Find information about how BCIT is adapting operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn how you can safely attend BCIT campuses, access support, and work effectively.
BCIT has now entered the Step 3 Transition Phase, under direction from the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training and the Provincial Health Officer.
In support of the preparation for ongoing safe learning and working this fall, the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training has released the COVID-19 Return-to-Campus Guidelines for post-secondary institutions across the province. The COVID-19 Return-to-Campus Guidelines are designed to parallel BC’s four-step Restart Plan and were prepared in consultation with experts from BC’s post-secondary sector, the Office of the Provincial Health Officer, regional health authorities, and the BC Centre for Disease Control.
Coming to campus?
Before you return to campus
1. Complete the Pandemic Exposure online course
This mandatory 30-minute online course, “BCIT Pandemic Exposure Control Plan,” will give you critical information to help protect your health while reducing risk to others while you are on campus. You are required to take this course once, prior to returning to campus. Take this free self-guided course now on the Employee Learning Hub.
2. Complete the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) New Employee Orientation online course
This 90-minute online course is part of the BCIT COVID-19 Safety Plan and provides critical safety information at BCIT that employees need to be aware of before joining BCIT or returning to work or activities on campus.
You are required to take this online course within 30 days of hire, or prior to returning to campus. You will need to review the OHS NEO checklist (downloadable from this course or from ShareSpace) with your supervisor and upload it to the course to complete it. Take this self-guided course now on the Employee Learning Hub.
3. Complete a daily self-assessment
To assist health screening, before attending campus, a BC COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool must be completed each day you are visiting campus. The self-assessment is used to help assess symptoms and determine if you need further assessment or testing for COVID-19.
4. Review the COVID-19 Return-to-Campus Guidelines
The Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training has released the COVID-19 Return-to-Campus Guidelines to support post-secondaries across the province in preparing for ongoing safe learning and working this fall. The COVID-19 Return-to-Campus Guidelines are designed to parallel BC’s four-step Restart Plan and were prepared in consultation with experts from BC’s post-secondary sector, the Office of the Provincial Health Officer, regional health authorities, and the BC Centre for Disease Control.
When you’re on campus
When you are on campus, be vigilant about following the safety rules below. Remember, you are protecting yourself and others. If you feel sick, notify your colleagues and do not come to campus.
- Do not come to campus if you feel unwell.
- Masks are now required in all indoor public areas on all BCIT campuses including classrooms, labs, shops, washrooms, study areas, hallways, lobbies, and stairwells.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Wash your hands both before and after class, before and after using the washroom, and often throughout the day.
- Effective September 13, 2021, as part of the new provincial vaccine requirement announced, accessing some non-essential services on campus will require a proof of vaccination. This will apply to on-campus indoor venues, including but not limited to gyms, restaurants, and a variety of indoor events, such as sporting events and concerts.
Our community’s health and safety remain our highest priority. This includes an ongoing commitment to mental health and wellbeing.
If you have any concerns or questions regarding your health and safety at the workplace, report to your manager or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frequently Asked Questions – Staff & Faculty
Ready for Fall 2021
Per the Public Health Officer’s announcement on August 24, masks will now be required in all indoor public spaces on all BCIT campuses. These areas include lobbies, hallways, stairwells, elevators, classrooms, and labs.
- Masks may be removed:
- while actively consuming food or drink and seated in designated eating/drinking locations
- while actively participating in physical activity at the Fitness Centre or Gym
- while alone in a private office or teaching/learning space
- if there is a barrier separating the individual from other persons, for example a divider or cubicles
- briefly, in order to identify staff, faculty, or students
- when delivering a presentation or lecture – only if separated by a barrier or with two-meter physical distance from audience or class
Students requesting an accommodation to the mask requirement based on medical or disability status should contact Accessibility Services at email@example.com to initiate their accommodation request process and will be required to submit valid medical documentation. Faculty and staff requesting an accommodation to the mask requirement based on medical or disability status should contact Human Resources.
As part of the new provincial vaccine requirement, accessing some non-essential services on campus will now require a proof of vaccination.
At BCIT, this will apply to on-campus indoor venues, including but not limited to:
- Fitness Centre
- Some indoor events, such as sporting events and concerts with larger gathering.
