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Fall 2021 Updates

September 10, 2021

Dear KPU students, faculty and staff,

I am sharing more details of the new  Public Health Office guidance, but before that, I want to emphasize a couple of items from the KPU Guidelines for Mask Wearing that we shared in our last update. 

Masks do not need to be worn: 

  • By instructors while delivering a lecture or presentation if there is a distance of two metres separating individuals from each other, and 
  • while communicating with a person for whom visual cues, facial expressions, lip-reading or lip-movement are essential.  
  • Whilst seated in the cafeteria or lounge when actively eating or drinking 

We are aware that there has been discussion about whether masks should be worn in shared areas to which the students do not have access, such as office areas with cubicles. The public health guidance states the mask order will apply in all indoor public, common areas on campus, including lobbies, hallways, stairwells, elevators, classrooms, labs, and washrooms (but, as I said, not while delivering a class or actively eating).  

Now, a public or common area is essentially a space shared by both students or the general public and employees.  

The guidance doesn’t mandate mask wearing in open office areas that are absent of students and the public but, as a best practice, masks are always recommended in spaces where you cannot maintain social distancing, and based on personal preference.  

Another reminder. It is quite possible that someone in your circle outside of KPU becomes infected with COVID and you, correctly, go for a test yourself. While you are waiting for the result of that test, do not come on campus for the 24 or 48 hours that it takes. Depending on the result, you’ll know what to do next I am sure. 

The PHO just updated the list of non-essential events that would require proof of vaccination. The list now excludes non-essential, indoor events with less than 50 people, except adult sports. These might include students and/or employees attending an indoor social event on campus, for instance. Not much of an issue right now while it is still warm, but could be helpful as the rain and cold weather arrive. 

By the way, our legal and IT teams have been working out how we can actually safely and securely check the status of people participating in non-essential activities that still do require proof of vaccination, which as KPU mainly means Sports and Recreation. 

Our Communicable Disease Prevention Plan, which Occupational Health and Safety prepared for our return to more on campus activity has been posted to Sharepoint and a summary is available on the COVID page on the website too. 

 It is still rather fraught, isn’t it? I appreciate very much everyone’s patience during these first few weeks as we optimise the student experience while minimising risk.  

And a big and friendly shout out to our 2 employee unions. The GEU and the KFA have been very supportive and helpful and there has been lots of good exchange of ideas and issues which have helped everyone better figure out what to do and how. 

Thank you again all for your patience and perseverance as we continue to work together to navigate the changing landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic and to chart a path towards a new future for KPU.

 

Stay safe,
Alan Davis Ph.D
President and Vice Chancellor

COVID-19 update on vaccinations and masks

September 3, 2021

Over the past few days, we have been carefully reviewing various approaches to vaccination and masking that are being developed across the post-secondary sector in B.C., while remaining conscious of the factors that differentiate Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) from other institutions. As ever, our priority in developing our plans has been to optimize the student experience while protecting the health and safety of students and employees.

Vaccinations

KPU is strongly recommending students and employees get vaccinated against COVID-19 and thus play their part in providing a safe learning environment this fall. The university has worked with Fraser Health Authority and Vancouver Coastal Health Authority to provide vaccination clinics at our Richmond, Surrey and Langley campuses for students and employees. We will be pursuing a vigorous information campaign to encourage everyone who can get vaccinated to do so.

While not requiring proof of vaccination to attend campus and classes, vaccination will be required for accessing non-essential campus activities in line with the recent order from the Public Health Officer (PHO). Anyone wishing to access non-essential activities on campus should have had at least one dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine by September 13, when the provincial proof of vaccination requirements come into effect, and two approved vaccine doses at least seven days prior to October 24.

