Post-secondary studies during COVID-19

Check here for CMTN updates on the COVID-19 situation including news releases, resources and FAQs.


Frequently Asked Questions

Check here for our FAQs on COVID-19, Student Services, Registration, and International & Indigenous support.

International Quarantine Plan

View CMTN's International students safe travel, quarantine and arrival requirements.

Communicable Disease Plan

Review the 2022 Coast Mountain College Communicable Disease Plan and Procedures.


Communicable Disease Plan 

Coast Mountain College has adopted a College-wide Communicable Disease Plan that highlights ongoing measures that CMTN takes to prevent all communicable diseases, including COVID-19, H1N1, measles, flu, etc.


COVID-19 post-secondary guidance

Last update: May 5, 2022

B.C.’s post-secondary institutions (PSI) have successfully resumed on-campus teaching, learning and research by following the COVID-19 Return-to-Campus Guidelines and their own communicable disease plans. With a successful return completed, the Return-to-Campus Guidelines were retired April 25, 2022.

The BC Centre for Disease Control’s (BCCDC) Post-Secondary Public Health Guidance document [PDF] will continue to provide information for post-secondary institutions. This document was developed with input from a team of experts from B.C.’s post-secondary sector, the Office of the Provincial Health Officer and regional health authorities.

The Ministry continues to work in partnership with institutions, the BCCDC, the Office of the Provincial Health Officer, regional health authorities and experts from B.C.'s post-secondary sector to support the continued delivery of on-campus activities.


COVID-19 update: Masks recommended, but optional in Coast Mountain College’s public indoor spaces

March 14, 2022

Late in the afternoon on Friday March 11th, AEST provided further clarification regarding the BC Provincial Health Officer’s Public Health Order requiring masks to be worn in public indoor spaces until Friday March 11th.  You can read more here

The CMTN COVID-19 Working Group also met this morning to discuss B.C.’s dropping of the mask mandate. As such, Coast Mountain College will end the mask mandate as of noon today, March 14th, 2022.  Please note:

  • Masks are no longer mandatory in classrooms or in campus common areas.
  • We ask that you keep the health of our Elders in mind, and ensure that you are vaccinated and masked before entering the Elders office.
  • We recognize that the comfort levels of individuals will vary with respect to the lifting of these restrictions. Please continue to be kind and respectful.
  • Employees are welcome to continue to wear a mask while on campus.

We urge all members of our community to receive their COVID-19 vaccine booster dose and we would also like to thank our students and staff for their ongoing commitment and support.

On March 10, 2022, the Provincial Health Officer announced changes to public health orders:
Lifting of BC’s indoor face coverings order: 

  • Given the high rate of vaccination in British Columbia, effective March 11, 2022, public health no longer requires face coverings in indoor public settings.
  • Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to be respectful of individual choices concerning masks based on each person’s comfort. 

Indoor common area mask requirements for employees as part of the Workplace Safety Order are no longer required. 

Removal of proof of vaccination requirements:

  • Effective April 8, 2022, proof of vaccination will no longer be required:
  • To access events and services; and,
  •  For post-secondary student housing.

NOTE: Public health measures and restrictions may be reintroduced depending on the evolving COVID-19 situation.

Thank you for the important role you play in supporting the provincial COVID-19 response. Please share this update broadly within the college.


COVID-19 update: Masks required in Coast Mountain College’s public indoor spaces

March 11, 2022

Yesterday, the BC Provincial Health Officer, Dr Bonnie Henry, announced that the Public Health Order requiring masks to be worn in public indoor spaces is lifted as of March 11, 2022. You can read more at news.gov.bc.ca/releases

The latest changes state that while face coverings are optional for people in all indoor public settings, individual organizations can choose to continue to require mask wearing on their premises. 

As such, Coast Mountain College will continue with the current approach, requiring masks to be worn in all indoor spaces on all campuses, until the end of the 2021/22 winter semester on April 29, 2022. 

We urge all members of our community to receive their COVID-19 vaccine booster dose and we would also like to thank our students and staff for their ongoing commitment and support.

Please continue to check this page for updated information on CMTN’s COVID-19 response.


Update on mask requirements

February 23, 2022

Students are encouraged to wear a mask as a practice that helps prevent the spread of illness across the college community.

