Update on January 2022 term start
Hello OC students,
I hope you are enjoying a restful holiday break and getting time to recharge and prepare for the coming term.
Over the past week, the College has continued to carefully monitor evolving pandemic conditions and guidance from public health and the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training (AEST).
I wanted to provide an update on our plans for the start of the January term:
- Based on conversations and guidance from public health, Okanagan College will delay in-person instruction for many classes until January 10. Please consult this page to find start dates for your classes, and watch for communication from your Dean’s Office or instructors.
- Campuses will re-open and in-person services will resume for students as planned on Tuesday, Jan. 4.
- Public health officials continue to affirm the safety of our structured settings; this delay will provide us with the breathing room to reinforce and update our on-campus signage and preventative measures while public health continues to monitor the ever-evolving Omicron scenario.
- Please do your utmost to observe the personal responsibilities that will help keep our campuses healthy. Please continue to complete your daily health checks (stay home if you are feeling sick). As Public Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has indicated in recent days, wearing good quality masks, practicing good hand hygiene, observing physical distancing wherever possible and avoiding congregating is of increased importance with Omicron.
- While our in-person services remain open, we encourage students to access services online, and to schedule appointments and meetings with advisors, instructors and peers virtually, whenever possible, at this time.
- Events will proceed virtually under the current health orders. Any in-person components to student events (such as take away food or information tables) will stringently follow public health guidance. Students are encouraged to attend campus only for their classes or educational activities, such as Orientations, at this time, to limit unstructured congregating on campus. In-person Orientation and Winter Welcome events scheduled for the first week of January will be postponed. Please visit the Orientation page for virtual Orientation content and updates.
- As direction changes, we will continue to update OC’s COVID-19 page and inform you as quickly as possible.
- Public health officials continue to remind us that vaccines are the most effective way to reduce the risk of COVID-19 on campus. Please visit the Province’s vaccination page or Interior Health’s immunization page to learn about booking your vaccination or booster appointments at your earliest opportunity.
I want to recognize that the arrival of Omicron and developments with the pandemic in the province over the past couple of weeks may cause anxiety for some members of our learning community. I encourage you to explore the supports available to you.
We know the nature of the pandemic is changing every day and that guidance to us may change without much notice. We fully expect, due to developments with Omicron in B.C. and across Canada, that during the months ahead guidance and health orders will ebb and flow. To that end, I cannot thank you enough for your patience and flexibility as we continue to pull together as a College community to support one another and adapt as needed.
I wish you all a safe and happy New Year, and a positive start to January 2022.
President, Okanagan College
Tags: COVID-19 students, COVID-19
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