As students have been back in classrooms for over a month, the back-to-school season has brought some concerns among students regarding the safety measures TRU has on campus. Sarah Martin, manager at the Office of Safety & Environment Management, elaborates on how the university plans to respond.
University life is back, and students are finally getting a sense of normality. This does mean, however, that being in constant contact with people from different groups puts everyone at a higher risk of COVID spread.
Thankfully, the university has a plan in place to execute, if they ever find themselves in an emergency situation.
“If they have COVID symptoms, they are to call 811 and follow the direction provided,” says Martin.
811 is a free-of-charge provincial health information and advice phone line available in British Columbia. The person should follow the instruction provided in the call, whether it be to isolate or to get a rapid test done.
Martin also mentions, “students should contact their instructors and let them know they are ill. The same process for employees, they just notify their supervisor.”
Since TRU also offers a blended mode of delivery for the courses, students can be able to continue the courses without many obstacles, even in case of a positive covid case.
One of the major concerns is the use of masks during in-person class hours. Every student is required to wear a mask that covers their mouth and nose while they are inside a building, although some students have reported that a few professors take their mask off if they are not in close proximity to the students. The professors, in most cases, did ask permission to do so, and the students agreed.
Martin states that those with a positive test do not have to disclose the information to anyone.
“This is private medical information. This information is kept in the strictest of confidence when provided to TRU. If a situation arises that requires notification out to a broader group of people beyond those deemed a close contact by Interior Health, TRU will communicate to the impacted people,” Martin said.
With an average of 697 new cases per day, B.C. is definitely not out of the risk zone which stands as an important reason for why we need to be safe.
A few tips Martin suggests are to “get vaccinated, wear your mask, wash hands, self-assess, and stay home when ill.”
The Office of Safety & Environment Management has created a poster campaign across campus which helps students determine whether or not they should attend classes. They have also enabled various resources, which include a Case Management Team, direct contact and liaison with IH, Rapid Testing Clinic, Vaccine Clinic, and other varying procedures to ensure students have a safe and stress-free semester.