Based on updated feedback from the Medical Health Officer, the temporary increased use of masks implemented on January 23rd is being suspended, and requirements will reflect the public health order, post-secondary guidelines that were updated effective January 28th and any WorkSafe BC considerations. Effective immediately, students are required to wear masks in CMTN indoor public spaces, including lobbies, hallways and bathrooms, and in classrooms, large boardrooms, and labs.

Students can temporarily remove their mask:

  • To communicate effectively with someone for whom visual cues are essential.
  • To support verification of your identity.
  • When in a private workspace with no other students or members of the public are present.
  • While consuming food or drink and seated in a designated area.
  • To engage in an educational activity that cannot be performed while wearing a face covering, like playing a wind instrument.
  • When you are delivering a presentation or performing AND when there is 2m physical distancing from others OR an approved physical barrier is in place.
  • When you are behind an approved barrier separating you from others (like a divider, cubicle), or are in a room by yourself.
  • When you are in the wellness centre and participating in an exercise or physical activity.

More information

Types of masks

Choose the mask that is best for you, depending on your ability to comfortably wear it, what you can afford, and your individual risk.


Post-Secondary Virtual Town Hall with Dr. Bonnie Henry and Dr. Réka Gustafson

February 14, 2022

A virtual town hall was held on February 9, 2022 to discuss current public health guidance for BC’s post-secondary institutions.

Public health speakers at the town hall included representatives from the Office of the Provincial Health Officer, the BC Centre for Disease Control, the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, and BC’s COVID-19 immunization program. Participants at the town hall included senior representatives from post-secondary institutions, Indigenous partners, post-secondary faculty and labour organizations, student associations, and private post-secondary institutions.

A recording of the February 9, 2022 town hall can be viewed here:

Thank you for the important role you play in supporting the provincial COVID-19 response.

COVID-19 resources


Masks/ face coverings

Updated January 23, 2022

BC’s Provincial Health Officer has set how masks are used. This applies to all those attending post-secondary campuses in BC. 

Mask requirements

Where: Masks must be worn inside indoor spaces. This includes classrooms, libraries, and offices. Specific types of masks may be provided and directed for use to meet task-specific safety requirements.  

Type: All types of masks help reduce the transmission of COVID-19 when they fit comfortably over the mouth and nose with no gaps around the face. Choose the mask that is best for you. 

How to wear it: Masks must cover your nose and mouth with no gaps around the face.

It is currently not permitted to remove your mask when:

  • You are working in small groups during structured activities, even if you can remain at least 2 m away from each other. 
  • When you are in a shared space with no one else present or when you are in a space with a barrier separating you from all others. 
  • When you are delivering a presentation/ lecture/ teaching (as an employee or student) AND even when there is least 2m separating you from other participants OR a physical barrier is in place.

You can temporarily remove your mask:

  • When you are in a room by yourself that others do not have access to
  • To communicate effectively with someone for whom visual cues are essential
  • To support a verification of your identity
  • When eating and drinking while seated in a designated eating area, please do not snack or drink at your desk if you are in a shared space. Please do not eat or drink in classrooms.

Mask Exemptions

If you are unable to wear a mask for health reasons or are unable to put on or remove the mask without the assistance of another person: 

Students: Please contact your instructor virtually and work with accessibility services to provide the College with a doctor’s note to support the accommodation. 

Employees: Please contact your supervisor and work with human resources to provide the College with a doctor’s note to support the accommodation.


Coast Mountain College delays semester start for some in-person programs

Dec 31, 2021

Terrace, BC— Coast Mountain College has decided to delay the start of in-person instruction until Monday, January 10, 2022. This is to allow additional time to assess the impact of the Omicron variant and review plans for returning to campus after the winter break.

At Coast Mountain College this delay will not include programs with clinical or other experiential components, trades training or distributed learning courses. As such, the following College programs will start as planned on January 4, 2022:

  • Carpentry Level 1
  • Step into Trades
  • Power Engineering Readiness
  • Programs with practicums scheduled to start before January 10
  • All courses scheduled for online and distributed learning platforms

A delayed start of some programs ensures preparation time for continuity of education on January 10 and to allow CMTN to work with our local health authority as they analyze data from the provincial health office.

The nature of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to change every day. Based on experience in BC and internationally, educational settings are low-risk for COVID-19 transmission. CMTN continues to monitor the situation, adapt as needed and do its best to move forward in a safe and inclusive manner.

Campus services will be open and CMTN employees will be at work on January 4. If anything changes before that date, CMTN will notify staff and faculty by email.