Vaccinations are not required to attend classes under the current health orders
Students who are living in on-campus housing will also require proof of vaccination. Further guidance is being developed in the coming days in consultation with public health, including which types of student housing facilities will be subject to this requirement. This will come into effect on Sept. 7, 2021.
We will continue to update you as these guidelines evolve and we receive more details and clarity.
Physical distancing is encouraged when possible, but should be supplemented by wearing a mask, being fully vaccinated, daily self-checks and frequent hand cleaning.
- Most importantly, get vaccinated. The approved COVID-19 vaccines are your most powerful tool to keep yourself and our community safe.
- Familiarize yourself with the BCIT Communicable Disease Prevention Plan.
- Wear a mask. Masks are now required in all indoor public spaces on all BCIT campuses.
- Wash or sanitize your hands frequently. BCIT continues to provide hand sanitizer throughout our campuses and, of course, soap and water in the washrooms and in some study areas where appropriate.
- Conduct a daily self-assessment and stay home if you are unwell. Encourage your students and colleagues to do the same.
- Most importantly, if you’re sick, please stay at home and get tested at a COVID-19 test center, and contact 811 or your healthcare provider for medical advice as necessary.
- While community transmission is expected to be low, those diagnosed with COVID-19 may be advised to self-isolate or quarantine as part of the contact tracing process.
- Consult the Pandemic Scenario Response Plan for all actions related to pandemic response, including how to report potential exposures
BCIT’s current travel guidelines are posted on our website, here.
Domestic travel can resume based on the Public Health Orders of the Federal, Provincial, and Territorial Governments.
Approval for international travel for students, faculty, and staff will be approved on a per request basis.
All students, faculty, and staff must be fully vaccinated prior to travel approval.
All travel requests should adhere to the policy and procedures outlined in Policy 7140 – Travel – Risk and Security.
Current COVID-related cleaning practices will continue into the Fall. If you have specific concerns related to cleaning in your area, as always please submit a Facilities request here.
- Questions related to your program or service area should be addressed to your Dean, Associate Dean, Manager, or direct support.
- Operational questions can be addressed to Glen Magel, Director, Safety, Security, and Emergency Management
- Answers related to pandemic response (what if a student indicates they have tested positive) can be found in the comprehensive Pandemic Scenario Response Plan.
General staff and faculty questions
Please visit the COVID-19 Employee Resources Loop page for a full list of faculty and staff Q&A.
Even prior to the pandemic, Facilities Services has and continues to follow a rigorous Best Practices preventative maintenance program. Our sophisticated work flow management system generates and assigns all required proactive maintenance tasks to our in-house building trades and specialized contractors. All the work is tracked to ensure it is completed on schedule. The program has many components and tiers that fit together to ensure that all aspects of HVAC systems, operation are regularly inspected, maintained, and verified. Most of these activities are held to account by regulators such as Work Safe BC and Technical Safety BC, who inspect and issue official permits allowing us to operate regulated systems and equipment. In addition, we hire industry-leading consultants to conduct regular indoor air quality surveys and HVAC equipment audits at all buildings and campuses to verify end-user/occupant conditions. Consultants have been retained to perform this survey prior to September 2021 RTC.
Facilities Services is deemed an essential service to BCIT. As such, staff have remained working on campus throughout the pandemic without interruption. We have operated and maintained our buildings as though they were occupied at all times. All domestic potable water systems have been flushed at regular intervals in all buildings during this period of low occupancy. We regularly retain reputable consultants to collect samples of potable water in all buildings for lab analysis. Consultants have been retained to perform this work prior to September 2021 RTC and will be including Legionella testing in their scope.
Employees who become sick with COVID-19 should speak to their immediate manager and Disability Department to determine their applicable sick pay and benefits coverage. If you contract COVID-19 due to the nature of your work, you may be eligible for a WorkSafeBC claim. Adjudication of claims is determined by WorkSafeBC.
BCIT strongly encourages everyone to do their part and get vaccinated. Neither BCIT nor any other post-secondary in BC is requiring students or employees to be vaccinated in order to come on to campus. BCIT will continue to monitor BC Public Health guidelines and orders.
Medical accommodations are separate from remote-work guidelines. If you have a medical concern, please notify your immediate manager and our Disability Department for our existing medical accommodation process.
The remote-work guidelines provided for majority of time on campus, which is also intended to help with department space challenges. Please speak to your immediate manager about space planning.
