COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

NSCAD Return to Campus – Fall 2021

Can I get a COVID-19 test on campus?

NSCAD is now offering observed, self-administered rapid COVID-19 tests on campus at the Art Bar +Projects (1873 Granville Street). You can now access rapid COVID-19 tests on campus, where you will test yourself in front of a witness.

Please note the following:

  • Clinic hours are Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (times subject to change).
  • You must bring your student card or photo ID.
  • These tests are for asymptomatic members of the NSCAD community only (students, staff and faculty).
  • The process from start to finish takes approximately five minutes.
  • The testing results on site will be logged, therefore if you choose to complete your testing on campus, you will no longer need to upload proof of testing to the COVID-19 Testing Form.
  • You can still use the testing locations provided by Nova Scotia Health; however, if you choose not to complete your test at NSCAD, you must upload your proof of testing through the testing form.
  • If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, or have had COVID in the last 90 days, please book your COVID-19 test through Nova Scotia Health here and do not come to campus to complete your test.
Are vaccines mandatory to attend NSCAD in person?

As previously announced, NSCAD University will require either

  • proof of full vaccination before returning to campus, or
  • proof of regular testing (twice weekly) for those who do not wish to disclose their vaccination status, those who do not yet have full vaccine coverage, or those who remain unvaccinated

All faculty, staff and students must complete the NSCAD Confirmation of Vaccination form before September 7, 2021 to

  • submit documentation of full vaccination, or
  • make a declaration that you will not provide vaccination documentation at this time and will undergo COVID-19 testing twice a week (proof of testing will be required beginning September 7, 2021).

The medical information provided in the form will be kept secure and confidential. Please do not email your information. Sending information outside of the Forms Portal could compromise confidentiality of medical information.

For those who choose regular testing, NSCAD is now offering observed, self-administered rapid COVID-19 tests on campus at the Art Bar +Projects (1873 Granville Street). You can now access rapid COVID-19 tests on campus, where you will test yourself in front of a witness. Clinic hours are Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (times subject to change). ore information is included in the FAQ above. Results from any testing location held by Nova Scotia Health will also be accepted. In Nova Scotia, rapid testing locations can be found here. Regular testing is also encouraged for those who are fully vaccinated.

Please note that Nova Scotia Health will be offering a vaccination clinic at the Halifax Convention Center on October 7 and 8; NSCAD is not conducting a second vaccination clinic on campus.

What is the definition of fully vaccinated?

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.

How do I show proof of vaccination when entering campus?

Proof of vaccination is not required when entering campus. Once you submit your vaccine status, you will be considered within one of two categories: those who need to complete bi-weekly testing, or those who have submitted confirmation of vaccination.

Those who chose the bi-weekly testing option (or have yet to complete the vaccine status form) are required to upload testing information as outlined on the COVID-19 testing form. Members of the NSCAD community who are in this group are not permitted access to campus without a negative COVID-19 test result within the previous three days. Your access card will not work at the entry doors and elevators.

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.

Can I come to NSCAD's campuses?

As previously announced, anyone who wants access to NSCAD University’s campuses must first provide either

  • proof of full vaccination
  • proof of regular testing (twice weekly) for those who do not wish to disclose their vaccination status, those who do not yet have full vaccine coverage, or those who remain unvaccinated

The Campus Access Authorization Form is  no longer required to come to campus.

Note: Access to campus will not be permitted if a person is exhibiting any new or worsening symptoms of COVID-19 until cleared by public health. By coming to campus, you attest that you are feeling well and are not aware of any potential exposures to COVID-19.

Will I continue to have access to campus if I am not vaccinated?

Yes, as long as you continue to provide bi-weekly negative COVID-19 test results as outlined in the COVID-19 testing form, you will continue to have regular access to campus. Your access will be restricted (your access card will not work) if you do not complete and upload your negative tests.

I have received my first vaccination dose, and I intend to get my second but am not yet eligible. Which status should I use for the NSCAD Confirmation of Vaccination form?

If you are in the waiting period for your second vaccine, we advise you, at this time, to select ‘option 2’ in the Confirmation of Vaccination form (“I choose not to disclose my vaccination status and understand I will be required to participate in testing two times per week”). You must choose this option because you will need to complete regular testing twice weekly until you are fully vaccinated.

I am now fully vaccinated, how do I change my records?

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).

Is the information I am providing in the Form Portal secure?

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.

What happens if I do not complete the form?

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.

 

I've opted to be tested twice-weekly, how should I submit my test results?
  • Your proof of testing should be uploaded to the COVID-19 Testing Form 
  • You must perform a test every three days, and NSCAD’s preference is Monday and Thursday 
  • A screenshot of your rapid or PCR test will be accepted 
  • Only rapid and PCR tests will be accepted, self-test kit results are not acceptable at this time 
  • Rapid testing locations can be found here and PCR testing locations can be found here 
  • Please only submit your results through the Form and note NSCAD will not accept test results through email.  
Where can I get tested?

