COVID-19 UPDATE JAN. 24: Letter from PHO Dr. Bonnie Henry
On Friday, Jan. 21, 2022, BC post-secondary institutions received this letter from Provincial Health Officer (PHO) Dr. Bonnie Henry.
In the letter, Dr. Henry re-affirmed public health’s strong recommendation for the continuation of on-campus instruction at post-secondary institutions.
Dr. Henry notes that Public Health continue to see lower rates of COVID-19 incidence in the post-secondary population, and this reflects the high vaccination rates and comprehensive safety measures in place. In contrast to the controlled nature of classrooms and offices, SARS-CoV-2 transmits most efficiently in homes and unstructured or informal social settings.
The PHO continues to reiterate the importance of vaccination as the single most effective intervention for reducing the burden of illness related to COVID-19. Okanagan College continues to strongly encourage all members of the OC community who are able to be vaccinated and receive their boosters to do so at their earliest opportunity. You can learn more on Interior Health’s Immunization Clinics page.
On January 20, 2022 the PHO released a new Workplace Safety Order requiring employers to have a COVID-19 Safety Plan in accordance with WorkSafeBC guidance. Section T of the Order confirms that the Order does not apply to post-secondary institutions because detailed COVID-19 protocols have already been developed to address COVID-19 related risks, in close collaboration with staff from the PHO.
We expect revised Return to Campus guidelines with additional information about rapid testing in post-secondary will be published before the end of January. In the meantime, please continue to follow all posted on-campus signage and guidance on the College’s COVID-19 page, which also contains the College’s Communicable Disease Plan, FAQs and supports, what to do if you are ill, up-to-date mask guidance, daily health check information and more.
Thank you to every member of the OC community for your continued adherence to public health guidance and on-campus expectations.
Tags: COVID-19, COVID-19 employees, COVID-19 students
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