For post-secondary students returning to school this fall, new requirements to curb the spread of COVID-19 on campus were released by BC health officials this week.
The updated guidelines include a new mask order and a requirement for proof of vaccination in certain settings, including campus housing and campus restaurants. Vaccination will also be compulsory to participate in sports activities.
Dr. Bonnie Henry and Minister of Advanced Education Anne Kang spoke about the back-to-school plan for post-secondary students at a morning press conference Tuesday.
The mask’s mandate will apply to all indoor public spaces, including classroom learning, and Henry said officials are balancing the risk.
âThe risk is really in community living settings that we’ve seen transmissionâ¦ that’s why we’re focusing on the increase and importance of vaccination in those settings,â she said.
“We know the classroom setting is the least riskyâ¦ we don’t think it is necessary to have a vaccination mandate for students to receive education in the classroom.”
The only classroom exception to the immunization mandate is for health science students due to their training in a health care setting.
Students living on campus will have until September 7 to prove that they have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
The update comes the day after the province announced an extensive vaccination certificate system that requires eligible people to be fully vaccinated by the end of October to gain access to certain non-essential businesses like restaurants and health clubs. cinemas.
Henry said some institutions could discuss as an employer whether staff and faculty will need to be vaccinated, but universities alone cannot require vaccination for students to attend classes.
âThese are the ongoing discussions taking place in post-secondary institutions across the province and we support those discussions,â she said.
“This has really been the most difficult time for peopleâ¦ and the experience we have heard at all levels over the last year has been very difficult, so this is the measure to put in place to try to come back. to this very important learning on campus that is necessary for young people. ”
In a press release on Monday evening, the University of British Columbia said new guidelines on the requirement for proof of vaccination in student housing “will be developed in the coming days,” including types accommodation that may be included.
“We also recognize that we need to allow a transition period beyond September 7 for students arriving from outside British Columbia and Canada, to give them the opportunity to access vaccines and obtain a British Columbia vaccination card, “the release said. “More information will be provided in the coming week.”
In an email to CTV Vancouver on Tuesday, Simon Fraser University senior director of media relations and public affairs Angela Wilson said students would not be required to have proof of vaccination to attend the course, but they will have to wear masks.
âIn addition to the vaccination clinics available through public health, SFU has partnered with the Fraser Health Authority to organize contextual vaccination clinics at SFU’s campuses in Burnaby and Surrey to assist students, professors and staff to get vaccinated, âWilson said.
âFor those who live, study or work on SFU’s Vancouver campus, an immunization clinic continues to operate at the Vancouver Convention Center, which is just a five-minute walk from the Harbor Center.