- What is novel coronavirus? +
The BC Centre for Disease Control advises a new coronavirus (novel coronavirus COVID-19) is causing respiratory infections. Please refer to the BC Centre for Disease Control website for the latest information available for British Columbia.
- Why is Camosun continuing to deliver courses during a pandemic? +
All educational institutions in B.C. are considered to be non-health essential service providers by Emergency Management BC in consultation with government ministries and the Provincial Health Officer.
Camosun has taken a number of measures to maintain physical distancing and continues to follow the recommendations of the Provincial Health Officer.
- Is Camosun an essential service provider? +
Yes, educational institutions, including public post-secondary institutions such as Camosun, are deemed by the Province to be a non-health essential service provider so long as they operate under rules for physical distancing and other recommendations from the Provincial Health Officer.
At this time, education institutions are required to facilitate remote learning and provide services needed to ensure the safety, security and health of the community, property and research. Services include building operations and risk management, information technology, finance, payroll, administration, human resources and communications.
At Camosun, learning and student services have transitioned from face-to-face and in-person to remote, while employees who can work remotely are encouraged to do so.
A list of essential service providers is posted online.
- What is Camosun College doing? +
The health and wellbeing of students and staff remains the priority of Camosun College.
The college’s COVID-19 Response Coordination Team meets daily to monitor the situation and put measures in place to keep the college community safe.
We are ensuring these measures are aligned with the guidance of the Provincial Health Officer and are working with the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training.
The college is providing information and regularly updating its frequently asked questions at camosun.ca/covid19 as well as providing a dedicated email email@example.com for college-related questions.
On March 14, the college announced it would be transitioning from face-to-face instruction to alternative instruction and assessment as part of measures to support social distancing.
To further enhance social distancing, on March 18, we started transitioning student services to phone and other modes of delivery.
On March 18, college employees were encouraged to work remotely using the tips, guidance and technical advice from the college.
The college has stopped approving any international work-related travel for the foreseeable future.
Provided tips for students and employees on how to cope with anxiety and stress related to COVID-19.
Anyone who is concerned about being exposed to the virus or experiencing systems should call 8-1-1 or phone their primary care provider.
- What can I do to help prevent the virus from spreading? +
Public health advice:
- Stay home unless you have to go to work. Talk to your employer about working from home.
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds – especially after using the washroom and when preparing food
- When coughing or sneezing: cough or sneeze into a tissue or the bend of your arm; avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid all non-essential trips in your community.
- Do not gather in groups.
- Limit contact with people at higher risk, such as older adults and those in poor health.
- Go outside to exercise but stay close to home.
- If you leave your home, always keep a distance of at least two metres, from others. Household contacts (people you live with) do not need to distance from each other unless they are sick or have travelled in the last 14 days.
For more preventative measures, please see the Government of Canada COVID-19 website
- Is there a vaccine? +
There is no vaccine available to protect against this new disease.
- What are the symptoms of COVID-19? +
- Difficulty breathing
- What should I do if I feel sick or suspect I may have COVID-19? +
If you are concerned you may have been exposed to, or are experiencing symptoms of, COVID-19 please phone your primary-care provider, local public health office or call 8-1-1 for free health information and advice. Tell them your symptoms, where you have been travelling or living, and if you’ve had close contact with a sick person, especially if they have had a fever, cough or difficulty breathing.
Note: COVID-19 is a global issue, and is not specific to peoples of any one region. Nor is COVID-19 in any way related to race or ethnicity.
- Can someone spread the COVID-19 virus without being sick? +
- When should I self-isolate? +
People who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, or are waiting to hear the results of a lab test for COVID-19, or have been in contact with a suspected or confirmed case, are required to self-isolate. Self-isolation means staying home and avoiding situations where you could come in contact with others. You may not self-isolate in a place where you will be in contact with vulnerable people, such as seniors and individuals with underlying health conditions.
