Response to COVID-19

In response to the progressive spread of COVID-19, we are have implemented the following measures to do our part to flatten the curve and protect our students, staff and community.

 

COVID-19 Student Protocols

KOOTENAY COLUMBIA COLLEGE OF INTEGRATIVE HEALTH SCIENCES 1365
Name of Institution Institution Number
COVID-19 Student Protocols June 22, 2020 November 20, 2020
Name of Policy Effective Date Revision Date
ACUPUNCTURE / TCM HERBALIST / TCM PRACTITIONER / DOCTOR OF TCM / REGISTERED MASSAGE THERAPY / HOLISTIC NUTRITION
Name of Program

 

Scope

This policy applies to all students of Kootenay Columbia College.

Purpose

The purpose of the COVID-19 student protocols is to provide a safe environment for students, staff and instructors and help to reduce the risk of being exposed to the COVID-19 virus and minimize the possibility of transmission  while delivering classes in-person.

We will update this policy as WorkSafeBC, Provincial Health Officer, and other regulatory guidelines evolve and information becomes available. Please see Appendix I for a list of resources providing up to date information on prevention and risks.

Responsibility

As an institution, we have an obligation to staff, students, instructors and the general public to maintain high standards for our student conduct during this pandemic. It is also our responsibility to ensure compliance with public health guidelines, federal and provincial laws, local bylaws, and other applicable requirements and standards.  

Safety on campus is all of our responsibility. All students must follow the protocols outlined below.


Personal Measures

Hygiene

Maintaining good hand hygiene and respiratory hygiene are very important personal practices that help reduce the risk of infection or spreading infection to others. 

Routine hand washing, coughing and sneezing etiquette, and not touching your face will be the prevention of transmission and infection. Hand washing will reduce the chances of infectious transfer from hands to various body parts – specifically the eyes, nose and mouth – or to other surfaces that are touched. Hand washing will be done with soap and water for 20 seconds. If soap is unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand rub to clean your hands. 

All students are expected to understand and follow guidelines for personal care and hygiene. Please refer to Appendix I to IV.


Daily Self-Monitoring

Students are responsible for daily self-monitoring for symptoms of COVID-19 prior to arriving on campus and only come to campus if asymptomatic. 

Staying Home

Students Experiencing Potential COVID-19 Symptoms


Symptoms of COVID-19

The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to other respiratory illnesses including the flu and common cold. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • Fever (see below)
  • Chills
  • Cough or worsening of chronic cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Loss of sense of smell or taste
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Muscle aches

While less common, symptoms can also include:

  • Stuffy nose
  • Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
  • Dizziness, confusion
  • Abdominal pain
  • Skin rashes or discoloration of fingers or toes.

Students experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19, are expected to stay home and self-isolate in accordance with guidance from the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC). We advise students to utilize the B.C. COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool when they develop symptoms to determine if they need further assessment or testing for COVID-19. Testing is available for anyone with cold, influenza or COVID-19-like symptoms. For more information on testing and where to go for testing, visit the Testing page.

Some symptoms can also be signs of other conditions. If you are unsure, contact your health care provider or call 8-1-1. If someone is having severe difficulty breathing, severe chest pain, having a hard time waking up, feeling confused or losing consciousness, you should seek emergency medical care by calling 9-1-1 or going to your nearest emergency department.


Student becomes ill while on campus

If a student should become symptomatic with COVID-19, cold or influenza symptoms while on campus (e.g. in a classroom, clinic etc.), they must leave the immediately and do the following: 

  • Put on a mask or face covering and isolate yourself from others (preferably outdoors) if and/or while waiting for transportation and while leaving campus.
  • Wash or sanitize your hands and avoid contact with others. Avoid touching doors, furniture, and other items while waiting or leaving campus.
  • Contact the school administration to have the area where the student was located cleaned and disinfected.
  • Do not use public transit, taxis or ride shares.

Students with cold, influenza or COVID-19- like symptoms are advised to promptly seek COVID-19 testing and care. After a negative COVID-19 test result, you may stop self-isolating and return to campus if your symptoms are gone. 


Students with a confirmed COVID-19 case

Should a student test positive for COVID-19, the public health authority will direct appropriate contact tracing and notification including notification of other students, staff and patients. Any individual deemed at risk has been or will be contacted by public health authorities.

When the college is informed by public health authorities of a confirmed positive COVID-19 case on campus, the college collaborates with them in taking all necessary measures. If public health authorities determine there is a health and safety risk on campus due to a positive case of COVID-19, the college will be provided with directives and appropriate steps will be taken and will also advise the school of any additional measures needed to reduce the risk of transmission, such as: 

  • instructions for impacted community members to self-isolate or self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms; 
  • instructions for impacted community members to get tested for COVID-19

The college will adhere to a strict protocol to ensure the identities and privacy of the individuals is duly protected.

In the event of a confirmed case, students and staff should all be vigilant and continue to self-monitor for symptoms using the COVID-19 self-assessment tool. Please be respectful of all public health infection prevention and control guidelines and continue to practice frequent hand-washing, not touching your face, physical distancing and mask wearing. 


