Updated April 26, 2021:
The AST residence will re-open but closed to the public
Common area protocols will be in place
Reported / suspected cases of Covid-19 in residence
Updated March 19:
We're getting better at social distancing! Effective today, we have limited operating hours in our shared kitchens, and have also restricted kitchen use to only 2 people at a time. You'll also notice that there are just 2 chairs in each of our shared kitchens!
And we remind you that absolutely nobody is permitted in the Residence Building who does not live or work here. If you need help moving things out, we'll do our very best, and our terrific Residence Dons can help!
AST RESIDENCE: RESPONSE TO COVID19
The Residence Building is closed; we encourage all students who have the ability to return home to do so. Students who return home will be able to do so without financial penalty and should speak with Residence Manager Bobbi Zahra to discuss details of their departure. Those students who are able to move out should do so as soon as possible, no later than Sunday, March 22, which is in line with all other universities in NS and in line with advice from Public Health Nova Scotia. Those who move out by March 22 will receive a prorated refund, issued as a cheque, upon successful completion of the out-inspection required whenever a residence room is vacated.
We understand that some residents may be unable to return home due to exceptional circumstance. AST also reserves the right to move students who may remain to other rooms and may do so in order to assist with social distancing. If you believe that you have exceptional circumstances, you are advised to contact Residence Manager Bobbi Zahra, by email, in which you provide complete details of what you consider the exceptional circumstances. Further, you should do so immediately, as we are working with the March 22 date in mind. Please understand that simply offering this information is not a confirmation that you may stay: rather, it is the first step that is required in order for us to consider that possibility.
Residence will continue to operate as much as possible as we always have, considering current restrictions, notably, the addition of intensive measures at prevention. Your cooperation is expected as Facilities works harder than ever to mitigate your risk by adding increased disinfection of shared areas to their usual routine. To help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, enhanced cleaning procedures and increased frequency of cleaning in high-traffic areas and touch points are being undertaken by our team.
There are to be no group gatherings in the Residence, beyond the need to share kitchen facilities. Please be constantly aware of social distance: 2 metres (6 feet) between people at all times is the minimum recommendation. That further means that sitting around the table in shared kitchens is not possible for the duration of more stringent precautions.
You should note that it is possible we may be ordered by the Provincial Health Authority to lock the kitchens. If we are so advised, we will advise you promptly so that you may remove whatever non-refrigerated food you have stored there. If the shared kitchens are locked, they will not be opened for any purpose. This means that you will not be able to cook any food, because the addition of microwaves to individual rooms contravenes our policies.
Guest privileges in residence are suspended until further notice. This means precisely that you may not invite any guests into the Residence Building until otherwise advised. If, in your plans to move out, you have family or friends coming to help you, this also applies to them: you may not admit anybody into the Residence Building at any time. If you need assistance in moving heavy things out, we do have a cart that you may use, so that things may at least be brought outside via the ramp at the main entrance to a waiting vehicle. The cart will likely be left in the foyer at the main entrance, and if you borrow it to move your things out, you are absolutely required to put it back where you picked it up.
Process for Departure
- When you make your arrangements to leave and know the date on which you will depart, you must contact the Residence Manager to arrange an inspection of your room. It is this inspection that determines how much of your damage deposit will be returned to you. Residents who leave without contacting the Residence Manager and returning their keys may lose their security deposits entirely. Residents who have already left must advise the Residence Manager immediately; accounts may not be prorated if we have not been informed of your departure.
- Will my mail/packages be forwarded to my home address?
Letter mail will be forwarded, provided you give us your forwarding address on the inspection form prior to your departure. If a package arrives for you within 7 days of your departure, we will endeavor to get it to you; anything arriving after 7 days from departure cannot be forwarded.
- If you intend to make an international trip, you are advised to research and make your own decisions around what happens if your destination country or transit countries suspend international flights or shut down completely. Note that many countries are now implementing self-quarantine or self-monitoring for all new international arrivals: https://www.iata.org/en/programs/safety/health/diseases/government-measures-related-to-coronavirus/
Do your research to ensure coverage by both trip insurance and emergency health insurance. Call policy providers with your specific questions. Listen carefully, ask questions and write down the answers. Make sure you thoroughly understand. If you need to talk through your decision, you can speak to an advisor at the international office on your campus.
- Social distancing and self-isolation are non-pharmaceutical infection control approaches used to stop or slow down the spread of a contagious disease. Social distancing means putting distance between yourself and other people. Self-isolation means staying indoors and completely avoiding contact with other people.
If you have flu-like symptoms, stay in your room. Prior to calling 811, please complete the self-assessment questionnaire at https://811.novascotia.ca/health_topics/covid-19-when-to-call-811/. If you answer Yes to any of the questions under Section A and Yes to Question B, please call 811 and you will be advised of next steps.
FROM WHOM MAY I SEEK ADDITIONAL INFORMATION?
If you are a student at SMU, you may contact Tom Brophy for assistance in relocating to a SMU residence room. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. We have provided SMU with a list of names only of SMU students who presently reside at AST
If you are a student at NSCAD, we are advised that NSCAD faculty will be in touch with you by this Thursday morning on how your Winter 2020 courses will be completed and your final letter grade awarded. No further classes will be held on campus before the end of the Winter 2020 semester; therefore NSCAD advises all students staying in residences should return to their permanent homes if possible and safe to do so. If you wish to retrieve belongings and materials from campus, please be aware that all NSCAD campuses will close to students on Wednesday, March 18 at 7 PM. You are further reminded to frequently check your NSCAD email address for updates.
If you are a student at Dal or NSCC, we have no word from either of these schools at this moment as to a contact for their students but strongly encourage you to reach out to Student Services at your campus for direction.
Residents, we realize that all these sudden changes have a huge impact on you. We don't take that lightly. We wouldn’t be taking this step if it wasn’t necessary. AST is helping students to the extent we can, working with other universities and the Province of Nova Scotia government to make this challenging transition as smooth as possible. This is a difficult time and we thank you for doing your part to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus.