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Maritime universities begin preparations for return of students for fall semester

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FREDERICTON -

With only about six more weeks of summer before classes return for the post secondary fall semester, students countrywide will soon be returning to Maritime universities, whether they are vaccinated or not.  

"We've been doing a lot of planning and working with public health here in New Brunswick and making sure that we are prepared for students that will be arriving both vaccinated and unvaccinated,” said Ryan Sullivan, St. Thomas University associate vice president of enrollment management.

“Working to obviously first promote vaccination and wanting to make sure that those who have not yet been vaccinated make arrangements to get vaccinated," he said.

With the modified Atlantic Bubble back in action, it’s a matter of safety across the Maritimes.

“For students returning to campus who are not fully vaccinated, they must follow the public health quarantine protocols of the federal and provincial governments,” Cale Loney, Saint Mary’s University communications manager told CTV News in a statement.

At the University of New Brunswick, plans area already in place for students who will have to quarantine upon return.

“Those who have not been vaccinated with approved vaccines will be required and supported to self-isolate,” said Heather Campbell, UNB associate director of communications.

"We're getting to that point fairly fast of being fully vaccinated. It's that small group of people who are going to be more likely to be affected by a 4th wave, so I think at that point for those who have taken care of their health already it's kind of up to them. Ideally they deserve to be vaccinated before they go to school," said Megan Doherty who lives in Fredericton.

To date, the St. Thomas University says they have under a dozen international students who have indicated that they will need to isolate upon their arrival.

"We've gone from using one of our larger residences now to one of our smaller residences given who has indicated they will need to isolate upon arrival. We've also been fortunate that a number of our international students are coming from places where they were able to access the vaccine," said Sullivan.

The pandemic situation remains dynamic as vaccination numbers rise, while universities are preparing for the return to in-class learning in the fall.

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