Recording of Post-Secondary Virtual Town Hall with Dr. Bonnie Henry
This week Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry held a virtual townhall for B.C. post-secondary institutions (PSIs). For footage of the full townhall, follow this link. Highlights of the townhall included:
- Dr. Henry and team acknowledged the remarkable efforts of students, faculty and staff in achieving a safe and successful return to in-person learning.
- Confirmed cases and transmission of COVID-19 on post-secondary campuses have remained very low this fall, even in communities and regions where case counts were high.
- PSIs have been leaders in championing the importance of vaccination and other public health measures and have high vaccination rates among students and employees.
- The best protection against COVID-19 continues to be vaccination, and this remains the case as new variants emerge.
- Rapid testing has shown limited utility in asymptomatic individuals in settings with high vaccination rates and therefore continues to be not recommended for PSIs to implement at this time.
- Public Health continues to take the lead on contact tracing and communication around cases of or exposure to COVID-19, with PSIs providing support as needed (Okanagan College maintains frequent and regular contact with Interior Health).
- All WHO-approved vaccines are now accepted by the Federal government for incoming International students. Additional testing and quarantine requirements may apply and are expected to be in flux for the foreseeable future; PSIs and students should continue to consult the Government of Canada Travel website for information.
Dr. Henry also spoke to the importance of remaining vigilant and keeping up with the behaviors and measures that have kept cases and transmission low on campuses, including:
- Do your part to be vaccinated. Encourage and support others around you to do so as well. Visit the Interior Health vaccination page for information.
- Wash your hands regularly.
- Stay home and avoid others when you are feeling ill.
- Wear a mask when indoors.
- Be mindful of personal gatherings you host or attend; follow the public health orders and guidelines.
- If travelling, assess your personal risk. Vaccination is required for travel within and outside of Canada. Be mindful of testing and quarantine requirements, and other travel advisories or guidance that could impact your return. Consult the Government of Canada Travel website for information.
Visit OC’s COVID-19 page for the latest updates. Thank you to the OC community for the diligence and care you have demonstrated to help keep our campuses healthy.
Tags: COVID-19, COVID-19 employees, COVID-19 students
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