Protecting yourself during cold and flu season

Posted on November 17, 2022

After spending almost three years with restrictions to help limit the spread of COVID-19, Vancouver Community College (VCC) is thrilled to see the return of many on-campus activities and gatherings that renew our sense of community and togetherness.

As we head into the colder months, we are spending more time indoors. Subsequently, we are also seeing an increase in respiratory illnesses, such as COVID-19, influenza, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). To help protect yourself and others during the cold and flu season, we are sharing the following updates that are relevant to the VCC community.

PREVENTATIVE MEASURES DURING COLD AND FLU SEASON

On November 16, Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry stated that the province is experiencing an expected increase in cases of respiratory illnesses. She emphasized the importance of continuing to implement health and safety measures that protect ourselves and each other. These include getting influenza and COVID-19 immunizations as soon as possible, staying home if unwell, and practicing good hygiene. In contrast to where the province was at the beginning of the pandemic, individuals not only have access to vaccinations and/or treatments against COVID-19, influenza, and RSV, but we also have an increased overall immunity to these respiratory illnesses.

Anyone aged six months and older are eligible for influenza and COVID-19 immunizations. VCC encourages everyone to get fully vaccinated if you are able to do so. Book an appointment through the Get Vaccinated BC website.

Although there is no provincial mask mandate in place in public settings, the PHO is encouraging wearing a mask in settings where close contact is unavoidable. If you have even mild symptoms, it is recommended to wear a mask or postpone non-essential close contact until symptoms improve.

SELF-ISOLATION NO LONGER REQUIRED FOR COVID-19

According to the B.C Centre for Disease Control: "Starting November 17, 2022, people who have COVID-19 are no longer required to self-isolate. However, it is still important for people with symptoms to stay home as much as possible to reduce any potential spread of illness until your symptoms have improved, and you are able to participate in your usual activities." 

VCC encourages everyone to follow these recommendations to keep you and those around you safe.

VCC VENTILATION SYSTEMS AND CLEANING PROCEDURES

As we spend more time indoors, VCC follows current guidelines on ventilation standards, ensuring enhanced coverage and optimal management of indoor air quality. In addition, VCC’s facilities department has continued heightened cleaning measures and will continue to do so throughout the school year.

RAPID ANTIGEN TEST KITS

VCC is pleased to provide rapid antigen test kits to employees and students. Please email secure@vcc.ca to request one. Kits are also available through your local pharmacy.

VCC takes the health and safety of our students and employees very seriously. VCC will continue to work with local health authorities and the Provincial Health Officer to ensure information regarding respiratory illnesses and any other emergent public health issues, are shared with our community.

Read the Province’s update

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