Update on COVID-19

Western Community College > Blog > Announcements > Update on COVID-19

Updated: April 14, 2020

Canada Summer Jobs Program Update

The Government of Canada has announced changes to the Canada Summer Jobs program.  Job placements could begin as early as May 11, 2020, and end as late as February 28, 2021. Learners will be able to search for jobs available in their communities through the Federal Job Bank website and app.

Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Program Eligibility

The Government of Canada has update information on the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Program, outing eligibility for international students in the PGWP Program during COVID-19.

COVID-19 Resources:

Updated: April 6, 2020

Specifications and criteria for personal protective equipment (PPE) and other products

If your organization has the capacity and resources to manufacture personal protective equipment (PPE) please:

  • Visit the provincial COVID-19 Supply Hub website to submit an offer to donate. This will help provincial health authorities to coordinate and expedite these supplies to our front-line health workers fighting COVID-19.
  • Refer to the Canadian criteria for these priority supplies on the Specifications for COVID-19 Products website to ensure products continue to meet the needs of our front-line health workers.

Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) Program Update

The Government of Canada has updated information on CERB program eligibility which may apply to students and international students residing in Canada. Benefit applications are set to launch April 6, 2020.

Federal Travel Restrictions Update

The Government of Canada announced exemptions to air travel restrictions in response to COVID-19. Exemptions will apply to international students, temporary foreign workers and approved permanent residents to enter Canada.  

COVID-19 Resources:

Updated: March 20, 2020

Public Safety Minister Bill Blair said international students, workers on visas and temporary foreign workers will also be able to enter Canada, with the expectation that they’ll respect the government’s request to self-isolate for 14 days.
Related: https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canada-us-travel-restrictions-deal-1.5502632

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Service Delivery Update (Updated: March 19, 2020 3:52 PM)

In addition to information provided in our March 12, 2020 email, SABC has made further process changes to support continued delivery of services at this time:

  • To ensure timely document processing, please encourage students to submit documents and correspondence though their SABC dashboard account or by email to StudentAidBC@gov.bc.ca (excluding those requiring an ink signature).
    • At this time, an exception has been made to accept Part-Time Applications via document upload or email.
  • Many institutions are moving towards online delivery of programs to comply with public health directives. SABC will support these measures through the following changes:
  • For Program Year 2019/20 (ending July 31, 2020), existing programs moving from on site to online delivery do not require a Confirmation of Distance Education Eligibility (CODEE) form.  Institutions do not need to notify SABC of these changes but must ensure compliance with their regulator.
  • Online programs submitted for the 2020/21 Program Year will be assessed based on the current Online Program Policy.

We will continue to monitor the situation to assess whether further adjustments are needed.

Please be aware that a COVID-19 information bulletin for students has been posted on the Latest News page on the StudentAid BC website.

Latest COVID-19 updates (Updated: March 19, 2020)

  1. Federal Economic Response Plan

The federal government announced an $82 billion COVID-19 Economic Response Plan.  Highlights include:

  • Canada Student Loan repayments and interest accrual will be suspended for six months.  The Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training is working with the Ministry of Finance on a strategy for BC Student Loans, which are integrated with Canada Student Loans, as part of BC’s COVID-19 response plan.
  • New Emergency Support Benefits for workers facing unemployment who are ineligible for EI, as well as a new Indigenous Community Support Fund.
  • All non-essential travel across the Canada-US border is temporarily restricted.
  1. On-campus Child Care

The Provincial Health Officer is currently not recommending child care closures for the prevention of COVID-19.  A variety of options are being considered to support access to child care services for essential service workers.  The Ministry of Children and Family Development is monitoring the situation closely and reviewing child care funding policies to support both childcare providers and families.

  1. First Responders

The Provincial Health Officer issued advice on self-isolation precautions for first responders (see link).

Updated: March 18, 2020

There are three COVID-19 updates:

  1. Federal Travel Restrictions
  • The federal government announced several travel restrictions in response to COVID-19 including limitations on:
    • International flights;
    • Entry of passengers to Canada, including those who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents; and,
    • Entry of passengers with COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Further details are available on federal government websites:
  1. Essential Service Workers

Attached is new guidance from Dr. Bonnie Henry on essential service workers.

  1. COVID-19 Symptom Self-assessment Tool

The BC Ministry of Health developed a COVID-19 symptom self-assessment tool to help determine whether you may need further assessment or testing for COVID-19.

Updated: March 17, 2020

Today, the Provincial Health Officer issued direction against gatherings of 50 people or more. Please comply with this new direction in order to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus. If you have messaging on an institutional website, please update the messaging to reflect this new direction.

Please share this update and distribute the 2 attached COVID-19 posters broadly within your respective institutions.

  • COVID-19 guidance and recommendations from the Provincial Health Officer are available online at the BC Pandemic Preparedness website.
  • Please monitor the BC Centre for Disease Control website for updates, information and resources.
  • For non-health related COVID-19 questions (e.g. supports, programs, etc), a new dedicated phone line has been set up at 1-888-COVID-19.
  • If you require advice regarding a potential COVID-19 case, please contact your local Medical Health Officer.

Thank you for all your leadership and the support you are providing to your post-secondary communities.

Updated: March 14, 2020

Globally and across our local communities, the concerns around COVID-19 (the “coronavirus”) are on all our minds. The health, safety, and well-being of our students and employees is Western Community’s top priority and we are following the lead of the Canadian Health authorities on this issue. We are committed to providing a comfortable and safe learning environment at all our locations.

Therefore, WCC is transitioning from in person class instruction to alternative means of instruction, such as video conferencing amid COVID-19 concerns until the overall situation improves. For the week beginning March 16th, 2020 through March 22nd, 2020, we are suspending all our classes. As of March 23, 2020 alternative delivery methods of courses will be implemented including video-conferencing.

All major events stand suspended for now. The orientation of International students for March Intake will be conducted online. Campuses will remain open and all administrative operations will continue as normal. The most current information for students, staff and faculty will be posted regularly on our website.

Please visit the link below for more information for the latest updates, information, symptoms, and prevention of COVID-19.


Updated: March 12, 2020

Globally and across our local communities, the concerns around COVID-19 (the “coronavirus”) are on all our minds. The health, safety, and well-being of our students and employees is Western Community’s top priority and we are following the lead of the Canadian Health authorities on this issue. We are committed to providing a comfortable and safe learning environment at all our locations.

First and foremost, I want to assure our students that we are taking all appropriate measures to ensure our campuses are safe and that we have existing plans and protocols in place to ensure to stay that way. As the Public Health Agency of Canada has assessed the current public health risk associated with the coronavirus as low, we will continue to monitor for developments day-to-day.

If you are unsure or have any concerns surrounding this please address them directly at the college front-desk, and if you cannot come in person please contact us via email at info@westerncommunitycollege or call us at 604-594-3500 (Surrey), and 604-776-1301 (Abbotsford). Again, we are monitoring this closely and will continue to provide updates as needed. We also encourage you to stay up-to-date through the Public Health website.

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