As the COVID-19 pandemic response continues to evolve, we have a number of updates to share with you today. This covers a variety of pandemic-related areas which include:
- New public health officer announcements
- BCIT communications and guidance
- Cleaning and hygiene
- Rapid antigen test kits
- Vaccination site
- Film production and events
We encourage you to take the time to review this content carefully.
New Public Health Officer Announcements
As of 12:01am, March 11, 2022, the order requiring masks indoors is lifted. Masks will remain optional for people in all indoor public settings, including all indoor spaces at BCIT, and individuals may choose to wear them as a personal choice.
As Dr. Henry reminds us, it is crucial that everyone move at their own pace and comfort levels and encourages us to continue using masks on public transit and BC ferries.
If you are an employee or student that works in, or accesses, health care settings, please check any masking requirements that may be in place in those settings.
As public health orders change and masks become optional in BCIT indoor spaces as of tomorrow, we expect everyone in the BCIT community to respect each other’s personal choices and comfort levels.
As of 12:01am, April 8, 2022, showing the BC Vaccine Card proof of vaccination to access non-essential events, services, and businesses will no longer be required. For BCIT, this means proof of vaccination will no longer be required in areas on campus such as Rec Services and the Habitat Pub and will not be required for on-campus housing. The BCIT Communicable Disease Plan will guide us moving forward.
We join Dr. Henry in reminding everyone to continue taking care of each other and others: monitor symptoms and get tested, wash your hands, stay home if sick, get vaccinated and boosted, and respect people’s comfort levels.
A number of other changes were also announced. If these changes affect you, we encourage you to read the full news release. For example, masks will not be required in K-12 following the upcoming March break and the K-12 guidelines are currently being reviewed and by March 18, the number of visitors to long-term care facilities will no longer be restricted as long as visitors are fully vaccinated and screened.
BCIT Communications and Guidance
All pandemic-related protocols at BCIT will continue to be guided by existing public health orders as well as our Communicable Disease Prevention Plan.
The BCIT COVID-19 Information mailbox (firstname.lastname@example.org) will be retired on March 31, 2022, after which any related questions should be directed via BCIT Safety, Security, and Emergency Management (SSEM) via BCIT_Safety_and_Security@bcit.ca.
In early June, we will also be moving pandemic-related content from the current COVID-19 webpages into the SSEM website.
Preparing for, and responding to, communicable diseases will continue to be a critical part of BCIT’s safety plans. As needed, we will amend our Communicable Disease Prevention Plan.
Cleaning and Hygiene
On March 31, cleaning practices at BCIT will return to pre-pandemic standards. Facilities and Campus Development will continue to ensure that our spaces are cleaned and well cared for. All information related to BCIT’s custodial services can be found here. This includes the process of submitting a maintenance work request.
We encourage all members of the BCIT community to continue adhering to prevention strategies, including regular hand washing, using the hand sanitization stations around campus, staying home when sick, and covering your nose and mouth any time you sneeze or cough.
As of March 31, 2022, any remaining temporary hand washing stations and barriers will reside with the Schools and Departments to manage.
In addition, we continue to have Copper Clean™ Antimicrobial Surface Patches installed in public areas on surfaces including door handles and railings across five buildings at BCIT. The patches are self-sanitizing adhesive copper covers that continuously kill 99% of bacteria left behind on surfaces.
Rapid Antigen Test Kits
As previously communicated, BCIT has received a shipment of Rapid Antigen Tests from the Provincial Health Services Authority. These tests have been provided to support the continuity of on-campus learning and work.
To date, we have distributed thousands of kits to students, faculty, and staff. We are grateful for the incredible work of employees in BCIT logistics as well as staff in the Schools and departments that have made the distribution possible. We are pleased to be able to meet current needs for these kits while also managing our supply for new students who are regularly entering our programs and student housing facilities. If you are eligible and have not received your kit yet, please visit our webpage for more information. The website is also being updated as details about distribution for Part-Time Studies faculty and students becomes available.
Fraser Health will be closing the vaccination site currently in Parking Lots ‘7’ and ‘B’ on the Burnaby campus on April 13, 2022 and will vacate the campus in the weeks following. Anyone who might still be planning to get their vaccination or booster can do so at the site before April 13 or can find a location through the BCCDC website and can also get information on testing through the BCCDC.
The travel guidance webpage has been updated to reflect the removal of many travel-related restrictions and with links to the current provincial and federal parameters regarding general travel. All BCIT-related travel has returned to being guided by BCIT Policy 7140 (Travel – Risk and Security).
Film Production and Events
Film production and events are back on BCIT campuses and are covered by existing public health orders.
Through collaboration, we are able to adapt, respond, and foster a collegial and positive environment to support each other. On behalf of BCIT’s Emergency Operation Centre, we want to thank everyone in the BCIT community for doing your part to keep yourselves and each other healthy and safe.
If you have any follow up questions, you can direct them to BCIT_Safety_and_Security@bcit.ca.
Senior Director, Safety, Security and Emergency Management
Associate Vice President, Academic Operations