COVID-19

Available services

Offices may be closed, but services are still available to students remotely.

Online resources

Need help making the transition to online learning or instructions to learning platforms?

Your health

OC cares about your mental and physical health. Check out info and supports available to you.

Stay connected

We might be physically distant, but OC is still a tight-knit community. Join in on the fun!

Okanagan College’s COVID-19 safety planning

Okanagan College is committed to providing a safe and healthy learning and working environment for our students, employees and visitors. To deal with the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, the College has developed a series of safety protocols, re-occupancy guides, and contingency plans that adhere to federal and provincial health and safety guidelines, as dictated by WorkSafeBC, the Provincial Health Officer and others.

At the root of our response is an expectation that anyone attending one of our campuses or learning centres will self-assess and will not come to learn, work or visit if they are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19. Anyone who does come and displays symptoms will be asked to leave. They should follow the advice provided by the provincial government.

We have instituted a series of protocols that ensure safe social distancing, and which include enhanced cleaning.

Okanagan College's Safety Plan is based upon a WorksafeBC template to ensure we are meeting expectations as an employer and will be following the Post Secondary COVID 19 Go-Forward Guidelines and any other directives issued by the Provincial Health Officer or by Interior Health.

The following is a message from Jim Hamilton, President:

Nov. 25, 2020: As we witness an increase in the COVID-19 infections and observe a significant change in provincial expectations, this is a good time to be mindful of the obligations we have to ourselves and each other.

First and foremost is an individual need to self-monitor for signs of the disease. If you feel sick, stay home and, to the extent possible, avoid contact with others. If the symptoms align with those associated with COVID-19, contact 811 for advice and guidance.

Washing and sanitizing your hands, cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and using appropriate behavior when sneezing or coughing are other methods of reducing the risk of transmission. Maintain physical distancing and respect the direction and advice of the Provincial Health Officer.

There is a new direction from the Provincial Health Officer regarding masks: it is mandatory that you wear a mask in indoor public spaces unless medical reasons preclude you from doing so. At Okanagan College, this includes all the general access spaces of our buildings such as open areas, hallways, stairwells and so on. You are also required to wear a mask at the College whenever physical distancing cannot be maintained.

Given the number of COVID-19 cases reported in the Interior Health Region, it is increasingly likely that cases may manifest themselves among our students and employees. The extensive health and safety plans we have developed all align with the requirements of WorkSafeBC, Interior Health, and the Provincial Health Officer. They all focus on mitigating the risk of transmission.

When a positive case of COVID-19 is reported, we will follow the direction of Interior Health about notification, communication within our community and next steps.

COVID-19 infection can have impacts beyond physical health for individuals. Being COVID-19 positive ought not to be accompanied with social stigma that can affect self-esteem and mental wellbeing. Preserving privacy is imperative. We shall continue to rely on the expertise of Interior Health in infectious diseases to guide when and how we communicate information about any confirmed cases within the Okanagan College community.

This has been a stressful eight months for all of us. Remember that you are not alone and that help and support is available if you require it, whether you are an employee or a student. What we have been able to accomplish as a community at Okanagan College has been remarkable and a testament to the great people who work, teach and learn here.

Please, watch out for yourself and each other, and stay healthy.

Regards
Jim

Notices

On Nov. 19 Dr. Bonnie Henry, the Provincial Health Officer (PHO), issued new orders making mask use mandatory in indoor public spaces and…

The OC Coyotes season has come to an end as the Pacific Western Athletic Association (PACWEST) has announced the cancellation of basketball for…

An important change in our ongoing attempts to ensure the health and well-being of students and employees while on campus during the pandemic.

Interior Health is alerting residents throughout the region that surging COVID-19 activity has become a concern. Due to higher rates of COVID-19…

British Columbia's Ministry of Health recently put in place and clarified new restrictions on social gatherings and indoor activities for those…

New and current Okanagan College students who are currently outside of Canada and planning to travel to Canada to study at Okanagan College are…

Frequently asked questions

For those considering study in Fall 2020

How will COVID-19 affect my admission to the College?

