January start update for OC community

By Public Affairs | January 6, 2022
           

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

Hello to the OC community, 

First, I’d like to express my gratitude to the many team members across Okanagan College who over the past few days have continued to monitor the COVID-19 situation with tremendous care and attention,  and who have continued to plan and prepare to welcome back students. 

I also want to express immense thanks to students for their patience and understanding as the College adapts to this new phase of the pandemic. 

Here’s what you need to know for next week:  

  • In-person classes will begin next week, starting on Monday, Jan. 10, for those that have not already started. Please continue to check the Important Dates page or contact your professors/instructors if you have questions about the start date and delivery of your classes. 

  • All Orientation activities, student events and staff meetings will be held virtually in January. Students should check the webpage or their Moodle for more info regarding virtual Orientation modules. 

  • Masks are required on campus. We expect to receive revised guidance on masks in learning environments (i.e., classrooms) as the Government of B.C. updates Return to Campus guidelines this week. As Public Health Officer Dr. Henry and the BCCDC mask guidance informs us, the best mask is a good-quality three-layer mask that fits snugly and can be worn comfortably all day. N95s are not required or encouraged, as these must be custom fit. If your classroom, lab, shop or work space has additional personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements, these will be communicated to you directly. 

  • Complete your personal health check before coming on campus each day. 

  • If you are feeling sick: stay home, rest, and consult the BCCDC page for information about when to seek testing, when to return to school or work after isolation and support from public health. As you normally would, please continue to keep your instructor or supervisor informed if you will be missing class or work due to illness – and if you need support, reach out. 

  • Please continue to watch for updates and follow public health guidance posted to the College’s COVID-19 page

The PHO recently wrote a letter to college and university presidents indicating that transmission in structured, educational settings on campus is uncommon; this week, Dr. Henry and team re-iterated the safety of our settings.  

We also expect increased absences due to illness in the coming weeks. The College will continue to carefully plan for business continuity, to ensure we can provide the same high-quality education and service our students expect. Team members can expect guidance from their Deans and Directors as to what those business continuity plans look like for this period. 

Please remember to be kind, respectful and show grace to each other as we face this together. Thank you for all you are doing to observe public health guidance.  

Respectfully, 

Neil Fassina

Okanagan College President



Tags: COVID-19, COVID-19 employees, COVID-19 students

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