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COVID-19 coronavirus: Information and KPU's response

Update – In-person health checks to begin again on November 30 for employees working on campus

Dear colleagues:

As you will likely be aware, the COVID-19 situation across the province, and most notably in the Lower Mainland, is very concerning.

As our public health officials and governments grapple with this second wave of the pandemic, policies and protocols are shifting.

One of the recent shifts concerns worker health checks, and the regulations that have been put in place since the Provincial Health Officer’s November 19 orders, with the latest update on these being issued on November 25.

You may recall that we initially created a process for in-person screening for every employee and contractor at the start of their shift on-campus, as well as for anyone approved for a short-term visit to campus.  I was grateful for the cooperation from everyone who complied with that process.

We then moved to a voluntary self-assessment for COVID symptoms; however, WorkSafe BC now advises us that we must “ensure that every worker performs a daily health check before entering the workplace.”

According to WorkSafe BC, “Health checks are mandatory self-assessments conducted by workers and includes confirming with their employer, in written or verbal format, that they have reviewed the complete list of entry requirements and that none of the prohibited criteria apply to them.

“Employers are responsible for ensuring that health checks are completed by implementing appropriate protocols and training designated individuals to confirm they are done. Supervisors, health and safety personnel, or others may be tasked with confirming that workers have conducted the health check and recording that this confirmation was received. Workers are responsible for conducting the health check before entering the workplace and confirming this through the method required by the employer.”

We are working on an online tool to achieve this objective.  However, it will take some time to develop that system.  In the meantime, we will have to go back to daily in-person screenings at the start of your on-campus shift.

So starting Monday, November 30, all employees and contractors working on campus must check in with Security at these locations prior to starting their shift.  Anyone coming for a quick visit to campus must do the same.

Prior to arriving at the check-in desk, employees must review the list of symptoms and potential exposure questions on this poster and inform the security team member that you have done so.

If you have any of the symptoms or potential exposures listed on the health-check poster, do not come to work.  Please consider calling 8-1-1 or contacting your health-care provider for advice. Anyone who refuses to take part in the health check will not be allowed to enter the workplace.

This personal check-in process will continue until we have an online option available.

Thank you for your patience.  I realize that you have received mixed messages over the last couple of weeks.  In the end, however, we are all doing our best to do our part in helping curb the spread of COVID-19 at a time when positive cases are escalating at an alarming rate. 

If you have any questions, please contact Pablo Dobud, KPU’s Manager, Occupational Health and Safety, at Pablo.Dobud@kpu.ca.

Thank you, and stay safe.

Sincerely,
Alan Davis, PhD
President and Vice Chancellor

Employees asked to continue to self-assess for COVID-19 symptoms, but active screening to end

Thank you to everyone who has participated in our daily active health screening on campus this week and last.

These screenings were prompted by our Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, who issued new orders earlier this month in the ongoing effort to curb the transmission of the COVID-19 virus.

Beginning on Monday, November 23, we will be moving away from the active screening process.  Instead, as I mention in this week's video message, if you are working on campus we ask that you please conduct your own health check before arriving.  This applies to everyone who comes to campus, even those making short visits.

This requirement is included in our Campus Safety Plans.

Thank you for your continued attention to all our safety protocols, especially as we are now dealing with the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sincerely,
Alan Davis, PhD
President and Vice Chancellor

Daily active health screening now required for employees working on campus

As part of the ongoing effort to control the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, British Columbia's Provincial Health Officer has ordered employers to complete daily active health screening for two weeks for all employees entering a workplace in the Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Health regions.

"Active screening" requires that we ask employees to confirm that they have completed a daily COVID-19 Self Assessment.  The easiest way for employees to do a daily assessment is to use the COVID-19 BC Support App and Symptom Self-Assessment Tool.  You can complete the assessment online or download the app.

As an employer in both regions, KPU is subject to this order.

In addition to the information below, please consult the Frequently Asked Questions document for further detail.

What does this mean for me?

Effective Tuesday morning, all employees who are scheduled to work on campus must report directly to the Security Office when they arrive on campus and must not proceed further into any other area of campus until they have completed the screening. 

Active screening augments our COVID-19 workplace assessment, safety plan and protocols, and helps keep us all safe.

Please note that we will not keep a record of an individual's response.

Screening process

  • Employees will be asked to confirm that they have taken the assessment.  This process is required each day that an employee works on campus from now through to and including November 21.
  • This process is required by an order by the Provincial Health Officer, which is a law that all people must follow.
  • The screening must be done inside the workplace and in person with a designated screener. 
  • Signage and floor markers will be in place to ensure that two metres of distance can be maintained throughout the screening process.
  • We remind all employees that masks are now mandatory in all common areas on campus.  This includes the screening area, and any line-up to access the screening area.
  • Screening only needs to occur when your shift/workday begins.  Please refer to the FAQs for direction on how to proceed if you do begin to feel unwell throughout the day.
  • Contractors performing work on-campus will also have to participate in this screening.

Please consider re-scheduling any quick visits to campus for now

During this time of heightened measures to protect against further spread of COVID-19, we encourage visits to campus only if they are essential.  If you have an approved visit between now and November 21, please consider re-scheduling it.

If you do choose to proceed with a quick visit, you will have to complete the active screening process.  Please proceed to the Security office as soon as you arrive on campus.

Active health screening will remain in place until November 21 or until the Provincial Health Officer changes the order. We will keep you apprised of any changes.

If you have any questions, please reach out to Pablo Dobud, KPU's Manager of Occupational Health and Safety, via email at Pablo.Dobud@kpu.ca.

