COVID-19

Okanagan College students, staff and visitors, please note:

Okanagan College is closely following the situation, maintaining contact with Interior Health and monitoring updates from provincial and national health agencies. The College has a committee tracking the issue and developing response plans, involving representatives from Facilities, International Education, Regional Deans, Occupational Health and Safety, Public Affairs, the VP Students, Student Services, and employee group and student union leaders.

This webpage will be updated immediately should there be any change that would directly impact the operations and well-being of the College community.

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Current Status

11:15 a.m. Friday, June 26

Learn more about Phase 3 of BC’s Restart Plan

On Wednesday, June 24 Premier John Horgan announced that BC is transitioning to Phase 3 of its Restart Plan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more about what this means for individuals and organizations (including guidelines and extra safety precautions that remain in place) on the Phase 3 webpage.

The Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training (AEST) is working with all 25 public post-secondary institutions in B.C. to support their planning for the 2020/2021 academic year. More information about the delivery of classes and services at Okanagan College this fall will be communicated as planning continues and determinations are made, taking into account the guidance of the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of AEST, and Interior Health.

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11:00 a.m. Monday, June 22

PACWEST Cancels Fall Competition, Coyotes hopeful to begin modified training in September

The Okanagan College Coyotes women’s and men’s basketball teams will see no official league play this fall season.

PACWEST announced on Friday, June 19, that Conference league competition for Fall 2020 in men’s and women’s soccer, basketball, volleyball and golf has been cancelled.

PACWEST is hopeful to restart conference league competition for men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball in January 2021 with a modified schedule.

Dino Gini, Head Coach for the Men’s Team, says the OC Coyotes are hopeful they will be able to hold modified training camps in September as usual, COVID-19 conditions permitting, adhering to the guidance of the Provincial Health Officer, and following stringent health and safety protocols.

Early this month, the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) announced the cancellation of the four 2020 fall National Championships.

Read the full statement from here.

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12:00 p.m. Friday, June 19

Online Wellness Wednesday Workshop - June 24

The Flourish Wellness Project is offering a final Wellness Wednesday online workshop before the summer begins with a special focus on coping at this point in the COVID-19 pandemic. Sarah Lefebure, Counsellor on the Penticton campus, will lead the one-hour drop-in online workshop. The workshop is free for all Okanagan College students and employees on any campus.

Coping During COVID-19: Checking In
June 24, 11 a.m. - 12 p.m.

To attend the workshop, OC students and employees can self register for the Flourish Wellness Workshop in Moodle here.


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12:00 p.m. Monday, June 8

Webinar creates space to connect in the post-secondary LGBTQ2S+ community

BCCampus.ca hosted a webinar on self-care, mental health promotion and ways to connect and build community in the post-secondary LGBTQ2S+ community on June 16. The free session was open to anyone and participants are encouraged to come with questions for the facilitators. The facilitators were Kirstin McLaughlin, an LGBTQ2S+ nurse educator from Camosun College and Tanysha Klassen, Chairperson of the British Columbia Federation of Students. The event is free but requires registration here.

The session was recorded and made publicly available on BCcampus.ca, where other sessions on topics such as problem solving online and adapting to COVID-19 are also available. On Tuesday, May 26, Okanagan College Counsellors Samantha Johnson and Sarah Lefebure hosted a webinar about Self-Compassion during COVID-19. A recording of the webinar can be found here.

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12:45 p.m. Thursday, May 28

To attend the workshop, OC students and employees can self register for the Flourish Wellness Workshop Moodle here.

New guide helps students access virtual activities and resources to StayConnected

To help bring students together virtually and combat feelings of social isolation during physical distancing, Okanagan College has published a new online guide called StayConnected

StayConnected includes info about virtual activities and resources, from Wellness workshops to Coffee Connection chats and more. The online guide will be updated with new activities and events are they are known, so students are encouraged to keep an eye on the page.

Reminder to students: you can still access services remotely. More information, hours and contact information is available on our Available Services page.

