AEST shares fall 2022 Public Health updatePosted on September 2, 2022
B.C.’s Ministry of Advanced Education Skills and Training (AEST) has shared the following Public Health information to post secondaries across the province.
Throughout the pandemic, B.C.’s post-secondary institutions have maintained a coordinated approach that is rooted in evidence-based Public Health guidance.
As students, faculty and staff begin a new term, Public Health recommends the continued following of good health practices.
- Continues to maintain a high level of vigilance on tracking the trends and changes in the pandemic.
- Reminds everyone to follow good health practices of:
- Keeping up to date with all vaccinations,
- Staying home when sick,
- Regular handwashing,
- Following respiratory hygiene, and
- Wearing a mask is a personal choice depending on individuals’ own risk assessments. The choice that students, faculty, and staff make to practice additional personal prevention measures should be respected.
- Expects that there will continue to be periodic fluctuations in COVID-19 activity. At this point in time, Public Health does not anticipate that population wide public health orders will be needed in view of the level of population immunity that now exists.
Masks in classroom/learning settings
- Public health orders do not require face coverings in public spaces, including post-secondary classrooms, student housing facilities, or work spaces.
- Students, faculty and staff working in health care settings may be required to wear a mask by their workplace.
- More detailed information about types of masks and how to use them is available on the BCCDC website.
- Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to continue to be supportive of individual choices and requirements with respect to the wearing of masks.
Public Health guidance regarding self-isolation
- Those who have been advised to test and test positive for COVID-19 are recommended to self-isolate as much as reasonably possible.
- If you have mild symptoms of COVID-19, you do not need a test. Stay home and away from others until you feel well enough to return to your regular activities and you no longer have a fever.
- Testing for COVID-19 is recommended when a positive or negative result will inform decisions about treatment or care (e.g., those who are hospitalized).
- Those with symptoms can assess whether or not they need a test by using the BC COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool.
- Individuals can continue to access shared common areas when necessary, including kitchens and washrooms with safety measures in place. These safety measures include:
- Minimizing prolonged face to face interactions,
- Wearing a face mask while in close physical proximity to others,
- Practicing regular hand washing, and
- Accessing shared space during quieter times, when possible.
- This will reduce the spread of COVID-19 while still allowing an individual who tests positive to access essential facilities such as shared kitchen and bathroom spaces.
- Students who are required to isolate and as a result cannot participate in course assessments should follow their PSI’s policy regarding accommodations for missed assignments due to medical reasons.
BCCDC information about the bivalent vaccine and Monkeypox
- There are ongoing discussions about the bivalent vaccine, and more information will be available on the BCCDC website.
- Information on Monkeypox is available on the BCCDC website.
Additional information such as post-secondary specific Communicable Disease Prevention plans can be found on the Province of B.C. website.
Additional information from the VCC Emergency Operations Centre
VCC takes the health and safety of our students and employees very seriously.
The members of the VCC EOC will continue to work with local health authorities and the Provincial Health Officer (PHO) to ensure information regarding COVID-19, and any other emergent public health issues, are shared with our community.
On campus, our facilities department has continued the heightened cleaning measures and will continue to do so into the fall semester.
It is up to everyone to do their part in maintaining a safe place to work and learn – get vaccinated and boosted, use your layers of protection, monitor symptoms, and stay home if ill.
Vaccines continue to be the most effective method in preventing serious health outcomes – don’t delay in getting your vaccine and booster shots.
Although masks are not mandated in indoor public settings, some people may choose to continue wearing a mask indoors and others will not. We encourage everyone to go at your own pace and be respectful of others.
Thank you to the VCC community for doing your part to keep everyone safe!