Thank you in advance for your co-operation, and for continuing to do your part to help keep us all safe, and to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Sincerely,
Alan Davis, PhD
President and Vice Chancellor

Non-medical masks are now mandatory in all indoor public spaces on KPU campuses

Following the advice of B.C.'s Public Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, it is mandatory to wear a non-medical mask in all indoor public spaces on our campuses. This includes hallways, corridors, washrooms, lounges, atria and study areas, the libraries and the Bookstore.

There are exceptions if you are eating or cannot wear a mask for medical reasons. If you are eating in a common area while on campus it is imperative that you ensure you are appropriately distanced from others and reapply your mask once you have finished.

KPU is an inclusive environment and individuals who cannot wear face masks can still come to campus. Medical documentation will not be required at this time.

Program and department safety plans address the need to wear masks in classrooms and office spaces.  Students and employees are to adhere the approved safety requirements when in those areas.

KPU asks that you wear a mask when you are outdoors on campus unless you can guarantee that you can stay at least six feet away from others at all times.

Sincerely,
Alan Davis, PhD
President and Vice Chancellor

Face masks

September 29, 2020

Spring Semester, 2021 at KPU

KPU continues to maintain operations and deliver its programs and services while protecting the health and safety of students and employees. We follow the direction of the COVID-19 Go- Forward Guidelines for B.C.'s Post-Secondary Sector.

So far, we have been successful in supporting students to continue in good standing with their education, both locally and from around the world.

In over 70 of the 1900 classes offered this Fall, we introduced a number of on-campus, hands-on learning activities that were deemed essential to meeting the intended learning outcomes of relevant programs. These activities were carefully planned and approved, and are currently being implemented, with safety being top of mind.

We applaud the resilience of our students as they forge ahead with their learning.

We salute the dedication of our employees who continue to adapt and innovate in their work.

Learning from our experiences to date, and looking ahead to the Spring Semester starting on January 5th, 2021, we will continue to follow the best advice and information regarding the state of the COVID-19 pandemic in our region.

For the Spring Semester, it is KPU's intention to continue with additional on-campus instructional activities that are essential to the completion of courses and programs, combined with remote delivery of programs and services to students.

A number of areas, including the Library, will also be open for students who need safe and socially-distanced study space on campus.

Sincerely,
Alan Davis, PhD
President and Vice Chancellor

September 28

KPU’s COVID Response and Recovery

Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to announce that as of October 5, Pablo Dobud, KPU’s Manager of Occupational Health and Safety, will be responsible for continuing our pandemic response and recovery efforts, specifically the ongoing coordination and collaboration required to support pan-university processes and protocols focused on the development, implementation and ongoing evaluation of the safety plans and related measures for approved on-campus activity during the pandemic.

In this role, Pablo will be KPU’s pandemic liaison to the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, the provincial Public Health Office and regional health authorities. Reporting through Human Resources Services, Pablo has been at the forefront of KPU’s response and recovery so far, and his work has contributed immensely to our ability to maintain the safety and wellness of our employees and students.

Adam Jaffer, who was previously appointed Special Advisor, Pandemic Response & Recovery, is working with Pablo on ensuring a smooth transition of duties, and behind Pablo will be a team of key personnel who will support this ongoing focus on the safety and wellness of KPU’s employees and students as we play our part in ending the pandemic in our region.

AVP Academic Dr. David Florkowski will continue to provide advice with respect to instructional activities on campus, working closely with Pablo and the Deans on course safety plans.

Please join me in acknowledging Pablo’s important new role at KPU.

Sincerely,
Alan Davis, PhD
President and Vice Chancellor

July 14

July 14, 2020

Moving to Stage 2 of KPU's Academic and Operational Continuity Plan

Dear Colleagues,

As B.C. moves forward with its Restart Plan to allow a gradual re-opening of various economic sectors across the province, we are aware that there is heightened interest from employees who would like to return to campus.

However, as we continue to focus first and foremost on the safety and well-being of our students and our employees, and we ensure compliance with Provincial Health Office orders and WorkSafe BC regulations, KPU must continue to move slowly and cautiously. This means tightly controlling the processes by which we allow students and employees to return to campus, even for short visits.

Further to the university's Academic and Operational Continuity Plan, we are now approaching the shift to Stage 2. This stage will allow a gradual and tightly managed return to campus for a very limited number of students and employees. However, for the foreseeable future, most employees will continue to work from home and the majority of students will continue to learn remotely.

We must remain vigilant in our efforts to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus. This includes carefully managing the number of people on each of our campuses at any given time. This will allow us to undertake the appropriate cleaning measures, limit the traffic in common areas, including narrow hallways, and will ensure that our ability to remain physically distanced in all university spaces is not compromised. It will also allow us to assist public health officials should contact tracing be required if someone who was on campus tests positive for COVID-19.

At this time, we are focused on the return to campus of faculty and students in a very limited number of classes that require in-person instruction in labs, studios and workshops. This approach has been piloted in recent weeks at KPU Tech, and safety plans have been developed to ensure very limited face-to-face learning activities can continue into the fall 2020 semester. In addition, our Facilities Services department is developing safety plans for the movement of employees and students in our buildings and on campus grounds.

