Welcome back to BCIT
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.
Before coming to campus
- Review the COVID-19 Return-to-Campus Guidelines.
- Do a self-assessment (health check).
- Masks are now required in all indoor public areas on all BCIT campuses including classrooms, labs, shops, washrooms, study areas, hallways, lobbies, and stairwells.
- Review and complete the steps on the information for students, information for faculty and staff, or information for visitors pages.
- 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.
Return to Work and Campus Information
August 4, 2021 – The Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training’s (AEST) Return-to-Campus Guidelines (the Guidelines) developed by a team of experts from the post-secondary sector, regional health authorities, the BCCDC and approved by the Provincial Health Officer guides and supports the Institution as we transition more of our community back on to campus.
Note: When Provincial Health Office orders, WorkSafeBC requirements or AEST Guidelines change or are removed, control measures may be removed, increased or revised. The Emergency Operations Centre will keep BCIT informed as changes occur.
As we transition from phase 3 to phase 4 of the Guidelines, the following changes will be implemented:
BCIT Control Measures
- Signage, such as the building entrance health screen, hand washing, and hygiene procedures.
- Hand sanitizers will be located at the entrance of building, stairwells, elevators, and in common areas, and maintained by Facilities and Campus Development (FCD)/BEST.
- Cleaning is scheduled at least once per day for educational spaces, public spaces, and high touch areas, according to the FCD cleaning schedule.
- The ventilation systems are routinely maintained and provide optimized air flow and filtration. This function is assigned to FCD.
Employee, visitor, and student responsibilities
- Daily self health assessments are conducted.
- Staying home when sick.
- Report illness to the supervisor/instructor/contact person if on campus, avoid others and return home as soon as possible.
- If immediate medical attention is required, call the Safety and Security Emergency Line, First Aid, or emergency medical services.
- Frequent hand hygiene, including hand sanitizing and hand washing.
- Employees/students wipe down their own computer keyboards, mouse, and telephones.
- Employees contact FCD by work requisition, if soap, paper towel or hand sanitizers are low.
- Employees complete the complete the Employee OHS Orientation and the Pandemic Exposure Control Plan online courses.
- Employees report hazards to their supervisor as soon as possible and also complete the online Unsafe Act/Condition Report in IRIS.
- Students report hazards to their instructor, as soon as possible, and the instructor completes the Unsafe Act/Condition Report in IRIS.
- Encourage hazard and injury/illness/exposure reporting by employees/students.
- If the person reports having symptoms and is currently on campus, ask them to immediately avoid others and return home. Refer to the Pandemic Scenario Response Plan.
- Encourage, support, and accommodate if students or employees need to stay home due to illness.
- Ensure all employees complete the Employee OHS Orientation and the Pandemic Exposure Control Plan online courses.
- Encourage students to take the COVID-19 Pandemic On-Campus Guidelines
If you feel unwell please don’t come to campus. Please do a daily self-assessment (health check) using the online tool from the BC Centre for Disease Control.
The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to other respiratory illnesses including Influenza and the common cold, and include:
- Shortness of breath
- Sore throat and painful swallowing
- Stuffy or runny nose
- Loss of sense of smell
- Muscle aches
- Loss of appetite
If you have these symptoms, do not go to work, campus, or public areas, do not use public transport or taxis.
Testing is recommended for anyone with cold, flu or COVID-19-like symptoms, even mild ones. You can be assessed for COVID-19 testing by a healthcare provider or at a BC Collection Centre. Please call ahead before visiting a healthcare facility to explain your symptoms. If you test positive and have had contact with BCIT students or colleagues, please contact your instructor or direct manager.
If you test positive, please isolate for 14-days or until you are cleared by your physician or the Public Health Officer. Do not return to your workplace during this isolation period.
If you have questions regarding this process, please visit the BC Centre for Disease Control’s COVID-19 information page.
It is critically important that we all take care of ourselves and each other through this pandemic and follow the directions of the Public Health Officer, BC Centre for Disease Control, and our own Occupational Health and Safety team.
We’d like to remind everyone in our community of the importance of maintaining your well-being and mental health. Confidential counselling resources are always available and are so important at this time. Counselling services for faculty and staff can be accessed 24/7 through Homewood Health by calling 1-800-663-1142. Counselling services for students are available through BCIT Student Counselling by calling 604-432-8608.
We are implementing guidelines for any employee working alone or in isolation to ensure that safe work protocols are addressed on campus.
