COVID-19 FAQ

NSCAD Campus Update

If you feel unwell, please stay home.  Read this checklist to guide your decision-making when experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Knowing and following the notification process is important. If you receive a positive result on a rapid antigen test, please email OHS@nscad.ca after notifying public health. By emailing OHS@nscad.ca, NSCAD will take care of notifying instructors and classmates, while protecting confidentiality. 

Please visit the COVID-19 case tracker page here.

Note: The last testing clinic will be held on campus on December 20, 2021.

NSCAD will continue to offer rapid COVID-19 tests throughout the winter 2022 semester at the Service Centre.

For a quick tutorial on administering your rapid test,  refer to these printed instructions or watch the following video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwOYgdNrvhk&t=81s

As of January 4, 2022, NSCAD will require proof of full vaccination in order to work or attend in-person learning or activities on campus.

Regular testing is also encouraged for everyone.

Below you will find a few definitions to help you navigate the form:

To be considered fully vaccinated, you have received all required doses of an approved COVID-19 vaccine (your second dose of a 2-dose vaccine, or a single dose of a 1-dose vaccine). You’re fully vaccinated when it has been at least 14 days since you received the last vaccine dose.

Partially vaccinated means you’ve received 1 dose of a vaccine authorized as a 2 dose vaccine series such as Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca plus 14 days.

Vaccine means a vaccine against COVID-19 that has been approved by either the Public Health Agency of Canada or the World Health Organization.

Proof of vaccination is not required when entering campus. If you have uploaded confirmation of vaccination, the information will be reviewed and confirmed if appropriate. You will then have satisfied the requirements of this protocol and no further action will be required of you at this time. Your access card should work.

Access to NSCAD’s three campuses will be restricted to students starting at 11 p.m., December 18, 2021 due to reported positive COVID-19 cases.

Our Return to Campus Plan now includes the requirement for proof of full vaccination in order to work or attend in-person learning or activities on campus when we return.

In order to ensure the safety of everyone, we are making modest adjustments to the winter 2022 semester.  Please note the following key dates:

  • January 4, 2022 – Staff and faculty will return to work.
  • January 10 – Start of classes. Classes will begin online.
  • January 17 – Return to in-person classes on campus.
  • February 22-25 – Reading Week remains unchanged.
  • April 27 — Last date of scheduled classes.

Although the semester dates are being adjusted for safety, we encourage everyone who is travelling during the holidays to return to Halifax by January 4, 2022.

Failure to comply with the vaccine mandate will make you ineligible to be on campus given the current epidemiology of COVID-19 and the unknown risk you present to our community. Your access will be restricted (your access card will not work) if you do not complete and upload your proof of vaccination.

The easiest way to update your vaccine status is to resubmit a new form which will override the earlier form. Should you choose to update your status, please only do so once you are fully vaccinated (see definition of fully vaccinated above).

The Form Portal is password protected, and only those with the appropriate authorization can access the forms. Access to data collected is limited to only those employees that need it. The portal is housed on NSCAD’s internal server, and as it is not being stored in the Cloud, is highly secure.

Failure to provide the required information or comply with the vaccine mandate will make you ineligible to be on campus given the unknown risk you present to our community. The university will address issues of violation(s) in accordance with established university policies and procedures, including the code of conduct, and/or by the terms of existing contracts or collective agreements, where applicable.

NSCAD will continue to offer rapid COVID-19 tests throughout the winter 2022 semester at the Service Centre. For more information on COVID-19 testing sites click here and for rapid testing locations click here.

In response to the Omicron variant, we are extending our masking requirement.  Masks must be worn at all times on campus.  NS Public Health is recommending a three (3)-layer mask that is well adjusted and covers, nose, mouth and chin.

Please review the Return to Campus Plan, which has been updated with COVID-19 public health protocols. Remember it is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with the mandatory protocols, and to both adhere to them and promote them to others.

Starting June 30, 2021, if you’re travelling from outside Atlantic Canada (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island or Newfoundland and Labrador) you can enter Nova Scotia. You need to complete the Safe Check-in Form and may need to self-isolate when you arrive in or return to the province. Self-isolation requirements are based on vaccination status and testing.