- How do I self-isolate? +
For the most up-to-date information on how to self-isolate please see the BC Centre for Disease Control website.
- What is the difference between self-isolation and self-monitoring? +
Self-isolation is when an individual is directed to remain at home and avoid close contact with others.
Self-monitoring - If you have been exposed to COVID-19, you must monitor your symptoms for 14 days. This does not necessarily mean that you have COVID-19, but you are at risk for developing the disease and passing the infection on to others. Please see the Ministry of Health’s information on how to self-monitor.
- What is physical distancing and why is important? +
Physical distancing is a way that we can slow the spread of COVID-19 by limiting close contact with others. Even though we are not sick, we should still keep about two meters (six feet) or the length of a queen-sized bed from one another when we can when outside our homes.
- How do I practice physical distancing? +
There are many ways to practice physical distancing:
- Limit activities outside your home.
- Use virtual options to connect with others.
- If you are out in public, try to keep two metres between yourself and others.
- Keep your hands at your side when possible.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cough into your elbow or sleeve.
- Avoid social activities in large gatherings.
- Were any Camosun students at the Pacific Dental Conference in Vancouver, March 5-7? +
- Yes. Seven faculty members and 51 students from Camosun attended the Pacific Dental Conference in Vancouver and self-isolated until March 22 following a request from B.C.’s Provincial Health Officer.
- Island Health said that only people who attended the conference need to self-isolate from the time of the conference until March 22. Anyone who did not attend the conference, even if they have been in contact with a person from the conference, even a partner they live with, did need to self-isolate unless they had symptoms (cough, fever, body aches, difficulty breathing) and only for 14 days. Once self-isolation was completed and people were healthy they returned to regular duties.
- The dental building underwent additional cleaning and sanitization including electrostatic spraying as a precautionary measure.
- Has B.C. changed its testing approach for COVID-19? +
Testing is being expanded across B.C. as part of a new strategy to fight community transmission. On April 20, B.C.’s Public Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced that anyone with symptoms can get tested. If you are experiencing common symptoms of COVID-19 (cough, fever, difficulty breathing, etc.) please call HealthLink BC at 811 for free-of-change health information and advice. Alternatively, you can contact your local health provider who can advise you on testing options.
Initially, B.C. was focussing its testing efforts on high risk, vulnerable populations including seniors, health care workers, and those with underlying conditions. This was intentional, as per outbreak protocols and the best scientific advice at the time. As lab and testing capabilities have increased, and the pandemic response has evolved in B.C., the focus has shifted to the community. The new testing approach may catch a higher number of community cases of people with mild symptoms, which is to be expected as testing is expanded. Overall, as of late April, B.C.’s efforts have been relatively successful at flattening the curve, but there is still much more work to be done.
We should all be proud of our efforts to date, while remaining vigilant and focussed on continuing to work together and be “all in” on ensuring the health, safety and well-being of our communities.
- Why are the numbers of test positive COVID-19 cases increasing in B.C.? +
- As the Province expands testing throughout B.C., the Provincial Health Officer has said she expects there will be an increase in test positive cases for people experiencing mild symptoms. This helps public health authorities to identify potential community clusters and to act swiftly to contain them through isolation, contact tracing and other community health best practices.
- According to the latest provincial figures, the number of hospitalizations in B.C. required for more serious cases has been, as of late April 2020, on a relative decline, which is a positive indication that all of our efforts are succeeding at flattening the overall curve.
- We need to continue to be vigilant and practice physical distancing, frequent hand washing and other effective measures to ensure that the curve continues to go down.
- BC Centre for Disease Control
- Public Health Agency of Canada
- World Health Organization
- Travel & Tourism Canada
- COVID-19 Stigma Guide
- Ministry of Health BC COVID-19 symptom self-assessment tool
- For non-health related COVID-19 questions (e.g. supports, programs, etc), a new dedicated phone line has been set up at 1-888-COVID-19.