Non-medical mask requirements in all indoor public settings and workplaces
November 24th an Order in Council (OIC) and Ministerial Order were issued as the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General announced alignment of the Province’s measures under the Emergency Program Act with the Provincial Health Officer’s (PHO) guidance, mandating that masks must be worn in indoor public places.
Clarification on daily COVID-19 health screening – WorkSafe BC Requirement
All employers, including post-secondary Institutions, have an accountability to ensure that every worker performs a daily COVID-19 health check before entering the workplace.
Evolving PHO guidance
Thank you for the important role you play in supporting the provincial COVID-19 response. Please share this update broadly within your respective institutions.
SPECIAL UPDATE: November 19, 2020 for all students, instructors, and administrative team members
In British Columbia, we have been incredibly fortunate through this global pandemic to have the advice, guidance, and leadership of Dr. Bonnie Henry. As we have done from the earliest warnings of this global concern, we will be following her sage advice.
Dr. Bonnie henry has asked us to all commit the next two weeks to enhanced restrictions so that we can reverse the trends we have been seeing in recent weeks. We did this before and saw immediate and tangible success. Please review the following guidelines that will be in place for the next two weeks and we will follow her sage advice again once this deadline is reached.. Let’s all commit to these two weeks, regardless of our personal and potentially varied opinions on what is and isn’t required. We have trusted Dr. Bonnie Henry from day one, and she has yet to steer us wrong.
These Provincial Orders and guidelines will be in place until December 7, 2020 and will inevitably be reviewed along the way, with a decision to loosen or tighten restrictions. The order went into effect at 10 p.m. Saturday, November 7th, 2020, and was set to remain in place for two weeks until Monday, November 23rd, 2020. Then on November 19, 2020, it was extended again until midnight on Monday, December 7th.
Here are the guidelines for the next two weeks, some are already actively in place, some are new:
If anyone has any additional concerns or questions please forward them directly to me and I will share them with our COVID-19 Safety Committee. An extra special shout out to those who volunteered for these positions. We have done an amazing job of being respectful and accountable to ourselves and one another through this global pandemic and it is truly an honour to be a part of such a mindful community. Let’s continue to follow Dr. Bonnie Henry’s guidelines through these next two weeks and beyond so we can all get through this to the place where I believe we all want to be.
Your contributions and commitment to these next two big weeks are sincerely appreciated.
We are humbled by the incredible acts of mindfulness and community we have witnessed since March 2020, both in the lives of our staff and students and within our own communities, as the world has wrestled with how best to manage and mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been nothing short of inspiring to see people come together in the what is, for most of us, the greatest global and personal challenge we have ever faced.
Since the beginning of the current crisis, Story Institute has been carefully following the advice and guidelines of B C Provincial Health Minister Dr. Bonnie Henry and the honourable MLA Minister of Health Adrian Dix, with particular focus on social distancing and flattening the curve. We are very grateful for the kind and disciplined approach our Province has taken during this time.
As an accredited educational institution, Story Institute has always had a deep commitment to sound educational, business, health, and safety practices. It is also true that we are required adhere to the same guidelines and regulations as any college or university in British Columbia, as mandated by PTIB and the Ministry of Advanced Education of Canada.
Although having had permission to open as of May 19, 2020 under phase 2, Story waited until June 22 to reconvene in-studio classes. Meanwhile, have been working closely with WorkSafe BC, BC Health, Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, the BC Centre for Disease Control, and PTIB to regularly assess and comply with any required changes.
B.C. post-secondary institutions remain open and committed to offering students options for staying on track, graduating on time, and meeting their learning goals.
• The post-secondary sector developed guidelines that outline broad health and safety protocols for campus operations for the 2020/2021 academic year
• Post-secondary institutions will use these general protocols to develop detailed safety plans outlining the policies and procedures to protect the health and safety of faculty, staff and students
• For the fall 2020 academic term, education and skills training will be delivered using a variety of formats including online, in-person instruction where health and safety permit, or a blend of on-campus and online instruction
Story Institute has developed the following safety plan to take care of our students, staff and faculty and adhere to the public health guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic.
• If any student or staff member displays signs of illness, we will be requiring them to stay home until it is safe to return. (Students will be permitted to resume studies, tuition that has been already paid will continue to be applied to studies until completed, and classes will be offered to make up for any class content missed. Their safety and the safety of everyone in our community won’t come at anyone’s personal expense.)
• Windows throughout the studio will remain prior to and during our “open hours” to maintain air flow, weather permitting.
