Update on travel restriction exemptions for international students
Educational institutions whose COVID-19 readiness plans have been approved by their provincial or territorial government will soon be able to welcome more international students back to their schools.
Amended travel restrictions will take effect on October 20, allowing international students to enter Canada if their designated learning institution (DLI) has an approved COVID-19 readiness plan in place. With primary responsibility for education and health care, provincial and territorial governments assess COVID-19 readiness plans that schools are putting in place.
To view Sterling College safety plans please visit: https://www.sterlingcollege.ca/safety/
Sterling College – On Campus Update
We are getting ready to reopen our campuses in Vancouver and Surrey.
Isolation Measures for New Arrivals:
We look forward to bringing our students back to our campus, which is such a big part of their experience. However, to ensure that everyone feels comfortable, all on-campus classes will be optional, and we will continue to provide online instruction for the time being. We are monitoring the situation closely and are being proactive in all of our efforts to re-open in a safe, health and responsible way.
Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) Update
Please note that the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) website is now live, and will be accepting applications as of May 15, 2020 at 6 am Eastern time.
The link to the CESB website is also available on the SABC COVID-19 Response Information page under Emergency Benefits.
In order to provide timely COVID-19 information updates to students, StudentAid BC has created a COVID-19 Response Information web page. Currently, the following topics are covered:
Federal Supports for Post-Secondary Students and Recent Graduates Affected by COVID-19
The federal government has announced a package of new and enhanced financial supports for post-secondary students:
Federal Change to International Student Work Hour Limits
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has announced that effective immediately and until August 31, 2020, international students may work more than the 20 hours/week during their regular academic session to assist with delivering essential services or functions to protect life and property, such as the health care sector.
Impacts of COVID-19 on Post-Secondary Students Survey (April 19 – May 1)
Statistics Canada is collecting data on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on post-secondary students and would appreciate your assistance in circulating the survey to students and student groups.
For general enquiries and technical assistance with the survey:
Contact Statistics Canada Monday to Friday (except holidays), from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (Eastern Time)
Thank you for the important role you play in supporting the provincial COVID-19 response. Please share these updates broadly within your respective institutions.
Removing barriers for international students working in essential services to fight COVID-19
To help battle the COVID-19 outbreak, starting immediately, the government will remove the restriction that allows international students to work a maximum of 20 hours per week while classes are in session, provided they are working in an essential service or function, such as health care, critical infrastructure, or the supply of food or other critical goods.
Here2Talk – 24/7 Student Mental Health Counselling and Referral Service
Responding to Requests for Supplies from an External Agency
Emergency Management BC (EMBC) has established a Provincial Supply Chain Coordination Unit to source and distribute critical supplies for essential service providers and communities in need.
StudentAid BC would like to extend our sincere gratitude to all our institutional partners who are working incredibly hard to support students during this challenging time.
Please review measures outlined below that have been put in place to mitigate any potential impacts related to COVID-19 on students who receive financial assistance.
Effective March 30, 2020, all British Columbia student loan borrowers will temporarily have their repayments suspended until September 30, 2020. During this time, no payment will be required, and interest that currently applies to the federal portion of student loans will not accrue. Repayment will be paused automatically, so borrowers do not need to apply to have their repayment suspended.
For more information on the suspension of repayment, please read the COVID-19 Information Update on the StudentAid BC website.
The following process changes have been put in place to support continued delivery of services at this time:
Please note the following COVID-19 updates:
The BC government announced new Support for Child Care Providers including funding for child care centres continuing to operate with reduced enrolment, as well as closed centres with fixed operating costs such as rent.
The Canadian Payroll Association released an Employer Q&A for COVID-19 to help operationalize the Federal Government payroll and employment insurance measures in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The BC Government announced a COVID-19 Action Plan which includes $5 billion in income supports, tax relief and direct funding for people, businesses and services.
The federal government announced additional Exemptions to Travel Restrictions which will apply to foreign nationals who have already committed to working, studying or making Canada their home.
Please share these updates broadly within your respective institutions.
The federal government announced an $82 billion COVID-19 Economic Response Plan. Highlights include:
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.
Attached is new guidance from Dr. Bonnie Henry on essential service workers.
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.
Please share these updates broadly within your respective institutions.
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.
Remember to protect yourself and others from Covid-19.
There is a lot of anxiety around the world at the moment but Sterling College continues to be positive during this time. We know that the COVID-19 virus will pass and life will soon get back to normal. However, it is through social contact that the virus spreads.