As defined by WorkSafeBC’s Occupational Health and Safety Regulation 4.20.1, an employee is determined to be working alone or in isolation if working in circumstances where assistance would not be readily available, specifically:
- In case of an emergency, or
- In case of injury or ill health
In order to determine whether or not assistance is readily available, the following conditions should be considered:
- Presence of others: Are other people in the vicinity?
- Awareness: Will others capable of providing assistance be aware of the worker’s need?
- Willingness: Is it reasonable to expect assistance will be provided?
- Timeliness: Will assistance be provided within a reasonable period of time?
Providing employees with electronic means of communication, such as a phone, radio, or personal alarm, does not guarantee that the condition of “assistance that is readily available” has been met. If an employee cannot be seen or heard by persons capable of providing assistance in a timely manner, then they should be regarded as working alone or in isolation.
If you are unclear if you are considered to be working alone, please contact your supervisor.
A written procedure for checking the well-being of employees assigned to work alone or in isolation by their supervisor must be developed and implemented, including:
- At minimum, a check-in at the beginning and at the end of the shift, when working alone.
- High risk activities will require shorter time intervals between checks, where, for example, there is a greater risk of injury.
- Procedures for checking an employee’s well-being, including time intervals between the checks, to be developed in consultation with the Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee (JOHSC) and with the employee assigned to work alone or in isolation.
- Check-ins may be by email, text or phone call.
The recommended tool for the check-in is the Working Alone Notification form:
- Consistent information is gathered by the form. Once the form is complete and submitted by the employee, a notification will be sent to your supervisor automatically by email, with a copy sent to you, so that you have a record of the information submitted.
- An automatic reminder, triggered by a rule that is embedded in the form will be sent to the employee to check-out at the end of the work day.
- For more information please refer to the Working Alone ShareSpace.
The requirements of Occupational Health and Safety Regulation section 4.20.2 apply only when an employee is assigned to work alone or in isolation, including when:
- The direction or expectation is to work during a scheduled or predetermined period of time, such as a specified work shift or a specified portion of a work shift. During that time, it is anticipated or expected that the employee will be working alone or in isolation.
- Employees who work alone or in isolation for short or intermittent periods of time without being directed to do so are not considered to have been “assigned” to work alone. For example, an employee in most office and similar work settings, where other employees are normally present during their work hours, is not considered to be assigned to work alone or in isolation if, for example, the employee decides to come in early, work late, or come in on a day off when other employees are not present.
While an employee may choose to work alone and this is permitted by the employer, the employee is not considered to have been assigned to work alone. Even though the provisions of sections 4.20.2 to 4.23 would not apply, employers still have the obligation to ensure the health and safety of these employees.
- The general duties of employers to employees under section 21 of the Workers Compensation Act apply, including the duty to ensure the health and safety of all employees working for that employer.
- Where employees are permitted to work alone outside of their regular assigned working hours, the employer must perform a risk assessment relating to the hazards the employee may be exposed to while working alone, and take the necessary measures to ensure the employee’s safety.
- These measures may include the Working Alone Notification tool as well other procedures that support the employee’s health and safety. More information regarding how to perform this risk assessment can be found here.
Check-in/out – Follow-up protocol
If an employee misses a check-in then the supervisor would be directed to:
- Try to contact the employee, and if the employee can’t be contacted within a short time frame, e.g. 15 minutes, then security will be notified.
- If security can’t locate the employee within a reasonable time frame, e.g. 30 minutes, then the supervisor will be notified, at that point the supervisor should:
- Follow up with the employee’s personal phone or family, or
- If the employee is still not located, the police may be contacted.
- SSEM should be notified of the outcome, by contacting BCIT_Safety_and_Security@bcit.ca
COVID-19 cleaning note
After a space has been used, including shared office space, theatres, classrooms, labs, shops, and student meeting rooms, then faculty and staff are requested to generate a Facilities Work Request for cleaning after the space has been vacated.
- Faculty are asked to submit on behalf of any students who may have been using a space.
- The Facilities Work Request will activate BCIT’s Custodial Contractor to sanitize and disinfect surfaces before the next occupancy.
If you have any questions please contact SSEM at BCIT_Safety_and_Security@bcit.ca.
Frequently asked questions
Coming to campus
Per the Provincial Health Officer’s announcement on August 24, masks covering your nose and mouth will now be required in all indoor public spaces on all BCIT campuses. These areas include lobbies, hallways, stairwells, elevators, classrooms, and labs. Face shields are not a substitute for a mask, as there is an opening below the mouth.
