Guidelines and frequently asked questions: Students
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 as we transition back to campus is to get vaccinated. Vaccines are our best defense against COVID-19.
Q: How will Memorial be requesting proof of vaccination?
A: All students, faculty and staff of Memorial will be asked to confirm vaccination status by completing a vaccine 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.
Q: Who needs to complete the vaccine declaration form?
A: All students, faculty and staff of Memorial University must complete the vaccine 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: 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. It is recommended that you make every effort to receive both vaccine doses before the start of the fall 2021 semester. Students, faculty and staff coming on all campuses must have their first dose by Sept. 7, 2021 and their second dose by Oct. 15, 2021. Please check with your local health authority for details on vaccine clinics. All students, faculty and staff can also book vaccination appointments with the Student Wellness and Counselling Centre at any time.
Q: What does it mean to be fully vaccinated?
A: Individuals are considered fully vaccinated 14 days after their second dose. In Newfoundland and Labrador, first and second doses can be completed 28 days apart. It is important that individuals are fully vaccinated as soon as possible, ideally before coming to campus.
Q: Can I get a vaccine on campus?
A: Students, faculty and staff can get vaccinated on the St. John’s campus at free, scheduled clinics. 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. Memorial plans to offer free pop up vaccination clinics on campuses at the start of the fall semester. Details will be shared here as the clinics are confirmed.
Q: What if I cannot be vaccinated?
A: All requests for exemptions from the vaccination requirement must be made by submitting the online Vaccine 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 or World Health Organization 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 receive one or more doses of a vaccine outside of Canada should follow the guidance of Newfoundland and Labrador public health.
Q: All my classes are online or remote for the fall 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 vaccine 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: What are the mask requirements on Memorial’s campuses?
A: All students, faculty, staff and visitors to Memorial’s campuses are required to wear non-medical face masks indoors, in public spaces and common areas or any time a two-metre physical distance cannot be maintained. This applies 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 cubicles, or while seated to eat or drink.
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.
Q: Why is Memorial reinstating the mask requirement?
A: Memorial is committed to the health and safety of the community and mask wearing is a proven tool that helps prevent the spread of COVID-19. Masking, along with getting vaccinated, physical distancing, hand washing and staying home when sick, provides the university community with the best possible protection while on campus.
Accommodations to the mask requirement may be made for medical reasons or reasons covered by the Newfoundland and Labrador Human Rights Act. More information on face mask accommodations and how to request one can be found here.
In some courses or programs, where specific learning outcomes would be inhibited by a mask, there may be exemptions based on an approved health and safety plan.
Q: I am unable to wear a mask. How to 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or the Student Code of Conduct office at email@example.com.
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.
Q: Are alternative face coverings (e.g. neck gaiters, scarfs) permitted instead of a mask?
A: 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, and some faculties/schools may also provide students, faculty and staff with masks. Disposable masks will be stocked in department offices in faculties and schools campus for those who may forget or misplace their mask. Units are encouraged to stock disposable masks if a member of the community requires one. 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 eating or drinking.
THE ON-CAMPUS EXPERIENCE
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: Can students, faculty and staff use the tunnels to move between buildings?
A: Yes, the tunnel system will be open. Individuals are also encouraged to walk outside when possible.
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 @mun.ca 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: Contact tracing is completed by public health staff in Newfoundland and Labrador. 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 fall semester due to possible COVID-19 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 in the fall semester, will my in-person classes pivot to remote delivery?
A: If a student tests positive for COVID-19, contact tracing will be completed by provincial public health staff. 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. Facilities Management 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.
Q: How will Memorial University ensure there is adequate air ventilation in classrooms?
A: Memorial has conducted a ventilation assessment of all classrooms on St. John’s campus and has determined classrooms have adequate ventilation either mechanical or natural (operable windows). 99 per cent of classrooms 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.
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.
Q: I have a remote course with synchronous class scheduled 10 minutes after the end of an on-campus course. What can I do?
A: Memorial will be providing on-campus classroom space where students will have Wi-Fi and limited access to power outlets to attend remote lectures while physically on-campus. Locations and hours are listed here. Grenfell Campus and Marine Institute students should check their campus’ websites for details.