Please note the following campus guidelines for January 2022:

  • Adhere to public health guidelines when dining-in at campus food services where table sizes are limited to six people per table, and there is no mingling between tables.
  • Masks are mandatory indoors at all CMTN campuses.
  • The wellness centre (gym) will be closed at the Terrace campus until at least January 19, 2022.

At Coast Mountain College our campuses have layers of protection in place to create a safe learning environment for students and faculty, and while those safety measures are working, vaccines continue to be the most effective way to reduce the risk of COVID-19 on campus.

To register to be vaccinated, visit: www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/vaccine/register

Please visit coastmountaincollege.ca/covid19  for more information on COVID-19 and safety measures at CMTN.

Media contact

Natalia Balcerzak 
Communication Coordinator

nbalcerzak@coastmountaincollege.ca


Province strengthens COVID-19 measures for safer holiday season

December 21, 2021

Source: BC Ministry of Health

The provincial health officer is implementing additional measures to address rising COVID-19 case counts that could result in increased hospitalizations and critical care admissions and the potential to overstress the health-care system.

Revised provincial health officer orders will take effect on Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2021, at 11:59 p.m.

The restrictions will extend to Jan. 18, 2022, at 11:59 p.m., and include:

  • No organized indoor social events and gatherings of any size;
  • Concerts, sports games and theatres reduced to 50% seated capacity, regardless of venue size;
  • Closing gyms, fitness centres and dance studios;
  • Closing bars and nightclubs; and
  • Limiting table sizes at restaurants, cafes and pubs to a maximum of six people per table with physical distancing or barriers.
These restrictions are in addition to the revised orders that took effect on Monday, Dec. 20. 

The Ministry of Health is postponing non-urgent scheduled surgeries starting Jan. 4, 2022, to manage pressure on acute care facilities. Urgent and emergency surgeries will continue, and rescheduling will be determined through continuous monitoring of capacity and COVID-19 impacts throughout January and on a regional basis.

“COVID-19 cases continue to increase at a concerning rate, and we must take stronger measures to help protect British Columbians and ensure our health-care system is there when people need it,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “It’s a critical time in our fight against COVID-19. Now is the time for us to act, and to work together to slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep our loved ones safe.”

Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, said: “I know everyone is looking forward to being around their family and friends this holiday season after two challenging years. These restrictions balance the need for people to come together with the people they love with the need to collectively act to slow the spread of COVID-19. We know how to get through this – by following the same measures we’ve followed in the past to protect each other.”

In addition to the provincial health officer’s orders, British Columbians are advised to get fully vaccinated if they have not already done so, to get their booster shot as soon as one is offered, to stay home if they are sick, to avoid all travel if not fully vaccinated and to follow the travel advisory issued by the federal government to avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada.

The updated orders will be enacted under the Public Health Act.

Revised provincial health officer’s orders that took effect on Monday, Dec. 20.:
www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/info/restrictions#dec-20

Province introduces new COVID-19 measures for safer holiday season

December 20, 2021

Source:  BC Ministry of Health

Please see this message from the BC Ministry of Health regarding new COVID restrictions. 

“While vaccination remains the best defence against COVID-19, we are now dealing with the new threat of a more transmissible variant," said Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer. "We need to take these measures until we understand the full impact Omicron will have in the B.C. context. It is imperative people follow the new orders in how they celebrate this season. However, there are many things we can now do safely with reasonable and prudent measures like wearing a mask, staying home when sick, getting tested and, most importantly, getting fully vaccinated."

To address rising COVID-19 case counts and keep people safe, the provincial health officer is issuing revised orders, which take effect December 20, 2021.

Measures will extend to Jan. 31, 2022, at 11:59 p.m., and include:

  • Limiting indoor, personal gatherings, including in rental and vacation properties to the household/residents plus 10 individuals, or one additional household maximum if all are aged 12 and older are fully vaccinated;
  • Requiring the BC Vaccine Card for organized events of all sizes and ensuring the QR code is scanned at events;
  • Seating requirements and restricting movement between tables at food and liquor-serving premises, and reinforcing the need to wear masks when not seated;
  • Limiting venues of 1,000 individuals or more to 50% of the seated capacity with reinforced masking requirements and scanning of the BC Vaccine Card QR code;
  • Pausing all sports tournaments while the order is in effect; and
  • All New Year's Eve organized gatherings and events will be restricted to being seated-only events, with no mingling or dancing allowed.
In addition to the provincial health officer orders, British Columbians are advised to limit indoor gatherings to those who are fully vaccinated, to ensure proper ventilation indoors, to avoid all travel if not fully vaccinated and to follow the travel advisory issued by the federal government to avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada. The updated orders will be enacted under the Public Health Act.