Non-essential activities include:

  • Indoor sporting events
  • Indoor concerts/theatre/dance/symphony events
  • Cafeterias and restaurants, but on-campus cafeterias at universities and colleges are excluded.
  • Fitness centres/gyms
  • Indoor high-intensity group exercise activities
  • Organized indoor events (e.g., conferences, meetings, workshops)

This approach to proof of vaccination for non-essential activities will last until January 31, 2022, unless further extended by the PHO. The following factors were among those taken into consideration:

  • The two-month mandatory use of masks order will be strictly enforced on all five KPU campuses.
  • The level of activity expected on campus, especially of students attending class and seeking various services, and of employees returning to work as part of the KPU Return to Campus plan will be reduced during the Fall semester.
  • KPU will be continuing infection control measures, such as its extensive cleaning protocols, sanitation stations at major entrances to buildings, and limited indoor meetings, additionally ventilation systems continue to meet all required standards.
  • Given our five campuses and complex array of facilities and activities, KPU is unable to implement a timely, fair, secure and manageable proof of vaccine protocol, along with rapid testing options, without considerable additional resources.

Mandatory masks

In line with public health orders, masks will be mandatory in all indoor public areas on campus including lobbies, hallways, stairwells, elevators, classrooms and labs. Individuals can remove their masks while actively consuming food or drink while seated in indoor areas, including classrooms

Any student who is unable to wear a mask for medical reasons must apply to Accessibility Services for an exemption. The student process is in development and will be posted to the Accessibility Services web page as soon as it is available.

The mask exemption is a means of identifying someone who has a legitimate reason for not wearing a mask without them having to reveal personal information to everyone who asks.

Using classrooms for remote classes

If you are in a class that was scheduled to take place in a classroom this fall but has now moved to being remote, you are welcome to use the scheduled classroom space at the time of the class and join the class online from there.

Further updates

We will keep these plans under active review and we are ready to amend them again as provincial guidance evolves. Please bring forward any ideas or concerns to any employees.

Thank you all for your patience and perseverance as we work together to navigate the changing landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Return to Campus Update

August 27, 2021

Dear KPU students, faculty and staff

As we get closer to September’s return to campus, we want to assure you that KPU is committed to ensuring your health and safety.

Thank you for your patience as we work through the details regarding the requirement for the use of masks indoors and vaccinations for KPU students, faculty and staff.

We are working with the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training, the Provincial Health Office (PHO), our partners at the BC Association of Institutes and Universities (BCAIU), and our local health authorities to explore a confidential system of vaccine self-declaration to ensure the safest possible learning environment as we prepare to return to campus this fall.

In the coming days we will be working to develop a platform and process to manage your confidential data. We will also discuss the implementation of these measures with the Kwantlen Faculty Association, Kwantlen Students Association and BCGEU leadership.

To all KPU community members, we strongly recommend that you become vaccinated before returning to campus. We encourage those who are not yet vaccinated to visit one of the clinics available to you for free on KPU campuses. You can learn more facts about vaccines and clinics near you at https://immunizebc.ca/

Individuals who cannot be vaccinated for religious or medical reasons may be required to undertake regular COVID testing and provide recent test results.

Without a vaccination there will be areas of campus that will not be accessible to you, such as gym and recreation facilities as per PHO health orders.

In the meantime, it is uplifting to see that recent changes in the past week regarding masks and the BC Vaccine Card have resulted in increased vaccination registration. This will have a significant impact on vaccination rates and our collective safety as we all look forward to a safe return to campus.

We will follow the same implementation schedule for B.C. Vaccine Card, established by the PHO in its August 23rd announcement:

  • By September 13th, all those attending any campus should have their first vaccination from an approved list of vaccines.
  • By October 24, all those attending campus should have their 2nd vaccination

All of this work is a significant undertaking and we will finalize plans before September 7. We will continue to follow guidance from the Provincial Health Office and WorkSafeBC to ensure your safe return to campus this fall, including:

  • Mandatory use of masks indoors
  • Signage to remind everyone of the mask requirement
  • Free masks available at security stations for those in need
  • Hand sanitization stations at entry ways
  • Enhanced cleaning procedures remain in place, and ventilation systems will continue to be maintained in accordance with industry standards and WorkSafe BC requirements
  • Large indoor events remain on hold

Our priority is to continue to provide an optimal educational experience for all students while minimizing risks of infection for everybody.