Okanagan College is committed to ensuring the application and admission processes remain as smooth as possible, and is working hard to ensure your application will be evaluated fairly, even if you have experienced disruptions due to COVID-19. Visit the Admissions page for more information and specific questions.

What services are available to me while learning from home?

Okanagan College services are still available, and many offer remote options for contacting individuals and departments. Check out this directory in Remote Services how to contact departments like Student Success Centre, the Library, Registrar’s Office and Student Services.

I have limited access to technology. Do you have computers available to students?

Laptops are available for loan through IT Services. Students can call ahead (1-866-839-4032) and IT Services can arrange to have hardware made available for you.

Where can I get support with learning online?

The College has several informative links available on the Online Resources page especially for students. It includes information on where you can access equipment, online learning platforms like Moodle and Blackboard Collaborate. For students with academic accommodations that may be more challenging on an online environment, Accessibility Services will reach out to you via email. However, if you have any questions about receiving academic accommodations, please contact your Accessibility Services Coordinator or email accessibility@okanagan.bc.ca.

For students considering financial implications

What financial support and resources are available to students?

The Financial Aid and Awards office is available to consult with students about financial support and resource options. Contact the department via email at financialaid@okanagan.bc.ca to book an appointment.

How do I access provincial or federal financial assistance?

How do I access provincial or federal financial assistance? There are different assistance plans available:

I have other questions about finances. Who should I contact?

Please visit the Financial Aid and Awards webpage for additional FAQs, information and contact details.

What is the status of the Library?

Okanagan College's Library is offering services during the COVID-19 crisis. Visit Library's webpage for details about what is available.

What is the status of the Learning Centre/Student Success Centre?

Learning Centre / Student Success Centres are providing academic support to students remotely.

What is the status of OC Bookstores?

OC Bookstores are taking online orders. Visit their website to place an order.

What is the status of food services on campus?

Food services on campus are closed at this time.  Note: on the Kelowna campus, OC Culinary and Pastry Arts programs, in conjunction with the Okanagan College Students’ Union, are offering a free meal program called OC Serves Up. Students can apply to request a meal by emailing: ocservesup@ocsu.ca

What is the status of recreation facilities on campus?

Recreation facilities on campuses are currently closed.

What is happening with student housing?

For inquiries about Okanagan College Student Housing at the Kelowna campus, contact housing_klo@okanagan.bc.ca.

What is the status of OC's Convocation ceremonies?

After polling graduating students on their wishes, Okanagan College made the decision to postpone Convocation ceremonies. Please stay tuned for details.

What is the status of events?

Okanagan College is following guidelines and orders from the Provincial Health Office and in-person events more than 50 people are cancelled. As fall approaches, Okanagan College will determine what in-person events can move forward safely for all participants. Check out our Events Calendar for information.

In the meantime, check out these virtual events and activities:

As an international student, what impact does COVID-19 have on my immigration status?

Contact the International Services department for questions about immigration and health insurance for international students.

As an international student, do I need to stay in the country?

Okanagan College students in degree or diploma programs who are planning to travel home may do so. This applies to all international students, as alternate modes of course delivery are or will soon be in place. If you are taking English as a Second Language (ESL) or English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses, please consult with your instructor, preferably via email or phone, to assess arrangements to allow you to complete these courses when you return to your country.

For questions about study permits and other international-student questions, visit this webpage.

What about international travel?

The federal government announced that the Canadian border is closed to foreign nationals as of March 17. Those exempt from crossing closure include: Canadian citizens, permanent residents of Canada, their family members, air crews, diplomatic staff, residents of the United States, as well as commercial and trade shipments.

I have more questions as an International student. Who should I talk to?

Please contact the International Department online.

Are Co-op interviews being suspended?

No. Many employers are willing to do phone or video interviews and the co-op department is assisting them in doing so.

I am a Co-op employer. How do I apply for funding?

Visit this resource page in the Student, Graduate and Co-op Employment section for details.

I have questions relating to Co-op. Who should I contact?

Touch base with the Student, Graduate and Co-op Employment department with inquiries.