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2:00 p.m. Wednesday, May 27

FAQs published to help students navigate the admission process during COVID-19

Applicants and current students will find useful information / reminders on a new Become a Student During COVID-19 FAQ (frequently asked questions) page created by the Office of the Registrar. The page includes sections on Admissions during COVID-19, what Fall 2020 class delivery will look like, Finances, and Services for applicants and students. Explore the page and find other helpful links here.

Details regarding delivery of Fall 2020 classes and services will be communicated to applicants and students as determinations are made.

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Recent updates 

View archive of Covid-19 updates here
Provincial and Federal news updates pertinent to students:

Government of Canada announces Flexibility in post-graduation work permit rules to help international students and Canadian post-secondary institutions

Students can now apply for the Canada Emergency Student Benefit

Learn more about BC's Restart Plan

Canada removes barriers for international students working in essential services to fight COVID-19

More federal support for students and grads affected by COVID-19

Province announces Here2Talk 24/7 mental health resource for students

A Message to students from Minister Melanie Mark - April 16

State of emergency extended to continue B.C.’s COVID-19 response

Changes to Canada Summer Jobs program to help businesses and young Canadians affected by COVID-19

Virtual Mental Health Supports During COVID-19

Applications open for temporary rental supplement

OCSU NEWS: Okanagan College Students’ Union contributes emergency aid for students

BC brings in more emergency supports for Indigenous students

Province boosts emergency funding supports for students

New emergency supports for province’s most vulnerable

Province announces supports for renters, landlords during COVID-19

Province and Government of Canada freeze student loan payments

Government introduces Canada Emergency Response Benefit to help workers and businesses

 

Access to OC facilities and services

Reminder: during the COVID-19 pandemic, Okanagan College continues to operate and provide services remotely. Physical access to facilities is restricted in order to ensure social (physical) distancing and for the health and safety of all.

If you need to access facilities at any of our campuses, or have questions about how to access any services, please contact the Regional Dean office at your campus:

  • Central Okanagan (Kelowna): 250-762-5445, ext. 4789

  • South Okanagan-Similkameen (Penticton): 250-492-4305, ext. 3216

  • North Okanagan (Vernon): 250-545-7291, ext. 2206

  • Shuswap-Revelstoke (Salmon Arm): 250-832-2126, ext. 8239

You can also click here to find out how to access all available services, including hours and contact information. 

 

Overview of COVID-19

 

Prevention

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some cause respiratory illness in people, ranging from mild common colds to severe illnesses. Novel coronaviruses are new strains of the virus that have not been previously identified in humans.

COVID-19 is believed to be spread mainly through coughing, sneezing, or direct contact with someone who is sick with COVID-19 or with surfaces they have recently touched.

Background and Further Sources of Information:

B.C. Centre for Disease Control 

Health Canada Information on coronavirus. The Public Health Agency of Canada has set up a coronavirus telephone information line at: 1-833-784-4397.

Interior Health information regarding coronavirus

Call 1-888-COVID-19 or text 604-630-0300 for details, advice, and further information on the virus.

B.C. has an online self-assessment tool to determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19. You can also download the COVID-19 support app for the latest info.

 





 
Maintaining a Safe Working and Learning Environment

Okanagan College is committed to maintaining a safe working and learning environment at its campuses and centres. While on-campus offices/services are currently closed to students and the public, more information about on-campus cleaning protocols, physical distancing instructions and other pertinent information for students and employees will be communicated out as plans for Fall 2020 class and service delivery are finalized.

In instances where a student or employee is known to have contracted COVID-19, appropriate action will be taken to remove that individual from contact with others in the College community until a return to work/campus is deemed safe. Again, direction and advice will emanate from governmental health authorities. The College has no legal capacity to institute mandatory testing for those who may have been exposed to or contracted a coronavirus, but will continue to work with Interior Health, and federal and provincial agencies to promote procedures and approaches that minimize the risk of the spread of COVID-19. Okanagan College will continue to monitor and take advice from Interior Health and federal and provincial agencies with regard to best practices for maintaining a safe working and learning environment.

Recommended measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other common respiratory viruses like influenza include:

  • Washing your hands often, and always after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
  • Washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or, if soap and water are not available, using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Maintaining at least two metres distance from others, and avoiding shaking hands, tapping elbows or other physical contact in greetings.