Thank you,
Dr. Alan Davis
KPU President and Vice Chancellor

Preparing for a safe return to campus

August 25, 2021

We continue to prepare for a safe return to campus while watching with some alarm the growing transmission of the Delta variant, largely among those not yet vaccinated, although there are now cases of those fully vaccinated also being infected. 

These unanticipated developments have called into question how the post-secondary system can undertake a full return to campus on September 7th, as originally directed by the BC Public Health Office and the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training. 

In light of the current trends in infection rates, the PHO and AEST have now mandated the wearing of masks while indoors at all institutions for at least the first two months of the Fall semester. For those students and employees who had concerns about being face to face again at this time, this is welcome news.   

Furthermore, all post-secondary institutions are also subject to the Proof of Vaccination policy now in place for all non-essential indoor group activities such as gatherings, concerts, conferences, sports and recreation and presumably cafeteria eating. 

KPU is well-prepared to continue ensuring that it is fully operational and a safe place to work and study, and our Return to Campus plan for September 7th can easily be tweaked to include the new public health orders, although the timing is short.  

Our priority will be to continue to provide an optimal educational experience for students while minimizing risks of infection for everybody. 

We are using the following guidelines and assumptions as we pivot to address this emerging situation: 

  • We trust our employees, who, for the last 17 months, have demonstrated their ability to serve both students and each other using diverse delivery methods 
  • We salute the KPU students, who have shown themselves to be adaptable and resilient 
  • KPU’s instructors are skillful in managing their classes, and during this unique period of adjustment we empower and encourage them to use their own best judgement on how to safely deliver their courses 
  • We empower and encourage all non-instructional areas to adjust to the new mask order in consultation with their supervisors and colleagues 
  • We must finalize our adjusted plans quickly, and I would say, by at least by noon, August 30th which gives us one week to put up signage, develop communications and deal with the thousand and one other details that any changes will prompt 
  • We will ensure that students are well-informed of any changes to the delivery of their classes and services, and we will provide spaces for them to study on campus. 
  • We will keep and adhere to the current Fall semester timetable to offer either face to face or synchronous online classes so we can easily go back to our original plan when appropriate 
  • We will proceed with all the planned on-campus, hands-on instructional activities (labs, shops, studios and assessment sessions), adapted as necessary to the indoor mask mandate. 
  • If you need one, a non-medical surgical mask will be available to you at the security office on each campus.  
  • Speaking of which we have ordered branded KPU masks, which will be made available to frontline employees first. These masks will allow students who seek assistance to easily identify employees. 
  • Enhanced cleaning procedures remain in place, and ventilation systems will continue to be maintained in accordance with industry standards and WorkSafe BC requirements. 
  • Food services will re-open on campus, although, as stated earlier, sitting and eating in cafeterias may require Proof of Vaccination as prescribed by the BC Government. More to come on that soon. 
  • We will encourage all those who are not yet vaccinated to do so at one of the several on-campus and mobile clinics at KPU or in the community. 
  • Under the guidance of WorkSafe BC, we have developed a communicable disease prevention plan to reduce the risk of all respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. We’ll send a reminder on what this means before September 7th, but as of that date, employees and others will not need to report their daily health self-assessments nor make a request for a campus visit 

The safety of our students and employees is our number one priority and we will continue to review new provincial, federal and the post-secondary sector guidance on COVID-19 as it is released, respond when action is required, and keep you informed of changes in our approach.

Alan Davis, PhD
President and Vice Chancellor

Preparing for Fall 2021

July 30, 2021

In preparing for a return to campus in Fall 2021, KPU is, as always, following the guidance of the B.C. Public Health Office and the COVID-19 Return-to-Campus Guidelines, which were developed with lots of input from institutions across B.C.

