Student FAQ

Student FAQ

Vaccinations

Q: Why is Memorial requiring all faculty, staff and students be vaccinated?

A: We have a shared responsibility to keep each other and our families safe during the upcoming school year. We know that one of the most important ways to keep our university community safe is to get vaccinated. Vaccines are our best defense against COVID-19. On Dec. 17, 2021 Memorial's compliance with the requirements of the Newfoundland and Labrador COVID-19 Vaccine Regulations came into effect. This legislation requires employees of, and those who provide services to, businesses, facilities and organizations to be fully vaccinated or have an approved medical exemption by Dec. 17, 2021.

 

Q: How will Memorial be requesting proof of vaccination?

A: All students, faculty and staff of Memorial are asked to confirm vaccination status by completing a vaccination declaration form. Proof of vaccination should be uploaded via the form, and requests for exemptions can also be made by completing the form. Once again, individuals who are not yet vaccinated should access a vaccine clinic as soon as possible. In some areas of campuses, like food courts and recreation facilities individuals will need to show their NL VaxPass or relevant vaccine documentation.

 

Q: Who needs to complete the vaccination declaration form?

A: All students, faculty and staff of Memorial University must complete the vaccination declaration form. This includes anyone who has not been vaccinated and those who will not be on campus so may not need to be vaccinated. Those who are vaccinated can upload proof of vaccination, those who are unvaccinated can request an exemption and those who will not be on campus can indicate so on the form.

 

Q: What happens if someone does not fill out the declaration form?

A: Anyone who does not fill out the vaccine declaration form will be contacted directly via email.

 

Q: What does it mean to be fully vaccinated?

A: In accordance with the NL Vaccine Passport (NL VaxPass), fully vaccinated is defined as: when at least two weeks have passed since an individual’s second dose, or first dose of a one-dose COVID-19 vaccine, of an approved Health Canada vaccine. You are also considered fully vaccinated if you received one or two doses of a non-Health Canada approved COVID-19 vaccine, followed by one dose of an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna), and at least two weeks has passed since the mRNA dose. Memorial will be updating its current vaccination procedure to align with Public Health advice. To read more about NL VaxPass Memorial-specific information, please visit Memorial’s COVID-19 website. More information on the provincial program, guidance and requirements are available online. You can also learn more about downloading the VaxPass through this video. It is important that individuals are fully vaccinated as soon as possible, ideally before coming to campus.

Memorial is considering adding a requirement for booster shots to the vaccine mandate, based on Public Heath requirements and guidance. More information will be shared as it becomes available.

 

Q: I’m not fully vaccinated yet. Can I still come to campus?


A. Members of the university community who are in the process of completing their vaccine series can come to campus. They must complete the vaccine declaration form to indicate they are in the process of getting vaccinated and agree to be fully vaccinated within 8 weeks of their first dose. All students, faculty and staff can book vaccination appointments with the Student Wellness and Counselling Centre or through Public Health.

 

Q: I have completed the vaccination declaration form and requested an accommodation. When will I find out if my accommodation has been granted?


A: Memorial will contact those who have completed the vaccination declaration form indicating that they require an accommodation. Approved accommodations require documented evidence. Documentation outlining medical reasons for not being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 must be provided by an appropriate health care provider, in line with guidance from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Newfoundland and Labrador. Protected grounds for accommodations are contained in the Newfoundland & Labrador Human Rights Act, 2010. Individuals will be contacted once the applicable department has reviewed their accommodation request.

 

Q: Will I be required to show the NL VaxPass or proof of vaccination on campus?

A: Some activities at Memorial now require COVID-19 vaccination record checks for an individual’s access to venues or spaces. Find more information here.

 

Q: Can I get a vaccine on campus?

A: Students, faculty and staff can get vaccinated on the St. John’s campus by calling the Student Wellness and Counselling Centre. Details on how to get a vaccine on campus are available online. The Grenfell Campus community can get vaccinated at community clinics in the Western Health region and during on campus clinics. Public vaccine clinics are offered in local communities, details are available here

 

Q: What if I cannot be vaccinated?