Please book your appointment for a COVID-19 test by completing the COVID-19 self-assessment. If you need help with transportation to/from you testing appointment, please call 1-844-996-0694.

Everyone in Nova Scotia must follow Nova Scotia public health directives to help contain the spread of COVID-19.   All students, faculty and staff who self-isolate must complete a daily digital check in with Nova Scotia Public Health to confirm their self-isolation status, and also the NSCAD self-isolation plan form.

The Student Union of NSCAD (SUNSCAD) can prepare care packages for those self-isolating. Please contact internal@nscad.ca

Other resources and contacts can be found in this video from Community Health Teams.

As of January 4, 2022, NSCAD University will require proof of full vaccination in order to work or attend in-person learning or activities on campus.

NSCAD created a COVID-19 addendum for the university’s Code of Conduct to address the current circumstances of the pandemic. Every individual on campus is personally responsible and accountable to all other members of our community, and this expectation is enforced through the Code’s provisions for addressing breaches including escalating discipline.

The Addendum to the Code includes specific public health directives and university operational requirements with which the NSCAD community must comply, including:

  • appropriate social distancing from others (see the the Return to Campus Plan)
  • wearing masks at all times on campus (NS Public Health recommends a three (3)-layer mask that is well adjusted and covers, nose, mouth and chin)

  • washing hands frequently for at least 20 seconds using soap and water  or a 60-90% alcohol-based hand hand sanitizer
  • following directions on all signage for safe behaviors
  • avoiding gatherings
  • monitoring your health – stay home and away from others if you feel unwell

These requirements are applicable not only on campus but throughout everyone’s daily experience.

For more information, please review the Return to Campus Plan.

All NSCAD community members are expected to follow the COVID-19 Code of Conduct, ‘the Code’. The Code is a protocol that explains expected rules of behaviour, states values, provides guidance and recommends action so that everyone knows exactly what is expected of them.

We will initially focus on education and training to ensure that mask protocols are known and practiced always, and to promote the collective benefits of wearing a mask. We’re all part of a rich and diverse community that has survived for over 130 years, through hurricanes, explosions, pandemics and more because of people who care. Now more than ever, we need to look out for each other by wearing a mask. The Code provides more information on how to report breaches and the consequences for the same, including escalating disciplinary measures.

Wherever possible, you should refrain from eating/drinking as you would normally do in classes and studios (except water) to minimize the amount of time you are not wearing a mask. If you must eat or drink, you must do so only where two (two) metres of physical distancing is possible and you can sanitize your hands.

Masks must be worn when you are not actively consuming and immediately when you are finished your food or drink (e.g. you can’t hold a coffee or muffin for an extended period of time between sips/bites while unmasked).

We recognize that this is a fast moving and confusing situation. It is normal to feel stress. We are here to help. You can access information about the many services available to you.

We would like to encourage anyone who is need of extra support during this time to access the following resources for assistance:

  • The Department of Health and Wellness recently launched two provincial online programs called ICAN and MindwellU. 

Additional resources that may be available and helpful to you or your loved ones:

  • EFAP Employee Assistant Program (for Civil Servants & Health Care workers) 1-800-461-5558
  • Mental Health & Addictions Intake Services – Call toll-free 1-855-922-1122
  • Mental Health Crisis Line 1-888-429-8167 (toll-free, available 24 hours, seven days a week)
  • Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868 (toll-free, available 24 hours, seven days a week)
  • 211 Nova Scotia is a free helpline that connects you to community and social services in your area. It is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in over 150 languages.
  • Every Woman’s Centre (Sydney) – (902) 567-1212
  • Transition House – (902) 429-7287

Here is a list of resources available in the Northern, Western and Central regions in the province: https://nsgeu.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/merged-community-supports.pdf

NSCAD acknowledges the discrimination the Asian community has faced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the way many marginalized communities, especially communities of colour, have been disproportionately affected.  NSCAD does not tolerate discrimination of any kind, and we encourage you to read our Respectful Workplace and Learning Environment policy. We encourage anyone experiencing discrimination at NSCAD to please contact the Office of Opportunity and Belonging. Your concerns will be investigated immediately. You may also contact the Human Rights Commission. We encourage anyone witnessing discrimination to act on your obligation to provide a duty of care. Do not be a bystander.

