As many of you know, on March 11, 2020 the World Health Authority declared the global outbreak of the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, as a pandemic. At Coast Mountain College, the health and safety of our staff, faculty, students and community members is our top priority.
Coast Mountain College’s leadership team is in regular contact with health authorities and other post-secondary institutes across the province in an effort to share information and keep on top of this quickly-evolving situation. We have also been notified that events with more than 250 people will be cancelled or postponed in the province. We were also told by the Ministry that they strongly recommend cancelling any travel outside of Canada, including the United States.
It is very important to note that the Provincial Health Officer’s message is that the public health risk associated with COVID-19 remains low. Coast Mountain College has no confirmed reports of presumptive COVID-19 infection.
So what are we doing at Coast Mountain College as the situation develops?
Last week a cross-function, cross-campus committee was struck to examine all of the possible impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak as the situation develops. It is our belief that advance planning and putting in place mitigation plans, will help us act quickly should the need arise. This committee is meeting weekly, and will meet more frequently as required.
We are taking the situation very seriously and are in regular contact with local, regional and provincial health authorities and are in close communication with our colleagues at post-secondary institutes across the province.
Coast Mountain College will continue to follow the advice and recommendations coming from the BC Centre of Disease Control and are relying on this resource for all of the most up-to-date information as the impact in BC evolves.
We are committed to communicating changes as they arise. As such, we have launched a web page dedicated to providing links to the BC Centre of Disease Control, Health Canada travel advisories and helpful information for preventing the spread of COVID-19. We will communicate via email blasts, our official Facebook page, Instagram stories and through media updates as required. We will also update CMTN staff and faculty through our regular and special Town Hall meetings as needed.
We all have a role to play in reducing the spread of this, or any other flu-like virus. We are urging everyone in the Coast Mountain College Community to:
- Please wash your hands with soap and water, frequently, thoroughly and for at least 20 seconds each time.
- Please use hand sanitizers made available at our campus as needed, but do not rely on this as an alternative to washing.
- Avoid touching your face with your hands, especially if they are unwashed.
- If you need to cough or sneeze, please do so into a tissue and discard it, or do so into the arm or elbow if tissues are unavailable.
- Practice social distancing.
- Do not share cups, food, cigarettes or cannabis items with one another.
- If you are sick – please stay home.
- If you have to travel outside of Canada, please self-declare. We will ask you to self-quarantine for two weeks upon re-entry to Canada. Please also let all students know if they leave, we will ask them to self-quarantine. During this time, we will make all possible efforts to support students so they are not unfairly affected.
- We do not recommend that employees or students attend any gatherings of 250 people or more. If employees are planning on attending a gathering of this size, please speak with your manager.
- We will cancel all non-essential visits to the College from out-of-country visitors until the ban is lifted.
- If you have travelled outside Canada or you are experiencing any of the symptoms of COVID-19 please call the HealthLink BC line at 8-1-1. Services are available in English, Punjabi, Cantonese and Mandarin.
President & CEO, Coast Mountain College
Sarah Zimmerman, APR
Executive Director, Communications