A: All requests for exemptions from the vaccination requirement must be made by submitting the online Vaccination Declaration Form. A representative of Memorial University will contact those who request an exemption to collect more information. Exemptions from vaccination will be considered from those individuals who request an accommodation as a result of a medical condition or other ground protected by the Human Rights Act, 2010.

 

Q: I have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine. Where can I get more information?

A: The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador’s COVID-19 website contains relevant information and answers to common questions on vaccines.

 

Q: What if I have already been vaccinated outside of Canada?

A: If you have received a full Health Canada approved COVID-19 vaccine, you will be considered fully vaccinated.

If you have been vaccinated outside of Canada, you may need to start a new COVID-19 vaccine series with a Health Canada approved COVID-19 vaccine. Individuals who have received one or more doses of a vaccine not approved by Health Canada or the World Health Organization outside of Canada should follow the guidance of Newfoundland and Labrador public health.

 

Q: All my classes are online or remote for the semester. Do I still need to get vaccinated?

A: Individuals who will not be physically present on Memorial’s campuses/locations at any time during the semester are not required to be vaccinated, but must still complete the vaccination declaration form to indicate that. However, anyone coming to one of Memorial’s campuses/locations for any reason must be vaccinated and submit proof via the declaration form. Reasons for access could include, but are not limited to, examinations, labs, group work, small group seminars outside of lectures, meetings, events, library access, recreational or social activities, etc.

 

Q. I have multiple proof of COVID-19 vaccination documents. How do I combine these documents?

A. There are multiple ways to combine documents. Two ideas are:

  • PDF files: Use Acrobat DC (instructions) or Preview on macOS (instructions) to make a multi-page PDF.
  • Paper documents: Take a photo of both paper documents side by side and upload the image. Alternatively, use a scanner and upload the image file created

Please contact the ITS Service Desk for more assistance.

 

Q: Will guest speakers be permitted on-campus or allowed in classes? If so, what are the protocols around COVID-19 restrictions for these guests?

A: When guest speakers/community members are essential to support the teaching and learning environment at Memorial, they will be treated as visitors with a reason to be onsite and must comply with all guidelines and protocols as prescribed by the university. To comply with the Newfoundland and Labrador COVID-19 Vaccine Regulations, employees, vendors, suppliers, contractors etc. who come to campus must be fully vaccinated by Dec. 17, 2021. Health and safety plans must be approved by Environmental Health and Safety to facilitate the attendance of these visitors on campus as Memorial will not be collecting their vaccination status, but vaccination for everyone who is able to be vaccinated is strongly encouraged.

Visitors are required to follow established health and safety controls which include:

  • Complete the daily self-assessment
  • Use of 3-ply masks, as required by the university
  • Maintain physical distance
  • Practice good hygiene
  • Provide contact information for the purposes of contact tracing if required
  • Follow Public Health advice and requirements
  • Complete location or activity-specific waivers

 

Q: Can visitors come to Memorial campuses?

A: Visitors including individuals with a reason to be on campus, such as those renting spaces or facilities, attending shows or events, visiting public locations such as the Johnson Geo Centre, Botanical Gardens, or Grenfell Art Gallery, attending or providing training, attending short courses, or industry clients. To comply with the Newfoundland and Labrador COVID-19 Vaccine Regulations, employees, vendors, suppliers, contractors etc. who come to campus must be fully vaccinated by Dec. 17, 2021. Some events for visitors such as attending shows or events at the Johnson Geo Centre, Botanical Gardens, sporting events will require the use of NL Vax Pass for entry.