There are only three types of return-to-campus activity at this time:

  1. As mentioned above, very limited in-person instruction in labs, studios and workshops. The Provost is working with the deans on determining which classes will be offered in person. Full safety plans will be developed in accordance with Occupational Health and Safety and these will comply with all WorkSafe BC and provincial health regulations. Authority for approval in these cases rests with the Provost and the Manager, Occupational Health and Safety.
  2. Requests from Faculties/Departments/Divisions for whom a limited number of employees need to be on campus to do their work. This includes requests for both short-term and longer-term arrangements. These requests require the completion of a safety plan. All leaders should have received a link to the required documents to start this process. If not, please reach out to your supervisor or manager for the details. There is a two-step approval process for these requests: The appropriate Vice President will first authorize the development of the safety plan. Once the plan is completed, the Manager, Occupational Health and Safety must approve the final document. This sign-off will include a start date for any return to campus, and Facilities Services will provide that date based on the requirements of the safety plan. Please note that due to the high level of detail in these plans, requestors should anticipate at least a two-week turnaround for completion of a plan. Facilities preparations will be required on top of that. Your patience and understanding in this regard is very much appreciated.
  3. Short-term (less than two-hour) visits to campus, mainly for access to offices. Our shift to remote working back in March was sudden, and because of that, we anticipate that some employees will want to access their offices briefly over the summer. We have developed a process to manage that access. Please click here for the link. Again, please understand that because we have to control the overall number of people on each campus at all times, we will need advance notice of your request. We will do our best to accommodate specific dates and times, but we may have to ask you to be flexible. Again, we appreciate your patience and understanding. All these controls are focused on safety.

If you are not feeling well, please stay at home until such time that your symptoms cease. If your symptoms are similar to that of COVID-19 (cold or flu like respiratory symptoms) please refer to the BC Health website and complete the self-assessment or call 8-1-1 for further guidance. When you visit campus, please remember to stay at least two metres apart from others, and be mindful of good hand and cough hygiene.

Be respectful of others in narrow hallways, and when you are unable to stay physically distanced, please wear a mask. We will allow each employee a one-time expense of up to $25 to purchase masks. To take advantage of this opportunity, you must submit an expense claim, complete with receipts.

We are NOT allowing any in-person meetings or events of any size on campus. All Outlook room bookings have been disabled and no meeting requests are being accepted through the Facilities Services room booking portal. To remain safe, we will have to keep meeting virtually for now.

I recognize that these are unusual processes and protocols for a campus-based university like ours. But your health and safety is our priority, and these are extraordinary times. At this time of economic restart, it can be difficult to remember that we are still operating in the context of a public health emergency. In the meantime, I thank you for your cooperation and your collective commitment to the safety and wellness of the KPU community. I am very proud of all we have accomplished together in our collective response to this global pandemic, and I thank you for your continued dedication to our mission. Even though we are apart, we are still thinking and acting together to transform lives and empower positive change.

Sincerely,
Alan Davis, PhD
President and Vice Chancellor

May 14

COVID-19 update for the fall semester

To KPU students and employees,

As our summer semester officially gets underway this week, with classes being delivered remotely and most of our employees continuing to work remotely, I know that many of you have already turned your attention to the fall.

As I mentioned to you in my last update about our COVID-19 response, we have been reviewing potential scenarios for the fall semester. This planning has unfolded within a context that is continually evolving. However, what remains constant is our primary focus on the health and well-being of our students and our employees. Your safety is our top priority, and our planning reflects that.

As we develop our fall semester plan, we continue to follow the direction of the Provincial Health Officer, and to work closely with the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training and our colleagues across the sector. We are mindful of British Columbia's Restart Plan, which is defined as a “careful, step-by-step process to ensure all of our combined efforts and sacrifices are not squandered” as the government plans to begin slowly re-opening segments of the economy.

As Premier John Horgan said when he announced the Restart Plan, it will not be “a flip of a switch.” Neither will KPU's approach to the fall semester be a sudden shift from our pandemic response, which began in mid-March. While we have collectively made progress in terms of flattening the transmission curve of COVID-19 in B.C., we still need to adhere to physical distancing measures that require us to stay two metres apart. We also anticipate that the restriction on gatherings larger than 50 people will remain in place for the foreseeable future.

Therefore, with your safety top of mind, we will continue with remote asynchronous delivery of the majority of classes for Fall 2020.

We will offer very limited on-campus learning opportunities, focused on those courses that require the use of labs, shops, studios, etc., and where the number of students on campus at any given time can be tightly managed. A rationale, a detailed delivery plan and a Health and Safety assessment must be approved by the Provost prior to any students returning to campus.

As well, we will comply with WorkSafe BC Level 2 safety guidelines and public health orders to ensure a safe work environment for all our employees.

You can see the Academic and Operational Continuity Plan on our COVID-19 response webpage.

As we continue to navigate the challenges of this pandemic, we must continue to offer a quality educational experience for our learners regardless of the learning delivery model, and I want to acknowledge the diligence and continued hard work of our faculty and our colleagues in the Teaching and Learning Commons. Thank you for all you have done, and all you will yet achieve as we continue our remote teaching and learning approach for the fall semester.

I want to recognize our students, and your ongoing commitment to your studies. We would all like to be back on campus and in our classrooms, but it is not yet the time to contemplate a full-scale return. We must remain vigilant and nimble as the provincial Restart Plan unfolds, and adopt a similarly cautious approach.

Thank you all for doing your part to help reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Please remain diligent about physical distancing and hand and cough hygiene. Most importantly: please stay home if you feel unwell. This is critical for all of us and we continue our efforts to flatten the curve.

Thank you as well for your resilience over the last few months. We are facing this unprecedented challenge together, and I want each of you to know how much we appreciate your diligence and your perseverance.

Sincerely,
Alan Davis, PhD
President and Vice Chancellor

April 17

April 17, 2020

Dear colleagues,

It was just over one month ago that the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. I don't need to remind you how dramatically our world has changed in the weeks since that declaration. All of you are living that change daily, both personally and professionally.

Despite the swirl of emotion and anxiety created by COVID-19, you have remained focused and calm, and because of your dedication, KPU continues to serve our learners and our communities. This is a credit to your commitment to our students as well as to our mission. It is amazing what we have achieved, and I know it has taken a great deal of perseverance and commitment to make it happen. Thank you everyone.

I would like to take a moment to acknowledge that many of you are now juggling your work-at-home arrangements with taking care of your children, including supporting school-aged children as they too transition to remote learning. We understand how challenging it can be to manage your day when faced with the competing priorities of work, child care and home-schooling. As an employer, we want to be as supportive and flexible as possible, and we have encouraged all our managers to ensure that they are offering creative solutions for the circumstances that many of you are facing.

