This page is your connection to the latest information on the status of learning and services on our campuses. We continue to be advised and take direction from the Ministry of Advanced Education & Skills Training and the Provincial Health Office.
The COVID-19 Return-to-Campus Guidelines provide updated public health guidance to support the full return to in-person education, research and on-campus services for B.C.’s post-secondary institutions. The RTC Guidelines were developed by a team of experts from B.C.’s post-secondary sector, the Office of the Provincial Health Officer, regional health authorities and the BC Centre for Disease Control. The RTC Guidelines replaces both the interim Return-to-Campus Primer and the previous COVID-19 Go-Forward Guidelines for B.C.’s Post-Secondary Sector.
The BC Centre for Disease Control also issued Return to Campus Public Health Guidance on September 1 which outline the prevention measures recommended by public health for post-secondary institutions in B.C. to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It aligns with, and is complementary to, the RTC Guidelines.
Click on the image to see The Selkirk College Restart Plan timeline in full size pdf.
B.C.’s Provincial Health Officer has advised that the full return to in-person learning is not dependent on the province transitioning to Step 4 of the BC Restart Plan. Selkirk College's Restart Plan will continue to mirror the provincial restart plan.
Return-to-Campus Guidance: September 3, 2021
The BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) and the BC Ministry of Health has released the Return to Campus Public Health Guidance. The document outlines prevention measures recommended by the public health for post-secondary institutions in British Columbia to reduce the risk of communicable diseases—including COVID-19—on campus. You can find that document here.
The guidance confirms that post-secondary learning is a low-risk setting for COVID-19 transmission. Selkirk College’s return to in-person activity on campuses and centres will continue to align with the BCCDC, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Advanced Education & Skills Training, Provincial Health Officer, Interior Health and WorkSafeBC.
Some key highlights of the guidance include:
- Masks must be worn in all indoor public spaces by anyone aged 12 and over including students, faculty, staff and visitors.
- Students must wear masks in lecture theatres, classrooms, labs, shops and other indoor instructional settings.
- Instructors and other presenters do not to need to wear a mask when two metres away from students while teaching in indoor public spaces.
- Starting on September 13, 2021 the BC Vaccine Card will come into effect. This Provincial Government order will require proof of vaccination to access non-essential services at Selkirk College such as recreation facilities, indoor organized gatherings and ticketed events. Though indoor/outdoor dining at restaurants, pubs and bars will require the BC Vaccine Card, on-campus cafeterias are exempt.
- Starting September 7, 2021 it is a requirement for all those living in student housing to show proof of at least the first dose of COVID-19 vaccination. Those living on campus will need to be fully vaccinated (two doses) by October 24, 2021.
- Though proof of vaccination is not required to attend classes at Selkirk College, we encourage all students, staff and faculty who are able and eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine as the most effective way to reduce risk on campus.
- Physical distancing, directional arrows and classroom occupancy limits are no longer recommended and have been removed. We continue to encourage everyone to respect personal space and always show kindness to others.
It is vital to the health and safety of everyone on our campuses to ensure personal measures continue to be a focus. Stay home when sick, practice proper hand hygiene and be considerate.
You can learn more about the Selkirk College return to campus health and safety planning here.
Preparing for Return of In-Person: August 30, 2021
Selkirk College is preparing for the upcoming fall semester by aligning with public health guidance to ensure a safe return to in-person learning for students, faculty and staff.
Working together with the Provincial Health Officer, the Ministry of Advanced Education & Skills Training and colleges from across British Columbia, Selkirk College has measures in place to keep focus on the number-one priority of health and safety. With a new COIVID-19 order released by the Provincial Government on August 24 that includes a mandatory indoor mask policy and the introduction of the BC Vaccine Card, the college is ready to welcome students back on September 7.
Public health experts in British Columbia completely support the return to full on-campus instruction 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, libraries, shops, labs, field schools and studios.
Research and teaching universities across the province are moving to a vaccination declaration program and rapid testing as a requirement to be on campus. Colleges operate differently from universities as they are considered more closely a part of the government under the Colleges & Institutes Act and so must follow the advice of the Provincial Health Officer.Find out more and read a statement from Selkirk College President Angus Graeme.