Returning to Campus

If a student has been diagnosed with COVID-19, the medical health officer (MHO) will advise the student when they can end isolation. Students must remain off campus until they are medically cleared to end their self-isolation or when they meet the criteria set-out by the BCCDC.  


Travel

Any student who has travelled outside Canada in the previous 14 days must self-isolate in accordance with guidance from the BC Centre for Disease Control. Students must remain off campus until the 14 day self-isolation period is complete. If the school is made aware that a student is not following this protocol, the school must report this to local and provincial health authorities. 


Following Regulations and Public Health Measures

Students are expected to follow public health measures and mandates from the Public Health Officer. As to date of November 19, 2020, this includes, but it not limited to: 

  • Keeping to your core bubble. For most people, their core bubble is their immediate household. For others, their core bubble may contain a partner, relative, friend or co-parent who lives in a different household. This should be a maximum of two people outside of those living in your immediate household.
  • People who live alone: People who live alone cannot host gatherings. They can continue to see the same one or two people of their core bubble at each other’s homes.

  • No social gatherings of any size with anyone other than your household or core bubble. For example:
    • Do not invite friends or extended family to your household 
    • Do not host gathering outdoors
    • Do not gather in your backyard
    • Do not have playdates for children
  • Wearing a mask in all indoor spaces (not including your own household)
  • Wearing a mask when working in close proximity with others (e.g. bodywork, tuina)
  • Regular hand washing or sanitizing
  • All non-essential travel should be avoided. This includes travel into and out of B.C. and between regions of the province
  • Maintaining physical distancing (2 metres) between yourself and others in public places whenever possible


Classroom Measures

Handwashing 

One of the best things you can do to prevent infection is to wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your face. 

When to wash your hands:

  • Handwashing is expected for all students and instructors upon arrival to the classroom
  • Handwashing is required before and after all practical learning, even if gloves were worn 

Other general guidelines for when to wash your hands are: 

  • Before touching your eyes, nose, mouth or face
  • Before eating food
  • Before smoking
  • After you have been in a public space or touched a surface frequently touched by other people like doors, payment machines, gas pumps, etc.
  • After using the toilet 
  • After handling shared objects 
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing

Physical Distancing

Physical distancing means limiting close contact with others. Practicing social distancing by keeping two meters (six feet) away from one another is something we can all do to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

  • Where possible, students are required to maintain physical distancing (two meters).  Where physical distancing cannot be maintained, students are required to wear a mask
  • Students are expected to sit at their designated table during lectures
  • Students should remain in the same seat for the duration of term wherever possible


Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Masks

Masks can have a role to play in preventing the spread of COVID-19, especially for healthcare providers and for people that have COVID-19. This is because masks act as a barrier and help stop the spread of droplets from a person’s mouth and nose when talking, laughing, yelling, singing, coughing, or sneezing. 

Wearing a mask should be combined with other important preventative measures such as frequent hand washing and physical distancing. Using only a mask is not enough to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

  • All students are required to wear a mask in areas where physical social distancing (2 meter distance) cannot be maintained. 
  • Masks are required in all shared areas and areas where physical distancing cannot be maintained. This includes:
    • Student lounge
    • Locker areas
    • Kitchens
    • Hallways
    • Customer counters
    • Break rooms
  • Students are responsible for providing their own mask to use while on campus (Please refer to Appendix V for the different types of masks)
  • Students are responsible for following the proper mask-use instructions (Appendix VI)

Exemptions:

Masks are not required when: 

  1. Wearing a mask would create a health or safety risk to the wearer as determined by federal, provincial or local regulators or Occupational Health and Safety guidelines; 
  2. The person is physically unable to put on or take off the mask without assistance; 
  3. The person has serious trouble breathing, is unconscious or cannot remove the mask without help; 
  4. The person is deaf or hard of hearing and relies on facial and mouth movements to communicate; or
  5. The person is a baby or toddler under two years of age.

Gloves 

Gloves can be used in select situations where outlined as a risk control measure, however, careful attention will must be paid to donning and doffing. Gloves are not a substitute for handwashing. Wearers must be cognizant that the virus cannot enter the body through skin contact; it must contact a mucous membrane. In some instances, gloves may not provide additional protection, as touching your face with a glove is the same as touching your face with an ungloved hand. 


Provisions for Close Interactions: Practical Learning

There are times while instruction is being given where physical distancing guidelines must be broken. 

 

  • Close physical contact with another student or instructor should only occur during practical learning
  • The instructor is required to wear a mask while demonstrating on students, or while moving through the classroom to observe/help in the practical learning environment
  • When actively engaged in practical learning, the student practitioner is required to wear a mask. Gloves are optional and can be worn for personal comfort, or for the comfort of the student they are practicing on
  • When actively engaged in practical learning, the student being practiced on (the patient) is required to wear a mask while in the supine (face up) position
  • Students are required wash their hands before and after physical contact with another student


Classroom Cleanliness

  • Each classroom will have one cohort per day whenever possible
  • Personal items are not to be left overnight in classrooms. Students are required to remove of all items from the surface of a desk at the end of each day to aid in the ease of disinfection of tables
  • Fabric/suede seat cushions are not permitted for sanitization reasons. Leather/vinyl seat covers may be used and students must sanitize it after use.
  • Students must not share supplies with each other including pencils, pens, books, paper, etc.


