Post-secondary unions, faculty associations, and community members are calling on the BC government to implement stronger campus public health measures in advance of September.
“The BC COVID-19 Return-to-Campus guidelines are not consistent with the best-available evidence, do not follow the precautionary principle, and disregard the layers of protection that could prevent COVID-19 transmission in post-secondary environments. We are requesting that the Ministry publish new guidelines that correct these deficiencies,” said TSSU Chief Steward Katie Gravestock.
“Even in highly vaccinated countries, the extremely infectious Delta variant has proven to be a game-changer. We need both vaccination and public health measures in order to protect students, staff, and faculty as well as the wider community from infection. The Central Okanagan outbreak, leading to hundreds of cases, should be a wake-up call that the current post-secondary guidelines are entirely inadequate,” said Andrew Longhurst, a PhD student researching health policy and politics.
The letter calls on the Ministry to issue revised guidelines based on the following measures:
- Improve ventilation and establish provincial ventilation and HVAC standards;
- Mandate masks for classrooms and indoor settings;
- Set occupancy limits for shared spaces and classrooms;
- Maintain classroom configurations that enable minimum of two-metre physical distancing, which will likely require reducing class sizes in many cases; and,
- Provide access to routine community and on-campus symptomatic and asymptomatic testing.
Please sign the open letter to call on the BC Government to protect post-secondary workers, students, and community members by implementing stronger health measures as they return to campus this September.