Things are still in flux with respect to infection and immunization rates, so we will continue to review all new information from provincial and federal agencies, and we will respond to any changes to public health guidelines accordingly. These changes could happen with short notice and may vary between campuses, so check back regularly if you can.

For now, there is a lot of information to share about our current plan as we prepare for the province to move to the next step of the B.C. Restart Plan. We have captured much of that information in a chart accompanying this message.

Currently, B.C. is in Step 3 of its restart plan.

That means:

  • masks are recommended in indoor public places for all people 12 and older who are not yet fully vaccinated,
  • increased social contact is allowed,
  • indoor gatherings and meetings can be held for up to 50 people,
  • all B.C. workplaces will be transitioning from COVID-19 safety plans to a communicable disease safety plan.

During Step 3, KPU has moved from requiring masks be worn on campus to strongly recommending masks for everyone. While physical distancing is still recommended, we realize it might not always be possible as more employees return to campus to prepare the university for greater reopening in the fall.

KPU has actually maintained several Step 2 measures throughout the summer, just to be sure. These include the limited use of meeting rooms, and still requiring employees to complete a campus visit form and the KPU health check when attending campus.

So, on September 7, we move to Step 4 of the Restart Plan, which will mean:

  • masks become a personal choice,
  • normal in-person gatherings and social contact will be permitted,
  • workplaces will fully reopen and follow general communicable disease prevention guidance.

In line with the public health guidance for Step 4 and our objective of moving to a “New KPU”, we are planning on moving to a blended form of teaching, learning and working where operationally feasible and safe.

That means wearing masks at KPU will become a personal choice, but we ask you to remember that we each have our own comfort levels and to be respectful in our conversations when someone has a different mask preference.

For Step 4, campus visit forms and KPU’s daily health checks will no longer be required. But we do ask you to continue to monitor your health daily with the B.C. Government’s self-assessment tool and to not attend campus when feeling ill or experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms.

Normal social contact will resume and meeting rooms will be open in the Fall semester, with online booking of meeting rooms opening in early August. Events will be permitted in outdoor bookable spaces and in bookable meeting rooms to their allowed capacity. However, the board room and large indoor spaces will have limited access and capacity until January 2022 for logistical and safety reasons. We want to focus on instruction and service for students first of all. So, for example, Senate and Board meetings and Convocation will be virtual this Fall.

KPU’s COVID-19 plans will be replaced by general communicable disease plans and we will be sharing more details with you in the coming weeks. But we will be maintaining enhanced cleaning protocols through Fall 2021 to reduce the risk of all respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19.

Travel for students and employees on KPU business will remain restricted for the time being, but we will provide updates through the 2021-22 academic year as provincial and federal guidance evolves.

We understand that it will take time to adjust after the restrictions we have experienced over the past 18 months. But we have all developed a range of tools to help minimize the risks of transmission of any respiratory disease, including the wearing of masks, physical distancing and hand hygiene.

Employees concerned about working on campus can speak to their manager and can apply to HR for a medical accommodation if needed. They can book meeting rooms or meet outside if they feel the office or workspace is too small for a meeting. Meetings can also continue to be held virtually, and all meetings going forward should offer a virtual component where possible to be respectful of those working remotely.

While all existing COVID-19 signage will be removed, standard communicable disease signs will be put up where appropriate. Sanitation stations will remain in place at major entry points to reduce the spread of all respiratory disease.

Authorized vaccines have proven to be highly effective at reducing serious outcomes from the COVID-19 virus and KPU continues to encourage all those who can get vaccinated to do so. Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health authorities are currently running vaccination clinics at our Richmond and Langley campuses respectively. We are working with the health authorities to try to bring additional vaccination opportunities to our campuses in the Fall and we hope to be able to share more details with you in the coming weeks.

Even with the federal government’s planned change to border restrictions, it is important to remember that foreign nationals and international students will need to satisfy the Canadian Border Services Agency requirement that they are fully vaccinated. Those who cannot will need to quarantine and take mandatory COVID-19 tests.