We also know that some of you are struggling with the reality of having to remain distant from loved ones, especially our elders. We are social creatures and isolation can be very difficult. Our Human Resources team has put together an impressive package of tips and tools to assist you as you navigate these extraordinary times. Please visit the SharePoint Wellness site for details. In addition, please take advantage of the support offered by our Employee and Family Assistance Program. You are not alone; help is just a phone call away.

The ever-evolving circumstances around COVID-19 continue to challenge us in many ways, but they have also offered us unique opportunities. We have discovered new ways of working together even while working remotely: problem-solving, collaborating and supporting each other as we encounter hurdles and obstacles. I hope you are also taking time to celebrate your achievements; even small wins count for a great deal at times like this.

The health and safety of our students and employees are paramount at this time, and we continue to follow the directives of local, provincial and national public health agencies.

We have settled into a “new normal,” and we don't anticipate significant change any time soon. That is why we decided to deliver all our summer programs remotely. And it is why we are now undertaking scenario planning for the fall semester. We will keep you updated as we progress through this planning.

We need your continued courage and commitment. We must draw strength from each other as we meet the challenges posed by this global pandemic though summer and into fall. We need this more than ever.

All indications at this point are that the need for continued physical distancing will be required for the foreseeable future. If you are feeling distress or anxiety at the thought of this, I urge you to take some time to remove yourself the noise all around you – be it sensational tweets, emotionally triggering media headlines, or the intense, sometimes conflicting, emotions in our own minds.

It is important now to keep focused on what we CAN do to lessen the severity of this pandemic in our own communities – stay at home as much as possible, maintain physical distancing when you do need to go out, and remain committed to hand and respiratory hygiene.

Only by keeping vigilant – and by keeping each other strong -- can we reduce the length of time our communities are impacted by COVID-19.

I would like to close by sharing two things with you:

  • A story about a group of KPU instructors and student who have produced “ear savers” for health-care workers.
  • And a bit of musical inspiration that was co-written by our former Provost Sal Ferreras and is performed by the incredible Dee Daniels.

I hope they help lift your spirits a bit as you head into the weekend.

Sincerely,
Alan Davis, PhD
President and Vice Chancellor

March 30

March 30, 2020

Dear colleagues and students,

As we look back on the last few weeks and ahead to our summer term, I want to thank each and every one of you for your dedication and your resilience as all of us in higher education play our role in sustaining our communities during this pandemic.

As we do this, we are adapting and improvising constantly, and these demands on us are both collective and individual.

Individually, many of you have been drawn to priorities close to home: your family, your friends, your neighbours and yourselves. As we strive to keep our university operating, you are also focused on the health, safety and well-being of your loved ones. As an employer we have taken action to support you in your personal lives.

Most of you are now working from home. Some of you continue to report for essential duties on campus, but your interactions with others are very limited. Together we are doing all we can to enable social and physical distancing that keeps you, your loved ones and our community safe by helping control transmission of the COVID-19 virus.

KPU remains committed to fulfilling its mission as a public post-secondary institution. It was on March 16 that we called for a pause on in-person instruction since it was clear that the need to create physical distance between us was vital to controlling the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

In just two days, with the support and hard work of our faculty, our deans' offices and our colleagues in the Teaching and Learning Commons, we moved wherever possible to remote learning using online, digital tools. This was not a simple task, and I want to acknowledge the hard work of everyone who made it happen.

To our students: We recognize that these changes have been significant for you. We appreciate your resilience as you figured out how to connect with your instructors and your classmates remotely. We are determined to support you to complete this semester in a way we could not anticipate.

It is at times like this that the KPU community rallies together. I was delighted last week to see the leadership of the Kwantlen Student Association as it stepped up to make $100,000 available for emergency funding for students impacted by the pandemic, and I was pleased that KPU was able to match those funds. Together, we have made $200,000 available to students.

These changes have not been easy for many of you. Everyone is working tirelessly to develop solutions for scenarios that until now, had not even been anticipated. It is complicated, yet we remain united in our determination to reach our collective goals.

I am very proud of our shared response to this global pandemic. Our goal is to meet students' needs as they complete the spring semester in good standing while ensuring the health and wellness of our employees.

Our next step is to move forward with a summer semester that will not include in-person classes and on-campus work or activities. Again, I want to express my heartfelt thanks to everyone who is committed to make this happen.

In the meantime, I urge you to:

  • Heed the advice of our public health officials. Wash your hands frequently; stay home if you are unwell or caring for someone who is; and maintain two metres of physical distance when you are out in the community.
  • Limit your time out in the community. Our provincial and federal health officials say this week will be critical in terms of understanding if the measures currently in place have sufficiently stemmed the spread of the virus. We must continue to limit our interactions with others. Social and physical distancing is not easy, but we can explore virtual opportunities to connect.
  • Arm yourself with knowledge from credible sources. You can find our suggestions and updates on this page.

Thank you for all you have done so far. I know I can count on your collegiality, tenacity, creativity and resourceful in the weeks to come.

Sincerely,
Alan Davis, PhD
President and Vice Chancellor

March 24

Summer 2020 Semester at KPU – alternative delivery of classes only

March 24, 2020 Time 10:45am

As KPU continues to respond to recommendations from British Columbia's Provincial Health Officer regarding the measures required to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, KPU will deliver all its Summer 2020 classes remotely. There will be no in-person classes for the summer term.

This decision has been made to align with the recommendation from health officials that we stay physically distant at this time, which means staying two metres apart from one another. Eliminating the need for in-person instruction for the entire semester is one of the ways that KPU is supporting this directive.

