A message from KPU President Alan Davis – ongoing efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic
March 30, 2020 Time 2:05pm
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.
Alan Davis, PhD
President and Vice Chancellor
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.
Alan Davis, PhD
President and Vice Chancellor
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.
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, 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.
Alan Davis, PhD
President and Vice Chancellor
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 Protocol & Procedure Updates
NEW - 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 re
NEW - 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
Impark Operations Assistant
**Paid parking will resume once campus operations return to normal. **
NEW - 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 email@example.com if you have any questions.
Kwantlen Student Association
NEW - Reduced library hours – KPU Richmond and KPU Langley
Until further notice, the Richmond and Langley campus libraries are now closed on weekends.
For students still requiring access to library technology/space, the Surrey campus library is open Saturdays and Sundays noon to 4 p.m. All four campus libraries remain open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.
Adhering to the new social distancing norms to keep students and employees safe and to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, please remember the library is no longer providing any in-person public services.
Keep up to date on the latest:
- library hours: kpu.ca/library/hours; and
- changing library services: libguides.kpu.ca/COVID19response.
If you need any assistance or have any questions, please contact the library via chat, email or text: kpu.ca/library/services/askalibrarian
Limits per campus
Surrey – 50 in total
- Number of seats in first-floor lab area: 17, considering social distancing
- Number of seats in Atrium computer area: 33, considering social distancing
Richmond – 42 in total
- Number of seats in computer areas: 22 considering social distancing
- Number of seats in study areas: 20 considering social distancing
Langley – 49 in total
- Number of seats in computer areas: 14, considering social distancing
- Number of seats in Group study areas: 35, considering social distancing
Cloverdale – 32 in total
- Number of seats in computer areas: 16, accounting for social distancing
- Number of seats in Group study areas: 16
As well, all public services at our libraries have been suspended. We will not be checking out any materials including reserves, AV equipment and books. However, databases, online journals, streaming videos and e-books remain available. We are still available to assist you remotely. You can contact us via email, text and Ask Away chat reference service. All these access points can be found on our Ask Us page.
KPU Library Due Dates Extended
All KPU Library due dates for material have been extended to April 30, 2020.
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
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
Exam services are discontinued at this time Assessment and Testing Services (ATS) has discontinued exam services at this time. If you have questions, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 604-598-5278. Please watch the website kpu.ca/assessment-testing-services for future announcements on when services will be resumed. KPU accessibility students should connect with their Accessibility Advisor or Learning Specialist if they need support in working with their instructor about 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.
Extended benefits update for staff from Manulife
Manulife has a web page dedicated to questions about COVID-19.
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
Who is overseeing KPU’s response to novel coronavirus?
KPU has seconded Dr. David Florkowski to serve as Special Advisor to the President on KPU's COVID-19 response. Dr. Florkowski will be responsible for the co-ordination of KPU's actions and communications related to any developments in the spread of the COVID-19 virus. He will report to the senior executive team and will be the key liaison with local, provincial and national health and other agencies. He will also be responsible for maintaining up-to-date information on kpu.ca and for telephone hotlines for employees and for students.
You can reach Dr. Florkowski at email@example.com
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.
Will wearing a mask protect me?
Masks should be used by sick people to prevent transmission to other people. A mask will help keep a person's droplets in. It may be less effective to wear a mask in the community when a person is not sick themselves. At this time, KPU is not recommending the use of facemasks and considers wearing them to be a matter of personal choice. The latest information on prevention is available at the BC Centre for Disease Control.
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.
Should newly admitted international students come to Canada for the Summer 2020 semester?
Newly admitted international students SHOULD NOT travel to KPU for the Summer 2020 semester. There will be no in-person classes for the summer term as KPU will deliver all its Summer 2020 classes remotely.
More information for international students can be found on the International Students COVID-19 FAQ page.
As a current international student, how do the expanded travel restrictions affect me? Can I leave Canada?
The Public Health Agency of Canada is recommending that travellers avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice.
Please visit the following links for more information on how travel restrictions may affect you:
- Government of Canada – March 20, 2020 News Release
- How Covid Is Affecting Business at IRCC
- Travel Advice and Advisories
More information for international students can be found on the International Students COVID-19 FAQ page.
Travel & quarantine
How will the virus impact my holiday plans?
British Columbians and Canadians are advised to avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada, including to the United States, at this time. For more details, please click here to visit the “travel” section of the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) website.
Should I quarantine myself if I have recently returned from any travels outside Canada, to places that are not considered high risk?
KPU is following all provincial and federal directives. Employees and students who are returning to Canada from international or U.S. travel should self-isolate for 14 days upon their return home.
Employees should advise their supervisors if they are taking this action. Students should advise their instructors if they are taking this action.
Self-isolation is a voluntary measure, but it is KPU’s expectation that people will follow this provincial/federal direction. If illness develops during this time, call 811 for further information.
I am returning from a high-risk area -- Hubei Province in China, Italy, Iran. What should I do?
- As per provincial and federal travels directives, please take the following extra measures to limit contact:
- Stay at home. Do not go to work or school.
- Wash your hands or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer often
- Consider asking friends or relatives to help with buying groceries, other shopping or picking up medication. Alternatively, you can order groceries and medication by phone or online
- Limit the number of visitors in your home. Only have visitors who you must see and keep the visits short
- Avoid face to face contact; keep a distance of 1-2 metres (3-6 feet) from another person.
- Self-isolation can end 14 days after the last contact or return to Canada
Where can I get advice on travel advisories?
Monitor the Government of Canada travel site for the latest travel advisories: www.travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories.
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.
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?
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.