’s not going to be over anytime soon. There are many factors that will determine just how long it will take before daily routines start to seem normal again including:

  • When Canadian cases finally reach their peak, start to taper off, and continue to decline. The number of true cases is not yet known given the limited available testing, and even after COVID-19 does peak, everyone will need to stay vigilant to keep the virus at bay and prevent new outbreaks.
  • The unknown characteristics of COVID-19 and whether it wanes or grows with the change in seasons like the common flu.
  • How much everyone is willing to do to stop the spread of the virus, and for how long they are willing to do it.

NSCAD’s response to COVID-19

COVID-19 is an international pandemic that must be taken very seriously. The health and safety of students, faculty, staff and visitors to our campuses is our foremost priority.

Since February 10, 2020, NSCAD’s Crisis Management Committee has planned for, and responded to, the COVID-19 situation as it evolves, based on direction from NS Public Health, the Chief Medical Officer of NS, CONSUP, LAE and national authorities.

Coronavirus myth busters!

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 27, 2020

Remote learning resources

During this period of remote education, NSCAD University is providing online learning resources to support students and faculty. These resources are part of our ongoing commitment to assist the transition to e-learning.

New workshops are scheduled on topics related to remote course development and teaching strategies. To register for these programs and to review other webinar topics, visit D2L Webinars within the Brightspace community.

Other helpful tools

Brightspace help: The resources in this course are continually updated. Check your notifications and review the resources available in this environment regularly.

New activity feed: We are looking to capture your experiences in transitioning to remote education. A new activity feed has been developed for faculty within the Brightspace Policies and Procedures environment. Consider sharing your experiences by posting a message on this board.

Ongoing Technical Support

Please remember that all technical issues should be directed by email to: multimedia@nscad.ca. Every effort will be made to resolve issues as soon as possible. Please provide as much detail as possible to help diagnose the issue; include course name and code, browser used to access the platform or tool and a summary of issue.

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March 23, 2020

Working together key to overcoming unprecedented circumstances

The COVID-19 pandemic is a global crisis that few have seen before, and like so many universities around the world, NSCAD has placed the health and safety of its students, faculty and staff at the forefront of all crisis plans and actions.

From early in the new year, we have taken steps to prepare and respond to the situation, based on direction from the Nova Scotia Public Health Authority, our regional health authorities and the Council of Nova Scotia University Presidents (CONSUP). This was done in large part to ensure our students could safely complete the winter semester.

NSCAD’s Crisis Management Committee (whose membership for this crisis has been expanded to include representatives from all stakeholder groups) started meeting on February 10, 2020 to respond to the innumerable challenges associated with the imminent spread of COVID-19. Working closely with our partners, we began preparing for what would become the biggest challenge of our lifetimes, one that could reshape society for generations to come.

As part of our preparations, we have identified the need for clear and accurate communication as a top priority.  We created a dedicated web page for news, updates and other information relating to COVID-19, and its direct impact on our university. The page includes FAQS for students, faculty, staff and the NSCAD community, and it is now a one-stop resource to find the latest updates on COVID-19 and how NSCAD is responding, with detailed information for students’ inquiries about courses, healthcare and international visas.

In response to concerns and questions from our students, faculty and staff, we introduced a NSCAD University International Travel Policy on March 10, 2020. This policy went into effect immediately, and applies to faculty, staff, students, and other persons participating in university or personal travel outside of Canada. The policy works to mitigate the risks associated with travel outside of Canada. We 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.

By March 15, it had become obvious that in order to safely complete the term, all courses would need to move to remote or alternative delivery.  On March 16, NSCAD’s Academic Senate met to deliberate on a new Notice of Restriction and Curriculum Completion Policy in response to COVID-19 and under the auspices of that newly adopted policy we suspended all classes for three days (March 16-18) to allow the university to prepare for a transition to remote and alternative forms of instruction. We also simultaneously suspended access to workshops and studios and cancelled all March Break camps.

Implementing the new Notice of Restriction and Curriculum Completion Policy enabled the university to continue classes without in-class instruction, while recognizing that there would be real, practical challenges for some students to do so remotely. As always, NSCAD faculty and staff remained committed to helping everyone get access and benefit from remote learning  given the unprecedented circumstances.

To address the immediate and real concern of helping students safely retrieve work and/or equipment to complete projects, we worked with students, faculty and staff to help students pick up the equipment and materials needed to complete their courses via remote learning. Our solution included developing a Campus Access Authorization form at https://forms.nscad.ca/ to ensure we were able to maintain social distancing guidelines.

NSCAD’s Centre for Teaching and Learning helped to optimize the new e-learning environment for all students by providing technology-enabled instruction support to our faculty and students, working intensively with them to transition all NSCAD courses to remote delivery methods.