KPU will be providing as much support as it is able to students, both domestic and international, who wish to study remotely, using a variety of digital tools and strategies. KPU will also support its faculty as instructors prepare for various modes of alternative delivery. However, students registering for the Summer semester will need to have a device and access to the internet or WIFI to ensure they will be able to meet the requirements for instructional delivery.

We will soon be releasing the list of courses that can be effectively delivered without any attendance on campus. Registration will be limited to these courses only. We understand that this may be disappointing for some, but these are the types of measures needed at this critical time in reducing the spread of the virus.

Likewise, we are working to determine what supports we will be able to provide to students online, by telephone and to a very limited extent on campus, subject to the direction of B.C.'s Public Health Officer.

Summer semester classes start on May 11, and those who have already registered for courses will be notified regarding any changes to current selections as soon as summer online offerings have been confirmed.

A series of announcements will be forthcoming that will confirm:

  • the courses that will be available this Summer semester
  • Student Services that will be available online, by telephone or on campus
  • the Bookstore and Library services that will be available to students
  • what Trades training can be provided at KPU Tech in Cloverdale
  • the minimal staffing that KPU will need to keep its facilities safe and secure.

Current and prospective students will be able to get more information soon from the KPU website: https://www.kpu.ca/registration.
Further information for International students can be found here: https://www.kpu.ca/international.

KPU employees will receive direction and advice from their supervisors.

Thank you for your continued support and understanding in these extraordinary times.

Sincerely,
Alan Davis, PhD
President and Vice Chancellor

March 20

March 20, 2020 Time 4:30pm

The COVID-19 pandemic has touched pretty much every facet of our lives, and the situation is constantly changing.

At KPU, we have taken significant steps to help ensure the health and wellness of our employees and students in accordance with the recommendations of the Provincial Health Officer, our provincial and federal governments, and our ministry. Chief among these is the very strong message that social distancing is vital to helping control the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Public health experts recommend that we stay two metres apart.

Dr. Bonnie Henry, British Columbia's Provincial Health Officer, puts it this way: “We know that social distancing is an important line of defense for all us – staying a fingertip-to-fingertip distance away from each other, but no touching.”

Accordingly, we have moved away from in-person instruction, created opportunities for remote working arrangements and have focused on ensuring that students and employees who do come to campus can adhere to this social distancing recommendation.

An important update about final exams:
There will be no in-person final exams.
Instructors have been asked to develop alternatives and these will be communicated soon. KPU is working to increase access to computer work stations at KPU Surrey. This will be done in accordance with the requirement for social distancing. We will provide updates on this next week.

I want to thank everyone – students and employees – for the incredible resilience and adaptability you have shown over the last few weeks. This is an issue we must tackle together: at KPU, in our communities and beyond.

We will do our very best to support you.

Please see the information below for some important updates, details of which can be found on the right. As well, here is a great story about how KPU is helping the broader COVID-19 response.

Sincerely,
Alan

UPDATE – LIBRARY SERVICES

Hours have been reduced, capacity restrictions implemented and public services suspended.

UPDATE – LEARNING CENTRES

All tutoring and Learning Strategist appointments are now online.

UPDATE – ASSESSMENT AND TESTING

Assessment and Testing Services (ATS) has discontinued exam services at this time.

UPDATE – EVENTS ON CAMPUS

KPU has cancelled all on-campus events regardless of the number of participants from today until the end of June. This applies to events in all areas of KPU such as conference centres, classrooms, public spaces and parking lots. Unfortunately, we are unable at this time to provide the resources needed to ensure we comply with mitigation measures required to ensure appropriate social distancing. We will monitor the Provincial Health Officer's orders on public gathering and will extend the cancellation as required.

March 16


March 16, 2020 Time 8:26am

Effective March 17 and 18, KPU to pause in-person instruction except in the Faculty of Trades and Technology, and Horticulture Levels 1 and 4; all campuses to remain open.

To the KPU community,

I am writing to update you on KPU's next steps in its response to the evolving COVID-19 situation. I appreciate the heightened concerns at this time, and I would like to thank you for your patience and understanding as we address the complexities inherent in ensuring that students can continue their studies and complete this semester in these unprecedented times.

As we continue to address the COVID-19 situation, we are ensuring alignment with the guidance of the Provincial Health Officer and are working closely with the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training.

Our COVID-19 Action Team, along with Dr. David Florkowski – seconded from his role as Dean of KPU's Faculty of Health to serve as Special Advisor to the President on COVID-19 – has already undertaken a number of steps to help ensure the safety and well-being of our students and employees.

Dr. Florkowski and KPU Provost Dr. Sandy Vanderburgh have been working with our deans and our Acting Vice Provost, Teaching and Learning to develop a plan to transition from face-to-face instruction for the remainder of the semester.

Today I am announcing that KPU will pause all in-person instruction on March 17 and 18 to allow our deans and faculty to focus on the details of that transition. Exceptions to this pause include all classes at KPU's Faculty of Trades and Technology, as well as Horticulture Level 1 and Level 4.
Due to the technical and hands-on nature of these programs, in-person instruction will continue, but proper social distancing measures will be in effect in the classrooms, shops and labs.

All work-integrated learning, including clinical placements, practicums and co-op placements will continue at the discretion of the employers.

As mentioned in previous communications, KPU has already undertaken increased cleaning measures at all campuses, including the provision of more hand-cleaning stations.

All KPU campuses will remain open and students will have access to our libraries and all university services. Employees will report to work as usual, with the exceptions already noted in previous communication regarding those who feel ill, are caring for a family member who is ill or who are self-isolating following a return from travel outside of Canada.

Instructors are asked to reach out to their students by email to ensure they are aware of this pause and to give them any information they might require over the two days of pause.

