Q1): When did you first identify that there could be a case of COVID-19 on campus?
A1: Late in the evening of March, 4, 2020, it was brought to our attention that a student might have come into contact with COVID-19.
Q2): How long did it take you to respond to this issue?
A2): We have a very robust Business Continuity Plan (BCP) and we were able to implement our BCP within 30 mins, switching our teaching to an online delivery mode and temporarily closing our campuses in Vancouver, BC pending a full disinfection of the facilities.
Q3): Do you expect more cases within the institution?
A3): We are confident that we have managed to contain the student who was potentially affected, and the deep-cleaning of our campuses is therefore a precautionary measure. Students and staff who may have been in close contact with the affected students have been identified and contacted with information and advice.
Q4): Have you perhaps over-reacted to this potential threat?
A4): No, our overarching goal is to protect our students, staff and faculty and we also have a responsibility toward our wider community. Therefore, we have acted in the most responsible manner possible and as quickly as possible.
Q5): What are the names of the students and where did they come from?
A5): We cannot discuss details of the students involved, but can confirm that the father of the student has recently arrived in Canada from overseas.
Q6): Did they contract COVID-19 in Canada?
A6): We do not believe so.
Q7): Why are you hopeful to re-open so soon?
A7): We have only closed our campus and premises as a precaution. We remain ‘open’ via online resources, and our faculty and students are in direct contact virtually.
Q8): Are your faculty still attending campus and should students ask for a refund/compensation?
A8): As a precaution we have closed our campus and no staff or students are on site. Only a ‘deep clean team’ at this moment is on-site. There has been no disruption to our education delivery to students. Students are still being taught their syllabus – we remain fully functioning.
Q9): What will you do if other cases occur?
A9): At this time, it is too soon to speculate, but we would take robust action should this be the case.
Q10): Do you think it is safe for international travel at this time?
A10): We are taking the advice from the federal government and also the WHO and making the best judgements we can – Canada remains open for international travel at this time and we are also working closely with local BC health authorities – unfortunately we do not expect to be the only organization in BC affected by a potential COVID-19 illness.
Q11): I think that I may have been in contact with an affected student; I’m worried. Why don’t you publish their classes and specific whereabouts?
A11): We have identified students and staff who may have been in close contact with the affected students and they have been contacted with information and advice. The University will continue to support them remotely. If we have not contacted you, you can be reassured that you would not have been in close contact with the affected students.
Q12): What will happen with your next term of study? I applied to join the University; will my course go ahead?
A12): Yes, all our courses are running as usual. We have taken a temporary, precautionary measure of delivering our courses online for a brief period of time while our campuses are being disinfected; all our courses will run as usual.
Q13): I am feeling unwell and am concerned – what to do?
A13): If you are unwell, please contact your doctor or health care provider for immediate advice.
Generally, the symptoms of Covid-19 for most otherwise healthy people are expected to be mild and resemble those of the flu, including fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some people may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don’t feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment.
Those with underlying health conditions and those over 60 are at increased risk and should discuss the best measures with their doctor or healthcare provider.
Q14): How can I protect myself against Covid-19 infection?
A14): You can reduce your chances of being infected or spreading COVID-19 by taking some simple precautions:
- Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (preferred).
- Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth; always wash your hands thoroughly before touching your face.
- Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
- Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.