Revised Provincial Government Mandate: August 25, 2021
Minister of Advanced Education & Skills Training Anne Kang and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry have announced next steps for post-secondary in British Columbia. As Selkirk College continues to prepare for the return of in-person learning at all our locations, the new mask mandate for college and university campuses applies to ALL indoor public areas including classrooms/shops/labs. This is a change to previous Interior Health measures where mask removal was permitted once seated.
The other major development is the introduction of a proof of vaccination requirement for accessing some non-essential services on campus. The BC Vaccine Card will apply broadly to areas such as gyms, nightclubs, restaurants, sporting events and concerts. At the campus level, recreational facilities/activities, cafeteria, indoor organized events and ticketed events are included. Those living in student housing will also be required to show proof of vaccination. This program comes into effect on September 13, 2021 with student housing proof of at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccination starting September 7. More details on how this program will impact campus services and activities will be announced soon.
You can find out more information on Tuesday’s provincial announcement here.
Selkirk College continues to follow the advice of regional and provincial health experts. The pandemic remains a very fluid situation where information can change quickly. Our primary goal is to always ensure the health and safety of our campus community is the number-one priority. Thanks for doing your part.
Learn more about the Selkirk College health and safety planning.
Impact on Operations Due to New Protocols: August 24, 2021
The new orders provided by Interior Health to help stem the spread of COVID-19 in the Selkirk College region has required adjustment to upcoming events. With restrictions now in place limiting indoor/outdoor gatherings, the opening week Get Connected in-person events have been cancelled in Castlegar/Nelson/Trail. These events help link students to college services and we are currently working on ways to ensure that those arriving to our campuses will be provided a gateway to what is available to assist and enhance the educational experience.
Planning for the return of in-person learning on all our campuses and learning centres starting on September 7 continues. The current order in Interior Health does not apply to classroom/shop spaces when used for educational purposes. Masks are now mandatory in all Selkirk College indoor common spaces. Once seated inside the classroom/shop, masks removal will be permitted.
The situation in British Columbia continues to evolve quickly with Selkirk College following the guidance of the Provincial Health Officer and the Ministry of Advanced Education & Skills Training. With this uncertainty comes heightened levels of anxiety, we appreciate the patience of students and staff.
Learn more about Selkirk College health and safety planning.
New Health Orders for Interior Health: August 23, 2021
To manage current COVID-19 activity, new public health orders have been introduced for the entire Interior Health region to which Selkirk College is located. These new orders include:
- Masks are mandatory in all indoor public spaces for people 12 years and older.
- Low-intensity indoor group exercise is permitted to maximum of 10 people per class. High intensity indoor group exercise is not permitted.
- Outdoor group exercise is permitted up to 50 people per class.
- Indoor personal gatherings are limited to ten guests or one other household.
- Outdoor personal gatherings (ie: birthday parties, backyard barbecues) are limited to no more than 50 people.
- Organized indoor gatherings (ie: weddings, funerals, seated events) are limited to 50 people and outdoors limited to 100 people, both requiring a COVID-19 safety plan.
The current order in Interior Health regarding gatherings does not apply to classroom/shop spaces when used for educational purposes. Once students are seated inside the classroom/shop, mask removal is permitted. With regard to return-to-campus guidelines at Selkirk College, we are proceeding under the evolving guidance from the Ministry of Advanced Education & Skills Training to welcome back students and staff in-person starting September 7.
The new measures in Interior Health will remain in place until the end of September at which time case counts and vaccination rates will determine the next steps.
Please stay informed at this page for the latest updates to protocols as we prepare for the weeks ahead.
Selkirk College encourages all students and staff to arrive to campus in September vaccinated. You can find out more information on vaccination clinics in our region here.
Learn more about Selkirk College health and safety planning.
Managing Ongoing Outbreaks in Interior Health: July 29, 2021
As the Province of British Columbia moves through Step 3 of its Restart Plan, community outbreaks of COVID-19 are an expected consequence. With focus on the Interior Health region, Selkirk College encourages a careful approach to information gathering for students, staff and community. Please access the latest information on outbreaks and information here.
Selkirk College has transitioned into its new communicable disease plan in preparation for the beginning of the academic year that begins in September. On-campus learning, services and operations will return to more normal pre-pandemic levels as we continue to provide vital access to post-secondary education.
COVID-19 outbreaks are anticipated in our region going forward and Selkirk College will continue to work with Interior Health and WorkSafeBC to ensure a nimble response if necessary. With the understanding that the only certainty is uncertainty, Selkirk College’s number-one focus on health and safety for our community remains.