Visiting Memorial for non-essential business is discouraged. Visitors with a reason to be onsite are required to follow established health and safety controls which may include:

  • Complete the daily self-assessment
  • Use of masks, as required by the University
  • Maintain physical distance
  • Practice good hygiene
  • Provide contact information for the purposes of contact tracing
  • Follow Public Health advice and requirements
  • Complete location or activity-specific waivers

 

Q. How is Memorial University protecting my personal information in accordance with the Vaccination Declaration form?

A. Further to the Procedure for Vaccine Requirement and the Privacy Statement located on the Vaccination Declaration form (reproduced below), additional information on the collection and use of your personal information.

  • Information collected via the vaccine declaration form is stored on local University servers, specifically, the Core Banner System and our Enterprise Document Management solution. These systems allow for restricted access to only those employees delegated to process vaccination declaration forms.
  • For individuals who have declared fully vaccinated status- the Department of Environmental Health and Safety maintains the vaccination declaration forms of fully vaccinated individuals. These forms are securely stored and accessible to the Environmental Health and Safety department for auditing purposes only.
  • For Individuals who request an exemption or do not wish to disclose their status - Memorial University has partnered with Dallas Mercer Consulting (DMC), who has expertise with handling personal information, including personal health information. Vaccination declaration forms will be disclosed to DMC, who will contact individuals on behalf of the university. DMC will employ a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to access the University’s systems to ensure that individuals’ data remains secure.
    • If in the event that an individual is forwarded on for further case management – a designated staff person in Human Resources or Student Support will be able to access the file to be able to do the appropriate follow-up for accommodation purposes.
    • Individuals who do not wish to upload their vaccination status through the Vaccination Declaration Form have the option to disclose this information to DMC via a Webex virtual meeting (this meeting is not recorded). Following visual verification status, a note of vaccination status is placed on your file; however, no declaration form is saved.

All individuals who have a role in administering the university’s vaccine mandate program are subject to the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, 2015. The collection, use and disclosure of personal information in accordance with the Procedure for Vaccine Requirement shall be limited to the minimum amount of information necessary to accomplish this purpose and/or in accordance with applicable laws.

Vaccination Declaration Form Privacy Statement
The collection of the information requested on this form is authorized under the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act, 2015 SNL 2015 CHAPTER A‐1.2 and will be used for the purpose of ensuring and facilitating compliance with Memorial’s procedure for vaccine requirement to support a safe return to campus. Access to the information will be limited to those individuals who require access in order to fulfill that purpose. By completing this form, I understand and agree that my vaccination and contact information may be used by and disclosed to units and/or third party service providers for the purposes of facilitating exemption requests, testing and aggregate reporting on compliance with Memorial’s vaccine requirement and testing program. Your personal information will not be disclosed by Memorial except as authorized by law. Questions about Memorial’s collection or use of your personal information may be directed to the Office of the Chief Risk Officer. The information collected will be held securely and will be retained in accordance with the university’s Information Management policy.

Masks

Q: What are the mask requirements on Memorial’s campuses?

A: All students, faculty, staff and visitors to Memorial’s campuses are required to wear three-ply masks indoors, in public spaces and common areas.

Mask recommendations are ever evolving. A three-ply non-medical face mask is the minimum standard while medical masks and respirators provide better protection. N95s or KN95s are likely to become the standard for masks in the coming months. The federal government (PHAC) states different types of masks are available for public use. Non-medical masks, medical masks and respirators can all be used in the community. In general, while non-medical masks can help prevent the spread of COVID-19, medical masks and respirators provide better protection. Fit is important for all types of masks. As well, high risk individuals may choose to wear masks that provide more protection based on their risk factors. As the COVID-19 situation evolves, so will recommendations for mask usage. If guidance changes, Memorial will inform the community.

Masks must be worn in classrooms and laboratories, while at university facilities or while conducting Memorial business off-campus. Masks are not required in student residence rooms, individual offices or while seated to actively eat or drink (outside of the teaching and learning environment).

Indoor public spaces include, but are not limited to, lobbies, elevators, hallways and corridors, stairwells, washrooms, common areas in residences or study lounges, meeting rooms, classrooms, research and teaching labs, shared or open-space offices, and other locations used in common where practicing physical distancing may be difficult or unpredictable, such as libraries. A health and safety moment regarding mask wearing can be found here.