Alternative forms of instructional delivery will be communicated on March 19. Students will be contacted directly by their instructors with details. These will remain in effect until the end of the semester.

Plans regarding the writing of exams will be communicated to all students by March 20.

All KPU campuses will remain open with usual operating hours while we undertake this transition and for the duration of the semester unless otherwise communicated.

I would like to reiterate that the Provincial Health Officer continues to assure British Columbians that risk of transmission in B.C. remains low for the general population.

Thank you to the entire KPU community as we work together to adapt in the face of this evolving situation. Please refer to our COVID-19 webpage for further information regarding KPU's response to date.

Sincerely,
Alan Davis, PhD
President and Vice Chancellor

March 12

Further to this afternoon's briefing from Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, KPU is immediately undertaking the following:

  • Cancelling any events of 250 people or more. This means we will be cancelling Spring Convocation. Students registered to attend Convocation will be contacted directly, and we will advise at a later date about alternate arrangements for those impacted.
  • Cancelling all non-essential travel outside of Canada – including to the U.S. Anyone who chooses to travel will be required to self-isolate for 14 days upon their return. This applies to employees and students.

We are complying with these measures to support the efforts to help slow the spread of the virus.

In today's update, Dr. Henry specifically stated that it is not appropriate to close schools at this time. As mentioned yesterday, KPU has increased cleaning at all campuses. As well, Dr. David Florkowski has been seconded to lead our COVID-19 response and is working directly with Deans and other senior administrators on other measures under consideration. We will update you as these plans are rolled out.

The World Health Organization has now declared that the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak a pandemic.

KPU continues to take direction from the Office of the Provincial Health Officer and our health regions, and will keep you informed as this situation evolves. We urge you to familiarize yourself with the information on KPU's COVID-19 webpage, which provides KPU-specific details, along with links to trusted resources.

COVID-19, a new relative of the cold virus, is a respiratory disease first identified at the end of 2019 that continues to cause international concern. Kwantlen Polytechnic University is monitoring the situation and will update this information page as appropriate.

Anyone who is concerned they may have been exposed to, or are experiencing symptoms of the coronavirus should contact their primary-care provider, local public health office or call 811.

Following advice from health agencies, KPU is urging students, employees and visitors to our campuses and facilities to reduce the risk of transmitting respiratory diseases by:

  • Regularly cleaning your hands with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Covering your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with a tissue or flexed elbow.
  • Avoiding contact with sick people.
  • Staying at home if you or someone in your family is experiencing flu-like symptoms.

You can learn more about novel coronavirus from these organizations:

KPU nursing students demonstrate effective handwashing

Hand washing

Documents and Safety Plans

As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, so too does our understanding of the virus and how best to mitigate its spread.  As a result, KPU will continuously update documentation and safety plans as new information comes to light and new guidelines are received and implemented.  Please refer to the links below for the most current plans.

KPU Protocol & Procedure Updates

Spring 2021 Term Update

Admission Updates

KPU's Academic and Operational Continuity Plan

Update on access to KPU buildings

In an effort to mitigate the impact of COVID-19, the university has closed floors, zones or entire buildings across campuses. Signage will be posted at every locked door with information to call security for access. Where relevant, signs mention the doors that have remained open.

Surrey Campus

Fir and Spruce buildings doors are locked, but can be opened at employee request by security during normal campus business hours.

For all other buildings, entrances to the courtyard are open, all other entrances are locked. (They are still available for emergency egress.)

Langley Campus

Main entrances at the square under the overpass are open. All other entrances are locked, but can be accessed by contacting security during normal campus operating hours.

Cloverdale Tech Campus

The north and south main doors remain open, all other doors are locked with signage.

Richmond Campus

Richmond main north and south doors are open; all other doors are locked. The Wilson School of Design building is locked, but can be accessed with employee KPU ID access control card through the bridge doors during normal campus business hours.

Civic Plaza

Access to 6th floor with KPU ID (employees and students) during normal campus business hours.

By limiting access to on-campus space, we:

  • maintain physical distancing regulations
  • allow for spaces to be cleaned and sanitized

We understand employees working from home will, on occasion, need access to files and items while these areas are closed. We also understand there are research and teaching labs that remain active during this time. Security can grant access to buildings during regular operating hours; however, if you choose to work in a building/space that has been closed, Facilities will not be able to accommodate heating/cooling adjustments to an entire area for an individual's ad hoc needs.

If you need to access to your on-campus workspace, please limit the amount of time you spend there. If remote working is not an option, please inform your dean or manager and on-campus accommodations can be made to support your continued work from campus.

For those employees working in units, zones or buildings that are not closed, we will continue to support you with additional cleaning, and emphasize the need for physical distancing as part of your daily work activities.

Research Ethics Board Directive on Research Involving Human Participants During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

Academic advising available via remote meetings

As KPU continues its move away from in-person classes, it is important for students to know that academic advisors are still available to support you during these challenging times.

All academic advising teams are currently offering remote meetings which do not require that you come to campus.

Academic advisors answer questions about course planning and selection, program choices, course pre-requisites, program/graduation requirements, academic regulations and policies and educational planning for career goals.

To set up a meeting, please refer to this page to find out which advising team best fits you and what type of remote meetings they are offering. Appointments can be booked directly through Advisor Connect.

PHONE: Some advising teams are offering phone appointments. Important note: these may be coming from blocked numbers. Please pick up the phone at your scheduled appointment time. Try to be near a computer if you can, so you can view online resources that we may refer to.

ONLINE: Some advising teams are offering online appointments via either Skype or MS Teams. Please check your email for an email invitation from your advisor and follow the directions for connecting. Important note: you may need to download a program to connect online. Please click your meeting invitation in advance in order to leave time to download any necessary programs.

