Ministry update: BCCDC mask information updated

By Public Affairs | January 14, 2022

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Okanagan College received the following COVID-19 update from the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training on Jan. 13, 2022: 

Updated BCCDC Mask Information

On January 10, 2022 the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) updated their mask information for the public.  Masks are one of many layers of protection used in post-secondary classrooms and workplaces to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

  • All types of masks help reduce the transmission of COVID-19 when they fit comfortably over the mouth and nose with no gaps around the face.
  • In health care and other workplace settings, respirators (e.g., N95, KN95, or CAN95) are specially fitted to each person, but in public settings this is not needed. 
  • Respirators and medical masks may provide better protection than other masks when worn correctly and consistently.
  • Individuals are advised to choose the mask that is best for them, depending on ability to wear comfortably, affordability, and individual risk.

COVID-19 Safety Plan Exemption for Post-secondary Institutions

In a media briefing on January 7, 2022 (see timestamp 6 mins 30 sec) the Provincial Health Officer (PHO) announced that business owners are to implement COVID-19 safety plans that are appropriate for this phase of the pandemic where much of the population is immunized and business continuity is a priority. 

  • Educational settings (K-12 and post-secondary institutions) and healthcare facilities are exempt from this requirement because detailed COVID-19 protocols have already been developed to address COVID-19 related risks, in close collaboration with staff from the PHO.
  • A new PHO order on workplace safety is currently under development and will provide written confirmation of this exemption.

The Ministry is working with the BCCDC and the PHO to update the COVID-19 Return to Campus Guidelines to reflect these updates.

Thank you for the important role you play in supporting the provincial COVID-19 response.  Please share this update broadly within your respective institutions.

COVID-19 Resources:

WorkSafeBC guidance is available on communicable disease prevention plans.

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



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