With the Winter 2022 semester kicking off students have begun to gather once again in classrooms. The Omega spoke with some students about their thoughts on navigating campus safely.
The Omicron variant was first reported in Canada at the end of November 2021. Since then it has rapidly spread throughout the country and has caused major concern in BC. The Ministry of Health has taken various safety measures such as cancelling sports events, closing fitness centres and nightclubs.
While some students express concern about the mode of delivery this semester: TRU is ready with an Exposure Control Plan – Communicable Diseases in the event of an outbreak. This
The B.C. weekly Covid-19 repost has shown a 16.7 per cent increase in positive cases this past week, the majority being from the age group of 20 to 29. As well, 11 new outbreaks in healthcare settings have been recorded. Kamloops has seen a slight increase in cases per week and urges its citizens to follow the health protocols.
The Royal Inland Hospital has been overcrowded since mid-November of last year, taking in more patients than beds available. The Health Ministry stated that Royal Inland Hospital was the most overcrowded in B.C.
Testing clinics in the city have also seen a rapid increase of clients this winter break, a lot of them being university students and young adults.
Due to the news, different B.C. universities have decided to go fully remote during the first weeks of this winter semester. University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, University of Northern B.C. and the University of Victoria have all started remote classes until Jan 24.
Panthi Parikh, a second-year BBA student was one of the many students who had to get tested for Covid after being in close contact with a possible positive case. Thankfully she reported she tested negative, but this experience has left her uneasy going into the semester.
“It was a very stressful time having to wait for results and not knowing if I had covid or not, especially having to share a space with three girls and I think it will continue to happen throughout the semester because a lot of people are testing positive,” said Parikh.
“I know some people who don’t want to get tested because they are scared of having to quarantine and miss class, so I think having in-person classes is a bit risky during this time and a lot of students would prefer to go online at least until the outbreak is better contained,” added Parikh.
While concerns are normal during these times, TRU will follow the plan written in the Exposure Control Plan for Communicable Diseases document which states “TRU will transition to a remote working/learning platform during high-risk periods if directed by the Provincial Health Office (PHO), Interior Health, or WorkSafe BC. We have followed the guidance of the PHO throughout the pandemic and are continuing to do so, supported by measures to keep everyone safe.”
In the meantime, students can also ensure everyone’s safety by wearing their masks during class, attaining social distance and avoiding big social gatherings.