With safety as our paramount concern, Dalhousie has undertaken a gradual, phased approach to returning to campus operations for a portion of its community. While many of the university’s services and supports continue to be offered primarily online, others have gradually returned to in-person operations over the past few months with new preventative measures in place to ensure the continued health and safety of the community. Note, many campus buildings and offices are still restricting access, except for faculty/staff with electronic access control cards.
When does the university expect to reopen?
In alignment with broader public health protocols in our province, some university operations continue to be restricted. These include on-campus facilities and services that are currently closed or operating remotely and in-person university events.
The first phase of our return to campus consists only of individuals required to work on campus and who can do so safely, to ensure continued operations of their units. The majority of faculty and staff will continue to work remotely.
The fall term for students will be predominantly online, with limited exceptions based on those programs where extensive experiential learning forms part of the curriculum and these can be provided safely in adherence to health protocols. Full in-person, on-campus courses will not resume before January 2021.
What if I require access to a building that has been locked due to COVID-19 security protocols?
While Dalhousie remains operational, we have moved to a virtual operational environment. Consequently, campus buildings, offices and services have suspended in-person operations, and are restricting access except for faculty/staff with electronic access control cards.
We appreciate that many in our Dalhousie community are hoping to host events, social activities and gatherings this fall and into the winter. However, we also know that many outbreaks of COVID-19 have been linked to single events, gatherings, or community celebrations. All events, whether they are meetings, social events, or other types of gatherings, carry increased risk of transmitting the virus. We all have a part to play in preventing this from happening at Dalhousie.
“Events” refers to all meetings, events, and gatherings not part of an approved Return to Campus Plan. Note that events organized by DSU student societies need to be submitted to the DSU.
The event procedures below have been reviewed and approved by Dalhousie's Return to Campus (RTC) Committee and are expected to apply until at least January 25, 2021. They are subject to change based on public health guidance and Dalhousie protocols.
Guidelines to consider when submitting an event request
- All aspects of events (travel to, attendance at, and travel from) must, at a minimum, abide by legislated gathering limits in Nova Scotia or, in the case of events at Dalhousie Medicine NB, in New Brunswick. The latest information on gathering limits in Nova Scotia can be found here and for New Brunswick can be found here.
- Consider social distancing and other public health directives in all aspects of events, including travel to, attendance at, and travel from the event.
- The safest events are built around an established contacts bubble — people who are already in close contact with one another on a regular basis. This could be students in the same residence, employees who share a lab or physical workspace, or classmates in the same in-person course. As of Nov. 23 in HRM, a maximum of five people are allowed to gether in a close social group without social/physical distancing.
- Hold events outside whenever possible. Colder weather is coming, but the risk of COVID-19 transmission is significantly higher indoors. We should all be expecting to bundle up and conduct more of our social activities outdoors this winter.
- If you must hold your event indoors, significant precautions are required. These include, but are not limited to:
- Ensuring guests have enough space to practice physical distancing.
- Ensuring all guests wear masks or face coverings and provide masks for those who do not have them.
- Making sure guests have access to soap and water or hand sanitizer and encourage regular handwashing
- Cleaning common surfaces such as doorknobs, handles and table tops frequently during the event or gathering.
- Ensuring guests who are sick know that they are expected to stay home and not attend.
- Avoid providing shared food (platters, dips, trays). Single-serve or direct-service food avoids risk of cross-contamination.
At this time, we are discouraging on-campus, indoor events and gatherings for the rest of the fall semester and into January. Requests to hold necessary on-campus indoor events must be made through the event approval process, with clear rationale provided as to how the activity connects with Dal’s core mission and why the event needs to occur on-campus and in-person. Written confirmation from the administrative head (Dean for faculties, unit head for non-academic units) is also required.
These will continue to be considered through the event approval process, subject to appropriate restrictions in keeping with Dalhousie protocols and Public Health guidance.
Off-campus indoor events are discouraged at this time. Virtual events are preferred wherever possible.
Any off-campus activity must, at a minimum, abide by Public Health requirements and legislated gathering limits as prescribed by the respective provincial government (Nova Scotia or New Brunswick, depending on where the activity takes place). This applies to travel to, attendance at and travel from the activity. Please refer to Nova Scotia’s protocols for gathering limits.
RTC does not anticipate providing approval for off-campus gatherings. RTC will not be making specific decisions about whether a proposed off-campus event meets provincial gathering criteria, including providing further guidance on what is a "close social group," "consistent group," or "random or spontaneous groups." Judgments about whether off-campus events are compliant with these specific protocols will remain the responsibility of the organizers. Where organizers are considering an off-campus event or gathering where there is expected to be more than 5 people in attendance, these must be brought to RTC for approval.
