Face-covering order repealed on public health guidance
This afternoon, Provincial Health Officer (PHO) Dr. Bonnie Henry repealed the face coverings order in British Columbia effective March 11 at 12:01 a.m. In her announcement, Dr. Henry noted that this decision was based on the most recent science and data and that the province’s approach is moving from mandates toward an “empowered self-management” approach.
As we have done throughout the pandemic, we continue to follow the advice of the PHO and the public health orders. As a result, wearing masks indoors at all Okanagan College campuses, centres and facilities will be optional as of March 11. This includes all classrooms, recreation facilities and common areas.
As Dr. Henry noted during her address, 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. Grounded in our values of community and respect, I am confident that we will be able to acknowledge and appreciate each other’s personal choices as we navigate the coming months. As always, if something changes in relation to the public health orders updates will be provided as those details become available.
Okanagan College will continue to follow its Communicable Disease Plan going forward. This plan stresses five important actions:
- Stay home if you are sick
- Don’t touch your face
- Clean your hands regularly
- Respect personal space
- Be considerate of people
As a friendly reminder, the College continues to have a strong supply of rapid test kits. It is recommended that you take advantage of them as you monitor your health in relation to our Communicable Disease Plan. Because vaccinations remain the primary layer of protection Okanagan College strongly encourages all eligible people to get vaccinated.
Recognizing that there is a great deal of signage around our locations, please be patient as signs are removed over time.
As always, Okanagan College remains focused on ensuring the safest possible environment for our students and employees. While our practices and procedures may change, our commitment to caring, cleanliness, and safety is here to stay.
Neil Fassina, PhD CPHR ICD.D (he|him)
President, Okanagan College
Tags: COVID-19, COVID-19 employees, COVID-19 students
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