Today, March 17, the Saint Mary’s University Students’ Association (SMUSA) is announcing that it is suspending all of its services until further notice amid mounting concerns over the COVID-19 virus. These services include, but are not limited to, the Gorsebrook Lounge, Husky Patrol, and the Information Desk.
The announcement comes a few short days after SMUSA’s decision to cancel its events for the rest of the semester, in response to direction from all levels of government to limit social gatherings, and to practice social distancing and self-isolation.
“We’ve decided to suspend our services as a safety precaution to reduce the spread of COVID-19, and to keep all students – especially student staff – safe”, said Mary Navas, President of SMUSA. “We’re recommending that students avoid crowds and gatherings, and try to stay home as much as possible, as a way of protecting themselves and their peers against the risk of contracting and spreading the virus”.
SMUSA’s leadership team and health plan office staff will be working remotely to address academic concerns, process health and dental plan claims, and respond to general inquires.
“Our physical doors may be closed, but we’re working hard to advocate on your behalf to the University, and get you answers during this difficult and stressful time”, explained Navas. “We’re still open for business – although remotely, and we’re just an email away.”
SMUSA is encouraging all students to take additional measures to protect themselves against COVID-19 and reduce its spread by:
- washing hands frequently with soap and water or using hand sanitizer
- cleaning surfaces often (like taps, doorknobs, and countertops)
- coughing or sneezing into elbows or tissues (and throwing them away)
- limiting touching face, eyes, nose, and mouth
- avoiding close contact with others (especially if feeling sick)
- avoiding crowds and gatherings (like parties and other group activities)
- greeting one another with a wave instead of a handshake, hug, etc., and staying about 2 metres [6 feet] apart, if close contact with others is unavoidable
- shopping for essential items and taking public transportation in non-peak hours
- staying home as much as possible, especially if feeling sick
If anyone has developed a new cough, fever, and/or is experiencing difficulty breathing, they should use the self-assessment tool provided by 811 (see below). For more information on COVID-19, its symptoms, how to reduce its spread, and where to seek help, please refer to the following resources:
- 811 website: https://811.novascotia.ca/health_topics/covid-19-when-to-call-811/
- Saint Mary’s University COVID-19 webpage: https://smu.ca/covid19/
- Government of Nova Scotia: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/
- Government of Canada: https://canada.ca/coronavirus
For more information regarding our Health and Dental plan, please visit our COVID-19 Health Plan information page: https://www.studentvip.ca/frmPage.aspx?school_page_id=f6a074d9-5e2a-4836-8f5a-ee2be6939d7b
If you have any general questions, comments or concerns, please email [email protected].
If you have any academic related concerns, please contact Bryn de Chastelain via email at [email protected]
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