Quick facts

  • To date, evidence indicates Omicron is more transmissible than other variants of COVID-19; however, there is limited evidence to date on severity of illness.
  • B.C. has a vaccination rate of 86.8% for all eligible age groups for a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 82.5% for a second dose.
  • The Province announced its full booster dose campaign on Oct. 26, 2021.
  • Vaccination remains the most effective protection from severe illness.
    • From Dec. 8-14, people not fully vaccinated accounted for 46.3% of cases in B.C., and from Dec. 1-14, accounted for 70.2% of hospitalizations.

Learn more


Update on return to campus efforts

November 22, 2021

All CMTN campuses continue to deliver on distributed learning opportunities for students with increasing in-person opportunities over the months ahead, and have returned to full-time work on campuses that are open to the public. 

When visiting the campus, please remember to: 

  • Complete a daily health check
  • If sick, stay home and get tested
  • Mandatory masks indoors
  • Wash your hands well and often
  • Cover cough and sneeze

Upcoming campus events: 

  • Hazelton – Student services, including the library is available and the campus is open to the public 8 to 4, closed for the lunch hour.
  • Prince Rupert – CMTN Book Club event
  • Smithers – Chai and Chat event
  • Terrace – Cafeteria and Café are open to the public, the Wellness Centre is available to students and staff, upcoming events including Men’s Wellness Day, Northern Health Naloxone Training, Christmas Movie Marathon, and more.

Upcoming online events: 

Staff and students from across campuses are invited to come together for the following upcoming online events:

  • Create Christmas Ornaments
  • International Indigenous Film Extravaganza
  • Wellness Day

Visit the Events Calendar for more information.   


Update on return to campus guidelines

October 25, 2021

An updated version of BC's COVID-19 Return-to-Campus Guidelines was released to reflect evolving public health guidance:

Additional resources


New regional health measures

October 18, 2021

New regional health measures are in place for those parts of the Northern Health region with lower vaccination rates and are in effect until November 19th.

Restrictions are focused on personal gatherings, organized events, worship services, restaurants, bars and nightclubs, and sports events. The order applies to areas east of Gitwangak (Kitwanga).

What does this mean for Coast Mountain College? 

The new restrictions do not affect learning or operations at CMTN campuses. Travel for essential reasons, including work and learning remain unchanged.

As the circuit breaker is designed to reduce the social interactions in our communities, one area that will be impacted is non-educational events. We are working event organizers are working to ensure that the new restrictions are adhered to.

If you are traveling to, or live in areas impacted by the new measures, please ensure that you are familiar with the health measures.

We will continue to keep the CMTN community up-to-date with the latest information regarding the COVID-19 . We know from experience, when we adhere to the protocols in place, we can work and learn safely. Please continue to:

  • Complete a daily health check
  • If sick, stay home and get tested
  • Mandatory masks indoors
  • Wash your hands well and often
  • Cover cough and sneeze

Safety measures in place at Coast Mountain College

October 4, 2021

Coast Mountain College has welcomed students back to another academic year and they are well into their course work. Staff have also returned to full-time work on campus. The excitement of the new semester is carrying us through a period of adjustment and a new phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Post-secondary educational settings, including teaching, learning, research, and student activities are all low-risk for COVID-19 transmission. We know from our experience that we can be safe on campus when we follow the layers of prevention directed by public health and WorksafeBC.

Safety remains a top priority and it is important to continue to show compassion and practice patience with one another.

Some things to know:

  • There are many layers of protection in place that support safety.

  • Vaccines are the most effective way to reduce the risk of COVID-19 on campus.

  • Getting sick is normal, you can be successful in the face of disruptions and you need to put your health ahead of any learning and work commitments. You are not permitted on campus if you have new or worsening symptoms or if you are required to self-isolate or quarantine.

  • Masks are mandatory indoors, including in classrooms.  It is safe for instructors and presenters to temporarily remove their masks when behind a barrier or while maintaining safe physical distance from others in the space and when participants remain seated and masked.

  • Wash your hands well and often. Cover your cough and sneeze. Hand sanitizer options are available at key points throughout campuses.

  • Physical distancing is no longer required on campus. It remains important to be respectful of other’s personal space.