Locker Access

  • Only one student can access their lockers at a time.


Student Lounge

  • Student lounge capacity: Only one person can use each lounge at a time
  • Use of a fridge, microwave and water are acceptable. Students must wipe down the handles/touched surfaces after each use
  • Students must not use any school owned dishes or silverware to avoid cross contamination
  • Students must not cook or prepare food in the kitchen


Eating Meals

  • All students will be encouraged to have their meals before class or to plan to eat when class is over.
  • While eating and/or drinking, students must maintain physical social distancing (2 meters) and are permitted to remove their masks
  • Students must not share food, drinks, utensils, etc.

 

Administrative Measures

Lectures

Students who feel unwell, or develop symptoms of, or test positive for, or have close contact with a person with COVID-19 are required to isolate or quarantine may attend their didactic lectures virtually via Zoom. 

Students are responsible for communicating in advance with the instructor their intention to participate virtually.


Tests, Quizzes and Exams

At this time, all tests, quizzes and examinations will remain in-person.  

Students who are unable to attend an examination because of an illness or development of symptoms of, or test positive for, or have close contact with a person with COVID-19 are responsible for notifying their instructor and administration prior to the start of the exam. Students will need to report their symptoms, and if concerning, they may be referred to the COVID-19 testing centre. Administration will reschedule the student’s examination date and the fee will be waived for written exams.


Reporting COVID-19 Related Concerns

Students are encouraged to bring concerns about the implementation of the COVID-19 rules, policies or safety protocols or incidents of non-compliance to the attention of the Administrator (email: administrator@kootenaycolumbiacollege.com).  


Ensuring Compliance

All students must comply with these COVID-19 Student Policy. 

Failure to follow these rules or other rules or safety protocols by students may result in discipline pursuant to the KCCIHS Student Code of Conduct (rights and responsibilities)

Disciplinary Procedure If Classroom Measures Are Not Followed:

  1. First offence: the student is given a verbal reminder and the offence is documented. The student is required to correct the unsafe behavior immediately. 
  2. Second offence: the student is given a second verbal reminder and the offence is documented. The student will be asked to leave campus immediately.The student may continue learning remotely and online via Zoom.
  3. Third offence: Administration will meet with the student and a formal written reprimand is given
  4. Final offence: Probation terms enacted 

Additional disciplinary measures, including immediate probation and even suspension, may be imposed in circumstances of high risk acts affecting public safety and severe violation of the COVID-19 student policies. 

Refusal to comply with a disciplinary measure is itself a serious offence and may result in suspension.

Administration has the responsibility to ensure that the institution’s rules and safety protocols are followed.  

If ongoing cohort non-compliance is identified in the classroom, administration will have to implement other forms of measures to ensure the safety of the student body. One option that may be considered is to separate the cohorts into two which will limit the number of people within the classroom and reduce the close contact. With this, the course delivery method will be affected and there will be alternating days of in-class and remote class (via Zoom). 

Definition of Probation from Student Handbook

Probation is a condition where students must improve the situation, behaviour, or standing which led to their probation. The probationer will be notified in writing as to the nature of their probation, the terms of the probation and the consequences of non-compliance with those terms. An evaluation will be used to determine the status of probation, and upon successfully meeting the terms, the probation will be lifted. 

Students who fail to satisfy their condition of probation may be considered for suspension of one or more terms or dismissal. 

Appendix

Appendix I

For up-to-date information on prevention and risks, please see the 

  • Health Canada COVID-19 webpage
  • BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) for COVID-19 health information in BC.
  • For a real-time map of Canadian COVID-19 cases and provincial public health notices, see the COVID-19 Canada webpage.
  • Office of the Provincial Health Officer – COVID-19 Orders, Notices & Guidance, and link to BC’s response including sector-specific guidelines.

Appendix II: Cover Cough and Sneezes

https://www.worksafebc.com/en/resources/health-safety/posters/help-prevent-spread-covid-19-cover-coughs-sneezes?lang=en

Appendix III: Handwashing  and Hand Hygiene

http://www.bccdc.ca/Health-Professionals-Site/Documents/COVID19_Handwashing%20Poster_MD%20offices.pdf

https://www.worksafebc.com/en/resources/health-safety/posters/help-prevent-spread-covid-19-handwashing?lang=en

Appendix IV: Using Hand Sanitizers Safely

https://ncceh.ca/sites/default/files/NCCEH%20Hand%20Sanitizers%20COVID-19%20poster%20EN.pdf

Appendix V: Different type of masks:

http://www.bccdc.ca/Health-Info-Site/Documents/Face-masks.pdf

Appendix VI: How to use/take off a mask:

https://www.worksafebc.com/en/resources/health-safety/posters/help-prevent-spread-covid-19-how-to-use-mask?lang=en