Nova Scotia

Cape Breton University adds name to list of post-secondary schools requiring vaccination

All students, staff and faculty are expected to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 15.

Campus members involved in varsity athletics must be vaccinated by Sept. 1

Cape Breton University is extending its vaccination mandate to all students, staff and faculty. (CBC)

Cape Breton University is joining the list of Nova Scotia's post-secondary institutions that will require proof of vaccination later this fall.

University officials say staff, students and faculty are expected to be fully vaccinated as soon as possible, or by Oct. 1. CBU will also require that masks be worn on campus until the end of September.

Campus members who are involved in varsity athletics must be vaccinated by Sept. 1.

"I have an obligation, I think, to the faculty, to the staff and to the students to protect their health," CBU president David Dingwall told Mainstreet Cape Breton on Thursday. "But I also have a broader responsibility, and that's to the community. As a result, we've put in place mandatory vaccinations."

In July, CBU became the first university in the province to require all students living in residence to be fully vaccinated. 

Dingwall said the return of CBU's large international student population should not cause any alarm for Cape Bretoners.

"I know the community has some concerns about international students, but we're not worried about them at all," he said.

"Before they get on a flight they have to have a vaccine authorized by the World Health Organization. And when they get here they'll need a second vaccine, as well as some form of quarantine."

According to CBU's website, the university has 3,500 international students from 50 countries. It's unclear how those numbers have been affected by the pandemic.

Wave of announcements

Earlier this week, Mount Saint Vincent University announced its own campus-wide vaccination requirement.

The Nova Scotia Community College followed suit, saying it will require all students and employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 this fall or else be subject to testing and masking policies.

NSCC students and employees will have until Oct. 12 to provide proof of vaccination. Anyone who cannot or chooses not to get vaccinated will have to get tested for COVID-19 twice weekly and wear a mask on campus.

Dalhousie University will require all students, staff and faculty to be fully vaccinated or agree to COVID-19 testing twice per week.

CBU says fully vaccinated means an individual is 14 days past their second dose of a World Health Organization approved vaccine.

In submitting proof of vaccination, CBU is finalizing a processing system. People who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons must get tested for COVID-19 twice a week and will continue to wear a mask.

Testing and vaccinations will be available at various times at the CBU campus throughout September.


Erin Pottie


Erin Pottie is a CBC reporter based in Sydney. She has been covering local news in Cape Breton for 15 years. Story ideas welcome at

With files from Holly Conners and Mainstreet Cape Breton