Return to Campus Planning Update

By College Relations | June 24, 2021

"COVID-19 Return to Campus" text on blue background with illustrated students hanging out around the letters and graphics.

I’d like to start off by acknowledging the incredible dedication, care and collaboration OC employees have shown in supporting students and each other over the past months. Thank you.

The past week has brought welcome news and optimism about pandemic conditions in the province. I wanted to take an important moment to update you on the College’s planning for the return of students and employees to campus.

Okanagan College is preparing to fully open our doors to welcome back students this fall, and to do so, we must follow the provincial Return to Campus (Go Forward) Guidelines once they are published. While the details of those guidelines are not yet public, Okanagan College has been following the advice of the Government of BC officials in our initial preparations

Premier John Horgan and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced that effective June 15, the province transitioned into Step 2 of BC’s Restart Plan. I invite you to read more and find extracts pertinent to the OC community here. Dr. Henry also outlined the return of “near normal” classes in K-12 in September, illustrating confidence in the ability of education settings to continue to move closer to pre-pandemic operations. As Dr. Henry has stated in recent townhalls for our sector, her team and other public health officials continue to be confident in the safe resumption of on-campus activities by post-secondary institutions, in large part due to vaccination rates in the province and the safety that structured settings like ours have demonstrated. On that note, if you have not yet been vaccinated and are able to be, I encourage you to visit the Province’s page for information on how to register, as one of the ways we can all do our part to protect the health of our internal and surrounding communities.

At the end of this month, once the Return to Campus (Go Forward) Guidelines, are published, you can expect a ramping up of communications regarding employees’ return to campus (including a link to the Guidelines in full and other information pertinent to employees). I thank you for your patience while we prepare the final plans that will help to set clear expectations on what July, August, September and onward will mean for you and your colleagues.

As we move forward, the College’s COVID-19/Return to Campus page will be a key source of information for you, and I encourage you to check the webpage frequently for updates. Information will also be communicated to you across other channels and directly from your supervisors, deans and directors to ensure you and your fellow employees are informed and know what to expect.

We know there will be questions and likely a few uncomfortable moments as we all get re-accustomed to work arrangements that will begin to more closely reflect pre-pandemic times. Thanks in advance for the patience, kindness and collegiality I know you’ll show one another; these are core qualities of the OC community that I’ve witnessed and have been so deeply impressed with since becoming your President.


Neil Fassina
Okanagan College President

Tags: Okanagan College President, COVID-19, COVID-19 employees



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