 

Q: I am unable to wear a mask. How do I request an accommodation?

A: To assist students who require a face mask accommodation, Memorial is providing an opportunity to receive such an accommodation through the Accessibility for Students with Disabilities Policy. Each request for a face mask accommodation must be accompanied by sufficient medical documentation to support the student's request. More information can be found here.

 

Q: How will the mask requirement be enforced?

A: Memorial will provide education, communication and signage around campus on the mask requirements. It is the responsibility of every member of the university community to uphold the guidelines and controls necessary to keep Memorial’s campuses safe. We have a responsibility to protect ourselves and each other by following public health guidelines including getting vaccinated, physical distancing, mask wearing, hand washing and staying home when sick.

There may be many acceptable reasons why someone is not wearing a mask. Members of the university community and general public are encouraged to act with compassion, empathy and understanding when they observe individuals not wearing facial coverings where typically required.

Incidents of potential violations of requirements will be documented and addressed by the appropriate designated university officials utilizing a progressive educational discipline approach to create awareness around the purpose of such measures and the risks associated with non-compliance. If you would like to report a non-compliance related to mask wearing, please submit it through Memorial’s Incident Management System via the MUN Safe app or as a Hazard Observation in the eAlert system. Should there be a need for further information regarding potential violations of Memorial’s health and safety measures, individuals can reach out Environmental Health and Safety at health.safety@mun.ca or the Student Code of Conduct office at studentcode@mun.ca.

 

Q: Do I have to wear a mask if I am fully vaccinated?

A: Yes. The masking requirements apply regardless of vaccination or COVID-19 testing status. A health and safety moment regarding mask wearing can be found here.

 

Q: Are alternative face coverings (e.g. neck gaiters, scarfs) permitted instead of a mask?

A: Three-ply non-medical masks are required and should fully cover the nose, mouth and chin and be fixed with ties, straps or elastic, either behind the head or with loops. Neck gaiters, face shields, and masks with exhalation valves or vents are not recommended, unless required as an alternative to a mask for accommodation purposes.

 

Q: Will the university provide masks?

A: New students will receive masks in their welcome kits, Disposable masks will be stocked in the main offices of the three academic schools on-campus, at security, Office of the Registrar and Student Affairs for those who may forget or misplace their mask. All students, faculty and staff are asked to use their own non-medical masks and bring spares as needed.

 

Q: Do I need to wear a mask if I am sitting down to eat or drink in an area designated for eating or drink (e.g. the University Centre food court)?

A: No, masks are not required while actively eating or drinking.

 

Q. What should I do if I see someone not wearing a mask?

A: Members of the community are requested to uphold the university’s Respectful Workplace policy and practice compassion and kindness. You should refrain from asking colleagues, students, or others at the university to provide proof of accommodation under the mask mandate. Accommodations may be granted based on medical, trauma-based, religious and cultural grounds, as well as in specific circumstances where learning outcomes would be inhibited by a mask. Friendly reminders for those who may have forgotten to put on their mask is encouraged.

 

Q. What are the enforcement mechanisms for ensuring compliance of masks?

A: The university will focus on educating members of the community about this requirement, including the benefits of face masks with regard to community transmission of COVID-19, as well as the importance of accommodation and personal privacy regarding medical or other conditions. All employees and students are currently required to complete a mandatory COVID-19 awareness course prior to being physically present on campus.

Enforcement measures will focus primarily on an educational approach and will depend on the individual’s affiliation with the university, the nature of an incident, the place in which it occurred, and the impact on others in that place. Additional training will be provided to Campus Enforcement Patrol officers on expectations with regard to enforcement and engaging with community members not wearing a mask while at university locations. However, the onus is on all of us to practice kindness and respect towards others in our Memorial community.

 

Q: Is there a health and safety moment available related to mask wearing at the university?

A: A health and safety moment regarding mask wearing can be found here.