There are several rapid testing sites across the HRM (including the Halifax Convention Centre conveniently located on Argyle St. near Fountain and Academy campuses, and Pavilion 20 near Port Campus), and you may also schedule a PCR test. For more information on COVID-19 testing sites click here and for rapid testing locations click here.

How often should I be getting tested, and how should I be spacing them out?

You must get tested twice weekly, and we recommend you take the tests three days apart, and NSCAD’s preference is Mondays and Thursdays.

Can I use self-testing kits?

No. Only rapid and PCR tests are accepted at this time. Self-test kit results are not acceptable as they do not provide sufficient information required to verify your results.

Do I need to wear a non-medical face covering on campus?

We expect that Nova Scotia’s mask mandate will be removed at some stage in 2021; however, mask requirements at NSCAD are expected to continue in the fall 2021 semester. NSCAD is firmly committed to upholding the health and safety of our community and will, in consideration of the provincial recommendation, make a decision on when mask requirements will change for our community.

  • Masks continue to be required in all common spaces regardless of your vaccination status; you may remove your mask when seated at your desk or workstation. Common spaces include classrooms and studios.
  • If you have an office and would like people visiting your office to wear a mask, please make this clear through appropriate signage (to be provided).
  • Additional information on mask requirements is found in the Return to Campus Plan.
What rules must I follow if I am travelling to Nova Scotia to study at NSCAD?

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.

How do I prepare for self-isolation?

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.

What rules must I follow while 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 a non-medical (cloth) mask or face covering in any indoor common areas, public spaces and passageways
  • 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

As previously announced, NSCAD University also requires either

  • proof of full vaccination before returning to campus, or
  • proof of regular testing (twice weekly) for those who do not wish to disclose their vaccination status, those who do not yet have full vaccine coverage, or those who remain unvaccinated

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

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

How will mask use compliance be enforced?

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.

Can I eat during my class?

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).

I am feeling anxious and stressed. What do I do?

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 at: www.nscad.ca/wellness.

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

I have experienced discrimination as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. How can NSCAD help?

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

What steps is NSCAD taking to ensure campus is safe for in-person learning?

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 will continue to be required in all common spaces regardless of your vaccination status.
  • You may remove your mask when seated at your personal desk or workstation.
  • If you have an office and would like people to wear a mask when visiting, please make this clear through appropriate signage (to be provided).

Vaccinations:

As previously announced, NSCAD University will require either

  • proof of full vaccination before returning to campus, or
  • proof of regular testing (twice weekly) for those who do not wish to disclose their vaccination status, those who do not yet have full vaccine coverage, or those who remain unvaccinated

All faculty, staff and students must complete the NSCAD Confirmation of Vaccination form before September 7, 2021 to

  • submit documentation of full vaccination, or
  • make a declaration that you will not provide vaccination documentation at this time and will undergo COVID-19 testing twice a week (proof of testing will be required beginning September 7, 2021).

Testing:

We encourage everyone to continue to get tested regularly for COVID-19. Testing sites remain widely available near each of our campuses.

Campus Access:

As noted above, anyone who wants access to NSCAD University’s campuses must first provide either

  • proof of full vaccination
  • proof of regular testing (twice weekly) for those who do not wish to disclose their vaccination status, those who do not yet have full vaccine coverage, or those who remain unvaccinated

The Campus Access Authorization Form is  no longer required to come to campus. Access to campus will not be permitted if a person is exhibiting any new or worsening symptoms of COVID-19 until cleared by public health.

  • 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.
  • Although there will not be a mandatory requirement for physical distancing by the Nova Scotia Health Authority, classrooms and studios have been laid out so students will be at a minimum of 1 metre distance from others.

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.

Now that we are returning to in-person learning, are there still online learning options for students?

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)
How will I acquire all of the materials I need for the online courses?

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

What financial resources and aid are available to me during the COVID-19 pandemic?

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

Do I have to start, or continue, paying my student loan during the COVID-19 pandemic?

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

Will international students be allowed to travel to Nova Scotia to study at NSCAD?

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.

Can international students commence their studies online abroad without a study permit before transitioning to in-person study in Canada (when travel restrictions lift)?

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.

How will the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program for international students be impacted?

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.
Are the procedures for renewing my student visa still in place during the COVID-19 pandemic?

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.

What do I do if I’m on a student visa but cannot return to my home country because of travel restrictions?

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.

Where can I find updated information about my healthcare coverage, health care services, opt-out information, and other forms?

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.

What other resources are available to me to help address questions about my healthcare plan and options?

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

How can I make a donation to support NSCAD and its students?

Please visit www.nscad.ca/donate 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.

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