New on-campus safety measures in effect November 19th

Posted on November 23, 2020

A message from the VCC Emergency Operations Centre (EOC)

BC’s Provincial Health Officer (PHO) has ordered new province-wide restrictions to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. Some of these restrictions previously applied to the Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Regions only. As of November 19, 2020, they apply to the entire province.

ON CAMPUS

Daily self-assessment

Due to increased provincial health restrictions and tracking measures, all employees (admin, staff, faculty) are now required to complete a daily self-assessment (https://bc.thrive.health) each day you are physically on any VCC campus. 

  • This is in addition to the weekly Pre-Screen Questionnaire. 
  • The daily assessment is a self-check, and does not need to be submitted to VCC.
    • However, a negative assessment needs to be communicated to your supervisor.
    • Students will continue with the assessment process via Moodle and their instructors.

Masks are required in all indoor public settings and workplaces

  • This applies to common areas where people circulate freely, such as hallways, stairwells, elevators, etc. 
    • Enclosed office spaces are exempt where physical distancing can be maintained. 
    • The mask requirement does not apply to people unable to wear a mask or put on or remove a mask on their own.  

OFF CAMPUS

This summary of restrictions relates to activities that may impact students and staff in their personal lives off campus.

Refer to the new province-wide restrictions for more details. 

Social gatherings 

No social gatherings of any size with anyone other than your household or core bubble. This applies to both indoor and outdoor spaces. 

  • A person who lives alone may have up to two other people visit if they are people with whom the person regularly interacts. 

Events

  • All events and gatherings as defined in the PHO Gatherings and Events Order are suspended until further notice. 
    • NOTE: this does not apply to educational activities offered by post-secondary institutions to deliver and/or support student learning and development, as safety precautions are already in place.  
    • Please see page 15 of the COVID-19 Go-Forward Guidelines for BC’s Post-Secondary Sector [PDF] for more information on educational activities. 
    • Events such as convocation ceremonies are not considered educational activities, and will take place virtually when possible.  

Athletic Activities

  • Please review the Athletic Activities section of the new province-wide restrictions.
  • The following high-risk indoor group physical activities must be suspended:
    • Spin classes
    • Hot yoga
    • High intensity interval training 
  • Gyms and recreation facilities that offer individual workouts and personal training sessions can remain open as long as they have a COVID-19 Safety Plan that is strictly followed. 
  • Games, competitions, and practices can continue with no spectators and no travel. 

Travel

  • All non-essential travel should be avoided. This includes travel into and out of B.C. and between regions of the province.  
  • Essential travel within B.C. includes:
    • Regular travel for work within your region
    • Travel for medical appointments and hospital visits 




New on-campus safety measures in effect November 10th

Posted on November 9, 2020

A message from the VCC Emergency Operations Centre (EOC)

VCC is adding new safety procedures regarding coming onto VCC campuses, in response to orders from the Provincial Health Officer (PHO) that were announced on Sat. Nov. 7.

Effective immediately:

  • Security guards will be stationed at the main entrances of all VCC campuses to bring attention to COVID-19 screening questions and the college’s on-campus health expectations. Please use the following entrances only:
    • Broadway campus, Broadway entrance, and E. 7th entrance
    • Downtown Campus, Dunsmuir and Hamilton street entrance
    • Annacis Island, main entrance
  • Non-medical masks should be worn in all common areas of the college and students must continue to abide by additional PPE requirements, specific to your class. It is also important to remember that some people may have barriers that prevent them from wearing a mask.

These new safety changes are in addition to the existing measures. As a reminder, these safety measures include:

  • Fill out the pre-screening form before coming onto the campus.
  • Wash or sanitize your hands upon entering the campus and regularly throughout the day.
  • Limit your time on campus.
  • Maintain a two-metre distance from others.
  • Respect all signs posted.
  • Adhere to all capacity requirements of rooms, space (e.g. elevators, lunchrooms).
  • Avoid touching surfaces whenever possible.
  • Use proper respiratory hygiene practices (e.g. cough or sneeze into your elbow).

Masks and face coverings do not replace physical distancing, hand washing, and staying at home if you are sick as the most effective ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

For a list of the recent orders for Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Valley Health areas, visit:
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/covid-19-provincial-support/lower-mainland




VCC partners with VCH to support access to COVID-19 testing

Posted on August 17, 2020

A message from the VCC Emergency Operations Centre (EOC)

 

VCC was contacted on Friday by Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH), and the VCC Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) and Departments of Safety/Security and Facilities have since been working with VCH to help meet the need for increased testing sites for COVID-19 in Vancouver.

Starting this week, our parking lot at the Broadway campus (north of building B, large lot) will be used by VCH for a new COVID-19 testing location. The Public Heath Office (PHO) has asked for more sites to be made available as a key part of their plan for increased COVID-19 testing and tracing.  

Testing locations allow for health care workers, essential service providers, and the public to easily and safely access a COVID-19 test without needing to leave their vehicle or enter a public building like a doctor’s office or health clinic.

VCC is proud to be a partner with VCH and the Ministry of Health, and to support all efforts to keep our communities safe and healthy. 

For staff, students, or visitors who need parking, there will continue to be street parking as available, and the east (paid) parking lot (beside building B) will remain available.

VCH will be working with our teams to ensure that strict safety measures are adhered to. As well, Vancouver Police will be attending the testing site to manage car traffic and pedestrian safety.

Once again, we would like to thank everyone in our VCC community for doing their part to help keep everyone safe and healthy. 


Frequently Asked Questions  


What is a testing location?

Testing locations allow for health care workers, essential service providers and the public to easily and safely access a COVID-19 test without needing to leave their vehicle or enter a public building like a doctor’s office or health clinic. This greatly reduces the risk of spreading the virus. 

 

Are testing sites a risk to the public?

No. Medical staff are on site, as well as police officers, to ensure that all health and safety protocols are followed. The public remains in their car during testing. 

 

When will the testing location be operating? 

VCH is working to have the VCC location up and running this week. It will run Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (except statutory holidays).

 

Can I access testing through the location at VCC?

Yes. The VCC COVID-19 testing site is open to health care workers, essential service providers, and the public (children over 12 years old). Learn more about COVID-19 testing in BC.

 

Who can I contact if I have questions about access to the parking lot?

Please contact Surinder Aulakh, VCC Director of Safety, Security and Risk at saulakh@vcc.ca.




COVID-19 – Expect online/hybrid learning to continue into Fall and Winter terms

Posted on July 29, 2020

A message from the VCC Emergency Operations Centre (EOC)

Over the past few months at Vancouver Community College (VCC), our students and employees have truly redefined what it means to teach and learn. The need to prevent the spread of COVID-19 was urgent, and our community rose to the occasion. Through a radical shift to online and alternative/hybrid learning, universities and colleges like ours played a major role in “flattening the curve” in B.C.

We have adapted our habits, our surroundings, and ourselves. Many of us are adjusting well to a new normal. This is a good thing, but as we enjoy B.C.’s beautiful summer, now is not the time to let down our guard. 

B.C.’s Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has expressed special concern about a recent spike in COVID-19 cases among young adults under the age of 29. Many of these cases are linked to large social gatherings and Canada Day parties, and the resulting outbreak has tripled hospitalizations in the province. In light of this, Dr. Henry is strongly advising young people to “play safe and stay safe." 

Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 at VCC

As a commitment to continued physical distancing and limiting the spread of COVID-19, VCC is now preparing to continue offering programs online and through alternative/hybrid learning modes for both the Fall 2020 (September to December) and Winter 2021 (January to April) terms. 

Of course, we have no way of knowing what the fall and winter of 2020-21 will bring. We can only continue giving VCC students and employees as much information as possible to help prepare for the upcoming school year. Things may change, but with your help, we will continue to adapt to the best of our combined abilities and keep teaching and learning happening safely.


For the latest updates, please bookmark and check VCC's COVID-19 information site regularly. 




Important pre-arrival information for incoming international students to VCC

Posted on July 24, 2020

Updated Jan. 12, 2021

Vancouver Community College (VCC) is committed to ensuring the health and safety of all its students and the wider community by following the guidelines of the Government of Canada and health authorities.

This bulletin provides incoming international students with important information regarding current restrictions and mandatory quarantine requirements in relation to COVID-19. Please review this information carefully for important updates and resources for a safe arrival in Canada.

It is the responsibility of VCC international students to understand federal and provincial laws and regulations before planning to arrive in Canada. Students are recommended to review official government websites regularly for up-to-date information.


Travel restrictions and mandatory quarantine requirements

Before travelling to Canada, it is very important that you understand the travel restrictions and exemptions for international students. Please check the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website for details.

VCC is a designated learning institution (DLI) with a COVID-19 readiness plan approved by the province of British Columbia. We are ready to reopen to international students who are currently outside Canada. Please refer to the approved DLI list on the IRCC website.

Please note that a Canada Border Services officer will make the final decision on whether you’re eligible to enter Canada when you arrive.

Under the Quarantine Act, all travellers arriving in Canada are legally required to quarantine for 14 days in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. This is a legal requirement. Once you arrive at your quarantine location, you cannot leave that location for 14 days for any purpose.  This would be considered an offence under the Quarantine Act and can result in up to six months in prison, $750,000 in fines, and/or deportation. Please visit the IRCC website for information about quarantine requirements.


Planning your travel to Canada

International students should plan to arrive in Canada with adequate time to fulfil the 14-day quarantine plan before attending any classes in person (if applicable). This will require advance flight booking and other planning.

Effective Jan. 7, 2021, all air travellers entering Canada must provide proof to the airline of a negative lab test result of COVID-19 conducted within 72 hours of the traveller’s scheduled departure to Canada before boarding a flight. Failure to do so will result in automatic denial of boarding by the airline. For more detailed information please visit the IRCC website.

International students are required to download the ArriveCAN app once they book their flight. Effective Nov. 21, 2020, all travellers arriving in Canada will be required to submit their travel and contact information, as well as their quarantine plan through the ArriveCan app before boarding their flight. Travellers who do not submit this information electronically before boarding the flight may be subject to a $1,000 fine. More information can be found here.  

To prepare for your flight (check with airlines for specific guidelines):

  • Wear a non-medical mask or face covering.
  • Wear gloves (if applicable).
  • Practice safe physical distancing.
  • Carry hand sanitizer and wash your hands frequently.

Upon arrival in Canada:

  • Wear your non-medical mask or face covering until you reach your quarantine location.
  • You will be asked to complete the traveller contact information form.
  • You will undergo a health check screening.
  • You must provide a quarantine plan.
  • You will be asked to show your documents:

Post-arrival in Canada 

Effective of Nov. 21, 2020, travellers who enter Canada must confirm that they have arrived at their place of quarantine and complete daily COVID-19 symptom self-assessments during their quarantine period by using the ArriveCAN app or by calling 1-833-641-0343. More information can be found here.


Transportation from Vancouver International Airport (YVR)

Please arrange direct transportation from the airport to your quarantine location. The following are transportation options to consider:

Important: Do not use public transportation (e.g. Canada Line trains) to leave the airport. Avoid contact with the general public. When using public transportation after your quarantine period, you are strongly recommended to wear a mask or face covering.


Send your travel/quarantine plan to VCC

If you are eligible to travel to Canada and have booked your flights, please send VCC International the following information by email to ieservices@vcc.ca in advance of your arrival:

Important: You must stay in your quarantine location for 14 days before attending classes at VCC (if required). All students must complete a pre-screen health questionnaire before visiting a VCC campus. If required, email VCC International to request a questionnaire.


Accommodations during mandatory 14-day quarantine

International students who have already arranged accommodations with relatives or friends should avoid contact with others until the quarantine period is over. For more information on how to self-isolate (quarantine) with others, please visit the Government of Canada website.

VCC has partnered with Tourism Burnaby to offer hotels that can accommodate incoming international students. These hotels are offering a one-time $100 per student rebate for a minimum 14-night stay. For more information, contact Chris Peters at cpeters@tourismburnaby.com.

For more hotel options, please email ieservices@vcc.ca.

Accent Inn Burnaby
Rate: $75 CAD/night
Address: 3777 Henning Dr, Burnaby, BC V5C 6N5
Features: Kitchenette in most rooms, exterior entry to guest rooms
Contact: Sally Chan

T: 250.940.0845
E: schan@accentinns.com

Holiday Inn Express Metrotown
Rate: $99 CAD/night
Address: 4405 Central Blvd, Burnaby BC V5H 4M3
Features: Skip the Dishes gift cards, Microwave and mini-fridge in all rooms, 42" TV in rooms with streaming capability, hot continental breakfast included
Contact: Lorri Schafer
T: 604.629.5173
E: sales@himetrotown.ca

Executive Suites Hotel Metro Vancouver
Rate: $85/night
Address: 4201 Lougheed Hwy, Burnaby BC V5C 3Y6
Features: All-suite hotel with kitchenette in most rooms, continental breakfast included, in-house daily meal option
Contact: Bek Shamsiev
T: 604.297.2111
E: dos.bby@executivehotels.net

Hilton Vancouver Metrotown
Rate: $99/night
Address: 6083 McKay Ave, Burnaby BC V5H 2W7
Features: Microwave in all suites, newly renovated suites, in-house meal options
Contact: Elaine Samson
T: 604-639-3760
E: elaine.samson@hilton.com


Accommodations after mandatory 14-day quarantine

There are many accommodation options for students in Metro Vancouver (e.g. homestays, furnished and unfurnished rooms in houses, basement suites, condos, apartments). We advise you to familiarize yourself with your rights as responsibilities as a tenant by reviewing information from the Tenant Resource and Advisory Centre.

Homestay
International students may want to experience life with a Canadian family until they become accustomed to their new surroundings. Homestays are a safe and secure choice, providing students with opportunities to practice English outside of school and learn about Canadian life. Learn more about Liane's Vancouver Homestay.


Food and meals

Travellers to Canada may not leave their quarantine locations to purchase meals, groceries, or other necessities. Incoming students should arrange to have someone deliver meals and supplies, or have groceries or meals delivered.

Grocery delivery services:


Meal delivery services:


Medical insurance (MSP)

All B.C. residents, including international students, who reside in Canada for more than six months are required to have medical insurance through B.C.’s publicly funded Medical Services Plan (MSP). This plan provides basic medical benefits including doctor/clinic visits and emergency services. You should apply for MSP immediately upon arrival in B.C. by completing the online application.