The safety of our students and employees is our number one priority and we will continue to review new provincial, federal and the post-secondary sector guidance on COVID-19 as it is released, respond when action is required, and keep you informed of changes in our approach.

Alan Davis, PhD
President and Vice Chancellor

Fall 2021

June 18, 2021

Following the advice of B.C.'s Provincial Health Officer (PHO), KPU is planning a return to on-campus teaching, learning and research in September, but will also continue some remote and blended delivery of courses. This decision was supported by the PHO's confidence in mass immunization, updated health and safety protocols and the consistent review and re-calibration of multi-layered institutional safety plans.

In planning for the Fall term, KPU is proceeding on the basis of provincial forecasts that transmission rates will be low, and that all adults in B.C. will have had the opportunity to receive at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Drawing on provincial guidance and the lessons learned over the past year, we are planning for a return-to-campus in September with a new approach to learning and working at KPU – the New KPU.

The New KPU will continue to put the interests of students first. Recent student satisfaction surveys suggest that many enjoy the flexibility of remote learning, and a majority would like to preserve some elements, while others are missing the student life experience of being on campus with other students and their instructors.

KPU will be offering almost 2,000 classes in the Fall. In response to feedback from student surveys, we are looking at a mix of classes: with most being available face-to-face; some being strictly remote based; and some being a combination of remote and face-to-face learning.

Faculties and schools that require more hands-on learning, such as the Faculty of Trades and Technology, and the Faculty of Science and Horticulture, will have a higher percentage of face-to-face delivery, given the nature of their programs.

To help you plan for the upcoming Fall 2021 academic year, we have just published the University Calendar which lets you know which courses will be offered. The timetable will be released on June 25 and that will provide information on whether a course will be delivered face-to-face, or remotely, or in a blend of remote and face-to-face. Registration opens July 12. You will be notified by email with the exact date and time that you will be eligible to register. For more information about course delivery, registration, deadlines and fees, visit our Fall 2021 web page.

Please note that some of our plans cannot be finalized yet as we are waiting on the new and evolving guidance from the PHO and the province. We will provide further updates as additional information becomes available around topics such as library services, food services, parking, bookstores and more.

BC’s Restart and how the plan will impact KPU

May 26, 2021

The provincial government has released B.C.’s Restart:  A plan to bring us back together. This four-step plan maps out the gradual restart for the province, with a carefully staged approach to the loosening of public restrictions that were put in place to help curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus. While each step has an anticipated start date, each also has a set of criteria that must be met in order for the provisions of that step to take effect.

The first step began yesterday, May 25. The underlying criteria included:

  • At least 60 percent of the population over the age of 18 vaccinated with their first dose;
  • Stable COVID-19 case counts; and
  • Stable COVID-19 hospitalizations.

During this phase, physical distancing is still required and masks are still mandatory in public indoor settings. This includes the public indoor areas at KPU.

Additionally, we are still reminded that if you or anyone in your family feels sick, you must not report to work, and should get tested immediately.  Testing information can be found here. Employees are also reminded that they must continue to complete the Daily Health Assessment before coming to campus.

As you review the Restart plan, you will see that the advice to workplaces is to take a slow and careful approach to additional activity, including in-person meetings, until at least July. We will adhere to that approach, and so nothing will change in the near future regarding meetings and gatherings on campus except for in-person instruction and other limited activity that have an approved Safety Plan.

The Restart plan is purposefully careful so that we do not inadvertently undo the progress that has been made in reducing transmission of COVID-19. At KPU we will do our part to ensure that we follow the guidance that comes with each new step, as we want to continue moving forward and not take any steps back. The Restart is a road map; we anticipate we will receive specific guidance when the updated Go Forward Guidelines for the Post-Secondary Sector are released in the coming weeks. Once we receive and review the guidelines, we will be able to provide more clarity on what our approach to more on-campus activity for the fall semester will entail.

