Wednesday, August 25, 2021

New COVID measures for post secondary colleges, universities as classes set to resume

With classes set to start next month Coast Mountain College
in Prince Rupert and across the Northwest will have some 
provincial COVID guidelines in place

It's been a busy few days of revision and reversals to the Provincial COVID response program, with yesterday one of the most important of days in recent months when it comes to how the Ministry of Health is offering guidance to the public.

As we noted on Tuesday, a New Mask Mandate is in place and in force as of today for all indoor spaces, while the Province also outlined the Back to School Program for Students from K-Grade 12.

Yesterday also saw the Province provide guidance for students, staff and administrators of the provincial college and University system. 

Those notes of some importance for those set to attend Coast Mountain College in the Northwest or travel beyond the region to colleges and universities elsewhere in BC.

Among the key changes for the 2021-22 post secondary year is a new mask mandate for campuses, following on the announcement of a proof-of-vaccine requirement for non essential services including on campus.

“In response to rising COVID-19 cases and as students return to in-person learning on campus, I am issuing a new mandatory mask order for all indoor public areas on campus. It’s vitally important for post-secondary students that we resume in-person learning to support young people’s well-being, and with these added measures and increasing vaccination rates, we are confident we can do so.” -- Doctor Bonnie Henry, Public Health Officer

The mask order will apply in all indoor public areas on campus including lobbies, hallways, stairwells, elevators, classrooms and labs.

Also in attendance at the Tuesday information session was Anne Kang, the Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training, she noted of the challenges of the past year and a half and how the new measures will work towards a safe environment.

“I know how challenging the past 18 months has been, and I am grateful for the work Dr. Henry and her team are doing to help guide post-secondary institutions as they make their plans for a safe return to in-person learning. The pandemic has been difficult on students, faculty and staff at B.C.’s colleges, institutes and universities, and with these added measures we can continue to move forward and come back together safely.”

Campus life will also be impacted by the wider provincial orders recently announced by Doctor Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix.

As part of the new provincial vaccine requirement, accessing some non-essential services on campus will now require a proof of vaccination. This will apply to on-campus indoor venues, including but not limited to gyms, nightclubs, restaurants and a variety of indoor events, such as sporting events and concerts. 

In addition, those Students who are living in on-campus housing will also require proof of vaccination. 

Further guidance is being developed in the coming days in consultation with public health, including which types of student housing facilities will be subject to this requirement. This will come into effect on Sept. 7, 2021.

The full overview from the Tuesday briefing can be viewed below:

More items of interest on post secondary education in the region can be explored here.

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