Health & safety resources

Let's do our part to keep our community healthy

In this together: Be aware, be safe, be considerate.



The health, safety and well-being of our Dalhousie communities has been our paramount concern throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, with safety measures guided by the latest and best guidance from Nova Scotia Public Health.

Our plan includes, among other measures:

Our plans align with a postsecondary framework that applies to all universities and colleges in Nova Scotia [PDF - login required], and has been approved by Nova Scotia Public Health and the Department of Labour and Advanced Education. Dalhousie's plan builds on this framework and our success in on-campus activities this past year, applying multiple layers of safety protection to help keep our Dal community safe and supported.

Read the institutional strategy document: Moving Forward: Dalhousie University Fall Return Guidance, Fall 2021 [PDF - login required]

Below is a summary of current health and safety direction, along with additional details and links to frequently asked questions.

Safety
layer

Details   Notes and FAQs
VACCINATION

All students, faculty, and staff are required to complete the Campus Check process.

Students, faculty, and staff who are not fully vaccinated, or choose not to provide proof of vaccination, have to undergo COVID-19 testing twice a week to be on campus.

Dalhousie will begin transitioning to a requirement for proof of full vaccination. This will apply to all students, faculty and staff involved in in-person activities on campus — with accommodations available for those whose reason for not being fully vaccinated is protected.

Learn more.

  • Individuals who have not completed their Campus Check may be subject to additional remedial measures, including suspension of access to campus and university services.
  • Additional instructions on the transition to a full vaccine mandate, including timing, accommodation and procedures for non-compliance, will be shared in a forthcoming communication ahead of the start of the winter term. We know many in our community will have questions about this expanded vaccine mandate and we ask for your patience as we work through the details, which we will share as soon as we can.
  • Not vaccinated yet? Learn how to book your vaccine appointment
  • More FAQs
TESTING

Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to get tested regularly for COVID. We are also undertaking specific testing (including wastewater testing) for residences.

During the fall, individuals who do not provide proof of full vaccination will be required to be tested for COVID-19 twice weekly to take part in on-campus activities.

  • Rapid tests are available to all students, faculty, staff and on-campus subcontractors.
  • There are two ways to get your rapid test: attend one of our two COVID testing centres or pick up a take-away test kit you can do yourself. Learn more about on-campus testing.
  • Based on Dal research led by Dr. Graham Gagnon, we are testing residence wastewater to detect potential infections in our residence community, allowing us to quickly encourage testing and reduce any potential for spread.
  • More FAQs
MASKS


Faculty, staff, students and visitors are asked to continue to wear masks in all shared indoor common spaces through the winter term.

This includes classrooms and lecture halls, residence common areas, hallways and lobbies, shared washrooms, Library spaces, athletics facilities, and shared meeting spaces.

  • This guidance will continue at least until the end of the winter term.
  • Even if the provincial mask mandate is lifted, we expect Public Health to continue recommend mask wearing as general practice, especially in spaces where people gather in large numbers. For this reason, extending Dalhousie’s own mask guidance is in the best interest of both the safety and continuing comfort of our Dalhousie community.
  • This guidance is subject to any changes in epidemiology or public restrictions that would require further changes.
  • More FAQs
PHYSICAL DISTANCING

Distancing restrictions have been lifted in alignment with public health guidance and the approved postsecondary safety framework.
  • As approved by Public Health and the Department of Labour and Advanced Education, formal distancing requirements are not required on campus.
  • Barriers, plexiglass or other dividers will only be required in spaces where they were required prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some front-facing services may still choose to install or maintain plexiglass barriers for extra protection from communicable diseases.
  • Where appropriate and feasible, Dalhousie will strive to continue to provide extra separation in office and classroom setups given the proven benefit that even minimal extra separation has shown in protection against communicable diseases.
  • More FAQs
GATHERING
RULES


Dalhousie events should follow whatever provincial gathering rules are in place, including proof-of-vaccination requirements.

VENTILATION

 

A continued focus on ventilation and air quality will help prevent the transmission of airborne diseases.
  • Dal’s Facilities and Environmental Health & Safety teams have reviewed ventilation in every learning space (600+), with remedial activity taking place over the summer as warranted.
  • Over 165 individual Return to Research requests have been assessed for adequate ventilation.
  • Guidance for office and general spaces will be provided to unit leaders to assist with their return plans.
  • This work has been guided by current engineering best practice, as well as with COVID-19 guidance from specific ventilation and facilities groups such as ASHRAE and APPA and REHVA and in accordance with current Public Health guidelines. Read the full HVAC Strategy document (login required) and read more about this work on Dal News.
  • More FAQs.

