Brock University’s COVID-19 nurses are the first point of contact for students with questions related to the coronavirus.
As one of five nurses on Brock’s Student Health Services health-care team, Christina Snedden is the primary person behind the email@example.com email address, which has become an important resource for students over the past 17 months.
As a former hospital nurse, Snedden has several years of medical experience working in a variety of departments — from the emergency room to day surgery, and even the odd shift in labour and delivery. She came to Brock five years ago looking for a change.
“It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made,” she said. “Working with young adults is a much different world than working in a hospital. Students have taught me a lot.”
A significant part of Snedden’s role is collaborating with Brock International Services to help support international students arriving in Canada from other countries.
She reaches out to students to explain COVID-19 testing and quarantining requirements, and then checks in with them daily throughout their quarantine period.
Snedden is often asked by students if they can leave quarantine to get a vaccination or cut their quarantine short once they receive a negative test. The answer to both questions is “no.”
“The virus has a 14-day incubation period, so it can develop any time during the 14 days,” she says. “A student may feel great on Day 8 when they take a test, and on Day 10 they receive a negative test and want to leave quarantine — but they can’t and shouldn’t. People can develop symptoms after they’ve had COVID-19 tests, even while they’re still in quarantine.”
Other common questions Snedden receives are related to the COVID-19 vaccine, including how to book an injection and where to get it. She often forwards vaccination questions to resource nurse Jacqueline Larocque, who facilitates the on-campus COVID-19 vaccination clinic for students.
Students can book an appointment to receive the Moderna vaccine through a self-serve online appointment booking system. Appointments are available most Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 3:25 p.m.
“A lot of the students I see are quite excited to get the vaccine,” Larocque says. “So far, more than 1,000 students have registered to get the vaccine at Brock. I’m really proud of our students.”
Before coming to Brock, Larocque worked for 10 years in a long-term care facility and then 12 years for a family health team in Virgil and Niagara-on-the-Lake.
She says if students have questions about the COVID-19 vaccine, they can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 905-688-5550 x3243 to book an immunization counselling session with a Student Health Services nurse practitioner or doctor.
For questions about COVID-19, students are encouraged to email Snedden at email@example.com or phone 289-968-5273.
All other health-related questions can be directed to Larocque by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or phoning 905-688-5550 x3243.
Brock faculty and staff with vaccination questions are asked to phone the Niagara Region COVID-19 information line at 905-688-8248 to speak with a public health professional Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.