TELEPHONE ‘DROP INS': Some advising teams are offering short appointments by phone meant for one question that can be answered in 15 minutes or less. These questions should pertain to the current semester or current registration period. If you require more of an in-depth conversation, please make an appointment.

KPU PARKING REFUNDS

As KPU shifts to remote learning and remote working in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the need to be on campus is significantly diminished for our students and our employees.

Accordingly, KPU will be eliminating parking charges for all students and employees retroactive to March 1, 2020. This measure will remain in place until further notice.
Impark has been in close communication with their third-party vendors to automatically refund students who purchased an e-permit or semester/annual parking permit. Further, we are processing refunds to all employee monthly, semester and annual pass holders. Refunds will take effect as of March 1, 2020.
If a partial refund has been issued already to you, the remaining amount from March will be refunded automatically as well.
Parking meters at all campuses have been turned off.
At this time please keep your hanger permits for future use.
Any questions or concerns please reach out to the following contacts: Jill Field
Coordinator, Ancillary Services
jill.field@kpu.ca

Presley Bathurst
Impark Operations Assistant
presley.bathurst@reefparking.com

**Paid parking will resume once campus operations return to normal. **

KPU Shuttle Schedule Changes

Due to the COVID-19 situation, we decided to reduce the shuttle service until the situation is improved. Starting from Monday, March 30, 2020, the intercampus shuttle will run the Summer 2020 schedule. The evening Richmond-Surrey shuttle will not operate.

Please plan your trip accordingly. View shuttle schedule.

Thank you for your continued support and understanding in these critical times.

Contact multipass@kusa.ca if you have any questions.
Kwantlen Student Association

Reduced Library Hours

For students who require access to library technology/space, all four campus libraries remain open, but with reduced hours and capacity.

Adhering to social distancing norms to keep students and employees safe and to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, many of the library's services have moved online to kpu.ca/library. The library provides very limited in-person service.

Keep up to date on the latest:

The library's collections are currently closed for browsing but many items are available to order for pickup through the catalogue. Access to databases, online journals, streaming videos and e-books remain available. If you need assistance or have questions, get help remotely: Ask a Librarian by chat, email or text.

KPU Bookstores now closed; course materials available online

Effective March 24, 2020, all the KPU Campus bookstores will be closed until further notice. Course materials can still be purchased through the bookstore website at bookstore.kwantlen.ca.

KPU campus Café and Tim Hortons locations closed until further notice

All KPU campus Café and Tim Hortons locations will be closed, until further notice. If you have any questions, please email foodservices@kpu.ca

KPU Learning Centres

All tutoring and Learning Strategist appointments are now online

With classes either going online or going remote, many students - like you - are finding themselves in a distance or online learning situation for the first time. If you need help, our tutors and Learning Strategists are standing by to provide you with support and resources.

Details can be found here: https://kpu.tutorocean.com/home

Assessment and Testing Services

Assessment and Testing Services (ATS) is offering Admissions Testing both online and on-campus at this time.

All Covid-19 Health & Safety protocols are in place for on-campus testing. If you have questions, please email: testing@kpu.ca or call: 604-599-2368. All exams can be booked through our website kpu.ca/assessment-testing-services . KPU accessibility students should connect with their Accessibility Advisor or Learning Specialist if they need support in working with their instructor on alternative assessments.

Cancellation of KPU events

All on-campus events have been cancelled until June 30. This cancellation may be extended, depending on direction from the Public Health officer.

KPU travel restrictions

Effective March 12, KPU cancelled all non-essential travel outside of Canada – including to the U.S. Anyone who chooses to travel will be required to self-isolate for 14 days upon their return. This applies to employees and students.

Enhanced cleaning on campus

Effective March 11, KPU increased cleaning on all campuses. This means that additional day porters have been assigned to use a hospital-grade sanitizer to clean surfaces that are frequently touched.

Frequently Asked Questions

Social distancing & self-isolation

Is it safe to go out in public?

It is important to practice social distancing when going out in public. This includes coming to campus. Follow the same procedures as what is recommended during cold and flu season. This includes washing your hands often with soap and water, covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, avoiding others who are unwell and staying home when you are sick.

What is social distancing?

For the good of everyone around you, social distancing is the best way to limit the spread of coronavirus. In short, social distancing means staying two metres apart (roughly fingertip-to-fingertip distance away from each other), but no touching. This includes when you are doing group work. These measures will be enforced on campus.

Read the March 19 Joint Statement of BC's COVID-19 response here.

How do I practice social distancing?

There are many ways to practice social distancing:

  • Limit activities outside your home, but:
    • Getting out into our many parks, walking your pet, going for a jog or a bike ride are all safe activities.
    • If you are picking up groceries or running other necessary errands, maintain a two-metre space when lining up to pay.
    • If you need to take a taxi, sit in the back seat and wipe down the payment pad with alcohol-based wipes before and after paying.
  • Use virtual options to connect with others.
  • Avoid social activities in large gatherings; outside, in someone's home or in public venues. Click here to learn more about event planning and gatherings. Please note that all on-campus events have been cancelled until at least June 30.
  • Stay at home when you are sick
  • Always cough into your elbow or sleeve.

What is KPU doing to promote social distancing?

KPU is following the directives of the Provincial Health Officer, and will be actively promoting social distancing on campus. This includes the library and all public gathering spaces. Our security teams will be communicating the need to maintain appropriate social distancing practice.

What if I go out in public, like to a grocery store, would I be at risk of catching COVID-19??

It is important to practice social distancing when going out in public. Follow the same procedures as what is recommended during cold and flu season. This includes washing your hands often with soap and water, covering your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, avoiding others who are unwell and staying home when you are sick.

What is self-isolation?

Self-isolation is recommended for an asymptomatic and/or a symptomatic person, when they have a high risk of exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19, (for example, through close contact with a symptomatic person or their body fluids). They are asked to self- isolate in the home-setting to avoid contact with others in order to prevent transmission of the virus.

