COVID-19 Update: Letter from the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills TrainingPosted on January 7, 2022
Vancouver Community College (VCC), along with all the other post-secondary institutions in B.C. received a letter from the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training today, outlining the commitment to our students and community to provide learning and business continuity during the current spread of the COVID-19 Omicron variant.
VCC is dedicated to continuing to provide our students with the safest, highest quality educational experience during this difficult time. We thank our students, faculty, and staff for their flexibility as we navigate through this evolving situation. (See letter below.)
From: B.C. Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training
To: Public PSI Presidents; VPs Academic; VPs Finance/Administration; VPs Research; Sector Association Presidents
Learning and Business Continuity for Post-secondary Institutions
Public health in B.C. continues to strongly recommend the continuation of on-campus instruction for post-secondary institutions (PSIs) starting Jan. 10, 2022 as outlined in the Provincial Health Officer’s recommendations [PDF].
- Evidence to date indicates that BC’s PSIs are low-risk settings for the transmission of COVID-19 due to:
- High vaccination rates;
- Sector-wide health and safety protocols; and,
- High compliance with Provincial Health Officer orders, including the requirement for masks in all post-secondary classrooms and workplaces.
- In-person learning is critical to alleviating the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on young adults in British Columbia as documented by the BCCDC COVID-19 Young Adult Task Force [PDF], including significantly worsening mental health.
- As part of a long-term, sustainable approach to managing COVID-19, PSIs need contingency plans in place to support learning continuity for students as well as operational continuity during short-term business disruptions resulting from students, faculty or staff becoming ill due to COVID-19, as per direction from BC’s Provincial Health Officer. Institutions should reference the COVID-19 Return-to-Campus Guidelines [PDF] and the COVID-19 resources noted below to review and update their existing business continuity plans.
Thank you for the important role you play in supporting the provincial COVID-19 response. Please share this update broadly within your respective institutions.
- COVID-19 Return-to-Campus Guidelines are hosted on government's public website.
- Guidance and recommendations from the Provincial Health Officer are available online at the COVID-19 Provincial Support and Information website.
- If you require advice regarding a potential COVID-19 case, please contact your local Medical Health Officer.
- WorkSafeBC guidance is available on communicable disease prevention plans.