COVID-19: Health and Safety
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Health and safety
What is TRU doing in response to COVID-19? Updated Aug. 14
As with all post-secondary institutions in British Columbia, TRU has been deemed a non-health essential service provider by the provincial government. TRU remains open and operating, but in different and limited ways. Classrooms and some buildings are closed, classes are being delivered by alternate methods and the majority of faculty and staff are working remotely. Students can still access services by email or phone and we continue to provide updated information on our TRU website.
We are monitoring what is happening with COVID-19 and taking our guidance from federal and provincial health officials, the Interior Health Authority and the provincial emergency management group.
At this time, only those performing essential work are on campus. By mid-August, we expect to welcome some employees back onto campus as part of our gradual return; however, it will not be everyone. In September, some students will return as well, specifically those in programs that require face-to-face delivery. This limited return recognizes that the risks around COVID-19 remain and our priority is ensuring people’s safety.
To learn more about TRU’s safety plan for this limited return, please see the Risk Management Services section of our website.
Where I can find TRU’s institutional safety plan? Added Aug. 14
TRU’s institutional safety plan is available in the Risk Management Services area of our website.
Do I need to take any training before returning to campus? Added Aug. 14
Yes. As part of our safety plan for the limited resumption this fall, before arriving on campus, all faculty, staff who will be working on campus, students attending face-to-face instruction and those participating in athletic training are required to take three mandatory courses now available on Moodle:
- Exposure Control Awareness (~30 min)
- PPE training (~30 min)
- TRU WHMIS Training (1-2 hours)
Details on accessing these courses are available here.
Do students, faculty, staff and visitors have any responsibilities when on campus to ensure the safety of the TRU community? Added Aug. 14
Yes. Everyone on campus will have the following responsibilities:
- To self-assess daily before arriving on campus (bc.thrive.health)
- To follow physical distancing in common spaces and as instructed in your classes.
- To frequently wash and or sanitize your hands.
- If you believe you are infected or have been in contact with COVID-19, call 811 and talk to a medical professional for next steps.
- You may need to sign in/sign out of some rooms.
- There may be times when you will need to sanitize/clean a surface or item. Signage and supplies will be provided.
Details on accessing these courses are available here.
What changes are taking place on campus to increase the safety of the students, faculty and staff returning this fall? Updated Sept. 3
- Cleaning protocols on campus have increased and are consistent with the provincial health officer and WorkSafeBC recommendations for post-secondary institutions.
- Some rooms and spaces are closed or rearranged to allow for physical distancing.
- Signage will be posted throughout campus to identify room occupancies, traffic flow, physical distancing, etc.
- The library is open for online services but is closed to in-person visitors.
- Changes have been made to address air quality. Please see the question, “Is the ventilation, turnover of air (frequent outside air replenishment) and filtering of air going to be increased in our buildings?”
Should I wear a mask if I’m on campus or in a classroom or lab? Updated Aug. 27
We recommend that if you’re coming to campus to always bring a non-medical mask since there may be times that you wish to wear one for your personal comfort or when physical distancing of at least two metres is not possible. Masking will be required in specifically identified academic locations (e.g., labs, shops).
I don’t feel sick, nor do my friends. Why can’t we get together in groups to hang out or study? Updated Aug. 14
Physical distancing continues to be our most effective measure to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Part of the reason for social distancing and keeping away from others is there is a possibility you could carry the virus without showing any symptoms, and so could your friends. You or they might unknowingly spread it to others who could become seriously ill.
In any social gathering, it is difficult to keep an appropriate distance of two metres, or about two arms’ lengths. You and your friends can keep in touch by phone, email or online or find new, creative ways to connect from a distance.
When you stay home, you are protecting yourself and others. Find out more from the BC Centre for Disease Control.
Is ventilation, turnover of air (frequent outside air replenishment) and filtering of air going to be increased in our buildings? Added Aug. 14
Yes, we are increasing outside air, running fans longer, and changing filters more frequently. We are also “flushing” out the air before occupancy and after occupancy, which means we are turning on the fans a couple hours earlier in the morning and then running them longer at the end of the day to replace all the air in the space.
I’m feeling sick. What do I do? Updated Sept. 3
Since COVID-19 symptoms are similar to many other illnesses, if you are at home and feeling unwell, stay home. If you are on campus and develop symptoms, inform your supervisor and go home. In both cases, monitor your symptoms, perform the BC COVID-19 self-assessment and follow the directions provided.
What do I do if I think I have been exposed or have a confirmed case of COVID-19? Updated Sept. 3
If you believe you are infected or have been in contact with someone with COVID-19, call 8-1-1 and speak to a medical professional about next steps. In the event of a confirmed case, Interior Health is responsible for informing other parties (including the university) as required to assist with contact tracing.
What can individuals do to prevent the virus from spreading? Updated Sept. 3
Health officials indicate the best measures against the virus are similar to those to prevent seasonal influenza:
- Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds using soap and water. If a sink is not available, use alcohol-based hand rubs (hand sanitizer).
- Avoid touching your eyes/nose/mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cough or sneeze into your elbow or sleeve.
- Dispose of tissues appropriately.
- Stay at home when ill, and avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Practice social distancing. Even if you are not sick you should still keep about two meters (six feet) or the length of a queen-sized bed from others.
For additional information, visit HealthLinkBC.
If you are coming to campus, we each have additional shared responsibilities to help stop the spread of COVID-19. This includes self-assessing daily before coming to campus using the BC COVID-19 self-assessment tool.
I feel overwhelmed. What can I do? Updated Aug. 10
All post-secondary students in BC have a new mental-health counselling and referral service that’s specifically for their needs. Here2Talk offers free, single-session confidential services that students can access at any time by an app, phone or online chat. Students get in touch with a counsellor by calling 1-877-857-3397 toll free, or from outside of Canada, 1-604-642-5212. The app and online chat are available at here2talk.ca.
We encourage students experiencing stress to access the resources we have available. Counselling Services are available virtually, and you can schedule an appointment by calling 250-828-5023 or emailing email@example.com. You will be contacted by a counsellor via email about an appointment.
There are other resources you might find helpful if you have specific needs:
- the Multi-Faith Chaplaincy offers reflection, understanding, and perspective on big, theoretical questions
- the Medical Clinic offers assistance if you are physical or mentally unwell
- Early Alert and Student Case Managers can provide support to students in academic distress
If your needs are less urgent and you’re looking for some friendly suggestions, TRU Student Life has some strategies and resources.
Students, faculty and staff
Refer to the TRU COVID-19: Resources page for more health-related information.
The federal government and other organizations have also established Wellness Together Canada: Mental Health and Substance Use Support as a free, online resource that includes self-assessment tools, self-guided courses, group coaching and counselling by text or phone.
LinkedIn offers the course How to Manage Feeling Overwhelmed. LinkedIn Learning courses are free for TRU employees.
Will the university be doing contact tracing? Added Sept. 3
In the event of a confirmed case, Interior Health is responsible for informing other parties (including the university) as required to assist with contact tracing.
Are all university-related trips cancelled?
All Canadians have been asked to avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada. As such, TRU has cancelled all university-sponsored travel outside of Canada involving staff, faculty and students.
As of March 25, 2020, it is mandatory under the Quarantine Act that anyone arriving in British Columbia from outside of Canada to self-isolate and monitor for symptoms for 14 days upon their arrival and complete/register a self-isolation plan.