CLEANING, DISINFECTION AND HYGIENE


Cleaning and disinfection will continue at a high standard, and good hand-washing hygiene will continue to be encouraged.
  • Cleaning and disinfection is ongoing at the high standard of cleaning that existed pre-pandemic, particularly focused on common touch points and spaces.
  • Hand-washing hygiene is promoted in washroom spaces and hand sanitizer is available at over 700 locations across campus.
  • More FAQs.

ACCOMMODATION AND SUPPORT

We will continue to support our community in its return to campus with the same care and compassion as we have throughout the pandemic.
  • Dalhousie has a very robust accommodation program that has been key in compassionately responding to individuals requiring assistance in dealing with the impacts of the pandemic on their work and studies — this will continue this fall.
  • Human Resources has new guidelines for flexible work arrangements to support leaders, supervisors and employees in considering and/or managing flexible working arrangements.
  • More FAQs.

PLAN FOR COVID-19 CASES

Stay home if you feel sick, follow provincial testing protocols if showing symptoms of COVID-19, and self-isolate if required.

In the event COVID-19 cases do occur, we are prepared to support those who are sick and help keep our community safe.

  • We work closely with Nova Scotia Public Health on contact tracing and support in the event of COVID-19 cases or exposures related to our university community.
  • In instances where an exposure has occured, an exposure notice may be issued and made available to those affected or, as appropriate, our broader Dal community.
  • Planning for addressing and supporting COVID cases among our student, faculty and/or staff community has been critical to our safety and success this past year and will continue to align with the latest directives from Nova Scotia Health and Public Health.
  • More FAQs.

Return to campus safety resources

Faculty and staff should consult the safety resources at the Return to Campus Information page (login required).

Masks

Dalhousie University is asking people to continue to wear non-medical masks or face coverings in all indoor common spaces on our campuses.

What is a non-medical mask?

A non-medical mask, or face covering, is a mask that covers your mouth and nose. It can be made of cloth and should be at least two layers. 

When do I need to wear a mask?

  • Non-medical masks should be worn by all staff, faculty, students and visitors to campus who are travelling through or working/studying in any indoor common areas and public spaces including buildings, classrooms, libraries, food establishments, residences, hallways, stairwells, elevators, and common study areas. 
  • You are free to remove your non-medical mask in personal, private workspaces where a distance of 2 metres can be observed, or within students’ private residence rooms. You may also remove your mask briefly while eating and drinking, providing you are stationary and observing a safe physical distance from others. 
  • An instructor lecturing in a classroom may remove their mask if 6 feet (2 metres) of distance from all others can be observed.
  • Individuals are welcome to wear non-medical masks or face coverings in other spaces and settings (outdoors, etc.) should they wish to do so, as an added precaution to help keep others safe. 

Exceptions to these requirements can include individuals with valid medical reasons for being unable to wear a mask, those who are unable to remove a mask on their own, and children under the age of 2. 

When do I need to wear a rated medical mask?

  • Where workplace hazards dictate rated medical masks as the appropriate PPE for the task.

If I forgot my mask, can I pick one up on campus?

We expect all members of our community to have their own supply of masks but, if you forgot to grab yours before coming to campus, you can grab one to use for the day at one of several locations:

Studley and Carleton Campuses

Sexton Campus

Agricultural Campus (Truro)

  • Student Success Centre (Dairy Building), (M to F, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.)


Find more info about masks on our FAQ page.  

 

Dalhousie contact information

Please note: If you are concerned you have been exposed to, or may be experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, please visit the Nova Scotia's Coronavirus (COVID-19): symptoms and testing page to complete a self-assessment.

  Health-related inquiries
Travel-related inquiries
Dalhousie students Student Health and Wellness
902-494-2171 (Halifax)
902-893-6369 (Truro)
International Centre
902-494-1566 (Halifax)
902-893-6672 (Truro)
international.centre@dal.ca
Dalhousie faculty and staff
For information about COVID-19, call the Government of Canada COVID-19 information line at 1-833-784-4397, or

Employee Family and Assistance program
1-800-387-4765
Human Resources
902-456-8784
hr@dal.ca