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Home Covid-19 New Brunswick universities hesitate to follow province in lifting all restrictions

New Brunswick universities hesitate to follow province in lifting all restrictions

Though the province is lifting all pandemic restrictions on March 14, including gathering limits and mask mandates, New Brunswick’s universities are hesitant to follow suit immediately.

Université de Moncton released a statement on Monday that though proof of vaccination was no longer required on campus, many pandemic related measures like physical distancing, the use of masks, and assigned seating in class will stay in effect until April 30th.

Student council president Mathilde Thériault told Global News on Tuesday that council feels that “it is preferable that Université de Moncton maintains an excess of precaution” after a survey revealed students were divided on the topic of returning to campus for in-person learning in the first place.

Read more:

New Brunswick schools see high case counts as province prepares to lift restrictions

Saint Thomas University has taken a similar stance, with most precautions remaining in place until the end of the semester.

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In an interview on Tuesday, student union president Tyler MaGee said he believes this will provide some much-needed stability to students as they enter exam season.

“I think it makes sense to have it stable throughout the rest of the academic term, especially since the rest of the term is so short of a time period, I agree with the university’s assessment that it’s best to just not rock the boat and keep this…normal until the end of the semester when we can reevaluate.”

In a message sent to students last Friday, President and Vice-Chancellor Dawn Russell said stability for students was a factor in the university’s decision.

“From March 14 until the end of the semester and exams is six weeks, which is a relatively short period of time; so at this late stage of the academic year, it is important to focus on continuity and stability rather than launch a series of changes.”

A spokesperson for Mount Allison University said that the university will be maintaining most of their current pandemic-related health and safety measures until April 30th.

Read more:

New Brunswick lifting all COVID-19 restrictions March 14, proof of vaccination ending Feb. 28

The University of New Brunswick has not yet made their final decision on what restrictions will remain on campus after March 14th. A spokesperson for the university told Global News on Tuesday that they “are consulting with Public Health on how best to proceed when the mandatory order is lifted.”

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UNB Student Union president Kordell Walsh said while the union will support whatever decision is made by Public Health, the possible loosening of restrictions remains a divisive topic among students.

“Some students are certainly concerned about class sizes and effective social distancing you know with the mindset being that overnight the pandemic isn’t just going away,” he said in an interview on Tuesday.

“There’s also some students who are very supporting of lifting restrictions and moving back to a new normal.”

Click to play video: 'COVID-19: New Brunswick set to scrap proof of vaccination requirements'

COVID-19: New Brunswick set to scrap proof of vaccination requirements

COVID-19: New Brunswick set to scrap proof of vaccination requirements

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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