On Aug. 23 and 24, 2021, the Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, announced changes to B.C.’s Restart Plan by halting the start of Phase 4 originally slated to begin on Sept. 7, 2021 at the earliest, and by introducing a proof of vaccination requirement effective Sept. 13 as well as reimplementing a mandatory mask mandate for all indoor public areas and specific events.
Additionally, the COVID-19 Return-to-Campus Guidelines originally released on July 5, 2021 to support the full return to in-person education, research and on-campus services for B.C.’s post-secondary institutions were augmented with the BCCDC Return to Campus Public Health Guidance released on Sept. 2, 2021 to reflect those new mandates and to add clarity to the adjusted Return to Campus requirements for September 2021.
In response to these changes, the following is an update to the Camosun Return to Campus Summary originally released July 7, 2021.
COVID-19 Return-to-Campus Guidelines
The BCCDC Return to Campus Public Health Guidance, along with the new PHO order — Face Coverings dated Sept. 1, 2021, the PHO order – Gatherings and Events dated July 7, 2021, and WorkSafeBC all align with B.C’s Restart Plan to provide guidance for a safe return to face-to-face operations at Camosun College.
Return to Camosun during the Transitional Period
The following explains how the RTC Guidelines, B.C. Restart Plan, and WorkSafeBC requirements may affect you on Camosun Campuses for the fall 2021 term.
As of Aug. 25, wearing a mask is mandatory for students, faculty, staff and campus visitors for all indoor spaces at Camosun regardless of vaccination status.
The BCCDC Return to Campus Public Health Guidance, includes the following mask guidance for face coverings in all indoor public spaces within post-secondary spaces by anyone aged 12 and older, including students, faculty, staff and visitors.
This includes, but is not limited to:
- In all public indoor public spaces of post secondary institutions
- This includes lecture theatres, classrooms, teaching laboratories, and other indoor instructional settings.
- Instructors and other presenters do not need to wear a mask when behind a barrier or two metres away from students while teaching in indoor public spaces.
- In common areas of buildings open to the public, including in on-campus housing and office buildings (e.g., lobbies, hallways, bathrooms).
- In common areas of sport and fitness centres when not engaged in physical activity, but a mask must be worn when transitioning between workout equipment or areas.
- In coffee shops and restaurants, pubs and bars when not seated at a table.
Masks are not required for workspaces such as office areas, research labs or shared offices that do not serve the public, or for meetings and seminars in small meeting rooms. Employees in a shared office situation are encouraged to be respectful of each other’s personal preferences and discuss arrangements.
Masks are also not required if a person is behind a barrier that separates them from other people, like a divider, cubicle, or in a room by themselves.
Masks are not required when people are seated in a meeting room.
Face shields are not a substitute for a mask as there is an opening below the mouth.
The physical distancing requirement of keeping two metres (six feet) away from one another is no longer in place as of July 1, 2021. However, while physical distancing is no longer a requirement, we still need to be respectful of other people’s personal space.
Occupancy Limits – all areas
We are no longer required to limit the number of employees in their workplace or students in learning spaces as part of ongoing communicable disease prevention measures.
- This includes classrooms, offices, elevators, washrooms, lunchrooms, etc.
Daily self-administered health checks will be a personal responsibility.
Students, faculty, staff and campus visitors are not required to confirm that they have completed the health self-assessment prior to accessing campus.
For employees, there will no longer be a need to fill in the daily health check form online.
Symptoms - When to get tested (Students/Employees)
Students, faculty and staff should not participate in any activities (educational or otherwise) if they are sick.
The public health authorities and BCCDC state that if you or anyone in your family experiences just one key symptom of fever, chills, cough, loss of sense of smell or taste, difficulty breathing then you must get tested and stay home.
If you have one secondary symptom of sore throat, loss of appetite, headache, body aches, extreme fatigue/tiredness, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea then stay home until you feel better.
If you have two or more of the secondary symptoms above, then stay home and wait 24 hours. If not better after 24 hours, go and get tested.
- Use the B.C. COVID-19 self-assessment tool to determine if testing is needed.
- Please contact 8-1-1 or your healthcare provider for medical advice as necessary. (Note: 8-1-1 also provides translation services in 130 languages.)
Vaccinations - Time Off
Faculty and staff are eligible to take up to three (3) hours without loss of pay to be vaccinated against COVID-19 for both doses.
Students, faculty and staff who require a first or second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine can book an appointment in advance or simply walk into any COVID-19 immunization clinic.
Second doses will be given 28 days or more after the first dose.
For those that do not currently have a Provincial Health Number (PHN), please call 1-833-838-2323 (seven days a week, 7 am to 7 pm) for assistance before attending a clinic. Translators are available.
Remember, you're partially vaccinated with 1 dose and fully vaccinated 7 days after dose 2.