Important: There is a three-month waiting period for all new MSP applicants. During this waiting period, you are required to have private medical insurance. Upon your arrival, VCC International can assist you in purchasing insurance through the Global Campus Health Plan. Please email study@vcc.ca for more information on how to apply.


How to monitor for symptoms of COVID-19

International students are responsible for ongoing self-monitoring and assessment of COVID-19 symptoms. Common symptoms for COVID-19 include fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, and loss of sense of smell or taste. Symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure. If you are unsure about your symptoms, use the BC COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool or call HealthLink BC (8-1-1).

If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, do all you can to avoid contact with others. Even if your symptoms are mild, self-isolate for a minimum of 10 days. Do not go to work, school, or public places, and do not have visitors to your home. Follow the normal protocol in your VCC program for reporting absences due to illness. 

Anyone with symptoms, however mild, can get tested for COVID-19 in B.C. Find a testing centreAs a best practice, use the ArriveCAN app for daily symptom reporting.  

If you develop COVID-19 symptoms while in quarantine, VCC International can provide additional supports and resources. Please call 604.443.8600 or email ieservices@vcc.ca

Please note that a final screening by a health care professional within 24 hours of the end of the quarantine period is required. Call HealthLinkBC at 8-1-1 for more information.


Additional Resources

All international students will receive a phone call from VCC International upon arrival in Vancouver. This phone call will confirm that you are symptom-free and have a suitable self-isolation/quarantine plan. Follow-up calls will ensure that you are complying with quarantine requirements and provide support and/or resources where required.  

You can also access the following social and mental health resources:


Questions? Call 604.443.8600 or email ieservices@vcc.ca. We are available Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.




COVID-19 update – Safety information for those returning to campus

Posted on June 18, 2020

Since Phase 2 of British Columbia’s Restart Plan began on May 19, 2020, Vancouver Community College (VCC) has been working closely with WorkSafeBC and provincial health authorities to safely resume necessary elements of on-campus learning.

Thus far, instructors have been in direct contact with any students returning to VCC campuses for essential, hands-on learning activities, providing specific guidance and safety instructions in every case. 

Strict health and safety measures will continue to be implemented for courses and programs opening to on-campus delivery in the coming weeks. To prepare for your potential return to campus, please review the following guidelines. Please also note that these may change as COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines evolve.


Before coming to campus

Students

  • Your instructor will send you a self-assessment survey via Moodle. Fill out this survey before any visit to a VCC campus. 
  • Bring your VCC identification card (VCC ID) with you.
    • You will be required to show your VCC ID to security at the Downtown campus.
    • You may be required to show your VCC ID to security while at the Broadway campus.

Employees

  • A self-assessment survey has been provided to all departments. Fill out this survey at the start of each and any week you’ll be on campus.
  • Bring your employee identification card with you. 
    • You will be required to show your ID to security at the Downtown campus.
    • You may be required to show your ID to security while at the Broadway campus.

Entrances

Only the following entrances will be open:

  • Downtown – Dunsmuir St. entrance (at Hamilton St.)
  • Broadway – Broadway main entrance (building A) and 7th Ave. entrances (building B)
  • Annacis Island – Main entrance 

Bulletin-question-icon-30px  If you have questions or concerns about returning to a VCC campus, please contact your instructor or department directly. 


What to expect on campus

When you arrive on campus, look for:

  • Directional signage in areas that are confined
  • Signage about safe use of elevators and classroom capacity
  • Limited seating in public spaces to support physical distancing 

COVID-19-distancing-signage-samples-620

To ensure the safety of all VCC students and employees, please:

  • Wash or sanitize your hands upon entering the campus and regularly throughout the day
  • Limit your time on campus
  • Maintain a two-metre distance from others
  • Avoid touching surfaces whenever possible
  • Use proper respiratory hygiene practices

 
Bulletin-question-icon-30px  If you have any questions or concerns about these safety measures, please contact your instructor or department directly.

Washrooms and campus sanitization

VCC has implemented enhanced cleaning and sanitization protocols for all common, high-traffic areas, and high-contact surfaces. Cleaning and sanitization schedules are updated regularly to reflect the number of people on campus. 

Currently, approximately 30 per cent of washrooms at VCC are closed. Washroom availability will be based on ongoing campus occupancy. 

Open washrooms are clearly marked and located near high-traffic areas, central locations, and areas adjacent to elevators and stairs for ease of access.

Hand sanitizer

Upon entering the building, please clean your hands by washing with soap and water or using hand sanitizer.

Public hand sanitizer dispensers have been placed in high-traffic areas across VCC campuses. However, due to sanitizer shortages with commercial vendors, students and employees may wish to be prepared by bringing personal bottles of hand sanitizer. 

Masks

Face masks are not required to be worn at VCC campuses. This decision is supported by WorkSafeBC, the public health officer (PHO), and the BC Centre for Disease Control. Even so, non-medical masks are encouraged to protect people around you in situations where two-metre physical distancing can’t be ensured.

VCC is currently working with suppliers to have non-medical masks available for online purchase through the VCC Bookstore.

Bulletin-Accessibility-icon-30px-2  When wearing a mask, please be mindful of our Deaf and hard of hearing students, staff, and faulty, as the inability to see mouths can be a barrier to understanding and communication. 

Campus services

Campus services continue to be limited. Food service outlets including cafeterias, bakeries, and restaurants are closed. 

If you must spend a full day on campus, please plan to buy food elsewhere or bring a meal with you. Vending machines remain available. 

Please refrain from eating in classrooms.


General health and safety behaviour 

Our goal is to ensure that all VCC students, staff, and faculty have the information and resources they need to teach, learn, and work safely and successfully throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Please continue to be mindful of others’ personal space and comfort levels. We have all worked very hard to “flatten the curve” in B.C. Let’s continue this trend, being respectful, kind, and patient with each other as we re-introduce necessary on-campus learning.  

Throughout this process, VCC is committed to following all directives and recommendations from WorkSafeBC, the PHO, and the BC Centre of Disease Control. Thank you for helping us stick to these rules. It’s up to all of us to keep on-campus learning happening safely. 

Bulletin-question-icon-30px  If you have questions or concerns about returning to a VCC campus, please contact your instructor or department directly.  


Check VCC’s COVID-19 information page regularly for ongoing updates about campus access, as well as useful FAQs and other resources for VCC students.




COVID-19 – Limited return to on-campus learning

Posted on May 21, 2020

A message from VCC president Ajay Patel

 

Dear VCC students,

Last week, we sent a message to all students that shared how VCC will be approaching the Spring/Summer and Fall 2020 terms.

Today, I would like to share how VCC is working to build safety measures around courses and programs that need to partially return to on-campus delivery.

At VCC, we have seen a dramatic and swift transition to online and distance-based educational delivery modes over the past three months. However, as we continue to do our part to stem the spread of COVID-19, we also recognize that many of our programs require a significant portion of hands-on learning. For some courses, it is not possible to complete the learning outcomes entirely online.

As early as next week, some programs and courses will be re-incorporating face-to-face activities/experiential learning on campus.

Will you be returning to campus? 

Face-to-face/on-campus activities that are under consideration include:

  • Assessments and exams
  • Clinics and labs
  • Hair and esthetics activities
  • Trades practical/shop activities

Over the coming days and weeks, if a portion of your program or course needs to be delivered on campus, your instructor will contact you directly.