Classes, grades and workshops

The NSCAD Return to Campus Plan outlines the protocols to provide a safe working and learning environment. Here’s a summary of the plan.

Masks:

  • Masks must be worn at all times on campus.  NS Public Health is recommending a three (3)-layer mask that is well adjusted and covers, nose, mouth and chin.

Vaccinations:

  • As previously announced, NSCAD University will require proof of full vaccination in order to work or attend in-person learning or activities on campus. 

Testing:

Campus Access:

  • Access to NSCAD’s three campuses will be restricted to students starting at 11 p.m., December 18, 2021 due to reported positive COVID-19 cases.
  • As noted above, everyone will require proof of full vaccination to be allowed to return to campus in January 2022.
  • By coming to campus, you attest that you are feeling well and are not aware of any potential exposures to COVID-19.

Physical Distancing:

  • As proper physical distancing adds an additional level of protection against COVID-19, physical distancing strategies will continue to be implemented in common areas.
  • Please review the updated Return to Campus Plan for details related to physical distancing requirements on campus.

Accommodation and Support

  • Employees who have circumstances that may make it difficult to return to campus in the fall and who could require accommodation are expected to contact humanresources@nscad.ca.
  • Additional resources for staff and students can be found on our Mental Health and Wellbeing: Our Response and through the additional COVID-19 OHS Resources. We encourage all employees and students to utilize these resources as needed.

While we are busy getting ready to welcome students back to campus, we are also very excited to announce @NSCAD-Online, a roster of engaging and innovative online learning opportunities for the fall 2021 semester.    

Adapting to online learning during the pandemic and improving the user experience has helped NSCAD demonstrate its community can extend beyond its physical campuses through the high quality, next-wave, digitally rich courses that the university offers.

We are offering a catalogue of 25 online classes, including:

  • AHIS 2010 Survey of 19th Century Art (TBA) 
  • AHIS 2020 Survey of 20th Century Art (TBA) 
  • AHIS 2600-1 Medieval Art (Marylin McKay) 
  • AHIS 3610-01 Egyptian Art/Egyptomania (Marilyn McKay) 
  • AHIS 3117-1 Art of Failure (Julie Hollenbach) 
  • CERM 2003-1 Intro to Ceramics for Design (Rory MacDonald) 
  • CERM 2610-1 Ceramic Technology, (Rory MacDonald) 
  • DRAW 3319-1 Comics Studio, (Rebecca Roher) 
  • EDAR 5610-1 Secondary Art Methods (Isla MacEachern) 
  • EDAR 5630-1 Guided Methods (Louis-Charles Dion) 
  • FNDN 1010-4 Intro to Studio Practice (Sarah Maloney) 
  • FNDN 1100-1 Foundation Drawing(Marilyn McAvoy) 
  • FNDN 1200-1 Intro to Visual Culture (TBA) 
  • Writing for the Arts 3 (Marlene Ramos) 
  • JWLY 2300 -1x/DSGN 2300-1x, Digital Object Making (Greg Sims) 
  • PNTG 3402-1 Painting and the Body (Joy Wong) 
  • PRTM 2025-1 Print Off the Press (Charley Young) 
  • TEXL 2510 Hand Sewing (Aishe Ali) 
  • TEXL 3320-1 Fabrics Laboratory (Jennifer Green) 
  • TEXL 3415-0L1 Intermediate Fashion Collection, Development (Gary Markle) 
  • TEXL 4415-OL1  Advanced Fashion Collection, Development (Gary Markle) 
  • DSGN 1000-3 Digital Toolsfor Designing (Monika Kulesza) 
  • DSGN 3400-1 Digital Illustration (Frank Orlando) 
  • DSGN 4907-1 Intercultural Issues & Design (Becka Barker)

Supplies can be purchased at the NSCAD Supply Store. The Supply Store offers curbside pick-up on Fountain Campus, and mailing options are available.

