COVID-19

Text of "COVID-19 update" is overlain on a photo of Kelowna Trades building

Students

This page provides information for OC students. Visit COVID-19 page for general information.

Masks are not required in indoor spaces, but it is important that we recognize and respect those who choose to continue wearing a mask based on personal choice.

Stay at home if you are sick

If you are sick, please stay home. Consult the B.C. COVID-19 self-assessment tool to determine if COVID-19 testing is needed, and contact 811 or your healthcare provider for medical advice as necessary. 

If you do test positive for COVID-19, please notify your instructor(s) and follow provincial health guidance around self-isolation and monitoring and testing.

Notices

Frequently asked questions

Health

If you are sick, please stay home. Consult the B.C. COVID-19 self-assessment tool to determine if COVID-19 testing is needed, and contact 811 or your healthcare provider for medical advice as necessary. 

If you do test positive for COVID-19, please notify your instructor(s) and follow provincial health guidance around self-isolation and monitoring and testing

Follow the instructions on the What to do if you are sick page. Individuals experiencing symptoms should stay home, use the B.C. COVID-19 self-assessment tool to determine if COVID-19 testing is needed, and contact 811 or their healthcare provider for medical advice as necessary. Find the assessment tool here: https://bc.thrive.health/covid19/en. If you miss class because of illness, contact your instructor(s).

The rapid tests are an optional, time-limited initiative for post-secondary institutions for the testing of symptomatic employees and students. The tests are a self-management tool intended to support the continuity of on-campus learning, instruction and research.  Asymptomatic screening of employees and students is not recommended by public health and tests distributed to post-secondary institutions from the provincial supply are not to be used for asymptomatic screening programs.

Students in Kelowna can pick up rapid test kits from the OCSU Pantry (room A149).  Students in Penticton, Vernon, and Salmon Arm can pick up test kits from the Regional Dean’s Office.

  • You are required to do a personal daily health check for COVID-19 symptoms. 
  • If you are sick or feeling unwell, please stay home.  
  • Follow the instructions on the What to do if you are sick page, including following provincial health guidance on self-isolation and testing

Receiving COVID-19 vaccinations, and subsequent booster doses, are safe and effective ways to protect yourself and your community from COVID-19. With increased COVID-19 activity across the Interior, getting your booster dose is a critical step you can take to reduce your risk of hospitalization and to preserve capacity in the health-care system. 

Visit Interior Health’s Immunization Clinics to book your first or second doses, and for information about booster clinics. 

If you are feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or even depressed, know that you are not alone and that help is available.   

  • OC Counselling Services: book an appointment   
  • Here2Talk: This is a 24/7 mental health counselling and referral service for post-secondary students. Confidential, free, single-session services are available by app, phone and online chat: http://here2talk.ca/    
  • The KUU-US Crisis Line Society provides a First Nations and Indigenous specific crisis line available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, toll-free from anywhere in British Columbia. The KUU-US Crisis Line can be reached toll-free at 1-800-588-8717. Alternatively, you can call directly into the Youth Line at 250-723-2040 or the Adult Line at 250-723-4050, or online: https://www.kuu-uscrisisline.com/.  

The Province of BC offers the 24/7 Here2Talk service to all BC post-secondary students, via app, phone and web.

There are many apps to choose from when it comes to mental health and wellness. As individual needs vary, here are a few options to see what works best for you:

Lifeworks developed Build your self-care toolkit, a portal that features articles, videos and additional tips and tricks about small steps everyone can take to build resiliency and support self-care.

Safety measures

We recognize that anxiety around COVID-19 will persist for some time and that each student's personal health situation and concerns will be different. If you have a documented medical condition which will require an accommodation, please visit the Accessibility Services webpage to complete the intake and medical documentation forms.

Provincial Health Officer (PHO) repealed the face coverings order in British Columbia effective March 11 at 12:01 a.m. 

Individuals will move at their own pace as restrictions like mask requirements are removed. With masks becoming optional, it will be very important that we all recognize and respect that employees and students may choose to continue wearing a mask based on personal choice.

Physical distancing is not required but it is encouraged, where possible. Students and employees are encouraged to respect the personal space of others, noting that everyone’s concept of personal space and comfort with being around and in close proximity to others will be different. Anyone in indoor common areas must be masked, following the provincial/PSI mask mandate and the College’s mask directive.

Health checks are a personal responsibility for each individual at Okanagan College. Personal health checks should be completed daily. If you are sick and/or have symptoms, please stay home.

The Provincial Health Officer has mandated that proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required for students living in shared accommodation (student housing) and those studying in health-care and some other fields where clinical placements are required. OC will contact you directly if vaccination is required for your education or employment. 

Starting April 1, 2022, pre-entry tests will no longer be required for fully vaccinated travelers entering Canada by land, air, or water. International travelers are still required to use ArriveCAN after April 1.  Full details of the requirements for international travelers can be found here.

Campus facilities and services

In Kelowna, Infusions takeout has resumed, and cold beverage and snack vending options are available at every campus. In addition, for students experiencing food insecurity, students can request a meal through OC Serves Up by emailing: ocservesup@ocsu.ca. 

For updates on third-party options, visit the Food Services webpage.

Okanagan College Student Housing at the Kelowna campus is operational. For information, contact housing_klo@okanagan.bc.ca.

Yes, each campus has student meeting rooms available for the purpose of group study, mostly in campus libraries but also in some other buildings, including the E building in Kelowna. Many of these rooms can be booked online. Masks are mandatory in study rooms.

OC's fitness facility in Penticton is open to both staff and students. Penticton staff and students can purchase a pass at the administration office for $10 and bring your receipt to PC 146 for processing.

The Kelowna fitness facility is open to students only due to space constraints. Kelowna students can purchase a gym pass for a one-time fee of $10. You can do this at the Registrar’s office or online at www.okanagan.bc.ca/kelownastudentlife.  Visit Athletics, Recreation and Student Life in S108 in Kelowna if you have any questions.

 

Athletics, Recreation and Student Life will be offering activities in accordance with public health orders. Check out the Student Life page to get involved. 

Events and Convocation

OC is committed to the health and safety of students and employees, so any in-person activities offered will follow guidance and orders from the Provincial Health Office and Interior Health. Find out more:  www.okanagan.bc.ca/events.

Find the latest information about Convocation at www.okanagan.bc.ca/ceremonies.

International Students

Contact Okanagan College's International Education Department: inted@okanagan.bc.ca for the latest updates and guidance.

Online classes will be synchronous (in real-time).

Yes, face-to-face and online classes will cost the same.

Yes, Success Centre Coordinators will be available to assist students in person on all four campuses and online via Moodle and the Success Centres website.

Online resources and IT Services

The College has resources that can be accessed 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. If you require academic support with learning, connect with the Student Success Centre at your campus to build skills that will help you learn. 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.

Campus libraries provide access to desktop computers.

Still have questions? Concerns?

OC understands that returning to campus is prompting a lot of questions. If you still have questions after reading the information above, or have concerns, please contact us.

Get involved

OC is a tight-knit community. Join in on the fun on campus and through virtual events.

Your health

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