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Fall term update: Vaccine survey, consideration of vaccine requirements

Posted by Frank Harvey, Provost and Vice-President Academic on August 19, 2021 in News

MEMORANDUM

To:             The Dalhousie University community

From:        Frank Harvey, Provost and Vice-President Academic

Date:         Thursday, August 19, 2021

Re:             Fall term update: Vaccine survey, consideration of vaccine requirements

Dalhousie University continues to plan for the fall while adhering to the latest Nova Scotia Public Health guidelines, ensuring the health and safety of our students, staff and faculty as we bring more of our community back to campus. As we communicated last week, Dalhousie’s fall safety plan and guidance (which can be reviewed here) has been designed to allow us to add, remove or modify our layers of protection as required — just as we have done in extending mask usage in indoor shared spaces currently through September.

Our conversations with Labour and Advanced Education, Nova Scotia Public Health, the Council of Nova Scotia University Presidents (CONSUP) and key stakeholders across Dalhousie are ongoing, and we will continue to adjust our approach as needed, based on the best available data, evidence and advice and Public Health guidance.

We continue to expect all students, faculty and staff to get fully vaccinated. We are also exploring vaccination requirements for select potentially higher-risk activities (examples could include residence, athletics, etc.). The Department of Labour and Advanced Education and Nova Scotia Public Health have now authorized Nova Scotian postsecondary institutions to consider this selective approach. As Dalhousie’s size, scope of programs and operations are considerably more complex than some of our peer institutions, we are continuing to work through the operational details and promise to share more information as soon as possible. Any directive would include timeframes for unvaccinated or partially vaccinated individuals to get fully vaccinated, though our expectation is the vast majority of those involved in these activities are already fully vaccinated.

Additionally, as part of our efforts, we will soon be asking all students, faculty and staff to complete a short, anonymous survey about their vaccination plans and actions. Distributing this survey now, with the majority of our community having had the opportunity to receive their vaccine, should provide us with the most up-to-date data on community coverage. We will share the information with our Dal community and use it to inform our vaccine approach. Look for that in the coming days.

With plans for on-campus vaccination clinics set for September (alongside on-campus rapid testing), we continue to have full confidence in our Dal community’s commitment to vaccination as the best, most effective way to keep one another safe, alongside all the other measures in our safety plan. We look forward to sharing our vaccine survey with you shortly.

Sincerely,

Frank Harvey
Provost and Vice-President Academic

Dalhousie University is located in Mi'kma'ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi`kmaq. We are all treaty people.

We acknowledge the histories, contributions, and legacies of the African Nova Scotian people and communities who have been here for over 400 years.