Nova Scotia

University of King's College announces COVID plans; N.S. reports 7 new cases

Unvaccinated students, faculty and staff at the University of King's College in Halifax will have to be tested twice weekly for COVID-19.

Students and staff not vaccinated or declining to disclose status must be tested twice weekly

The University of King's College in Halifax is shown on Oct. 31, 2018. (Robert Guertin/CBC)

University of King's College in Halifax is the latest post-secondary school to implement vaccination and testing requirements for students, faculty and staff in the upcoming semester.

People will be asked electronically if they are fully vaccinated. If they are not, or decline to disclose their vaccination status, they will be required to be tested for COVID-19 twice weekly and submit their test results electronically.

The university announced the new policy in a news release on Wednesday, but does not yet have a date for when the system will be operational. The release did not say whether those who respond that they are fully vaccinated will have to show proof.

In an email to CBC News, King's associate director of communications, Elizabeth Grant, said the school is working to adopt Dalhousie University's testing and vaccination requirement, which does include providing proof of vaccination.

The announcement from King's came as Nova Scotia reported seven new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday.

All of them are in the central health zone. Four of them are related to travel and three are close contacts of previously reported cases. There are now 60 known active cases in the province.

Nova Scotia Health labs completed 3,584 tests on Tuesday.

President urges vaccination

Bill Lahey, the president and vice-chancellor of King's, urged everyone who will be using the campus to get double vaccinated if they are medically able.

"This is our fundamental assurance of health and safety and a successful and sustained return to in-person learning and community life," he said in the release.

"Likewise, I remind everyone that being tested regularly is a duty that all of us owe to each other in the coming year, whether or not we are required to do so because we are not vaccinated or because we choose not to share our vaccination status."

The announcement from King's comes a week after its sister school, Dalhousie University, announced similar vaccination and testing requirements, which extend to students, faculty and staff from King's who access the Dalhousie campus.

Over the past two weeks, COVID-19 plans have also been announced at Université Saint-AnneNSCCMount Saint Vincent UniversityNSCADCape Breton UniversitySaint Mary's UniversityAcadia University and St. Francis Xavier University.

Atlantic Canada case numbers

  • New Brunswick reported 11 new cases Wednesday and 127 active cases. The province has one patient in the ICU due to COVID-19.
  • Prince Edward Island reported three new cases Tuesday, all related to travel outside the region. The province has eight active cases.
  • Newfoundland and Labrador reported eight new cases Wednesday. There are 27 active cases in the province.