Beyond academic needs, we’re also working with the Students’ Union (SUNCAD) to aid students facing food insecurity, and we are helping those whose housing situation is affected by the crisis through the support of our community here in Nova Scotia. As an unimaginable week finally ended, we were able to repatriate the last of our international students and are very happy to share that all of them made it home.

As the COVID-19 crisis draws out in the coming weeks and months, we’ll address many important issues and challenges facing the NSCAD community, including:

  • Ensuring the continuation of the NSCAD foodbank
  • Work-life balance and wellbeing of our students, faculty and staff who have been working hard to make the transition to remote learning possible
  • Student housing
  • Remote learning infrastructure and training
  • Admissions and recruiting of future NSCAD students

We’ll also continue to promote support for students’ mental health and overall wellbeing through our website at https://navigator.nscad.ca/wordpress/wellness/.

As much as we all prepared for the COVID-19 pandemic, none of us imagined how sudden and critical the need for social distancing would become at NSCAD and around the world. Clearly these unprecedented circumstances have disrupted and unsettled countless lives, but by working together, we are meeting the challenge of our lifetimes with calm, intelligent responses. Our classes have resumed, our students continue to excel academically and artistically, and we are learning how the power of resilience can serve us in managing both great adversity and the challenges of everyday life.

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March 20, 2020

Statement on e-Learning Continuation of Academic Term

NSCAD and universities worldwide are quickly revising their education plans and delivery methods to respond to the spread of the COVID 19 pandemic. Canadian universities are following federal and provincial public health guidelines for these revisions with a focus on the health and safety of students, faculty, staff and the broader community.

No one could have imagined the sudden and critical need for social distancing and how disruptive and unsettling it would be for our students. Despite the many challenges, we are pleased to say that all classes in the Winter 2020 semester are now resumed and faculty have engaged students on how their course will proceed.

Online or e-learning is an excellent learning platform, used by three-quarters of Canadian universities for the past ten years. E-learning is growing globally, and has been demonstrated to offer substantial benefits – not only in terms of flexibility, convenience and access, but also in achieving learning outcomes and allowing for social and experiential learning.

NSCAD’s Centre for Teaching and Learning provides technology-enabled instruction support to our faculty and has been working intensively with them to transition all NSCAD courses to remote delivery methods.

Our incoming Dean, Martine Durier-Copp, is a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC )-supported researcher in digital learning, and has 20 years of experience in online delivery. She has been working with the Centre for Teaching and Learning, as well as with individual faculty members, to design highly-effective remote delivery approaches, which will allow our students to successfully complete their academic terms.

We recognize that aspects of courses requiring practical applications cannot be completely delivered through an online platform and, in this respect, faculty members are working with their students to find optimal, practical solutions.

We look forward to the continuation of our term through this advanced and effective delivery model to enable NSCAD students to successfully continue their studies.

Beyond academic needs, we’re also working with the Students’ Union (SUNCAD) to provide assistance to students facing food insecurity, and we are helping those whose housing situation is affected by the crisis through the support of our community here in Nova Scotia.

We also encourage all NSCAD students to take advantage of the technology available to them in charting their remote learning experience. A tool often utilized by faculty and staff at the university is Microsoft Teams, which streamlines the process for organizing online group meetings, discussions, and document storage. These tools could prove quite beneficial for students during this time.

Simple instructions for installing the Teams App and joining a Teams Meeting have been provided by NSCAD staff at https://services.nscad.ca/teams.html and https://services.nscad.ca/create-meeting.html.

At every opportunity, NSCAD students’ resilience is on display throughout this period of uncertainty. Their concern for each another and the community is the cornerstone of the empathy needed to succeed in arts, craft and design. It’s also helping all of us get through this challenging situation.

Office of Student Experience

All NSCAD students are advised that, during the suspension of normal activities, for any inquiries concerning academic advising, counselling, peer mentors, student exchanges, transcripts or other similar matters typically addressed by the Office of Student Experience, please send an email to ose@nscad.ca.

What if I feel unwell?

Those with flu-like symptoms, who have not travelled internationally to an affected region, should stay at home. Call 811 to speak with a registered nurse in Nova Scotia or see a healthcare professional if you prefer. There is also a Government of Canada COVID-19 information line at 1-833-784-4397.

To help you better understand if you need to talk to 811, please review this simple questionnaire.

Feeling anxious or stressed?

Visit NSCAD’s Wellness website to learn what services are available and how to access them.

Mental Health Crisis Line: 1-888-429-8167

Good2Talk Nova Scotia: 1-833-292-3698 (Professional counsellors provide free, anonymous and confidential telephone counselling to post-secondary students.)

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