September 2: Fall 2021: Health and safety on VCC campuses
August 27: BC Colleges statement on vaccine mandates
Fall 2021: Health and safety on VCC campusesPosted on September 2, 2021
A message from VCC Director, Safety, Security and Risk, Surinder Aulakh
Warm greetings to the VCC community,
Next week, students, faculty, and staff will return to campus, many for the first time in a year and a half.
Although it is exciting to be able to see each other again and learn together in-person, I know that there are some concerns about what to expect when you arrive.
Public health experts in British Columbia fully support the Sept. 7 return to on-campus instruction for all post-secondary institutions. We also know that educational settings like colleges are low-risk sites for COVID-19 transmission.
For the past 18 months and prior to vaccine availability, VCC remained open and successfully navigated the challenges of the pandemic with no person-to-person, on-campus transmissions.
Today, we know that vaccines are proven to be highly effective in preventing COVID-19 infections, serious outcomes, and sustained transmission. Full vaccination (two doses) offers a high level of protection against COVID-19, including the Delta variant. Immunization has resulted in much lower infection rates, hospitalizations, and death rates in B.C., even as society has re-opened.
At VCC, we are committed to the health and safety of our community. We are also responsible for the delivery of post-secondary programs without barriers. Over the past 18 months, young adults aged 18-29 were among the hardest hit by pandemic-related response measures, and now is the time to support their recovery.
The plan to return to in-person learning this fall is about everyone to coming back together safely, so we can continue to offer hands-on, dynamic programs for our students.
How you can do your part
In preparation for next week, there are three key ways everyone can do their part to keep themselves and each other safe:
Vaccination is the best line of defence we have against COVID-19.
VCC strongly encourages all students and employees who are eligible and able, to get vaccinated.
We expect to receive new detailed information in the coming days about specifics around the BC Vaccine Card, and how to incorporate this measure into daily operations at certain on-campus services such as JJ’s Restaurant and The Bistro. We will continue to share updates with the VCC community as details are made available.
Conduct a daily self pre-screen
Starting Tuesday, Sept. 7, all students and employees are required to perform a daily self-assessment before coming onto VCC campuses. This online tool will determine whether you may need further assessment or testing for COVID-19.
Wear a mask
Masks are currently required in all public indoor settings for all people born in 2009 or earlier (12+).
At VCC, this applies to all indoor public areas on campuses including lobbies, hallways, stairwells, elevators, libraries, cafeterias (when not eating), classrooms, and labs.
Please remember, there are those for whom wearing a mask is not an option. Wear a mask if you are able, and respect those who cannot.
Additionally, personal hygiene measures such as proper hand washing and sanitizing, and coughing and sneezing into elbows continue to be strongly recommended.
The VCC community has done a tremendous job navigating and responding to new orders and recommendations from the Provincial Health Officer over these many months, and I am confident that we will continue to do so.
Please get vaccinated, and let’s continue to do our very best to take care of each other.
Director, Safety, Security and Risk
Vancouver Community College