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"COVID CEP campus September 2020-4" by University of the Fraser Valley is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Everything You Need To Know About the Return to Campus

Written by
Nick Taylor
and
and
September 8, 2021
Everything You Need To Know About the Return to Campus
"COVID CEP campus September 2020-4" by University of the Fraser Valley is licensed under CC BY 2.0

There is a lot of information circulating about the return to campus, and what it will look like for students, but it can be difficult to navigate your way through it all to find the answers you’re looking for. That’s why Arthur put together this guide to help you find your way back to campus, and hopefully offer answers to your concerns and confusions. It is definitely not exhaustive, and more information and updates can always be found at https://www.trentu.ca/coronavirus/


The Vaccine Mandate 

In mid-August, Trent joined the list of post-secondary institutions requiring vaccines for all students, staff and faculty. At Trent, students can upload their proof of vaccination to the myTrent portal. If you were vaccinated in Ontario, they would have emailed this to you after your vaccine appointments, but it can also be found here. You’ll need to upload proof of both doses, so keep that in mind! 

Trent is allowing some unvaccinated students/staff/faculty to be on campus, but they’ll have to apply for an exemption through myTrent first. The University has said that accommodations will be provided on the basis of “medical, religious or other grounds under human rights.” According to the University website, medical exemptions may be limited to “an allergist/immunologist-confirmed severe allergy or anaphylactic reaction to a previous dose of a COVID-19 vaccine or to any of its components or a diagnosed episode of myocarditis/pericarditis after receipt of an mRNA vaccine.” 

As for religious exemptions, it isn’t entirely clear who this is meant to accommodate, as no prominent religious institutions have come out against the vaccine. It is also unclear what ‘other grounds under human rights’ could refer to (?), but we can venture to guess that it will be taken up by anti-vaxxers hoping to attend classes this fall. 

Those who have exemptions, or who are only partially vaccinated, will have to complete the vaccination education module and undergo weekly testing with a negative test before coming to campus. It remains to be seen how the University will ensure that unvaccinated students will comply with this policy, so we’re watching to see how that unfolds. Rumour has it that the university has plans to have a ‘testing trailer’ on campus, and that rapid tests will be supplied to students, staff and faculty. 

On September 8th, the University released the following clarifying information: 

“Students, staff and faculty who have updated their vaccination profile on myTrent, regardless of status, are permitted to come to campus this week. Only those who have not reported their status are not permitted to come to campus this week. Starting September 13, if your vaccination status on myTrent is partially vaccinated or accommodation for exemption requested,” you will have to follow the protocols as outlined above. 

The University has also assured international students who may not have yet had access to vaccines, that they will be able to get vaccinated at on-campus vaccination clinics. More information about how to get vaccinated on campus can be found here

If you want to visit campus, and you’re not a student, staff or faculty member, you’ll have to adhere to all COVID protocols around masking and distancing, as well as complete Trent’s daily COVID screening tool before arriving on campus. 


Masks 

Yes. You will need them. Wear it outside when you can’t keep your distance, and remove it sparingly to eat and drink! Don’t forget to tuck your nose in! 


Ventilation and Air Filtration

Trent has also been investing in air quality on campus. They’ve conducted thorough tests of Trent’s ventilation system, and installed hundreds of HEPA filters in classrooms all over campus. Hopefully you’ll find yourself breathing easier this year. 


Distancing 

Remember that we are all navigating the return to public space together! Respect that everyone has a different perception of personal space right now. When in doubt, leave extra room! 


Outbreaks and Cases on Campus 

Last year, Trent had its fair share of outbreaks, first at Champlain College, then at Gzowski. This year, it seems like the stakes are higher, if only because there will be so many more bodies, so many more vectors for germ-spreading all over campus. 

You probably didn’t hear about it, but the Symons campus has already seen its first COVID case of the year. On August 29th, the University released a statement, saying that a student had tested positive for COVID-19. The student had last been on campus August 22nd, and had not accessed public indoor spaces. 

This year, residences are operating at near-full capacity, with some space set aside in the event that students need to self-isolate. As COVID numbers climb in the region, there will be a lot of eyes trained on the Symons campus, hopeful that students will do what they can to keep their community safe. Arthur will continue to report about cases linked to campus, and any outbreaks that may arise. 


Classroom Chaos

Trent was planning for 80% of classes to be in-person this year, with about half of those providing online/hybrid options, so students can have options when it comes to their learning. However, as the first day of classes barrels ever-near, students have noticed a lot of shifting timetables and confusing information. Remember, always double check Blackboard before you head to class! Things have never been more up in the air! 


Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Trent’s COVID Safety Plan 

Trent has been working with the city to develop infrastructure for wastewater testing on campus this fall. If you’re like me, and didn’t know that testing sewage for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 virus ribonucleic acid (RNA), is a method for keeping tabs on COVID -- well, it is! If you’re curious about the science behind it, you can find more information here

Trent is still asking everyone -- all students, staff and faculty -- to use the daily COVID screening tool before coming to campus, even if you’ve uploaded proof of vaccination. If you fail your screening, or feel unwell -- stay home! 

The Ford government has an interesting policy which waives capacity restrictions for educational spaces like classrooms and lecture halls, but not dining spaces or common areas -- so it may be safer to eat a chicken twister wrap in the cafe than go to class. 

Last month, the TCSA released a list of COVID-19 recommendations that includes some pretty useful information around vaccines, transmission, masks, and more! 

Any and all further questions can be forwarded to the University at covid19info@trentu.ca.


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Caption text

What’s a Rich Text element?

The rich text element allows you to create and format headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, images, and video all in one place instead of having to add and format them individually. Just double-click and easily create content.

Static and dynamic content editing

A rich text element can be used with static or dynamic content. For static content, just drop it into any page and begin editing. For dynamic content, add a rich text field to any collection and then connect a rich text element to that field in the settings panel. Voila!

How to customize formatting for each rich text

"Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system."
  • adfasdfa
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