Through the proven structure we have in place, Selkirk College is confident in our ability to move forward. We encourage all students and staff to take personal responsibility to control what you can by doing the following:
- Stay at home if you are sick
- Clean your hands
- Respect personal space
- Don’t touch your face
- Be considerate of others
- Get vaccinated
You can find more information about the Ministry of Advanced Education & Skills Training’s COVID-19 Return-to-Campus Guidelines here.
Learn more about the Selkirk College Return to Campus planning here.
Ministry Releases Return-to-Campus Guidelines: July 5, 2021
B.C. Shifts to Step 3 of Restart Plan: July 1, 2021
With British Columbians achieving nearly 80 per cent adult Dose 1 vaccine coverage and COVID-19 case counts continuing to decline, the province is safely moving to Step 3 of its four-step restart plan on July 1, 2021.
During Step 3, businesses will gradually transition to new communicable disease plans, with guidelines for these plans released by WorkSafeBC on June 28. These guidelines were developed in consultation with public health and businesses will continue to be supported by WorkSafeBC and the PHO as they transition.
Capacity limits, formal health screening tests and directional arrows, as well as other physical distancing measures will no longer be required.
Moving from Step 2 to Step 3 also includes:
- return to normal for indoor and outdoor personal gatherings;
- maximum capacity for indoor organized gatherings of 50 people or up to 50% of a venue’s total capacity, whichever is greater;
- maximum capacity for outdoor organized gatherings of 5,000 people or up to 50% of a venue’s total capacity, whichever is greater;
- return to normal for fairs, festivals and trade shows, with communicable disease plans;
- return to Canada-wide recreational travel;
- reopening of casinos, with reduced capacity and ~50% of gaming stations permitted to open;
- reopening of nightclubs, with up to 10 people seated at tables, no socializing between tables and no dancing;
- return to normal hours for liquor service at restaurants, bars and pubs with table limits to be determined by venue and no socializing between tables;
- return to normal for sports and exercise facilities, with communicable disease plans; and
- mask wearing recommended in indoor public spaces for all people 12 and older who are not yet fully vaccinated.
At this time, the provincial state of emergency which had been in place since March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic will also be lifted.
Education Division Update: June 28, 2021
Selkirk College faculty and staff are actively preparing for a broad resumption of in-person learning for the 2021-22 academic school year. The college is excited to welcome students, instructors and staff back to locations across the region as operations shift to greater in-person learning and activities. Students can find information on specific program plans for 2021-22 here. Please have a look to find an overview of program delivery, required technology and useful links.
A vital element of programs and services is the personalized experience students expect at Selkirk College. A return to campus will allow a greater degree of experiential and collaborative learning, many aspects of life at the college that have been missing over the past year. At the same time, countless teaching and service innovations have been created that have improved accessibility. The use of technology and knowledge gained has created new opportunities for an enhanced student experience. Where possible, some Selkirk College programs will have options for online and hybrid delivery. All programs are seeking effective ways to accommodate access to learning when students are required to stay home due to illness.
Providing a quality learning experience for students remains paramount and will be carried forward with the safety and well-being of our college community as a priority. Selkirk College continues to be guided by the Provincial Health Officer, WorkSafeBC and the Ministry of Advanced Education & Skills Training for a phased approach to in-person operation.
Revisions to the PHO Events and Gatherings Order: June 22, 2021
- Indoor seated organized gatherings of up to 50 people are allowed with a COVID-19 Safety Plan.
- Outdoor organized gatherings up to 50 people are allowed with a COVID-19 Safety Plan.
Sports and exercise:
- Indoor high and low intensity group exercise is allowed with reduced capacity.
- Indoor and outdoor games and practices for both adults and youth group/team sports are allowed.
- Spectators at any indoor sport activities are not allowed. Outdoor spectators of up to 50 people are allowed.
- For high performance athletes there is no limit on the number of persons who may participate in a sports event.
Thank you for the important role you play in supporting the provincial COVID-19 response.
Communicable Disease Plan Requirements: June 17, 2021
Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s provincial health officer, advised on June 17, 2021 that institutions will be required to transition COVID-19 specific safety plans into communicable disease plans to reduce the risk of all respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19.
WorkSafeBC and public health experts are developing a guide that will assist employers in developing their communicable disease plans.
