ANTIGONISH: After only three days into the academic year at StFX University, the school, which started welcoming students back to campus on Sept. 3, is reporting a positive case of COVID-19.

In a letter to the campus community sent on Sept. 9, StFX Vice-President of Students Elizabeth Yeo advised earlier that afternoon, Nova Scotia Public Health disclosed to them the news of a positive COVID-19 test result on campus.

“The student had not attended classes, instead began isolating upon experiencing symptoms and opted to go for testing which produced a positive result,” Yeo said. “As per our pandemic plans, the student continues to safely isolate on campus with the appropriate academic and operational supports in place.”

She advised individuals who are considered to be close contacts are being approached directly by public health, as the university doesn’t have any involvement with the contract tracing process.

“From a communications perspective, the university will follow the direction of public health when it comes to notification of potential exposure,” Yeo said. “On behalf of the university community, I wish to acknowledge and thank this individual for closely monitoring their health and for adhering to the health and safety protocols related to testing.”

In a release from StFX President Andy Hakin on Sept. 10, he said as they learned of the positive case, the university is reminded that the pandemic continues, and that COVID is in the community.

“It is essential that we remain focused on our health and safety, and the health of those around us. Please be extra vigilant in the days ahead,” Hakin said. “Even as the province transitions into Phase 5 and reduces its restrictions, it’s incumbent upon us to practice safe and healthy behaviours in order to stay together.”

While in some jurisdictions across the country, an influx in positive COVID-19 cases is resulting in institutions reverting to online delivery only by working together can StFX avoid this.

“The recipe is simple: get vaccinated, wear your mask, wash your hands, keep your social gatherings small and consistent, and limit your travel,” Hakin said. “Working together and for each other we will continue to move forward.”

With the first positive case of the year, the university took the time to remind the campus community to take advantage of the Rapid Test Kits available across campus, even when they’re not experiencing symptoms.

“This is a good reminder that the pandemic is not yet behind us. COVID is in our communities and we must do all we can to limit the spread and keep each other healthy. It’s the only way we can remain together and continue to enjoy the in-person experience,” Yeo said. “By looking after ourselves, we look after our community.”