NAIT Remains Open Amid COVID-19 Concerns

by | Mar 13, 2020 | Featured, News, Uncategorized

By Madison Gummow

Toilet paper is nowhere to be found, pro-sports seasons are being put on hold and entire countries are in a state of lockdown. Now, NAIT is feeling the impact of the Coronavirus disease.

Despite The UofA closing its doors, NAIT issued a statement just after 10 p.m. on Thursday, March 12 that as of right now classes will continue as scheduled until further notice.

The ACAC has suspended all competitions effective as of Friday, March 13. This means that mens and womens hockey playoffs, indoor track championships and the futsal championship are all on pause.

Samuel Nahrgang, the sports information and sponsorship coordinator for the Ooks, says he was not surprised by the announcement.

“The ACAC is sanctioned by Hockey Canada so once they cancelled all games, we knew the ACAC would follow because we can’t technically play when they stop operating. So they kind of forced our hand,” said Nahrgang.

Despite the obvious disappointment teams and fans are feeling, Nahrgang says the Ooks athletics program understands that this issue is bigger than sports and they support the decision.

“It’s for the better of student athletes and everyone involved. Everyone is doing their part to keep NAIT safe,” Nahrgang said.

The dental program has felt an impact as well. Trina Perrin, an educational technologist and dental assistant at NAIT says their mask supplier has placed a limit on how many masks the dental program can order.

“We haven’t run out yet but we can only get so many. We’re allowed to order ten boxes a week,” Perrin said.

Perrin said that 10 boxes a week is much less than the program would normally go through however, they did have an extra supply before the masks were limited which has helped them keep up.

“Everyone is being really diligent with how many masks they’re using and not wasting them. Hopefully we’ll make it through this without running out,” said Perrin.

Christine Bannerman, the supervisor of health services, says there are simple ways for staff and students to protect themselves.

“Here on campus, it’s more about what NAIT is doing to make sure that it isn’t being passed person to person. One of the biggest things is that we are getting the information out and going back to basics,” Bannerman said.

Practicing proper hygiene techniques, monitoring symptoms and staying home when sick are some of easiest ways to prevent the spread.

“Hand washing: knowing how to wash your hands, spend that time singing Happy Birthday times two, not just a quick rinse. Use your paper towel not just to dry your hands but also to turn off the tap, open the door out of the washroom and even take it with you all the way to your class or office if you need to in order to prevent touching door handles,” Bannerman said.

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