Student Finances and Services

There are a number of assistance programs available to students during this time, both internally at NSCAD and externally through the provincial and federal governments.

The Government of Canada is taking immediate, significant and decisive action to support Canadians and businesses facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. For more information about Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, including information on the Employment Insurance (EI) program, Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) and the Canada Recovery Sickness Benefit (CRSB) click here.

Clink on any of the links below for more information on how these programs can be accessed.

NSCAD’s Emergency Bursary Program

NSCAD’s Interim Loan Application

Employment Insurance information

Canada Student Loans – COVID-19

Community Volunteer Income Tax Program: Free Tax Clinics

The National Student Loan Service Centre has implemented Student Loan COVID–19 Relief Measures to help support students whose finances have been negatively impacted by COVID-19.

All Canadian provincial and territorial loan providers are working to support students throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. You can access the most recent information from your provincial or territorial office at the links provided:

International Students

On November 3, 2020, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada added Nova Scotia’s post-secondary institutions with a COVID-19 readiness plan to the Designated Learning Institution (DLI) list of schools that can reopen to international students who aren’t currently in Canada and who

All international students planning to travel to Canada to attend classes at a post-secondary must know the following:

If a student does not meet quarantine exemption eligibility and a 14-day quarantine period is required, it must be overseen and arranged by the universities at which the students are enrolled.

Click here for more information about international students travelling to Nova Scotia to study at NSCAD.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has indicated that international students who are unable to travel to Canada in the Fall are permitted to enroll in a designated learning institution as a full-time student and take online courses outside of Canada. A study permit is not required to start and complete programs of study outside of Canada, however, this time would not be counted towards Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP) eligibility or the length of the PGWP issued.

A study permit isn’t necessary if a student wants to do a program online — already now if a program is offered 100% remotely a student is free to enroll and get the credential. They need a study permit however if they will want/need to enter Canada at one point to complete program requirements or to be eligible for the PGWP.

IRCC has announced new measures for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program for international students who are currently studying online from abroad:

IRCC Web notice: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/news/notices/pgwp-eligibility-measures.html

Backgrounder: https://canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/news/2020/08/facilitative-measures-to-support-international-students-affected-by-the-covid-19-pandemic.html

The announcement includes the following three new measures:

  • Students may now study online from abroad until April 30, 2021, with no time deducted from the length of a future post-graduation work permit, provided 50% of their program of study is eventually completed in Canada.
  • Students who have enrolled in a program that is between 8 and 12 months in length, with a start date from May to September 2020, will be able to complete their entire program online from abroad and still be eligible for a post-graduation work permit.
  • Students who have enrolled in a program with a start date from May to September 2020 and study online up to April 30, 2021, and who graduate from more than one eligible program of study, may be able to combine the length of their programs of study when they apply for a post-graduation work permit in the future, as long as 50% of their total studies are completed in Canada.

Whenever an international student’s visa expires, they have to renew it. To learn more about renewing your visa, please visit Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s website. You can also follow all of IRCC’s updates and notices at https://twitter.com/citimmcanada.

Information about extending your stay in Canada is available at https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/visit-canada/extend-stay.html.  You can also call the Nova Scotia branch of citizenship and immigration at 1-888-242-2100.

Students can visit the Student VIP website to find information regarding health care coverage, health care services, opt-out information, and other forms.

You’ll also find information about new initiatives such as a student Virtual Health Hub and the Remote Study Health Program. An FAQ document is also available.

Students can reach out to Student VIP directly with questions about their health care plan, including a live chat a Student VIP rep in real time. Students can also email info@studentvip.ca with their questions.

Donating to NSCAD

Please visit our Give page to make a donation. You may choose direct your gift to scholarships and bursaries, or another priority on the donation page. The COVID-19 epidemic is putting additional pressures on students returning to NSCAD or considering NSCAD. We want to make sure that economics are not a barrier for bright, talented and motivated people.