Please note: programs that are able to continue with online delivery will do so until further notice.

What you'll need to know

It is important for students to understand that, in the coming weeks and months, returning to campus will be a very different experience.

Our leadership teams, Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), and facilities personnel have created health and safety protocols that all students, staff, and faculty will need to adhere to when visiting any of our three campuses.

Some of these measures may include:

  • Checking in through Moodle and completing a COVID-19 checklist
  • Cleaning work areas before and after use
  • Maintaining recommended physical distancing at all times, including in elevators and stairwells
  • Adjusting class sizes and schedules to ensure safe working conditions and capacity

If you are enrolled in a course that requires face-to-face and/or hands-on delivery, your instructor will be your main point of contact. Your instructor will give you clear information on safety measures that you and your classmates will need to follow. These safety measures may differ depending on the course or department.

We're here for you

For students continuing to study online only, I know that learning during the COVID-19 pandemic may be challenging, and not everyone’s conditions are ideal. That’s why I want to remind you that VCC has numerous resources to support you in meeting – even exceeding ­– your educational goals during this unusual time. 

Please reach out to VCC’s counsellorsLearning Centre tutors, or other student services for any support you may need. If you have questions or concerns about your programs or courses, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your instructor.

You likely have many more questions about the coming months. We may not have all the answers right now, but we also know we’ll never go wrong by putting your safety and well-being first. With this guiding our way, we’ll continue to work hard to make your time at VCC a success.

News-green-bar-6px

Ajay Patel
President and CEO
Vancouver Community College




COVID-19 – Looking ahead to Summer and Fall 2020

Posted on May 14, 2020

 Watch an American Sign Language (ASL) version of this message 

Dear VCC students,

The past two months have been challenging for all of us in so many ways, but I am extremely proud of what VCC, and especially you, our students, have accomplished in this time. You have adapted, persevered, and most importantly, you have helped limit the spread of COVID-19. Today, I am writing to ensure you that VCC will continue to support your learning and progress in the year ahead.

VCC is working very hard alongside the B.C. Government and the Provincial Health Officer (PHO) to envision and plan how programs and courses will continue into the Spring/Summer and Fall 2020 terms while respecting the important, ongoing restrictions meant to keep our community safe. 

Our instructors are redesigning curriculums, our technicians are building new online systems, and our service staff are wholly transforming the way they support your learning success in order to continue providing you the fullest VCC experience possible.

Spring/Summer 2020 term

For Spring/Summer 2020, course and program delivery will continue online and by alternative delivery modes wherever possible. Programs and courses that absolutely require in-person learning will be assessed for limited, in-person delivery options that follow all PHO safety directives and any other requirements from educational regulators (e.g. physical distancing, gathering size, etc.)

Most VCC service team members will continue to work remotely, and student services will remain accessible primarily by phone, email, and online options, with limited exceptions following all PHO guidelines.

Fall 2020 term

VCC is also planning for physical distancing requirements to continue into the Fall 2020 term. Currently, we are not anticipating a full “return to normal” in September, so please be prepared to continue with online and alternative delivery of programs, with in-person instruction and services only when safe and essential. 

As the situation progresses and we receive guidance from health authorities and government, VCC is committed to communicating decisions as quickly as possible. All important updates will be sent by email to you and posted to VCC’s COVID-19 information site as well as our official social media accounts, so please stay connected.

Please visit VCC’s COVID-19 information site regularly for updates.

Finally, I want to acknowledge this year’s high school grads and other newly admitted VCC students starting programs at VCC this September. To you, I want to offer a heartfelt welcome. While we may not be shaking hands, I want to assure you that you have a place in the VCC community – a community like no other – and I sincerely hope you recognize this when you meet your new instructors and classmates online.

In the meantime, as we continue to support each other on this journey, please keep listening to our health authorities. We are proof that physical distancing works. Keep your hands clean and your loved ones safe. Only our combined efforts will save lives.

News-green-bar-6px

Ajay Patel
President and CEO
Vancouver Community College




COVID-19 – update on Spring/Summer 2020 term, emergency bursaries, IT services

Posted on April 2, 2020

 Watch an American Sign Language (ASL) version of this message 

Vancouver Community College (VCC) is committed to the health and safety of students, staff, and faculty. Thank you for your patience over the past weeks as our college and our community do their part in promoting physical distancing and containing the spread of COVID-19. Alongside the many health and safety precautions in place, VCC is committed to helping students continue their programs and achieve their learning goals.

Spring/Summer 2020

The majority of VCC courses and programs scheduled to commence in the Spring/Summer 2020 term will proceed using online learning and alternative delivery modes. If permitted by the Provincial Health Officer, there may also be limited in-person learning to complete applied activities such as labs and trades training.

Given the wide range of hands-on programs and courses at VCC that are impacted by COVID-19-related restrictions, the course scheduling information you receive upon registration may not be accurate. Individual department leaders and instructors will contact students with details about course formats, schedules, etc. If you have questions, please contact your instructor or department. Contact information can be found at https://www.vcc.ca/directory/.

Trades intakes

For students enrolled in trades or apprenticeship programs in Spring/Summer 2020, VCC departments are developing customized solutions for each program, and insructors will communicate details with students directly.

Emergency funding for students

VCC Foundation and the Government of B.C. are increasing non-repayable emergency funding available for part-time and full-time VCC students. 

Applications are open until 11:59 p.m., Wednesday, April 8, 2020. All applications received by that time will be reviewed and assessed. Should additional funds become available at a later date, we will re-open applications.

Students are also encouraged review VCC's Scholarship, Bursary and Award Guide, which lists all awards and bursaries available at VCC.

Information Technology Services

VCC’s IT HelpDesk remains available for assistance with online learning and other technical needs. They can be reached by calling 604.443.8700 or emailing helpdesk@vcc.ca. Please note that the majority of IT technicians are working remotely; be prepared for longer wait times due to increased demand for services.

VCC campus access

While VCC campuses remain open for urgent and operational needs, please avoid visiting in person. With the move to remote delivery of instruction and services, opening hours have been reduced and access has been restricted. If visiting a VCC campus, students must be prepared to show VCC or government-issued ID and a letter from their program identifying them as an active student. These measures are in place based on orders from the Provincial Health Officer to practice physical distancing and contain the spread of COVID-19.




COVID-19 – latest update for VCC students and employees

Posted on March 25, 2020, reviewed on March 31, 2020

VCC is committed to the health and safety of our students, staff, and faculty. The VCC Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) continues to meet regularly throughout the week to actively monitor the situation surrounding COVID-19 and liaise with local and provincial health authorities. The EOC will continue to put plans in place for timely responses to the VCC community, as needed.

VCC’s senior leadership team also continues to meet daily to evaluate and respond to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 outbreak.

In response to this unprecedented situation, VCC has implemented the following measures, which are aligned with advice from public health authorities, and provincial government: 

  • VCC campuses are open with limited access to students. See below for details.
  • All face-to-face classes and services for students have been paused for the time being and are currently being delivered by alternative delivery methods, including online. 
  • All college events have been cancelled until further notice. 
  • VCC employees are working remotely wherever possible. 
  • All non-essential college travel is suspended.  

