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Colleges & Universities

Recommendations to post-secondary students, faculty and staff about COVID-19

Last updated: August 4, 2020 3:30 PM

Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to check their post-secondary institution's website for the most current information.

If COVID-19 transmission rates remain low or in decline, under enhanced protocols, post-secondary institutions will be begin a mix of online and in-class learning as part of phase 3 of the plan, in September. BC’s Restart Plan provides information about the province’s step-by-step process to re-open different sectors.

As post-secondary institutions plan for some in-class learning to resume, measures to reduce transmission in post-secondary settings will be incorporated into the plans including:

  • Routine daily screening for all staff and students
  • Routine and frequent environmental cleaning
  • Explicit policy for students and staff who have the symptoms of a cold, flu, or COVID-19 with coughing or sneezing not coming into classes or taking part in extra curricula activities and sports.
  • Increased use of online learning balanced against the need of social interaction for learning and development
  • Early arrival and self-isolation for 14 days of international students

Practice education and clinical placement for health-care disciplines

This guidance document promotes the continuity of practice education and clinical placements for all health-care disciplines in B.C. during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read the Student Practice Education Guideline for Health Care Settings during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

General advice on self-isolation

It is mandatory that students, faculty, or staff arriving from outside of Canada stay home or self-isolate for 14 days. Travellers must complete the federal ArriveCAN application prior to or upon arrival. Please visit the B.C. Government website for returning travellers for more information. They should monitor themselves daily for symptoms including fever, cough, muscle aches, and difficulty breathing.

Students, faculty, or staff who have been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 also need to stay home or self-isolate for 14 days after their last encounter. Individuals should monitor themselves daily for symptoms including fever, cough, muscle aches, difficulty breathing.

Those who develop symptoms during the 14-day monitoring period should immediately self-isolate (stay in a room that is not shared with anyone else) and call their health-care provider or the provincial health line 8-1-1 to get tested. See more information about self-monitoring and self-isolation.

You do not need to report people who are not self-isolating. If you have concerns, you can discuss them with your institution’s administration.

Reduce the risk

There are measures that all students, faculty, and staff can take to help reduce the risk of respiratory illnesses such as coronavirus, colds, and influenza:

  • Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds using soap and water.
  • If a sink is not available, 60-90% alcohol-based hand rubs (hand sanitizer) can be used to clean hands if they are not visibly soiled. If they are visibly soiled, you can use an alcohol-based disposable hand wipe to remove the dirt and then use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Do not touch your face/eyes/mouth with unwashed hands.
  • When you sneeze or cough, cover your mouth and nose with a disposable tissue or the crease of your elbow, and then wash your hands.
  • Stay home when you are ill.
  • Practice physical distancing when outside of your home.

Students that are self-isolating

Students, faculty, or staff who are recommended to self-isolate under the guidance above may call 8-1-1 for additional health advice. Please also refer to the self-isolation page for more information.

If you are sick and depend on post-secondary housing, food, laundry, hygiene, or other critical services, please let your institution know that you are self-isolating so that they can help support you, including in your current studies.

Staying in isolation can be difficult and lonely. If you are isolated, keep contact with friends and family through phone or computer.

The Provincial Health Officer asks you not to make assumptions about the risk of students, faculty or staff based on their ethnicity or travel history.

School events, outings and trips

Travel outside of Canada is not recommended at this time.  It is mandatory that any person who has arrived in Canada from outside the country self-isolate for 14 days and monitor for symptoms.

All public gatherings or events larger than 50 people have been ordered to be cancelled for now. This includes indoor and outdoor sporting events, conferences, meetings, religious gatherings or other similar events.

SOURCE: Colleges & Universities ( )
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