  • Proof of vaccination is required for non-educational activities such as use of the Wellness Centre on the Terrace campus, for extra-curricular sports activities such as soccer teams or activities such as yoga or other types of health classes. The latest information is available on the BC Vaccine Card page.

  • Proof of vaccination is required for students living in on-campus housing and for staff and students in health science programs.

  • Cleaning of spaces, including high touch areas is completed on a daily basis. Cleaning between classes is not required. Cleaning supplies are available for anyone to use on shared surfaces throughout campuses.

  • Ventilation: attention is given to ensuring that all mechanical heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems are designed, operated and maintained in accordance with requirements and standards for indoor air quality, and that they are working properly.

  • If you find your regular activities are disrupted by illness, if you are unable to wear a mask, be vaccinated, or require accommodation to ensure your inclusion in learning or at work, support is available. Students, please reach out to your instructor or accessibility; Employees please reach out to your manager.

As these requirements continue to evolve, access trusted sources for up-to-date information, including the BC Centre for Disease Control, BC Government, and Health Authorities (Northern Health Authority applies to the northwest coast region).

Read the full news update here.


Students in on-campus housing at Coast Mountain College must be partially vaccinated

August 27, 2021

Students who live in on-campus housing at Coast Mountain College (CMTN) will now be required to provide proof of a COVID-19 vaccination beginning on September 7, 2021. This is by order of BC’s Public Health Officer.

Proof of vaccination follows a phased-in approach outlined by the Province of BC to ensure all students in on-campus housing have a second dose of the vaccine ahead of the October 24 deadline.

CMTN supports and commits to policies on vaccinations, mask-wearing, and other safety measures consistent with BC Provincial orders and guidelines.

Learn more about CMTN Student Housing.

Read the full news release here.

B.C.’s colleges prepare for a full and safe return to campus

August 27, 2021

Source: www.bccolleges.ca/news/posts/b-c-s-colleges-prepare-for-a-full-and-safe-return

VICTORIA, B.C. – Colleges in British Columbia are aligned with public health guidance as they prepare for a full return to on-campus learning in September. Over the last 18 months, colleges have followed public health recommendations to ensure a safe study and work environment, ensuring access to programs and courses.

A return to in-person learning in September is important for students, especially since young adults aged 18 to 29 were among those hardest hit by the pandemic and related response measures.

The introduction this week of mandatory masks in all indoor common spaces on campus, including classrooms, and the roll-out of the proof of vaccination program for on-campus housing, restaurants and bars and non-educational activities, support a full and safe return to campus.

Colleges have shown they can operate safely in a pandemic as they have been delivering approximately 30 per cent to 40 per cent of courses and programs face-to-face over the past year. Colleges will continue to monitor the evolving COVID-19 situation and be adaptable to best practices as directed by public health authorities.

Public health experts in British Columbia fully support return to full on-campus instruction on Sept. 7, 2021, for post-secondary institutions. Experience over the last year has shown that educational activities supporting teaching, learning, research, and student development are low-risk sites for COVID-19 transmission including activities in classrooms, lecture theatres, libraries, studios, workshops, labs, field schools, practicums, research settings, etc.

“Structured environments like classrooms were low risk settings for COVID-19 transmission even before vaccination. With the added protection of vaccination, the return to full in class instruction is not only possible, but imperative” says Dr. Reka Gustafson, PHSA Vice President, Public Health and Wellness and Deputy Provincial Health Officer. “The approach that the colleges in British Columbia are taking is proportionate and in line with the recommendations of the Provincial Health Officer, and I am grateful to the colleges of British Columbia for continuing to support the education and well-being of their students.”

In British Columbia, colleges operate differently from universities, as they are considered agents of government under the College and Institute Act, and have determined they must follow the direction of the Provincial Health Officer.

As colleges prepare for a full return to on-campus learning, it is important to acknowledge the dedication and hard work of staff and faculty, as well as the ministry and our public health partners, in helping us all safely come together once again.

Vaccination is the best line of defence against COVID-19. Colleges in B.C. strongly encourage all students, faculty and staff who are eligible, and able, to be vaccinated. Students, faculty and staff who require a first or second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine can book an appointment in advance or simply walk into any COVID-19 immunization clinic. Second doses will be given 28 days or more after the first dose. For those that do not currently have a Provincial Health Number (PHN), please call 1-833-838-2323 (seven days a week, 7 am to 7 pm) for assistance before attending a clinic. Translators are available.