Should you come to campus without a mask, you can visit the on-campus Security Office where you can obtain one.
While not required under current public health orders, physical distancing is encouraged when possible. Being fully vaccinated, performing daily self-assessments (health checks) and frequently washing hands are critical for continued personal and community safety.
Safety guidelines and protocols have been put into place in handling potential and confirmed COVID-19 cases – with robust guidelines outlined in the Pandemic Scenario Response Plan. 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.
Students who must be absent from your classes because they feel unwell or are required to self-isolate, should contact their Program Head or Department Head as early as possible to advise them and discuss options regarding missed work.
Students requesting an accommodation to the mask requirement based on medical or disability status should contact Accessibility Services 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 Disability Resources within Human Resources.
See the full list of current Program Delivery Modes here.
In line with the BC Public Health Officer guidelines, BCIT is transitioning substantial programming back to on-campus delivery for the Fall 2021 term. We remain committed to supporting you and your education, and to creating exceptional applied learning experiences. Please refer to your course or program webpage for information on anticipated delivery mode for the fall term.
Vaccinations are not required to attend or teach classes under the current health orders. However, in alignment with the Province’s vaccine passport measures and feedback from our community, BCIT will be implementing vaccine-related protocols to ensure maximum protection and safety for everyone learning, working, or visiting a BCIT campus.
In concert with the post-secondary sector, we hope to share these practices as soon as possible. In the meantime, the most important thing you can do to keep yourself and our community safe is get vaccinated, perform a daily self-assessment (health check), and wear a mask.BCIT strongly recommends all students, faculty, and staff to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
In addition, in alignment with the Province’s proof of vaccination measures, accessing some non-essential services on campus will now require a proof of vaccination as of September 13.
At BCIT, this will apply to on-campus indoor venues, including but not limited to:
- Fitness centre
- Some indoor events with larger gatherings
If you have not received your vaccine, Fraser Health is hosting a vaccination clinic at the BCIT Burnaby campus where you can drop-in for your first or second dose. There is no appointment, BC Personal Health Number, or registration required. You may also walk-in to any Fraser Health Vaccine site or find a location near you.
Vaccinations are not required to attend classes under the current health orders, however in alignment with the Province’s vaccine passport measures and feedback from our community, BCIT will be implementing vaccine-related protocols to ensure maximum protection and safety for everyone learning, working, or visiting a BCIT campus.
In concert with the post-secondary sector, we hope to share these practices as soon as possible. In the meantime, the most important thing you can do to keep yourself and our community safe is get vaccinated, perform a daily self-assessment (health check), and wear a mask.
In addition, in alignment with the Province’s vaccine passport measures, accessing some non-essential services on campus will now require a proof of vaccination as of September 13.
At BCIT, this will apply to on-campus indoor venues, including but not limited to:
- Fitness centre
- Some indoor events with larger gatherings
BCIT is working closely with the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training, the Provincial Health Officer, and WorkSafe BC to ensure BCIT continues to comply as new measures are introduced.
As part of the Province’s proof of vaccination measures accessing some non-essential services on campus will now require a proof of vaccination. Students who are living in on-campus housing will also be required to provide proof of vaccination.
Further guidance is being developed in consultation with public health on how to access proof of vaccination. For more information on several ways to confidentially access your proof of vaccination, visit the provincial government’s website for more details.
Even if you have been vaccinated against COVID-19 outside of Canada you may still need to receive vaccinations here and provide a proof of your vaccination.
Follow the steps below if you’ve received one or two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine in another province or country:
BC is following the World Health Organization’s (WHO) approved COVID-19 vaccines list to decide whether or not it is recommended that you receive additional COVID-19 vaccination here. We encourage you to review the list of WHO approved vaccines to find out if you need to be vaccinated in BC.
No, you do not need to get vaccinated here but we recommend that you submit your COVID-19 vaccine record in BC’s immunization record system.
COVID-19 vaccines are available free of charge in BC to anyone who is 12 years of age or older regardless of immigration status.
You can register in BC’s vaccine registration system to receive a total of two doses of COVID-19 vaccine in the province. You will need to provide the following information to register:
- First and last name
- Date of birth
- Postal code
- Personal Health Number (PHN)
- An email address that gets checked regularly or a phone number that can receive text messages