B.C. Prepares to Safely Move to Step 2 of its Restart Plan: June 14, 2021
Beginning on Tuesday, June 15, 2021, British Columbia will take the next step in safely bringing people back together, transitioning into Step 2 of BC’s Restart plan, including lifting restrictions on travel within B.C.
“Thanks to our collective efforts and commitment to get vaccinated, we are ready to take another step forward in our careful restart,” said Premier John Horgan. “This next step means seeing more of the people we love, visiting more of our favourite places and safely celebrating the major milestones we’ve missed. Better days are in sight, but we must continue to do our part, get vaccinated, keep our layers of protection strong and work together to put this pandemic behind us.”
The transition into Step 2 of the four-step restart plan aligns with key metrics for moving forward. More than 75% of adults are vaccinated with their first dose, exceeding the target Step 2 minimum threshold of 65%. The other metrics for moving through the stages – COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations – continue to steadily decline.
Virtual Town Hall Focusses on Safe Return to Campus: June 8, 2021
"Vaccination" was the word of the day as Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s provincial health officer, and her team answered questions posed by student leaders at a virtual town hall hosted by Thompson Rivers University.
In partnership with the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training, the recent town hall connected B.C.’s top public health official with the Alliance of BC Students and the British Columbia Federation of Students, Indigenous student associations and student unions from 25 public post-secondary institutions.
Following on the heels of BC’s Restart plan, Henry spoke about how vaccine effectiveness has reinforced confidence in a full return to campus for post-secondary institutions in the fall.
BC Restart Plan Provides Process for Months Ahead: May 25, 2021
The Provincial Government has released its four-step plan that will get British Columbia moving forward in the weeks and months ahead. BC’s Restart: A Plan to Bring Us Back Together lays out how the province will gradually and safely restart social connections, businesses and activities.
Selkirk College will join our communities in this restart plan that is guided by data rather than dates. The most important tool in the restart process is to get vaccinated.
Moving through the steps between May 25 and September 7 will depend on the following:
- Declining COVID-19 case counts.
- Increasing vaccination rate in people 18-plus.
- Declining COVID-19 hospitalization rates, including critical care.
- A declining COVID-19 mortality rate.
Selkirk College will continue to adapt its health and safety protocols based on guidance from the Provincial Health Officer, the Ministry of Advanced Education & Training and WorkSafeBC.
The Provincial Government will release more specific post-secondary restart plans in the coming days.
Virtual Meeting with Health Officials Sets Course: May 13, 2021
In preparation for the full return of post-secondary learning across British Columbia in September, the Ministry of Advanced Education & Skills Training hosted a virtual town hall meeting to discuss the preliminary health guidance provided in the COVID-19 Return-to-Campus Primer. Hosted by Thompson Rivers University, participants in the town hall included representatives from the Office of the Provincial Health Officer (PHO), senior leaders from post-secondary institutions and post-secondary labour unions.
Dr. Bonnie Henry and PHO representatives provided information on how the province is moving forward and how post-secondary fits into the plan. Along with providing assurances that the current planning by Selkirk College fits within the province’s health and safety direction, a range of questions were answered that included vaccine timetable, accommodation, Go Forward Guidelines, control measures, testing/tracing, and outbreak management.
The May 10 session was recorded and you can view it here.
COVID-19 Return-to-Campus Primer Released: April 30, 2021
The COVID-19 Return-to-Campus Primer is now available to help B.C.’s post-secondary institutions plan for a full return to on-campus teaching, learning and research in September 2021.
The COVID-19 Go-Forward Guidelines for B.C.’s Post-Secondary Sector are being updated to reflect predicted COVID-19 conditions for the fall, along with updated infection prevention and control measures appropriate for those conditions. The Guidelines are expected to be released in the coming weeks with implementation planned for August 1.
In the interim, the COVID-19 Return-to-Campus Primer is a planning tool intended to provide high-level guidance to support planning for the safe return of students, faculty and staff throughout the summer, and the updating of campus safety plans in anticipation of a full return to face-to-face instruction.
Guideline updates are being conducted by a team of experts from the public post-secondary sector, and representatives from the Office of the Provincial Health Officer, Regional Health Authorities and the BC Centre for Disease Control. Flexibility and adaptability based on scientific evidence and epidemiology to manage the COVID-19 virus will continue to be important as the postsecondary system returns to on-campus activities.
Reference archived content from May 1, 2020 to May 30, 2021 here: Selkirk College Response to COVID-19