As we get closer to August, we know many students are wondering what being back on campus will look like this fall. We’ve put together some of the most notable recommendations from the COVID-19 Go Forward Guidelines for B.C.’s Post-Secondary Sector so that you know what to expect.
BC is currently in step 3 of the government’s 4-Step Restart Plan which has seen the easing of many restrictions, but before we can return to campus, we must successfully move into the fourth and final step of the Restart Plan, currently anticipated in early September.
As students, there are a few specific actions we can take in order to support the transition into step four.
We encourage everyone to adopt the following practices in order to safely return to campus:
- If you are able, get vaccinated. Together, we can keep one another safe and healthy.
- Check your health daily. Stay home and avoid being on campus when you are sick or if you think you are sick.
- When in doubt, wear a mask. If you are not immunized or are indoors in a public space, follow the public health recommendations.
- Continue washing your hands and follow good hygiene protocols.
Highlights from the Go Forward Guidelines for B.C.’s Post-Secondary Sector
- International students are now able to return to BC for school, however, some federal travel restrictions may still be in place at the beginning of the fall semester. International students and their families will continue to have access to vaccines.
- For students living in residences, on campus student housing is expected to be full or close to full. Residences are strongly encouraged to have a few rooms set aside for isolation or quarantine in case someone is infected or is required to isolate. Campus restaurants, cafeterias and pubs are exempt from restaurant closures.
- There are no social distancing requirements in the classroom, in-person classes can now be occupied at full capacity. Faculty and administration should provide accommodations to students who cannot be on campus (for example when they are sick, are self-isolating, are getting vaccinated, are in quarantine, and so on). As new information comes out from public health, you should follow your institution’s guidance on in-person class protocol.
- Social and personal gatherings happening indoors and outdoors are returning to normal. Student activities on campus, orientation and other events and gyms and recreational facilities will have increased capacity. Follow your institutions guidance for gathering protocol.
The pandemic has left many of us isolated and struggling to maintain good mental health. Here2Talk is a free and confidential counselling and referral service, available to students 24/7. KUU-US crisis response service is culturally-aware crisis support available to Indigenous students 24/7. Virtual mental health programs and services will continue to be offered by the provincial government.
As changes to the guidance or new recommendations become available, we will be sure to provide updates to keep you informed. We are eager to see students return to campus this fall and look forward to supporting members in the transition back to in-person learning.
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