Winter 2022

Q. How is Memorial responding to the increased presence of the COVID-19 Omicron variant?

A. After considering carefully the many viewpoints, our commitment to health and safety, our duty to provide a rich learning environment as well as data points available to us at this time, we are revising Memorial’s operations, effective Monday, Jan. 31. Find more information here.

 

Q. What guidance and information is available for students returning to the province who must self-isolate for 5 days.


A. The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has announced updated requirements for anyone travelling to the province. Effective Jan. 22, new testing and isolation requirements came into effect for the province. Reference the latest information here.

Planning ahead is important as isolation will present extra challenges for students with shared accommodations. Please plan accordingly to determine the best course of action.

More information on guidance for each residence and supports for students and requiring five-day isolation in relation to the province’s order can be found here.

Off campus students must ensure plans are in place to meet the isolation requirements.

Self-isolation locations at hotels with discounted rates has been negotiated. Students will incur a cost for a hotel stay and associated meals and should refer to bursary information if these costs are prohibitive.

Please continue to monitor the provincial government and Memorial websites, social media and your university email account as these requirements could change again without notice.

 

Q: How will MUN's vaccine mandate be updated to reflect the need for third doses?

A: Memorial encourages and supports all members of the university community who choose to receive a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as per the public advisory released by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. The Mandatory Vaccine Policy for the province does not include boosters at this point.

Memorial is considering adding a requirement for booster shots to the vaccine mandate, based on Public Heath requirements and guidance. More information will be shared as it becomes available.

Q. Will Memorial update the university mask requirement to N95?

A. Mask recommendations are ever evolving. A three-ply face mask is the minimum standard while some people may choose to wear surgical masks or N95 respirators for better protection and their use is increasingly seen in the community. Face shields do not replace a mask; and masks with exhalation valves, neck gaiters, scarves and bandannas should not be worn. Non-medical masks, medical masks and respirators can all be used in the community. In general, while non-medical masks can help prevent the spread of COVID-19, medical masks and respirators provide better protection. Fit is important for all types of masks. As well, high risk individuals may choose to wear masks that provide more protection based on their risk factors. As the COVID-19 situation evolves, so will recommendations for mask usage. If guidance changes, Memorial will inform the community.

 

Q. What is the status of Memorial’s ventilation systems?

A. Memorial’s ventilation meets the standards of ASHRAE and where possible Facilities Management has upgraded system filters. EHS has audited and inspected all classrooms to be in accordance with OHS legislation and standards. Many buildings on campus have a mechanical ventilation system installed and maintained in accordance with industry standards. These systems supply and exhaust air to reduce the risk of exposure. Maintenance is conducted to ensure the filters are changed and the system is operating as intended. At Memorial, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and recent industry findings, Facilities Management is replacing the MERV 8 filters where possible with higher rated MERV 13 filters. This improves the efficiency of capturing any small particles in the air.

Memorial recognizes that ventilation is another control to minimize the spread of COVID-19. The Office of the Chief Risk Officer has established a COVID-19 Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) working group to review and consider implementation of technical recommendations to enhance building ventilation systems and reduce the risk of airborne infectious aerosol exposure.

Memorial has conducted ventilation assessments of all classrooms on the St. John’s, Grenfell and Marine Institute campuses and has determined classrooms have ventilation systems, either mechanical or natural (operable windows), that meet or exceed recommended guidelines. Maintenance is conducted to ensure the filters are changed and the system is operating as intended.

Air exchange rates or air changes per hour (ACH) are generally not used as a principle design target except in special areas such as laboratories and animal care facilities, which have regulated ACH rates.

As the university prepares to resume on campus instruction and ensure a safe indoor environment, the working group has prioritized our campus teaching spaces.

 

Q. What is the plan for testing and contact tracing on campus?

A. The current Public Health guidance around contact tracing is changing based on the provincial update on Jan. 20. The current definition of a close contact for the purposes of contact tracing are individuals: within a household with confirmed COVID-19 or with whom interactions occurred without masks (like while eating or drinking) or during sports.

