Update on COVID-19 from government and the impact on VCCPosted on March 13, 2020
A message to all the VCC community from the office of the president
Dear VCC community,
On Thursday, March 12, 2020, Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s provincial health officer (PHO) issued the following joint statement regarding updates on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) response in British Columbia: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020HLTH0077-000484
All public post-secondary institution presidents and Board Chairpersons have been informed and instructed to follow these new guidelines. I encourage all VCC staff, students, and faculty to review the statement.
Key points from the March 12 joint statement that may affect operations at VCC:
- Recommendation against travel outside of Canada, including to the United States. Effective today, anyone who chooses to travel outside of Canada will be asked to stay away from work or school for 14 days upon their return.
- The cancellation of any gathering larger than 250 people. This includes indoor and outdoor sporting events, conferences, meetings, religious gatherings or other similar events.
The leadership team and Board of Governors at VCC are committed to the safety and health of all VCC staff, students, and faculty, and take these instructions seriously.
While the risk of contracting the illness remains low, we recognize that our community may have some questions about how we’re responding to this evolving situation.
How do these updates affect work and learning at VCC?
The VCC Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) is implementing Level 2 of the college’s Emergency Management Plan, and will be including the recommendations from government into our ongoing communicable disease strategies.
- All events over 250 people are cancelled until the end of April 2020.
- All events planned to take place on VCC campuses within in the next two months will be reviewed. Information about cancellations or postponements will be shared as soon as possible.
- All VCC work-related travel outside of Canada is cancelled immediately until further notice. We recommend against all travel outside of Canada, including to the United States.
- Staff returning to VCC from travel outside of Canada are asked to self-isolate for 14 days before returning to work. VCC is working with government and other agencies to determine best approach and implications for those who are asked to self-isolate.
It is important to remember that recommendations from government and the health authorities may change. COVID-19 is a public health issue, and will evolve and change as the days and weeks progress.
Information will be posted as updates become available.
Please visit www.vcc.ca/bulletins frequently.
I would like to take this time to thank our EOC and all of our staff, faculty, and students who have worked very hard over the last few weeks to keep our college community safe and healthy. This is a challenging time, and it is important that we continue to stay vigilant and cautious, but also continue to act responsibly.
President and CEO (Interim)
Vancouver Community College
Link to the March 12, 2020 joint statement from government and the PHO: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020HLTH0077-000484
For guidance on mass gatherings from the BC Centre for Disease Control, visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/health-professionals/mass-gatherings-risk-assesment.html
For federal government recommendations on cruise ship travel, visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/latest-travel-health-advice.html#cruis
For recommendations on protecting yourself and your community, visit: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/coronavirus-(novel)
For information on self-isolation, visit: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/coronavirus-(novel)#Self-isolation--and--testing
For the COVID-19 pandemic preparedness and planning materials, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/about-bc-s-health-care-system/office-of-the-provincial-health-officer/current-health-topics/pandemic-influenza
For more information and latest updates on COVID-19, follow the BC Centre for Disease Control on Twitter @CDCofBC or visit its website: http://www.bccdc.ca/
For the latest audio clips of COVID-19 media availabilities, visit: https://soundcloud.com/bcgov