Vaccinations - International Students
Anyone who received their COVID-19 vaccines in another province or country should submit their vaccination record as soon as possible. This is particularly important for international students as additional vaccination may be recommended. There are three easy steps to submitting a vaccination record and determining vaccination needs:
- Register online at getvaccinated.gov.bc.ca or by phone at 1-833-838-2323.
- Submit official vaccination record at immunizationrecord.gov.bc.ca.
- Be notified about COVID-19 vaccination needs.
Proof of Vaccination
COVID-19 vaccines are available at no charge to everyone ages 12+ living, working or studying in B.C. during the pandemic; this includes international students and their families while in B.C.
Students and employees will need to provide proof of vaccination with the new BC Vaccine Card starting Sept. 13, 2021 to access non-educational or discretionary services, businesses, and events on campus. This includes restaurants, gyms, recreation facilities, organized indoor events, discretionary indoor group recreational activities, and sporting events. Only children under 12 are exempted.
On-campus cafeterias and campus bookstores are excluded from the BC Vaccine Card requirement.
Vaccination is required by Order of the Provincial Health Officer for health sciences students working in certain health care settings. While we are waiting for more details from Island Health, we will need to provide the full legal name and personal health number of students going to any public or private long term care facility within the health authority this fall so they can verify full vaccination status.
According to WorkSafeBC, Plexiglas barriers and partitions are no longer a requirement, however, based on the recommendation of the Provincial Health Officer Camosun will continue to use some existing COVID-19 protocols that do not negatively impact operations, such as barriers and partitions for all face-to-face service areas.
Traffic Flow/Directional Signage
According to the BCCDC Return to Campus Public Health Guidance, Camosun is no longer required to manage the flow of pedestrian traffic within buildings or confined areas. However, we will continue to maintain some directional signage to assist with traffic flow to avoid unnecessary congestion in public areas where feasible.
Communicable disease prevention plan
Camosun is no longer required to maintain a COVID-19 Safety Plan, as such we have begun to transition to a communicable disease prevention plan.
A Communicable Disease Plan will reference the core public health measures that include staying home when sick, practicing good hand hygiene, as well as any additional health and safety protocols prescribed by local and provincial medical health professionals, and WorkSafeBC requirements.
COVID-19 Safety Training
Completing the COVID-19 Safety Training is no longer a requirement, however this will be transitioned to communicable disease safety training that will be included in the mandated new and young worker training titled Employee Safety Orientation. More information on this training will be released in the coming weeks.
Increased cleaning protocols for high touch point areas are no longer required, and educational and public spaces are cleaned routinely as recommended. Camosun incorporates cleaning of high touch areas into regular cleaning routines.
Events and Student Activities
Student, work and social events can resume, however during Phase 3 of the B.C. Restart Plan, they must continue to adhere to prevailing PHO Orders, WorkSafeBC guidelines, and RTC Guidelines.
SafeStart will no longer be used to book events. If planning an event please use the existing event request process to book space and request services. This will ensure OHS is also aware and can review event requests for compliance with any current orders & guidelines.
Engaging with First Nations and Indigenous Communities
Camosun will continue to work collaboratively with local First Nations and Indigenous community partners to ensure that the health and safety of Indigenous learners and communities are considered.
Return to Campus Logistics
Assessed spaces will be returned back to pre-COVID configurations by Facilities staff.
Hand sanitizer stations will continue to be available throughout all Camosun buildings. Please contact Facilities Services to replenish supplies.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Human Resources has collaborated with a cross-college advisory committee to produce a COVID-19 focused Mental Well-being Support Plan.
Please visit the Healthy Together! SharePoint site for details.
Notification of COVID-19 cases and exposures at post-secondary institutions (PSIs) will continue to be managed by public health authorities.
Please refer to Appendix A of the RTC Guidelines for further details.
Camosun’s ventilation systems are professionally designed, installed and maintained, and meet all the WorkSafeBC requirements along with ASHRAE Standards. Learn about how Camosun’s efficient building ventilation systems work in this video.
- BCCDC Return-to-Campus Public Heath Guidelines – updated September 1, 2021
- Return-to-Campus Guidelines – updated July 5, 2021
- Information sheet for post-secondary students from Island Health
- Letter to post-secondary partners from Island Health
- Island Health’s COVID-19 immunization clinics
- Immunize BC – COVID 19 FAQs
- Submit/update your immunization record
- B.C.’s Restart: A Plan to Bring Us Back Together
- March 8 letter from the Provincial Health Officer
- WorkSafeBC Frequently Asked Questions for BC’s Restart Plan
- BCCDC website on Getting a Vaccine
- ImmunizeBC COVID-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions
- Healthy Together! SharePoint site
- Amendments to the Employment Standards Act regarding the new paid leave of absence to be vaccinated against COVID-19