If an individual has tested positive, Public Health guidance advises them to notify close contacts. Individuals are asked to keep track of people with whom they interact when not wearing a mask. Advice for individuals who have been exposed can be found here.

Students living in residence should immediately contact Student Housing at your campus help and support. At Grenfell Campus, call 637-6266. In St. John’s, email housing@mun.ca.

If an individual is positive for COVID-19 either through testing or being a close contact with symptoms, and require assistance with on campus close contact notification (unmasked), a reporting form is available in MUN Safe to request assistance.

Risk is determined by level of personal protective equipment, time, space and place. Most university operations would not present conditions for close contact, including classrooms, due to the controls in place. Please contact cro@mun.ca for further advice. During this process, medical information or an individual’s COVID-19 diagnosis will be treated in accordance with best practices for information protection and privacy.

More information is available here.

 

Q. How will we respond to changes in provincial restrictions?

A. Memorial uses a risk based approach with stages of risk level for decision making and pandemic risk mitigation, to assist with the scale-up and scale-back plan for university functions. Changes in the local and provincial case counts and hospitalizations, Public Health guidelines and vaccination rates guide our risk levels, with further consideration of risk mitigation measures in place on campus. Risk levels determine what actions may be required. Academic units have been encouraged to ensure instructional continuity plans are up-to-date and are ready for this shift to a remote environment.

The following CITL resources haven been updated for the winter semester and instructors are encouraged to avail of them in planning course delivery:

 

Q. How will we handle many more students missing class due to symptoms (even if it's a cold or flu)?

A. Instructors are asked to remain flexible. Anyone who fails the daily self-assessment for in person labs, practicums, etc., cannot come to campus. It will be important to accommodate students who may not be able to come to campus or attend online classes due to illness. Earlier this term, Senate approved the extension of the sick note policy into the winter 2022 term along with the requirement that only one signature be obtained for the purposes of dropping courses at the undergraduate level. It is important to note that Memorial can conduct symptomatic COVID-19 testing onsite at the Student Wellness and Counselling Centre which helps speed up the process for students, ideally getting them back in the classroom sooner. This is a great advantage to the university community.

 

Q. Is there any wastewater testing on campus, and what are the plans and resources for dealing with positive wastewater signals?

A. Yes, there is wastewater testing and we are monitoring the provincial results that includes a site at Clark Place on the south side of St. John’s campus and a site at Grenfell Campus. Wastewater testing can give us an early warning signal of undetected COVID-19 in residence. If COVID-19 is found in the wastewater, further COVID-19 testing is completed. You can read more on Memorial's participation in this program here.

 

Q. How will we deal with the mental health fallout of pivoting to remote teaching?

A. The mental health and wellbeing of all members of the Memorial University community is a high priority. Feeling stress and uncertainty during this time is understandable. Members of the university community are encouraged to seek out and use resources and supports as needed during this time.

The Student Wellness and Counselling Centre (SWCC) offers a wide variety of supports and services to assist students. The SWCC website offers online and phone-based community mental health and wellness supports. Please refer to the detailed list of resources if you need remote support.

The university encourages employees feeling stress for any reason to avail of resources such as the Employee Assistance Program (EAP). The EAP by Shepell.fgi, is a comprehensive, confidential service available to Memorial employees, retirees and their immediate family members (provided they are also covered under the university's health plan) at no cost, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Individuals with urgent mental health concerns should avail of one of the following community-based services:

  • 24-hour mental health crisis line: (709) 737-4668 (local) or 1-888-737-4668 (province-wide)
  • Mobile Crisis Response Team: 1-888-737-4668 St. John’s Region.
  • 24-hour Walk-in Psychiatric Assessment Unit at the Waterford Hospital Site on Waterford Bridge Road: (709) 777-3021 or (709) 777-3022.
  • A Doorways Clinic - locations throughout the province.