 

ACCESS TO CAMPUS SERVICES

VCC campuses are operating, with restricted access. In-person services have moved online and are using alternative modes of delivery. 

To ensure that VCC is actively supporting physical distancing recommendations from the health authorities, we are temporarily moving all in-person, on-campus services for students and the public to online/phone-call-only options. 

  • Downtown campus: Access to the Downtown campus is 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday. Students must bring VCC or government-issued ID and a letter from their program identifying them as an active student. Students are to enter through the Dunsmuir St. entrance. Security will have you sign in and provide you access.
  • Broadway campus: Access to the Broadway campus is 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Friday. Access to the campus is restricted, and students may enter the campus either through 7th Ave. or the Broadway entrances. Please note that ALL in-person/face-to-face on-campus services are closed.
  • Annacis Island campus: Access to the Annacis Island campus is 5:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Friday.

See VCC’s COVID-19 FAQ page for details on how to access college services online. 

 

CONVOCATION

VCC’s Spring 2020 convocation (originally scheduled for Wednesday, June 10, 2020) is postponed. VCC is looking at alternatives to celebrate the accomplishments of our students. Including the possibility of holding an additional ceremony in conjunction with our Fall 2020 ceremony. However, this will be dependent on being able to ensure everyone's health and safety to gather in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

VCC will be in contact with our graduates as additional information becomes available. 

 

COURSE/PROGRAM DELIVERY

All face-to-face classes have been temporarily paused and classes that are currently being delivered by alternative methods (i.e. online) will continue. Alternative program delivery continues in collaboration with academic leaders, deans, and directors and is determined by individual VCC departments. Instructors will contact students with guidance about alternative modes, which may include online instruction and assessment. This process will be in place for the foreseeable future. 

If you have any questions regarding your programs or classes, departmental contact information can be found at https://www.vcc.ca/directory/

 

COURSE WITHDRAWALS

Withdrawal deadlines have been extended for those currently taking classes. Students can withdraw up to the final day of class and receive a grade of 'W' for their course.

VCC students requesting a withdrawal can either submit the Course Drop/Add and Program Withdrawal form (PDF) form or e-mail the Registrar’s Office at ro@vcc.ca. Please provide your name, student ID number, and the name of the course or program you wish to withdraw from.

Additional announcements will be coming soon to address:

  • Courses available in the Spring and Summer 2020 terms, and associated start dates
  • Information on practicums, experiential, and workplace learning placements

 

STAFF AND ONGOING OPERATIONS OF VCC

VCC operations continue in order to provide quality learning and training opportunities in alternate ways – learners will not be left behind and will be prepared for future opportunities.

Many VCC staff have transitioned to working remotely during this challenging time. For those employees who want to work from the campus, or need to provide critical on-campus supports, we ask you to actively support 'physical distancing' recommendations from the health authorities. Please refer to VCC’s Situational awareness document on myVCC. 

 

HEALTH AND WELLNESS 

As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, you may be worried about the health and safety of yourself or your family and friends. This is a challenging and uncertain time. It is not uncommon to experience higher levels of stress and feelings of being overwhelmed. If this is your experience, please seek help and support.

Counselling and supports are available online to students and VCC employees who are affected by COVID-19. We encourage everyone who may need support at this time to contact one of the following services:

Students: Counselling Services or 24-hour emergency lines 

Employees: Employee & Family Assistance Program

The B.C. Ministry of Health has also developed a COVID-19 symptom self-assessment tool to help determine whether you may need further assessment or testing for COVID-19. 

Guidance and recommendations from the Provincial Health Officer are available online at the BC Pandemic Preparedness website. 

Monitor the BC Centre for Disease Control website for updates, information, and resources.




COVID-19 update – VCC pausing all face-to-face instruction for the time being

Posted on March 19, 2020, reviewed on March 24, 2020

A message from Ajay Patel, Interim President of Vancouver Community College

 Watch an American Sign Language (ASL) version of this message 

 

VCC students and employees, 

As VCC continues to receive updated information and guidance about the COVID-19 pandemic from the Provincial Health Officer and the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills & Training, I would like to update you on VCC program delivery and operations, campus services, and ongoing health and wellness for the VCC students and employees.The college, along with the public post-secondary system in B.C., remains open as directed by the Provincial Health Officer. Please remember, as the recommended response to COVID-19 continues to change, so too may the information. 

I want to extend my personal gratitude and thanks to everyone for the collaborative and extensive work by all of you, in a very short and disruptive time, to make the shifts and changes to the way we deliver education and operate.  I am heartened to see the support and care for each other, and inspired by the innovation and creativity many of you are showing in situations where time is of the essence.  You have all been REMARKABLE! 

 

1. Delivery of programs for students next week

This week, the Emergency Operations Committee (EOC), faculty, instructors and staff have put a tremendous amount of work into shifting course delivery from in person to online or alternative methods. These adaptations have been made to support the continuity of teaching and learning through the evolving situation of COVID-19. Our overarching goal is to ensure we are actively contributing to society’s greater efforts to stop the spread of the virus.

With most of our programs moving to alternate methods of delivery, we are pausing all face-to-face classes for the time being. Alternative delivery methods that have been established will continue to take place. We will continue to monitor the situation and update students accordingly.

At this time, our educational leadership teams are continuing to assess what needs to happen with some of these complex, hands-on courses and programs that are not easily shifted to on-line delivery. We understand that this uncertainty can be frustrating and worrisome for students and faculty. 

Instructors will be in communication with students about delivery and service changes soon, if they have not already done so.

 

2. Staff and the ongoing operations of VCC

VCC is currently transitioning to have some VCC staff working remotely. For employees wanting or needing to continue to come to work, plans and approaches are being developed to provide as much flexibility based on the provincial health officer’s guidelines.

 

3. Access to campus services

To ensure we are actively supporting ‘social distancing’ recommendations from the health authorities, we are temporarily moving all in-person/face-to-face on-campus services for students and the public, to online/phone call only options. 

For detailed information about accessing campus services online go to: vcc.ca/bulletins/covid19-faqs

 

4. Health & Wellness 

As a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, you may be worried about the health and safety of yourself or your family and friends. This is a challenging and uncertain time. It is not uncommon to experience higher levels of stress and feelings of being overwhelmed. If this is your experience, please seek help and support.

Counselling and supports are available online to students and VCC employees who are affected by COVID-19. We encourage everyone who may need support at this time to contact one of the following services:

 

Students: Counselling Services or 24-hour emergency lines 

Employees: Employee & Family Assistance Program

 

Also, the BC Ministry of Health developed a COVID-19 symptom self-assessment tool to help determine whether you may need further assessment or testing for COVID-19. Guidance and recommendations from the Provincial Health Officer are available online at the BC Pandemic Preparedness website. Monitor the BC Centre for Disease Control website for updates, information and resources.

For non-health related COVID-19 questions (e.g. supports, programs, etc), a new dedicated phone line is available at 1-888-COVID-19.

 

Ajay Patel
President and CEO (Interim)
Vancouver Community College




COVID-19 update – VCC temporarily suspending face-to-face instruction for the week

Posted on March 18, 2020

To mitigate further risk to the spread of COVID-19, we are closing face to face/in person registration at VCC.

 

Registration for Spring 2020 will open online at 8:30 a.m. on March 19, 2020.