We are telling students to stay home for two weeks to prevent the spread of COVID-19, in accordance with the Canadian government advisory. All classes at Sterling College Surrey and Vancouver will be held online from March 16th until March 30th. All additional activities, including orientations and trips, will be postponed until further notice.
Sterling College teachers are ready and enthusiastic to teach and engage students online from the comfort of their homes. Administrative staff will be working flexible hours to take care of their children and families but will continue to support students and agents.
This decision is not based on fear but rather the responsibility and sensibility to protect the health and safety of all our students, teachers, homestays and staff. Instructions from the Public Health Agency of Canada state that anyone that comes to Canada will be asked to self-isolate for a period of 14 days.
Franklin Roosevelt said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” During this time we will lead with strength and resilience as a company to protect our students and our community.
Staying calm and respectful and avoiding social interactions, practicing social distancing and following proper health precautions are the best way to prevent the spread of the virus.
As we all know, Canada is one of the safest places to be in the world, with an excellent health care system that is well-prepared and citizens who are behaving responsibly.
Young and healthy students are safe here – let’s work together to keep it that way.
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) In January 2020, a novel (new) coronavirus (COVID-19) was identified as the cause of an outbreak of pneumonia originating in Wuhan, China. The situation is rapidly evolving and Public Health Ontario, along with the Ministry of Health, is closely monitoring the outbreak, conducting surveillance and appropriate laboratory testing, and providing public health and infection control guidance. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that originate in animals but are known to cause respiratory illness in humans, particularly during the fall and winter months. Other novel coronaviruses have included Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV).
The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has assessed the public health risk associated with COVID-19 as low for Canada. Public health risk is continually reassessed as new information becomes available. The risk to Canadian travellers abroad is generally low but will vary depending on the destination. The Public Health Agency of Canada is closely monitoring the spread of COVID-19 in other countries. Please consult the destination page on travel.gc.ca for the latest travel advice. It is important for all travellers to monitor their health when they return to Canada. While abroad, you may have come in contact with the novel coronavirus. PHAC asks that you monitor your health for fever, cough and difficulty breathing for 14 days after you arrive in Canada. If you have these symptoms, call the public health authority in the province or territory you are in to inform them. They will provide advice on what you should do. The risk of more severe illness may be higher for individuals with weakened immune systems such as older people or chronic diseases such as diabetes, or heart, renal or chronic lung disease.
Symptoms range from common to severe respiratory illnesses and include:
• difficulty breathing
Many of these symptoms are similar to seasonal influenza. Should you experience these symptoms AND have recently travelled internationally to an affected region, avoid contact with others and follow-up with your health care professional. In advance of attending a clinic advise them of your symptoms and travel history.
Continue to practise good hand washing techniques and hygiene practices.
As is the usual best practice, we encourage students and staff to:
• Wash your hands frequently and use hand sanitizer when needed
• Cough or sneeze into your elbow
• If you sick with a cold or the flu stay home
No one should be excluded or banned from attending classes or work. Students, staff and faculty with flu-like symptoms should stay home. At this time, the risk of contracting COVID-19 is low.
Travellers returning from other affected areas should monitor for symptoms. Those who develop symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) or any other symptoms within 14 days after returning to Canada, are advised to contact your health-care provider, or local health authority. Inform them about your symptoms and travel history.
You may also want to purchase the following items to keep on hand as a precautionary measure given the fact it is the flu seasons:
• Over-the-counter medication to reduce aches and fever (e.g., acetaminophen or ibuprofen)
• Cough medicine and throat lozenges
• Any prescription medicines you take
• A thermometer (non-mercury)
• Hand sanitizer (should contain at least 60% alcohol)
• Disinfecting wipes or cleaning products to clean your shared and personal space
• A water canteen or bottled water, and juice
If you are concerned about someone in the workplace who is ill and exhibiting flu-like symptoms or have concerns about safety in your workplace, speak to your Manager if you are staff and Staff member (Teacher or Student Services) if you are a student. Managers are advised to contact the HR Office. Employees who are ill with flu-like symptoms should advise their Manager, stay home and seek out medical advice accordingly
If you are planning to travel, please consult the Government of Canada website for travel advice and advisories related to COVID-19. You should be aware that some countries have entry and exit restrictions.
Students who are planning to travel outside of Canada are encouraged to:
Consult with your travel agency or service provider in order to determine if there are any restrictions or limitations. You may also wish to inquire into travel cancellation or re-booking.
Let Student Services at ILAC know you will be traveling, your dates and location.
Self-isolation means staying home. Do not use public transportation, taxis, or rideshares, attend work, school or other public places. Contact with others should be limited as much as possible.