Who should self-isolate?

A number of groups are being asked to self-isolate:

  • Anyone returning from outside Canada.
  • Those with known exposure to COVID-19.
  • Those who are a confirmed case.

Go to the BC Centre for Disease Control's Testing and Isolation page to learn more.

How do you self-isolate?

Click here for more information from the Government of Canada about how to self-isolate if you've just returned from a trip outside Canada or have a high risk of exposure to the virus.

People who have self-isolated can return to normal activities (while keeping social distancing in mind) after 14 days if they have not developed any symptoms.

KPU & the COVID-19 coronavirus

Information for KPU employees (log-in required)

Who is overseeing KPU's response to novel coronavirus?

Pablo Dobud, KPU’s Manager of Occupational Health and Safety, is responsible for continuing our pandemic response and recovery efforts, specifically the ongoing coordination and collaboration required to support pan-university processes and protocols focused on the development, implementation and ongoing evaluation of the safety plans and related measures for approved on-campus activity during the pandemic.

Reporting through Human Resources Services, Pablo has been at the forefront of KPU’s response and recovery so far, and his work has contributed immensely to our ability to maintain the safety and wellness of our employees and students. 

Behind Pablo is a team of key personnel who will support this ongoing focus on the safety and wellness of KPU’s employees and students as we play our part in ending the pandemic in our region. AVP Academic Dr. David Florkowski continue to provide advice with respect to instructional activities on campus, working closely with Pablo and the Deans on course safety plans.

Should students contact their instructors if they are sick?

Students who are absent due to illness should contact their instructor(s) as per the process established for the course. If you have any questions or you are unable to reach the instructor, please feel free to reach out to the Chair of the program, or finally, the Dean's Office. A student may be expected to provide a note for medical clearance to return to class, depending on the circumstance. It is also recommended that students understand the course specific requirements for medical notes as stated on the course outline.

What is KPU's approach to students or employees staying home because of the novel coronavirus?

Employees and students who are showing any signs of illness – or who are caring for a sick family member -- are asked to remain at home.

I'm confused by the advice to wear non-medical face masks while out in the community. Should I or shouldn't I?

B.C. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has said it is now the expectation that people will wear a non-medical mask in indoor public spaces, including grocery stores, shopping malls and ICBC locations. From November 2, KPU requires the use of masks in public indoor spaces on its campuses – including hallways, corridors, washrooms, lounges, atria and study areas, the libraries and the Bookstore – by everyone except those eating or those who cannot wear one for medical reasons.

Students & the COVID-19 coronavirus

How will the virus impact my spring term?

As of March 19, we anticipate that most in-person classes will have transitioned to alternate methods of instructional delivery. Students should stay in contact with their instructors during this transition. There may still be some programming (Trades, for example) where students are required to attend campus and social distancing protocols will be employed. Please confirm with your instructor. At this time, all campuses remain open, including all KPU Libraries and Learning Centres.

Travel & Quarantine

Information for international students

International KPU students should consult the COVID-19: Information for International Students page and the Travelling to Canada for International Students page for important information.

Can international students who are currently abroad travel to Canada?

To protect against the outbreak of COVID-19, there are currently travel restrictions that limit travel to Canada. All new and current international KPU students who are outside of Canada and who wish to travel to Canada must consult the Travelling to Canada for International Students page for eligibility requirements, quarantine regulations, and more, before planning any travel.

What are the requirements when travellers arrive in B.C. from international travel?

Unless you are exempt, all travelers returning to B.C. are required by law to self isolate for 14 days and to submit a self-isolation plan for approval either prior to their return or upon arrival.

Details about British Columbia's self-isolation requirements can be found here.

What are the requirements when travellers arrive in other parts of Canada from international travel?

The Government of Canada has put in place an emergency order under the Quarantine Act. It applies to all travellers arriving in Canada. Its purpose is to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Canada. Failure to comply with this order is an offence under the Quarantine Act. Details can be found here.

Are there restrictions on travel within Canada?

All passengers flying in Canada will be subject to a health check prior to boarding. Details can be found here.

Can I travel internationally right now?

To limit the spread of COVID-19, the Government of Canada advises that you avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice. Further information can be found here.

Coronavirus infection

What is novel coronavirus? How contagious is it? What is the incubation period?

The BC Centre for Disease Control and Health Canada are trusted sources of information on the symptoms of novel coronavirus. Please refer to these website for more detailed information about the virus.

What are the symptoms of novel coronavirus?

Symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to other respiratory illnesses, including the flu and common cold. They include cough, sneezing, fever, sore throat and difficulty breathing.

The BC Centre for Disease Control and Health Canada are trusted sources of information on the symptoms of novel coronavirus.

How do I seek health advice about the novel coronavirus?

Call your doctor or you can call 811 anytime to talk to a nurse at HealthLinkBC and get advice about how you are feeling and what to do next. 811 has translation services in 130 languages.

Where can I learn more about the novel coronavirus?

The BC Centre for Disease Control and Health Canada websites provide detailed information on all aspects of novel coronavirus. You can also receive regular updates directly to your phone from these credible Twitter accounts: @cdcofbc, @CPHO_Canada, @BCGovNews

Assorted topics

Should I alter my usual way of greeting people (for example, hugs or handshakes)?

In a joint statement on March 3, the Minister of Health and Provincial Health Officer recommended that suspending these typical forms of greeting can help further contain the transmission of disease.

I am worried certain groups are being alienated as a result of coming from a high-infection area. What should I do?

KPU is asking the university community to learn the facts about the virus from reputable sources such as the BC Centre for Disease Control, Health Canada or the World Health Organization and remain vigilant about the risks of embracing stereotypes at a time of heightened concern.