 

Application information can be found here:
https://www.vcc.ca/applying/apply-now/

 

The Registrar's Office will not be open for in person registration.

Please register online or call 604.871.7000 and press option 4 for assistance.

Payments can be paid online:
https://www.vcc.ca/applying/registration-services/fees-and-payments/


VCC temporarily suspending face-to-face instruction and moving to alternate modes of delivery

A message from Ajay Patel, Interim President of Vancouver Community College

Watch an American Sign Language (ASL) version of this message. 

March 16, 2020

 

Dear VCC community,

Thank you for your patience and understanding during a very challenging and complex time. Vancouver Community College (VCC) will be temporarily suspending all in-person classes for the rest of the week beginning Tuesday, March 17 in order to transition to alternative modes of program and course delivery where possible.

VCC campuses will remain open and student services will be available during this time, although services for students may be modified. We encourage students to contact our offices online and by phone.

We realize that this is a very stressful time for many students and employees. These steps are being taken out of an abundance of ongoing caution and a desire for VCC do its part in promoting social distancing and containing the spread of COVID-19. It is important to note that there are currently no confirmed COVID-19 cases at VCC.


Alternative program delivery at VCC

Specific modes of alternative program delivery will be determined by individual VCC departments. Instructors will contact students with guidance about alternative modes, which may include online instruction, and assessment, or other forms of non-face-to-face learning. This process will be in place for the foreseeable future.

Given the wide range of programs and hands-on courses at VCC, the transition time will vary, and instructors have been asked to contact students as soon as possible. Thank you for your understanding and patience in this process. Alongside these increased health and safety precautions, VCC is committed to helping students continue their programs, where possible.


Commercial services closed 

VCC has many programs that support student-run commercial services throughout the college that serve the public. Until further notice, all commercial services will be closed, including the Dental Clinic, Salon and Spa, Automotive Shop, Seiffert’s Market, the Bistro, and JJ’s Restaurant.

This situation surrounding COVID-19 is unprecedented and stressful, but we are a resilient community. Thank you, not only for your patience with college decision making, but also for supporting one another mentally and emotionally at this time. At VCC, we greatly value the health and wellbeing of all our students and employees, and we will continue to follow the advice of health officials in order to come through this together.

 

Ajay Patel
President and CEO (Interim)
Vancouver Community College

 

To mitigate further risk to the spread of COVID-19, we are closing face to face/in person registration at VCC.
Registration for Spring 2020 will open online at 8:30 on March 19, 2020. 
Application information can be found here:https://www.vcc.ca/applying/apply-now/
The Registration Office will not be open for in person registration. Please register online or call 604-871-7000 and press 4 for assistance. Payments can be paid online: https://www.vcc.ca/applying/registration-services/fees-and-payments/

 




COVID-19 update – VCC open, transitioning to alternative delivery

Posted on March 15, 2020

VCC is open, transitioning to alternative delivery to allow students to continue programs

A message from Ajay Patel, Interim President of Vancouver Community College

To students and employees at VCC,

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this very challenging and complex time. Vancouver Community College (VCC) continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation and has the health of our college community, students, and employees as our top priority.

The VCC Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) and deans met today to discuss additional measures on how we can maintain social distancing on campus to minimize close contact with each other. This is in alignment with the guidance from the Provincial Health Officer, and we are working with the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training.

Until further notice, our campuses will remain open and services will continue to be provided. The college will continue to review its actions as the situation evolves.


Alternative program delivery

Where possible and reasonable, VCC is transitioning to alternative modes of instruction and assessment for the rest of the term, which may include online delivery for some students.

Given the wide range of programs and courses at VCC, it will take time to transition to these new measures. Classes will continue as scheduled unless students learn otherwise from their instructors, who will be taking guidance from their department leaders and deans.

Because of the diversity of the types of programs we offer, we recognize that not all programs, courses, labs, and shops may be suited to alternative deliveries. Our deans will be working with instructors, departments, and program areas to determine whether and how best to accommodate alternative methods of instruction and assessment. Students will learn of the changes affecting them through their instructors as the changes are implemented. 


COVID-19 and the VCC community

This step is being taken out of an abundance of caution and a desire of VCC to do its part in helping to contain the spread of COVID-19. It is important to note that, at this time, there are no known COVID-19 cases at VCC. At this point, there is no direction from the Provincial Health Officer to close campuses, and the risk of infection remains low.

Providing a safe and healthy learning and working environment for students and employees is a focus for our deliberations and decision-making in these matters. We also want to ensure that students receive the education and assessment that will deliver the learning outcomes they seek.

 


What is VCC doing?

Our announcement on Friday, March 13 was the latest in a series of steps we have already taken as we have followed the guidance of the Provincial Health Officer and health authorities. In response, other recommendations from government that we have put into place include:

  • 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 and students 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 self-isolate.

  • All external bookings for meeting space have been cancelled on all of our campuses (to be reviewed end of April).

  • Additional cleaning measures have been implemented at all our campuses, as well as distribution of additional hand-sanitizing stations and posting of information about recommended measures to help avoid the spread of the virus.


My gratitude to all students and employees for your hard work and understanding during this challenging time. It is our desire to ensure students complete their studies this term.

Please continue to visit vcc.ca/bulletins for updates and relevant information.

 

Ajay Patel
President and CEO (Interim)
Vancouver Community College

 




Update on COVID-19 from government and the impact on VCC

Posted 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.


Stay informed

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.

 

Ajay Patel

President and CEO (Interim)
Vancouver Community College


Learn more

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




COVID-19 (Coronavirus) update March 12, 2020

Posted on March 12, 2020

Government update

For the latest information and recommendations on novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in British Columbia, please read the following joint statement from Adrian Dix, B.C. Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s provincial health officer: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2020HLTH0074-000470.


What you need to know about COVID-19

  • Risk is low – The risk of COVID-19 transmission continues to remain low for residents of British Columbia. People without symptoms do not pose a risk.
  • Watch for symptoms – Reported signs and symptoms include fever, coughing, difficulty breathing, and/or pneumonia in both lungs. If you think you have the symptoms of COVID-19, please stay at home and call 8-1-1.
  • Practice prevention – Health experts say the best protection is to follow proper hygiene etiquette as in any cold and flu season. This includes proper hand washing with soap and water, covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, and staying home when you are sick.
  • Leave the mask – B.C. health authorities do not recommend that people without symptoms wear masks in the community, as surgical masks are not designed for this purpose and are unlikely to provide significant protection.
  • Stay informed – For the latest information and updates on COVID-19, follow the BC Centre for Disease Control on Twitter @CDCofBC or visit the centre’s website: http://www.bccdc.ca. B.C. residents are encouraged to call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1 with any additional questions about COVID-19.


Translated COVID-19 information

Chinese – Chinese-COVID-21pt

Punjabi – COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions in Punjabi

Farsi – Farsi-COVID-21pt


Travel information

  • Returning from Iran or Hubei province in China: If you have returned from these areas, monitor for symptoms and avoid contact with others for 14 days after your return.
  • Returning from any travel: Others returning from international travel are not asked to self-isolate, but should monitor themselves for symptoms. If you have been travelling and you become ill, or become ill after you return, tell your health care provider. You should also tell your health care provider if you had close contact with a sick person or animals. 