Everyone has the responsibility to perform a daily health check and staying home when sick. The best way to protect yourself is to ensure you are fully immunized.
Conditions when dealing with the direct public can return to pre-COVID working processes. The BCIT community needs to follow the daily self-administered health check and not attend campus when ill, follow hand washing and hygiene protocols, and follow pre-COVID cleaning protocols.
All staff, faculty, students, and visitors are urged to stay home if they are ill. Anyone who is concerned they, or someone they have been exposed to, may be experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should contact their health-care provider or call public health at 8-1-1. Regular employees will use the normal sick days procedure.
Departments and school leaders will be consulted to work with BCIT Safety and Security and Occupational Health and Safety to develop and evolve existing return to campus plans to ensure that they reflect any new campus protocol. New plans will be segmented by building rather than department, and management will be engaged in establishing the best and safest solution for bringing faculty and staff back to the office.
BCIT is committed to ensuring that all faculty and staff will continue to be paid in the event of any event cancellations, programming reductions, government required shutdowns, or any other operational closures while we determine next steps. These next steps will be communicated as soon as determined. We encourage you to speak with your manager about work from home arrangements.
If there is a situation that you are concerned about, immediately report it to your direct manager for investigation and, where necessary, correction of the hazard. We are also following WorkSafeBC guidance and regulations related to COVID-19.
We understand everyone in our community wants to stay healthy. We are taking immediate steps to keep you safe and accepting all recommendations from healthcare experts and authorities, including sharing preventative measures across our campuses, enabling social distancing, supplementary cleaning, and self-isolation for some individuals, as recommended by health authorities.
If you feel a situation or hazard has not been satisfactorily resolved by your immediate manager, please contact BCIT Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) at firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional resource from BCIT OHS is available online, including telework.
As always, if you have medical questions and concerns you should seek the advice of your own healthcare provider. We know how difficult these times are for people with vulnerable family members. Your safety, and that of your family is our first priority. If you are living with a family member with an underlying health condition that presents a higher risk for COVID-19 complications, please contact your immediate manager and/or HR Business Partner. It is also imperative that you follow all preventative recommendations from the BC Centre of Disease Control.
As always, if you have medical questions and concerns you should seek the advice of your own healthcare provider. Of course, we know how stressful COVID-19 can be for all people, and in particular those with underlying health conditions. Your health safety is our first priority. If you are concerned about being at the workplace due to your underlying health condition that presents a higher risk of COVID-19 complications, please contact your immediate manager and/or Disability Management. It is also imperative that you follow all preventative recommendations from the BC Centre of Disease Control.
Potential and confirmed cases of COVID-19 among students are managed through the Student Life Office (SLO) via Early Assist. The SLO are here to monitor cases and liaise with faculty and staff as we support students in returning to their studies. If a student advises you that they are feeling unwell or that they have a potential exposure to COVID-19:
- Ask them to leave campus if they are currently on-campus.
- Submit an Early Assist referral immediately
- While students may also put through their own referral, it is important that you also submit an Early Assist report. We want to ensure that every potential or confirmed case is supported by the SLO.
Please review the protocols laid out on the BC Centre for Disease Control website, which are kept updated as direction evolves, and if you have additional questions, call 8-1-1.
If you are permanently leaving BCIT and currently working remotely, please contact your immediate manager in advance to arrange for the return of any BCIT property and the collection of any personal items on campus. Please provide your manager with as much notice as possible so appropriate planning can occur.
Please note, your manager will need to contact IT Services to request an list of assigned equipment from within our database. Given the current COVID-19 physical distancing and hygiene measures and individual circumstances, we will be flexible in developing arrangements that work for you. This includes the return of equipment to a designated area on campus, or any other reasonable options agreed to by you and your manager. If a smartphone is part of the assigned equipment, this device needs to be reset to factory defaults before returning it to your manager or drop off location. Of course, if returning to campus, all safety protocols including physical distancing, handwashing, or other Department-specific safety protocols must be followed. Any returned equipment will be disinfected. Please also remember to include all parking related items, keys and BCIT ID, to your direct manager, who will arrange their return to the Parking Office, Parking@bcit.ca and SSEM.
Our student services and supports have transitioned to remote delivery, with a select few offering limited in-person services on an as-needed basis. For an overview of available services and current contact methods, please visit Services & Supports During COVID-19.