Northern student quarantines for studies in Atlantic Canada
SUDBURY -- In yet another story about the start of a school year like never before, a northern Ontario student is one of many being forced to self-isolate for two weeks as he travels out of province for his studies.
After completing his undergraduate degree at Laurentian University, Olivier Belanger accepted an offer from the University of Moncton to complete his juris doctor degree.
But, in order to start his studies, Belanger had to complete a two week quarantine ahead of the fall semester.
"It's been very tough," said Belanger.
"I'm staying with two roommates who are very close friends of mine of course. So at least I have a social group there, but it's very difficult being away from friends and family so I try to keep in touch with them as much as possible."
Upon entering New Brunswick, Belanger said that he was required to first fill out a document called the Travel New Brunswick Registration form.
Once he got to campus, he said he was thoroughly impressed with the communication from the school on the requirements of the quarantine.
The Atlantic Provinces have been operating under a so-called 'Atlantic bubble,' with travel permitted for residents of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island but closed off to the rest of the country.
While he is now nearing the end of his quarantine, Belanger said he's been relying on an app called InstaCart in order to stock the shelves.
"I'm not allowed to leave the premises, so I have to stay isolate inside my apartment," he said.
Belanger's quarantine comes as Acadia University in Nova Scotia has confirmed that a student has been sanctioned for being caught off campus when they were supposed to be self isolating.
“I do know that they were reported by community members in the town of Wolfville, so we really appreciate that support from the community,” says Chad Johnstone, Acadia’s Director of Residence and Student Life.
While he's been unable to leave his apartment, Belanger said he's been doing his best to stay busy, focussing on exercise and completing preliminary readings ahead of the start of classes.
He's excited to explore his new community.
"I'm new to this province and I heard Moncton is beautiful and I heard it has a lot to offer. I'm very excited to get out and explore because so far I've been staring at the same four walls over and over."