COVID-19 frequently asked questions 

What can I do to protect myself and my friends or family?
Follow the same hygiene etiquette as you would for cold and flu season. This includes washing your hands often with soap and water, covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, avoiding others who are unwell, and staying home when you are sick.


Should I wear a mask?
B.C. health authorities do not recommend that people without symptoms wear masks in the community, as surgical masks are not designed for this purpose and are unlikely to provide significant protection. The use of masks may also increase facial touching. 

If you are sick or have symptoms, a mask is recommended. The use of a surgical mask can prevent droplets from entering the air when you cough or sneeze, thereby reducing the risk to others. 


I am a returning traveller. Should I self-isolate and avoid public places?
If you have returned from Iran or Hubei province in China, monitor for symptoms and avoid contact with others for 14 days after your return. People who have self-isolated can return to normal activities after 14 days if they have not developed any symptoms.

Others returning from international travel are not asked self-isolate but should monitor themselves daily for symptoms, such as fever, cough or difficulty breathing. Those who feel unwell should see their health care provider or call 8-1-1.

I have not left B.C. Should I be worried about becoming ill from COVID-19?
No. The risk of spread of this virus in B.C. remains low at this time. There is no evidence that there is general spread of the virus in the community. If are concerned that you may have been in contact with a person with COVID-19, call 8-1-1.

Is it safe to go out in public (e.g. work, school, transit, or a swimming pool)?
Yes. Although B.C. has identified individual cases of COVID-19 infection, there is no known spread of the virus in the community. WorkSafeBC is currently not recommending any special precautions for employers, workers, and worksites other than those already in place for the seasonal flu.

When you go out in public, follow the same procedures as recommended during cold and flu season. This includes washing your hands often with soap and water, covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, avoiding others who are unwell, and staying home when you are sick.

Should people who have travelled to COVID-19-affected areas be excluded from public places? (e.g. work, school, child care centres)?
Out of an abundance of caution, public health officials are recommending that individuals who have been to Iran and Hubei province in China monitor for symptoms and avoid contact with others for 14 days after returning to Canada. 

Others returning from international travel are not asked self-isolate but should monitor themselves daily for symptoms of fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. If you have been travelling and you become ill, or become ill after you return, tell your health care provider. You should also tell your health care provider or call 8-1-1 if you had close contact with a sick person or animals. 

For more answers to frequently asked questions, visit: http://www.vch.ca/about-us/news/vancouver-coastal-health-statement-on-coronavirus


Where can I find the latest information? 

For the latest information and updates on COVID-19, follow the BC Centre for Disease Control on Twitter @CDCofBC or visit the centre’s website: http://www.bccdc.ca/

For more recommendations on protecting yourself and your community, visit: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/coronavirus-(novel)

For the latest travel advisories, visit https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/latest-travel-health-advice.html

For the latest global case counts, please visit the World Health Organization (WHO) Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) map

For the latest Canadian counts, visit the Public Health Agency of Canada website.

For the latest B.C. counts, visit the BC Centre for Disease Control COVID-19 case counts webpage.


What is VCC doing?

VCC takes the safety and security of our community both in Canada and abroad very seriously. We will continue to take guidance from provincial and federal agencies and follow all recommendations.

Steps that have been taken so far at VCC include:

  • VCC convened its Emergency Operations Committee (EOC) to ensure preparedness across all campuses. The EOC meets weekly, and is in frequent and consistent communication with B.C.’s Public Health Officer, Ministry of Advanced Education, and local health authorities, as well as all other colleges in B.C.
  • VCC has followed all recommended protocols and recommendations for a communicable disease outbreak.
  • Proper handwashing materials have been made available in all washrooms and at all handwashing stations.
  • Additional hand-sanitizing stations have been set up across all campuses.
  • Information on preventative measures for staff and students are being broadcast on all campus screens.
  • VCC's custodial and cleaning staff have implemented communicable disease cleaning measures, which include but are not isolated to: frequent disinfection of surfaces, door handles, taps, elevator buttons, and handrails.
  • VCC social media has posted frequent reminders on hygiene best practices and links to additional information.
  • bulletin section has been created on VCC's homepage for up-to-date information sharing.

What is an Emergency Operations Committee?

An EOC is a central command responsible for carrying out emergency preparedness and emergency management.  VCC’s 14-member EOC is working diligently to ensure the continuity of operation at VCC while keeping the community safe and informed.




COVID-19 (Coronavirus) – update for VCC students and employees

Posted on February 21, 2020

Office of the Provincial Health Officer logo

View the original letter from the Office of the Provincial Health Officer and the BC Centre for Disease Control

 

Provincial Coronavirus Response

Feb. 21, 2020

 

To Post-Secondary Students, Faculty, and Staff:

We [Office of the Provincial Health Officer and the BC Centre for Disease Control] are writing to provide information on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), a new virus causing respiratory illness.

There have been a small number of cases of COVID-19 in B.C. which are being very closely managed. Updated information regarding these cases can be found at bccdc.ca. All B.C. cases have a recent history of travel to affected areas or close contact with a traveller. There has been no sustained community transmission, and the risk to British Columbians at this point remains low. 

As the areas affected by the outbreak change and we learn more about the virus, we will provide updated public health recommendations.

We are now aware that this virus can cause a range of mild to severe symptoms, and it is possible that people will not recognize symptoms that are mild. Given this new information, there are steps that people at risk of COVID-19 can take to reduce the chance of spread to others.

There are measures that all students, faculty, and staff can take to help reduce the risk of respiratory illnesses such as coronavirus, colds, and influenza:

  • Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds using soap and water.
  • If a sink is not available, 60-90% alcohol-based hand rubs (hand sanitizer) can be used to clean hands if they are not visibly soiled. If they are visibly soiled, you can use an alcohol-based disposable hand wipe to remove the dirt and then use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Do not touch your face/eyes/mouth with unwashed hands.
  • When you sneeze or cough, cover your mouth and nose with a disposable tissue or the crease of your elbow, and then wash your hands.
  • Stay home when you are ill.


Advice for students, faculty, or staff on self-isolation

We now recommend that:

  • Students, faculty, or staff returning from Hubei Province, China stay home or self-isolate in their dorm/room alone for 14 days after they left Hubei. They should monitor themselves daily for symptoms (fever, cough, muscle aches, difficulty breathing).
  • Students, faculty, or staff who have been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 by laboratory testing should stay home or self-isolate in their dorm/room alone for 14 days after their last encounter. Individuals should monitor themselves daily for symptoms (fever, cough, muscle aches, difficulty breathing).
  • Students, faculty, or staff who have been in other parts of mainland China (outside Hubei Province) should monitor themselves daily for symptoms (fever, cough, muscle aches, difficulty breathing)for 14 days after they left China. They do not need to self-isolate.

Those who develop symptoms during the 14-day monitoring period should immediately self-isolate (stay in a room that is not shared with anyone else) and call their health-care provider or the provincial health line 8-1-1 to discuss any need for testing and follow up.

More information on self-isolation is available at https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/diseases-conditions/2019-novel-coronavirus-information-sheet-travelled-hubei-province-china.html.

While these recommendations are important, they are voluntary. You do not need to report people who are not self-isolating. If you have concerns, you can discuss them with your institution’s administration.