 

Q. How are we revising our procedures to reflect the fact that COVID-19 is airborne?

A. COVID-19 spreads from an infected person to others through respiratory droplets and aerosols (smaller droplets). Memorial continues to seek advice from Public Health on preventive measures to limit the spread of COVID-19. Focus has moved towards self-assessments and not coming to work or class when sick, masks, vaccines and ventilation. At Memorial the vast majority of our classrooms have mechanical ventilation which plays an important role in reducing the risk of spread in indoor environments. We are also fortunate that a very high proportion of the community is vaccinated, and there are just a small number of approved accommodations. If you are at a higher risk, consider an N95/KN95 mask.

We are confident that members of the Memorial community are doing their part to keep everyone safe while on campus, and that our health and safety measures will continue to serve us well as we move through this next phase of the pandemic.

 

Q. Can on-campus events continue?


A. On-campus gatherings are currently suspended. Please contact Environmental Health and Safety for further guidance. 

The On-Campus Experience

Q: What should I do if I am close contact of someone that tests positive for COVID-19?

Please follow the information provided for to determine if you are a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, and the steps you should follow once you’ve determined that you are: https://www.gov.nl.ca/covid-19/files/Covid-Exposure-Flowchart-2021-FINAL.pdf.

 

Q: I live with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. What should I do?

https://www.gov.nl.ca/covid-19/files/Covid-Exposure-Flowchart-2021-FINAL.pdf

  • Isolate for 7 days.
  • You do not need to get tested unless you frequent a high-risk setting (School is high risk -see 2nd table in link)
  • If you develop symptoms, follow guidance for positive cases.
  • Once released from isolation, limit activities to essential tasks only and avoid high-risk settings for an additional 3 days.

Essential tasks means activities you must do, like going to school, work, or grocery shopping.

 

Q: Will students be required to be physically distanced in classrooms, labs and lecture halls?

A: On campus classrooms will be limited to groups of 100 or fewer students. Students should try to maintain physical distancing whenever possible. Other measures, such as masks and vaccines, are in place to protect against COVID-19.

 

Q: Can students gather in the halls outside classrooms before and after classes?

A: To minimize the amount of time spent gathering in hallways and common areas, students are encouraged to arrive for classes and labs no more than five minutes before they start. Memorial will communicate expectations around navigating campus with clear signage on the floor, in doorways and on hallway walls.

 

Q: What will happen if my instructor is ill — how will I know if a class is cancelled?

A: Each course outline should include a statement that details how you will be informed if a course is cancelled. Make sure you’re checking your Marine Institute email address and Brightspace messages regularly.

 

Q: Will there be directional and distancing signage to guide people?

A: Yes. Memorial will use signage to provide distancing and directional guidance.

 

Q: How will contact tracing occur should someone on campus test positive for COVID-19?

A: The current Public Health guidance around contact tracing is changing based on the provincial update on Jan. 20. The current definition of a close contact for the purposes of contact tracing are individuals: within a household with confirmed COVID-19 or with whom interactions occurred without masks (like while eating or drinking) or during sports.

If an individual has tested positive, Public Health guidance advises them to notify close contacts. Individuals are asked to keep track of people with whom they interact when not wearing a mask. Advice for individuals who have been exposed can be found here.

Students living in residence should immediately contact Student Housing at your campus help and support.

If an individual is positive for COVID-19 either through testing or being a close contact with symptoms, and require assistance with on campus close contact notification (unmasked), a reporting form is available in MUN Safe to request assistance.

Risk is determined by level of personal protective equipment, time, space and place. Most university operations would not present conditions for close contact, including classrooms, due to the controls in place. Please contact cro@mun.ca for further advice. During this process, medical information or an individual’s COVID-19 diagnosis will be treated in accordance with best practices for information protection and privacy.

More information is available here.

Faculty, staff and students should also download the COVID Alert app, which is designed to let Canadians know whether they may have been exposed to COVID-19. You will be alerted by provincial public health staff or the COVID Alert app if you come in contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19.

 

Q: If I am required to self-isolate at any point during the semester due to COVID-19 or exposure, will there be accommodations in place for the on-campus instruction that I am missing?