• High-touch areas throughout the studio will be sanitized and cleaned prior to open each day and in-between classes.
• Chairs will be spaced whenever possible to ensure proper physical distancing is maintained.
• Hand sanitizer will be available in every room of the studio with boxes of tissue and paper towels also available throughout.
• A maximum of 10 students per class will be our policy during the Phase 3 stage (most classes currently have a maximum of 8 students). This is an added safety measure and under 65% of what we are permitted to do.
• No more than two classes will run at any one time to ensure minimal contact with those outside of their specific group.
• Classes will be spaced 30 minutes apart to allow for the studio to be cleaned between each group.
• There won’t be any communal dishes or cutlery or glasses during Phase 3. Everyone will be required to bring in their own food and beverage supplies as needed and must be taken home every day.
• The refrigerator may be used but there will not be any sharing of milk or other commonly shared items during this phase.
• Washrooms will be cleaned regularly throughout the hours we are open.
• The kitchen and two washrooms will also serve as hand washing stations that will be used by everyone throughout the day.
• The equipment will be operated by 1-2 instructors max during phase 3 and it will be cleaned thoroughly between use.
• Disposable gloves are available for any staff or students who wish to use them for anything while at the studio.
• The photocopier and all other studio equipment will be used exclusively by the staff and instructors.
• We will maintain appropriate physical distancing in all areas of the studio, including during any breaks in class, whenever possible.
• We have established and posted occupancy limits for common areas such as break rooms, meeting rooms, and washrooms.
• We have posted signage at the main entrance indicating who is restricted from entering the premises, including visitors, students, and workers with symptoms.
• We have posted signage at the studio, including occupancy limits outside of every classroom, instructions on how to use a mask, which steps to follow in case anyone feels sick, and effective hygiene practices throughout the studio and in each of the two bathrooms.
• We have installed plexiglass barriers where workers can’t keep physically distant from co-workers, customers, or others.
• Members of staff, instructors, and students have completed the Safe Sets International COVID-19 Certificate.
• We will continue physical distancing and adapting the lesson plans to allow us to do exactly what we’ve always done but with the recommended 6ft. of distancing whenever possible.
• We will be continually maintaining extremely small social circles on a staff and instructor level of Phase 3 and will recommend our students do the same until we get a green light from BC Health to lift restrictions further.
• Everyone must wash their hands upon arriving in studio for a minimum of 20 seconds. (This includes if you go outside during a class for any reason).
• Masks are required in all indoor public spaces, including in all post-secondary institutions where people circulate freely, such as hallways, stairwells, elevators, etc. but they are not mandatory in non-public areas such areas as classrooms and enclosed office spaces where individuals can maintain physical distancing. Post-secondary institutions may implement more stringent mask requirements based on their individual situations. The mask requirement does not apply to people unable to wear a mask or put on or remove a mask on their own. We will have some available on site and students and instructors are welcome to bring in their own if they prefer.
• Students won’t be sharing materials and anything that is often printed and shared in advance will now be emailed in advance with each student only handling their own materials.
• We have created an internal Safety Committee with student, faculty, and staff representatives to meet regularly, update guidelines, inform, and support our school community.
• Each student, faculty, and staff member will act responsibly in the studio and conduct best practices such as, but not limited to:
• We have a training plan to ensure everyone (students, staff, and instructors) is trained in workplace policies and procedures.
• All employees, instructors and students have received the policies for staying home when sick.
• Supervisors and our internal Safety Committee have been trained on monitoring workers and the workplace to ensure policies and procedures are being followed.
• We have a plan in place to monitor risks. We make changes to our policies and procedures as necessary.
We will maintain constant communication with all of our students, faculty, and staff to monitor their health state and maintain a logbook to track occurrences.
If you are feeling sick but do not have COVID-19 symptoms
• If any student, faculty or staff member displays signs of illness, we will be requiring them to stay home until they recover and it is safe to return.
If you are feeling sick and do have COVID-19 symptoms
• If you display COVID-19 symptoms, you will be directed to conduct the BC self-assessment tool and call 8-1-1 to speak to a health officer.
• When you take a COVID-19 test, you will be required to stay home until you receive your results. You may participate in classes via Zoom (or another equivalent virtual platform) or by calling in.
• Everyone who had contact with you will be required to social distance and wear a mask in class in case they do not display symptoms. If they are feeling sick, they should stay home and follow the same instructions above.