The following advice is for people who are self-isolating. Students, faculty, or staff who are recommended to self-isolate under the guidance above should call 8-1-1 for additional advice. While self-isolating:

  • Stay in a well-ventilated room, including an open window, if possible. Do not have other people come in the room.
  • Do not attend classes. Limit going in shared spaces. Try to keep a two-meter distance between yourself and others whenever possible.
  • Practice good respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene as described above.
  • If possible, have supplies dropped off outside your door to help avoid direct contact, and limit the number of people helping to take care of you.
  • Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces. Regular household cleaning products are effective against most viruses, and you can also use 1-part bleach to 9-parts water as an effective disinfectant.
  • Use dedicated linen and utensils, which can be washed with soap and water and re-used, and do not need to be disposed of.
  • Dispose of any tissues, wipes, masks, or gloves in a waste container lined with a plastic bag before disposing with other household waste.
  • Wash your clothes in hot water (between 60-90 °C), and then thoroughly dry them.

If you are sick and depend on post-secondary housing, food, laundry, hygiene, or other critical services, please let your institution know that you are self-isolating so that they can help support you, including in your current studies.

Staying in isolation can be difficult and lonely. If you are isolated, keep contact with friends and family through phone or computer.

The Provincial Health Officer asks you not to make assumptions about the risk of students, faculty or staff based on their ethnicity or travel history.

 

Advice on School Events, Outings and Trips

It is not necessary to cancel school events, outings or field trips to public locations. Trips, including educational exchanges to China are not recommended at this time. Up-to-date information on travel advisories to China can be found here: https://travel.gc.ca/travelling/health-safety/travel-health-notices/210

Additional information on COVID-19 is available on the BC Centre for Disease Control website at: www.bccdc.ca

 

 

Health authorities logos




Coronavirus – update for VCC students and employees

Posted on February 11, 2020



We know the VCC community is concerned with the recent coronavirus outbreak and its arrival in British Columbia.

 

UPDATE FROM THE PROVINCE

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Minister of Health Adrian Dix announced the third and fourth presumptive cases of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in British Columbia on February 6, 2020. Both of these cases were expected, as they are contained to the same household as the second case announced on Feb. 4.

Additionally, a letter from Dr. Bonnie Henry was issued to all parents and students in the K-12 sector on February 7, 2020, we are sharing that letter with you here as additional information: Letter to Parents/Guardians of K-12 Students from Ministry of Health .

 

LEVEL OF RISK FOR VANCOUVER CITIZENS

Even with these announcements, the risk to residents in the Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) region and in B.C. remains low. Health care staff in our region are prepared should other cases arise.

At this time, the Public Health Agency of Canada has assessed the public health risk associated with the virus as “low for Canada and for Canadian travelers”.

  • There is no evidence that novel coronavirus is circulating in the Chinese-Canadian community.
  • VCC has no reports of any Coronavirus illness among our students, faculty, or staff.

 

WHAT YOU CAN DO

We can all help to reduce the spread of infections by following proper respiratory hygiene etiquette during the cold and flu season. This includes:

  • Wash your hands frequently, especially if you’ve been out in public. Hand sanitizer is also distributed around our campus.
  • Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, mouth and nose.
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow. If you use a tissue, make sure to dispose of it properly and wash your hands.
  • If you feel unwell, stay home so you don’t pass your infection onto others, especially those who may be at higher risk.
  • If you are concerned you have been exposed to, or are experiencing symptoms of the coronavirus, stay home from school or work, and contact your health-care provider, local public health office, or call 811.
  • The Provincial Health Officer advises that anyone who is concerned they may have been exposed to, or are experiencing symptoms of, the coronavirus should contact their primary care provider, local public health office, or call 811.

 

WHAT VCC IS DOING

VCC takes the safety and security of our community both in Canada and abroad very seriously. We will continue to take guidance from provincial and federal agencies on all prevention recommendations.

Examples of some of the steps that have been taken so far at VCC:

  • VCC has convened an Emergency Operations Committee (EOC) to ensure preparedness across all campuses.
  • Proper handwashing materials have been made available in all washrooms, and at all handwashing stations.
  • Additional hand-sanitizing stations have been set up across all campuses.
  • Senior staff are engaged in frequent and consistent communications with the BC Public Health Officer, Ministry of Advanced Education, and local health authorities.
  • An online Bulletin Page has been created on vcc.ca for up-to-date information sharing: https://www.vcc.ca/bulletins/

We appreciate your cooperation in helping keep our community safe.


Coronavirus – update for VCC students and employees
Posted on Jan 31, 2020




Coronavirus – update for VCC students and employees

Posted on January 31, 2020

News-Coronavirus-800


Updated Friday, Jan. 31, 2020

B.C.’s provincial health officer (PHO) Dr. Bonnie Henry announced on Tuesday, Jan. 28, that the first case of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has been confirmed in B.C.

At Vancouver Community College (VCC), we understand that our students, faculty, and staff may have questions and concerns about novel coronavirus. 

When it comes to decisions about public health, B.C. colleges and universities take their direction from the Ministry of Health and local health authorities. These organizations are closely monitoring novel coronavirus throughout B.C. as well as nationally and internationally. VCC is in regular communication with these health authorities, and all precautions are being taken to prevent the spread of infection. We will also make every effort to keep VCC students and employees safe and provide updates as they become available.

Official information sources

Please be mindful that fake news regarding novel coronavirus has begun to circulate on social media. At VCC, we encourage students, staff, and their families to refer to the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) website for the latest information and updates. 

Additional resources have been provided to HealthLink BC’s free-of-charge health information line, 8-1-1. This line is in operation 24/7.

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has also provided a new toll-free number, 1.833.784.4397, to answer questions about novel coronavirus. This line is available from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. (PDT).

Reducing risk

The BCCDC and Dr. Henry recommend reducing risk of exposure to novel coronavirus using the same measures normally taken to prevent the spread of cold or flu viruses.

  • Wash your hands frequently. It is the single most effective way of reducing the spread of infection. E.g. If you touch droplets containing a virus, as long as you clean your hands before you touch your face or your mouth, you are not at risk of getting the virus in your body. 
  • Do not touch your face/eyes/nose/mouth with your hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough (ideally with a disposable tissue or the crease of your elbow). The virus is not something that enters the body through the skin. It needs to get into your lungs and access your mucous membranes.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched workspace surfaces.
  • Maintain good general health. Eat a balanced diet, get enough sleep, exercise in moderation.
  • Stay away from others if you are sick. Stay home from work or school, and contact your health care provider so you can be safely assessed.

Advice on masks 

  • Be aware that masks may give people a false sense of security and limit other good hygiene habits.
  • Wearing a mask may increase touching of your face/eyes/nose/mouth with your hands.
  • If you are sick, a mask does help prevent transmission to other people. That's why somebody with a cough or respiratory symptoms is asked to wear a mask and clean their hands when entering an emergency room.

Considering travel?

  • If you are considering travel to and from a region affected by coronavirus, please consult the Government of Canada’s Travel Health Notices regularly as recommendations may change as new information becomes available.
  • No matter where you plan to travel, the Public Health Agency recommends consulting the Government of Canada’s Travel and Tourism website to help make informed decisions about safety abroad. 
  • If you become ill after returning to Canada, contact your health care provider immediately to seek care and inform them about your travel history.

________________________________________

   Visit the BC Centre for Disease Control website >