Nova Scotia

Out-of-province St. FX student fined $1,000 in N.S. for not self-isolating

A St. FX university student in Antigonish has been fined $1,000 by Nova Scotia RCMP for failing to self-isolate.

RCMP received a complaint and found student in violation of Health Protection Act

An out-of-province student enrolled at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish has been fined $1,000 by Nova Scotia RCMP for failing to self-isolate. (Elizabeth McMillan/CBC)

A St. Francis Xavier University student in Antigonish, N.S., has been fined $1,000 after RCMP say they didn't isolate after entering the Atlantic bubble.

Nova Scotia RCMP say they received a complaint Monday that a student was not following the rules.

The province announced last week all university students coming from outside the Atlantic provinces would need to self-isolate for 14 days and be tested for the coronavirus three times before attending class or going out in the community.

RCMP say the student was in violation of the Health Protection Act for failing to self-isolate and issued a summary offence ticket on Tuesday.

Cpl. Lisa Croteau with the RCMP said they are not providing any identifying information about the student for privacy reasons, but an official with the university confirms the student is enrolled there.

Croteau said she believes this is the first instance of an out-of-province student being fined for not self-isolating.

"We just want to educate the students that are coming in [to the province] that we are going to be monitoring and that we will be issuing charges if they're not self-isolating as per requirement," she said.

RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Lisa Croteau believes this is the first instance of an out-of-province student being fined for not self-isolating. (David Laughlin/CBC)

One case of COVID-19 was confirmed at Mount Allison University in Sackville, N.B., this week. Health officials said the case is travel-related and the person has been self-isolating.

On Wednesday, Nova Scotia Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Robert Strang, told CBC News: Nova Scotia at 6:00 that communities like Antigonish and Wolfville have developed networks of people to help support students in self-isolation with things like grocery delivery.

"At the end of the day, students have been made well-aware.... They're coming into Nova Scotia to continue their education," he said.

"They need to be part of keeping us all safe, and I fully believe that it may not be perfect, but the large majority of students will be understanding of this."

University's response

The university's vice-president of students, Elizabeth Yeo, said the student will now be subject to the school's disciplinary process.

She said the university's disciplinary policy was updated in June and violating public health orders was added and classified as a "major offence."

A disciplinary committee will hear the facts of the incident and decide the appropriate outcome. Yeo said this could include a warning, suspension or expulsion.

"I do think it's a strong reminder to the entire community that both the RCMP and the university are taking this very seriously," she said.

With files from Tom Murphy

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