Holiday parties & team building
Even in a difficult, unique year such as this one, there is still much to celebrate as we approach the end of the year. That said, the need for continued safety requires us to strongly discourage in-person holiday parties and other celebratory events for Faculties and departments. We hope teams at Dalhousie find opportunities to come together safely and celebrate all you’ve achieved this year. Our Human Resources team has assembled a list of suggestions for teams who may wish to celebrate in a safe and modified way.
There will be no alcohol service permitted on campus before January 25, 2021. Resumption of alcohol service in January will be re-evaluated in December.
DSU & student events
Events being organized by Dalhousie Student Union (DSU) student societies need to be submitted to the DSU.
Athletics & Recreation
Dalhousie athletic facilities in Halifax, including Dalplex, Studley Gym, Wickwire Field and the tennis courts, will close at 12:00 am Thursday, November 26, 2020 for a minimum of 14 days in accordance with Nova Scotia Public Health rules for the central region of Nova Scotia. Sexton Gym remains closed. The Langille Athletic Centre in Truro will remain open.
For more details on our athletic facilities, please visit Athletics and Recreation.
What is the status of Tigers and Rams sports for fall 2020?
The varsity Tigers compete in the Atlantic University Sport (AUS) conference as members of U SPORTS Canada. The fall 2020 U SPORTS championships have been cancelled and competition in the AUS has been suspended until January 2021.
For more information:
The Rams compete as members of the Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association (ACAA) within the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA). The ACAA has cancelled its first semester sports schedule. The CCAA has yet to make an announcement regarding fall championships.
For more information:
What is the status of membership fees?
Please contact the Dalplex customer service desk if you have specific questions about your membership.
Please visit the Bookstore website for the most up to date information on the status of the Bookstore.
Dalhousie Food Services locations (other than approved dining halls) have suspended in-person services at this time. We are working on a return to campus plan for select food services locations for the fall.
Dining halls that will be open for fall 2020 include:
- Shirreff Hall – for residents of Shirreff Hall only
- Howe Hall – for residents of all other Halifax properties, including Risley Hall, LeMarchant Place, Glengary Apartments, and Grad House.
- In Truro, Jenkins Hall will be open to serve residents. More details on their operation will be coming soon.
Risley Dining Hall and O’Brien Hall will be closed for Fall 2020.
Please see the Food & Dining page for more details.
DalCard & UPass
The DalCard Office is closed at this time, but will soon be offering in-person services through the window of their office. This information will be communicated to students when it becomes available.
The DalCard team has established a process to issue temporary cards. If you require a temporary card, email email@example.com and a member of the DalCard team will respond as soon as they are able. If you require a temporary card for access to a student residence, please visit your residence’s front desk.
Halifax Transit has resumed collection of fares for the month of August. They will be accepting 2019/20 UPass stickers for the duration of the month.
The UPass program is available to our full-time students for the 2020/21 academic year. The UPass program automatically applies the bus pass fee to the student accounts for all full-time Halifax students.
However, given that most Dalhousie courses are being delivered online this fall due to COVID-19, we have revised our opt-out process to make it easier for students who do not require the bus pass.
Opting out is easy: fill out the UPass Waiver Request Form by Sept. 18. Once your request is processed, this fee will be removed from your student account for the entire 2020/21 academic year by Sept. 23.
For more information on opting out of UPass, visit our Opt Out page.
NOTE: If you are opting out of the program for the Fall but will be returning to Halifax in January 2021 as a full-time student and require a UPass, you will need to notify the UPass office to obtain your Winter UPass. More information on how to obtain your UPass for the winter semester will come soon.
If you have any questions regarding UPass, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
For employee information and questions related to employment, please log in to your MyDal page, or visit the employee Remote Working site.
In-person services have been temporarily suspended, but the Centre is still available remotely. To get in touch with the International Centre, please call 902-494-1566 or visit the International Centre website.
The International Centre is working on plans and programming for the fall semester. More details can be found on their website.
The Dalhousie Physiotherapy Clinic within Dalplex remains open. Please contact email@example.com or call 902-494-1502 for booking inquiries.
For more information on research at Dalhousie, the status of labs, or resources for researchers, please consult the Research website.
Student Health & Wellness
The Student Health & Wellness Centre in Halifax is open. In-person and telephone appointments with counsellors, physicians, nurses and the social worker are available for students and community patients. Book your appointment online or call 902-494-2171 to speak with a healthcare professional.
Health Services in Truro is open, and appointments are available for students. Please consult the website for more information. To make an appointment, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
In-person career services and advising have been temporarily suspended at the Bissett Student Success Centre (Halifax) and Student Success Centre (Truro). If you would like your resume/cover letter reviewed, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. For career advising, please call 902-494-3077 or email email@example.com.
In-person services are temporarily suspended, but representatives are available by phone Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Atlantic), 1-902-494-3998 or email firstname.lastname@example.org