Good afternoon, please note the following COVID-19 update for September 2, 2022:
Throughout the pandemic, B.C.’s post-secondary institutions have maintained a coordinated approach that is rooted in evidence-based Public Health guidance.
As students, faculty and staff begin a new term, Public Health recommends the continued following of good health practices.
· Continues to maintain a high level of vigilance on tracking the trends and changes in the pandemic.
· Reminds everyone to follow good health practices of:
o Keeping up to date with all vaccinations,
o Stay home when sick,
o Regular handwashing,
o Follow respiratory hygiene, and
o Wearing a mask is a personal choice depending on individuals’ own risk assessments. The choice that students, faculty, and staff make to practice additional personal prevention measures should be respected.
· Expects that there will continue to be periodic fluctuations in COVID-19 activity. At this point in time, Public Health does not anticipate that population wide public health orders will be needed in view of the level of population immunity that now exists.
Masks in classroom/learning settings:
· Public health orders do not require face coverings in public spaces, including post-secondary classrooms, student housing facilities, or work spaces.
· Students, faculty and staff working in health care settings may be required to wear a mask by their workplace.
· More detailed information about types of masks and how to use them is available on the BCCDC website.
· Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to continue to be supportive of individual choices and requirements with respect to the wearing of masks.
Public Health guidance regarding self-isolation:
· Those who have been advised to test and test positive for COVID-19 are recommended to self-isolate as much as reasonably possible.
o If you have mild symptoms of COVID-19, you do not need a test. Stay home and away from others until you feel well enough to return to your regular activities and you no longer have a fever.
o Testing for COVID-19 is recommended when a positive or negative result will inform decisions about treatment or care (e.g., those who are hospitalized).
o Those with symptoms can assess whether or not they need a test by using the.
· Individuals can continue to access shared common areas when necessary, including kitchens and washrooms with safety measures in place. These safety measures include:
o Minimizing prolonged face to face interactions
o Wearing a face mask while in close physical proximity to others,
o Practicing regular hand washing, and
o Accessing shared space during quieter times, when possible.
· Individuals living in on-campus housing may take advantage of self-catered options (where individuals can have a friend pick up meals from the cafeteria) and/or delivery options that some housing services provide.
· This will reduce the spread of COVID-19 while still allowing an individual who tests positive to access essential facilities such as shared kitchen and bathroom spaces.
· Students who are required to isolate and as a result cannot participate in course assessments should follow their PSI’s policy regarding accommodations for missed assignments due to medical reasons.
BCCDC information about the bivalent vaccine and Monkeypox:
· There are ongoing discussions about the bivalent vaccine, and more information will be available on the BCCDC website
· Information on Monkeypox is available on the BCCDC website linked here.
Additional information for Post Secondary studies, such as PSI specific Communicable Disease Prevention plans can be found here.
Thank you for the important role you play in supporting the provincial COVID-19 response. Please share this update broadly within your respective institutions.
- BCCDC: Post-Secondary Public Health Guidance are hosted here.
- Guidance and recommendations from the Provincial Health Officer are available online at the COVID-19 Provincial Support and Information website.
- If you require advice regarding a potential COVID-19 case, please contact your local Medical Health Officer.
- WorkSafeBC guidance is available on communicable disease prevention plans.