If you test positive for COVID-19
• If someone tests positive for COVID-19, they must follow the instructions of health officials, and:
• Isolate for at least 10 days and only return after at least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medication and other symptoms of COVID-19 are improving. OR
• May return only if they display no symptoms and receive two negative results from COVID-19 tests taken within 48 hrs.
If you don’t have symptoms but had contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19
• If it’s someone outside of our studio, you should stay home, call 811 and follow the guidelines of the health officer.
• When someone tests positive at our studio, everyone who was in close contact with them should get tested and self-quarantine at home for 14 days.
• In this case, classes will be postponed for 2 weeks or be delivered online. This will be determined at the time.
Work from home policy/Online learning
• If someone from the staff is not feeling well, they may work from home for as long as it takes from them to recover, including if they get diagnosed with COVID-19 and must isolate for 14 or more days.
• If someone from faculty is not feeling well, they may request for a substitute or teach from home if the class can be delivered online.
• If a student is not feeling well, they may participate in classes via Zoom (or another equivalent virtual platform) or by calling in.
(more details here)
Before travelling to Canada, all travellers must plan for their mandatory 14-day quarantine period, which starts on the date they arrive. Prior to arrival, international students and co-arriving family members must inform their arrival and quarantine plan to Story Institute, including arrangements for:
• Transportation from the airport to their housing (must wear a mask and avoid public transportation other than taxi)
• Health insurance that covers COVID-19. International students must secure health insurance that covers COVID-19 and include the name of the company/policy in their pre-arrival plan. We have options available such as GuardMe insurance, but international students are welcome to choose the policy that best fits their needs.
• Students should travel directly from the airport to their place of stay. In addition, they may not have contact with vulnerable individuals or be living in a group or communal setting (except for family members) and the quarantine accommodation should enable individual physical distancing and infection-prevention control.
• Although we provide third-party recommendations of the services above, students are responsible for securing their own arrangements.
Governmental Pre-Arrival Requirements (source here).
• International students must adhere to the Quarantine Act.
14-day Quarantine Requirements
After you enter Canada:
Travellers who do not submit the mandatory information required after they have crossed the border will be considered a high priority for follow-up by law enforcement.
• Government of Canada representatives will conduct health screenings at the time of entry to Canada and let you know if you need to quarantine or isolate.
• International students and co-arriving immediate family members are responsible for on-going self-monitoring and assessment of COVID-19 symptoms.
• Story Institute will communicate regularly with international students during quarantine to maintain up-to-date on their health status and well-being, verify if they have been conducting the daily self-assessments, and provide them updated information about COVID-19.
• If you don’t have COVID-19 symptoms, you must quarantine for 14 days while you’re still at risk of developing symptoms and infecting others.
• Should you develop symptoms or test positive for COVID-19 during your 14 day quarantine, you must begin isolating for an additional 14 days from the date of your positive test result or onset of symptoms.
• During Quarantine, we will involve international students in our community via social media channels such as Facebook and Instagram, and regularly set up calls to help the student get familiarized with Vancouver and the local culture. International students will be supported with mental health and cultural/religious topics by having access to our health and safety resources here.
• Please read and follow the Quarantine instructions for travellers without symptoms of COVID-19 returning to Canada.
Protocols for Notification to the Public Health Agency of Canada:
We will be notifying public health officials with regards to any the following:
• Any individual compliance issues within the 14-day mandatory quarantine periods at an institution on the P/T List (P/T = province/territory);
• Any SARS-CoV-2 positive cases at an institution on the P/T List during the time period when the Institution is providing quarantine arrangements (when a student is quarantining for 14 days);
• Any material changes that may require modification to the P/T List, or that can inform local or P/T public health activities or that can inform federal border control.
Public communications protocols have been established for COVID-19 outbreaks that may impact or implicate international students or their immediate family members. We will be notifying the local health authorities immediately at Vancouver Coastal Health:
Health Corporate Office
11th Floor 601 West Broadway
Vancouver, BC V5Z 4C2
Phone: 1 866 884-0888 (toll-free), 604 736-2033 (local)
Fax: 604 875-4750
Board Chair: Penny Ballem
President and CEO: Mary Ackenhusen
A Safety Committee has been established with staff, faculty and student representatives and will meet regularly to keep tracking changes and updating our policies as necessary. The committee has reviewed and approved this document.
|Michael Coleman||Luciana Fortes|
|President/CEO||Student Experience Coordinator|
This is a living document that will continue to change and update in accordance to the ever-evolving scenario of COVID-19 and the BC Health Authorities guidelines. If you have any suggestions for additional ways we can create a safer and/or more conducive space please forward them to: firstname.lastname@example.org