PHO recommends on-campus instruction in January 2022

Posted on

On Dec. 21, 2021, Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, sent a letter to presidents of colleges and universities in British Columbia. The letter reinforces that, at this time, public health experts strongly recommend the continuation of on-campus instruction in January 2022. Should anything change, College of the Rockies will communicate with the college community as quickly as possible via email, our website and our social channels.

Additionally, on Dec. 21, 2021, the B.C. Government announced several additional measures for a safer holiday season. The revised Provincial Health Officer orders take effect from Dec. 22, 2021, until Jan. 18, 2022 and include:

  • No organized indoor social events and gatherings of any size;
  • Concerts, sports games and theatres are reduced to 50 per cent seated capacity, regardless of venue size;
  • Closing gyms, fitness centres and dance studios;
  • Limiting table sizes at restaurants, cafes and pubs to a maximum of six people per table with physical distancing or barriers.

These restrictions are in addition to the orders announced on Dec. 17, 2021.

College of the Rockies’ President and CEO, Paul Vogt, encourages everyone to continue to follow all protocols of masking, distancing, and limiting in-person gatherings over the holidays. “I was hoping we would be able to celebrate this season in a more “normal” way”, he said. Unfortunately, with rising concern about the Omicron variant, we all need to be extra vigilant.”

The College will continue to follow all Provincial Health Order directions and COVID protocols.  As well. the College’s COVID Task Force group has been preparing for added safety measures in case they may become necessary, and for a range of actions that might be called for in the new year.  “It is encouraging to reflect that we have kept our campuses safe through periods of lock-down, partial-use, and full-use over the past two years,” said Vogt.  “At present, we are still planning and expecting a full return to classes in the winter term as scheduled and are monitoring for any updates that impact the College”, said Vogt.

Update December 31, 2022: As the nature of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to change including the emergence of the Omicron variant, the Ministry of Advanced Education and Training in consultation with the Provincial Health Officer (PHO) has advised that all post-secondary institutions delay in-person instruction until Monday, January 10th, 2022, with some possible exceptions for time sensitive programs including those with experiential components, which may begin as planned on January 4th, with appropriate COVID protocols in place.  At College of the Rockies, this means that a return to in-person classes will start the week of January 10th for most – but not all — programs.