Read OC's communicable disease plan
I hope this finds you enjoying summer as we all look for ways to stay cool amid the hot and dry temperatures that are now predicted to stick around well into August. On that note, with wildfires continuing to burn around the region, I wanted to draw your attention to the College’s alerts page where you’ll find information on what to do if you’re impacted by a wildfire and the supports available to you. The College will continue to carefully monitor the situation, update our alerts page and keep you informed if there are any impacts to campuses, classes or services.
As many of you will know and are potentially looking forward to, on Tuesday, August 3, Okanagan College buildings and offices will re-open for the resumption of on-campus services in most cases (many are already open and you can check on the status of services on our Available Services page).
In anticipation of expanded access and on-campus services next week, I would like to share a few important updates on our Return to Campus efforts:
- The College has published its new Communicable Disease Plan. Every member of the OC community should take some time to read the plan and learn about the steps OC is taking – and that we can all take collectively – to keep our campuses healthy. This is a living document that will grow and evolve over time, in step with guidance from the BCCDC, the Ministry of Health, the Provincial Health Officer (PHO), Interior Health’s Medical Health Officer (MHO) and the First Nations Health Authority. Based on guidance from the province, this plan replaces previous Covid-19 Health Safety protocols.
- Students, employees and visitors will no longer need to complete COVID-19 safety training in Moodle or a self-reporting acknowledgement (SRA) before coming on to campus. Replacing this is a simplified personal daily health check. Learn how to complete this on the COVID-19 / Return to Campus page. You’ll also find signage about it on building entrances as a reminder each day.
- New FAQs have been posted for students and employees. The College will continue to add to these in the coming weeks.
- The College has also published new mental health resources from Counselling Services to support employees and students during the return to campus transition, as well as an employee guide on 3 Steps to Assisting Colleagues in Distress to understand the signs and potential responses. We will continue to develop and add to these resources to support students and employees throughout the transition.
As we might anticipate, future mandates and health directives will remain in flux over the coming months. An example is the July 29 announcement by Interior Health that requires masks for all people 12 and older in indoor public settings in the Central Okanagan. All students, employees and visitors entering OC facilities in the region will be required to wear a mask until the order is lifted. More information is available in the College’s revised mask directive. Masks remain recommended at all other OC campuses and centres outside the Central Okanagan.
With the start of classes quickly approaching, we will be working toward further information and orientation for all OC team members regarding the reality of having the majority of our students back on campus and all OC team members. Keep an eye out for this in the coming weeks.
We can’t wait to welcome all of our students back. A sincere thank you to OC employees for their collegiality and dedication throughout this transition. While it hasn’t been easy, with each passing week we find ourselves a little nearer to an OC that more closely resembles life before the pandemic – with the benefit of a great deal of learning along the way.
You can find the latest updates and resources on the College’s COVID-19 / Return to Campus page.
Wishing you all a safe and restful long weekend,
President, Okanagan College
Tags: COVID-19, COVID-19 employees, COVID-19 students
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