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BC Colleges COVID-19 Update and Guidance

The health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and visitors remain at the centre of all we do. As we near the start of another academic year, we want you to know how our colleges are adapting in response to the pandemic and the latest guidance of our Province’s medical health professionals.

COVID-19 has created challenges throughout society as infection rates change over time, as we learn ever more about the properties of the virus and the disease, and as we better understand how to balance health risks with other priorities like the economy and education.

Because of this ever-changing context, advice from health authorities and post-secondary institutions will also change over time. This communication is responsive to the provincial context of COVID-19 at the end of August 2020 and may be updated periodically. It may also be modified by individual institutions in response to local conditions.

Wearing non-medical masks on campus

The wearing of non-medical masks is recommended by the BC Centre for Disease Control, the Provincial Health Officer, and the Public Health Agency of Canada to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in instances where physical distancing cannot be consistently maintained.

To support the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and visitors, it is strongly recommended that non-medical masks or face coverings be worn in all indoor common areas while on campus. Common areas include building entryways, classrooms, labs, shops, washrooms, study areas, hallways, and stairwells. According to the BC Centre for Disease Control face coverings can include a bandana, niqāb, scarf, or neck gaiter.

It is important to remember that masks and face coverings do not replace physical distancing, hand washing, and staying at home if you are sick as these are the most effective ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It is also important to treat people wearing masks with respect.

Influenza vaccinations

Institutions encourage members of their communities to follow public health advice and strongly recommend getting an influenza shot. Increasing flu vaccination rates can help reduce the overall impact of respiratory illnesses on post-secondary campuses.

We sincerely want to thank you for all you do to help “bend the curve” and diminish the threat of COVID-19 within and beyond our campuses.

Colin Ewart, President
BC Colleges

More information from the BC Centre for Disease Control on masks

Review your College’s Safe Restart plan

For tips on how to use a non-medical mask