Anyone who received their COVID-19 vaccines in another province or country should submit their vaccination record as soon as possible. This is particularly important for international students as additional vaccination may be recommended. There are three easy steps to submitting a vaccination record and determining vaccination needs:
1. Register online at getvaccinated.gov.bc.ca or by phone at 1-833-838-2323.
2. Submit official vaccination record at immunizationrecord.gov.bc.ca
3. Be notified about COVID-19 vaccination needs.

Read the full news release here.


Learning and success in the face of health challenges

Getting sick is normal, and we do not tolerate stigma or discrimination on CMTN campuses. To learn more about social stigma please review the COVID-19 Stigma Guide [PDF]

Confidential support is available to support your success and inclusion in learning with CMTN. If you are unable to: 

  • be vaccinated, 
  • wear a mask, 
  • are faced with absences due to illness, 
  • or need help overcoming other obstacles related to your wellness, 

please, reach out to your instructor and to Accessibility Services

What you need to know about visiting campuses in Fall 2021

CMTN expects to return to normal social contact and physical distancing in Fall 2021. This means that learning and services for students will continue to be available through distance learning and virtual options to support those who cannot join us in person, as well as on campus for those in the region.  

All those coming to campus are required to: 

  • Complete a daily health check - BC COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool 
  • If sick, stay or return home and get tested
  • Wash their hands well and often
  • Cover their cough & sneezes
  • Wear a mask in all indoor spaces

Face masks are mandatory

Coast Mountain College campuses require face masks for indoor spaces. This aligns with direction provided by the Province of BC.

"In response to rising COVID-19 cases and as students return to in-person learning on campus, I am issuing a new mandatory mask order for all indoor public areas on campus," said Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer. "It's vitally important for post-secondary students that we resume in-person learning to support young people's well-being, and with these added measures and increasing vaccination rates, we are confident we can do so."

The mask order will apply in all indoor public areas on campus including lobbies, hallways, stairwells, elevators, classrooms and labs.

Where to find local and provincial COVID-19 restriction information 


Health, safety remain top priority for return to campus

August 24, 2021

Source: BC Advanced Education and Skills Training

Students, faculty and staff at B.C.’s colleges and universities are being supported to come back together for in-person learning this fall with added health and safety measures ordered by the provincial health officer.

A new mask mandate for college and university campuses follows the announcement that B.C. will be introducing a proof-of-vaccine requirement for some non-essential services, including on-campus.

“In response to rising COVID-19 cases and as students return to in-person learning on campus, I am issuing a new mandatory mask order for all indoor public areas on campus,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer. “It’s vitally important for post-secondary students that we resume in-person learning to support young people’s well-being, and with these added measures and increasing vaccination rates, we are confident we can do so.”

The mask order will apply in all indoor public areas on campus including lobbies, hallways, stairwells, elevators, classrooms and labs.

“I know how challenging the past 18 months has been, and I am grateful for the work Dr. Henry and her team are doing to help guide post-secondary institutions as they make their plans for a safe return to in-person learning,” said Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training. “The pandemic has been difficult on students, faculty and staff at B.C.’s colleges, institutes and universities, and with these added measures we can continue to move forward and come back together safely.”

Post-secondary institutions have been following public health advice in the measures they put in place at their campuses. In July 2021, a team of experts from the post-secondary sector, regional health authorities, the BC Centre for Disease Control and the Office of the Provincial Health Officer released COVID-19 Return-to-Campus Guidelines, noting that the guidelines would require periodic updates to align with evolving public health guidance.

The guidelines are being updated to reflect the new mask order and the proof of vaccine requirement. The guidelines will be updated by the start of school and will be posted here: www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/post-secondary-education/institution-resources-administration/studying-during-covid-19

As part of the new provincial vaccine requirement, accessing some non-essential services on campus will now require a proof of vaccination. This will apply to on-campus indoor venues, including but not limited to gyms, nightclubs, restaurants and a variety of indoor events, such as sporting events and concerts. 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. As these guidelines evolve, public health will continue to work with post-secondary institutions to ensure all students, faculty and staff have quick and easy access to immunization.

Under the guidance of WorkSafeBC, institutions have developed communicable disease prevention plans to reduce the risk of all respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. Post-secondary institutions may implement their own proof of vaccine requirement as a part of these plans. However, they will be responsible for working with public health and doing their own due diligence.

Read the full news release here.