Thank you once again for your perseverance and dedication as we have collectively responded to the challenges of this pandemic over the last 15 months. A brighter summer is ahead, and we will keep you apprised of new information as it is released.

Sincerely,
Alan Davis, PhD
President and Vice Chancellor

KPU planning for return to campus

The Provincial Health Officer has advised post-secondary institutions to start planning for a return to more on-campus teaching, learning and research in Fall 2021. Kwantlen Polytechnic University is in the process of planning for that return and is reviewing the guidance in the COVID-19 Return-to-Campus Primer issued on April 30. These plans will be finalized after B.C.’s COVID-19 Go-Forward Guidelines for the post-secondary sector are updated. KPU will provide further updates to the university community when those plans are ready.

At this time, KPU continues to tightly limit the number of people working on campus in order to remain compliant with all public health orders and WorkSafe BC regulations. Some teaching is taking place on campus in a small number of programs where in-person teaching education is an essential part of the curriculum.

Students attending campus at KPU should complete a daily self-assessment prior to their arrival on campus. Completing the confidential B.C. COVID-19 Self-Assessment tool is the best way to perform this check as it aligns with the latest guidance from the B.C. Centre for Disease Control. See KPU’s student self-assessment page for more information.

Employees who are working on campus must complete KPU's employee online self-assessment form before starting their shifts. If for any reason you are unable to access the online tool, please call Security to confirm that you have met the requirements on this WorkSafe BC poster prior to beginning your shift.

All contractors working on campus will still be required to check-in with Security when they arrive on campus each day to confirm that they have met the requirements listed on this WorkSafe BC poster.

New online screening 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 all employees entering a workplace in the Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Health regions. KPU is subject to this order.

Employees who are working on campus must complete KPU's online self-assessment form before starting their shifts. If for any reason you are unable to access the online tool, please call Security to confirm that you have met the requirements on this WorkSafe BC poster prior to beginning your shift.

All contractors working on campus will still be required to check-in with Security when they arrive on campus each day to confirm that they have met the requirements listed on this WorkSafe BC poster.

At this time, KPU continues to tightly limit the number of people working on campus in order to remain compliant with all public health orders and WorkSafe BC regulations.  Accordingly, the majority of our employees will continue to work from home for the foreseeable future.

Daily health check-ins to move online as of January 18

Dear colleagues:

Thank you to all employees working on campus for your continued co-operation in ensuring our compliance regarding a daily health check-in at the beginning of your shifts.

As you know, further to public health orders issued in November, KPU is required to ensure that all employees confirm that they have completed a daily COVID-19 self-assessment before entering the workplace.

To date, we have required all employees working on campus to check in with Security to confirm in person that they have completed the self-assessment.  As of Monday, January 18, we will be moving to an online system, which can be accessed at this link: https://our.kpu.ca/sites/apps/covid19se/SitePages/Home.aspx

Employees who are working on campus must complete the self-assessment at this link before starting their shifts.  You will no longer be required to check in with Security.

Signage will be posted on all entry doors to remind employees of this daily requirement.  These posters will include a QR code that you can scan with your smart phone to instantly access the self-assessment link.

If for any reason you are unable to access the online tool, please call Security to confirm that you have met the requirements on this poster prior to beginning your shift.

All contractors working on campus will still be required to check-in with Security when they arrive on campus each day to confirm that they have met the requirements listed on this poster.

At this time, KPU continues to tightly limit the number of people working on campus in order to remain compliant with all public health orders and WorkSafe BC regulations.  Accordingly, the majority of our employees will continue to work from home for the foreseeable future.

I would like to remind everyone who is working on campus to ensure they adhere to all COVID-19 safety protocols, in addition to this daily self-assessment requirement, and I thank you for your continued diligence in helping us control the spread of this virus.

Please reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns.

Sincerely,
Pablo Dobud
Manager, Occupational Health and Safety
pablo.dobud@kpu.ca

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.