A: Students who find themselves in this scenario are asked to contact their instructor directly. If you are unable to reach your instructor, students should contact the department head who is responsible for the course. Memorial will make every effort to ensure that all students are able to progress successfully through their course work despite potential challenges associated with COVID-19.

 

Q: If COVID-19 cases are discovered on campus, will my in-person classes pivot to remote delivery?

A: Memorial will take guidance and directive from public health officials on requirements for isolation or canceling classes, with the hope that any cases can be isolated with minimal impact on university business. However, if necessary and unavoidable, Memorial is well-prepared to pivot to remote instruction.

 

Q: What should I do if I am not feeling well or need to isolate due to potential COVID-19 exposure but am scheduled to be on-campus?

A: Do not come to campus if you are feeling unwell. Contact your course instructor and let them know of your absence. Your course instructors have been asked in a case like this to provide you with flexibility so that you can remain at home. If you’re an undergraduate student, University Regulation 6.7.5 details how you can apply for an alternative evaluation.

 

Q: What cleaning protocols are in place for classrooms, labs and indoor spaces on campus?

A: Cleaning protocols throughout campus have been enhanced during the COVID-19 pandemic. Cleaning logs are displayed outside washrooms. MI’s Facilities and Technical Services will continue the current practice of cleaning lecture spaces once per day. These rooms are equipped with disinfectant spray bottles and towels. Each user should clean touch surfaces in their area before and after use and utilize good hand hygiene. Signage is in place to emphasize the need for regular cleaning by users. More details on pandemic cleaning can be found here and here.

 

Q: How will Memorial University ensure there is adequate air ventilation in classrooms?

A: Memorial’s ventilation meets the standards of ASHRAE and where possible Facilities Management has upgraded system filters. EHS has audited and inspected all classrooms to be in accordance with OHS legislation and standards. Many buildings on campus have a mechanical ventilation system installed and maintained in accordance with industry standards. These systems supply and exhaust air to reduce the risk of exposure. Maintenance is conducted to ensure the filters are changed and the system is operating as intended. At Memorial, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and recent industry findings, Facilities Management is replacing the MERV 8 filters where possible with higher rated MERV 13 filters. This improves the efficiency of capturing any small particles in the air.

Memorial recognizes that ventilation is another control to minimize the spread of COVID-19. The Office of the Chief Risk Officer has established a COVID-19 Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) working group to review and consider implementation of technical recommendations to enhance building ventilation systems and reduce the risk of airborne infectious aerosol exposure.

Memorial has conducted ventilation assessments of all classrooms on the St. John’s, Grenfell and Marine Institute campuses and has determined classrooms have ventilation systems, either mechanical or natural (operable windows), that meet or exceed recommended guidelines. Maintenance is conducted to ensure the filters are changed and the system is operating as intended.

Air exchange rates or air changes per hour (ACH) are generally not used as a principle design target except in special areas such as laboratories and animal care facilities, which have regulated ACH rates.

As the university prepares to resume on campus instruction and ensure a safe indoor environment, the working group has prioritized our campus teaching spaces.

 

Q: If a student group would like to arrange an on-campus outdoor student gathering does the mandatory mask policy apply to that outdoor gathering?

A: Public Health guidelines for outdoor gatherings should be followed, and masks are not required if physical distancing can be maintained outside. The guidelines can be found here.

 

Q: If a student group would like to arrange on off-campus gathering does the mandatory mask policy apply?

A: Off campus activities should abide by public health guidelines set by the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. See https://www.gov.nl.ca/covid-19/updates-resources/public-health-orders/.

 

Q: Will on-campus classrooms be set up to have a minimum of 6 feet separation for students in addition to mandatory masks?

A: On campus classrooms will only be used for groups of fewer than 100 students. As per our established health and safety guidelines, the mandatory mask policy for students who attend in-person classes is the minimum requirement and as such a distance of 6 feet between students is not guaranteed.