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Frequently Asked Questions About Coronavirus
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Campus Coronavirus Update

News Update: Thursday, September 2nd 10:30am PST

This September, ILAC Education Group and Sterling College will require all international students to present a vaccine passport to join in-person classes in Toronto and Vancouver.

The updated ILAC Education Group and Sterling College vaccine policy will take effect on September 7, 2021.

“These are our values,” say Jonathan Kolber, CEO of ILAC Education Group and Sterling College. “Everyone deserves to have a safe place to study and we are following Canadian public health guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID and the new Delta variant.”

To be considered fully vaccinated, students must have:

•             Two doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna or AstraZeneca

•             One dose of Johnson & Johnson

To be considered partially vaccinated, students must have:

•             One dose of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna or AstraZeneca

No other vaccines will be accepted as per Health Canada regulations. Students who are considered partially vaccinated will have a grace period of six weeks to become fully vaccinated.

As of September 7, 2021, fully vaccinated international students can enter Canada with a valid Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) or Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) for a program of fewer than six months. Students who are fully vaccinated do not need to quarantine and can immediately start in-person classes at ILAC Education Group and Sterling College.

International students who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated must have a valid study permit to enter Canada and will need to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

For more information, please see the ILAC Education Group and Sterling College COVID-19 Vaccine Policy for Students or contact your ILAC Education Group and Sterling College representative.

News Update: Tuesday, May 18th 3:45pm PST

COVID-19 Vaccination Eligibility in BC

Everyone 18 and older in B.C. is eligible to get vaccinated, even if you don’t have a Personal Health Number or other documentation. We strongly encourage all students to register and get the COVID-19 vaccine.

There are 3 steps to get vaccinated:

If you have a Personal Health Number which you are given once you are registered with MSP, register online at : https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/vaccine/register

If you do not have a Personal Health Number (do not yet have MSP), register by phone:

1-833-838-2323 (Translators are available) Seven days a week, 7am to 7pm PST)

News Update: Monday, February 22nd 9:00am PST

Effective February 22, 2021 at 12 a.m. EST, in addition to providing a negative pre-departure COVID-19 test, all students arriving in Canada must take two COVID-19 molecular tests — one on arrival at the airport and another at-home test kit at the end of their quarantine period.

Before traveling to Canada, all students must also book and pay for a three-night stay in a government-authorized hotel to wait for the results of their first test.

The list of government approved hotels and booking information can be found here.

Before you leave for Canada

  1. Download the free ArriveCAN mobile app. ArriveCAN must be used prior to your arrival in Canada to provide mandatory contact details and quarantine plan information.
  2. Take a COVID-19 test 72 hours prior to your flight.
  3. Book your room at a government-authorized hotel for three nights by calling 1-800-294-8253.
  4. If flying into Vancouver, please review the Covid-19 testing at YVR here COVID-19 Testing at Vancouver YVR before you leave your country.

When you arrive in Canada

  1. Complete your COVID-19 test at the airport.
  2. Proceed immediately from the airport to your reserved government-authorized accommodation.
  3. Receive your results from your arrival COVID-19 test and proceed to your pre-arranged accommodation for the remainder of your 14-day mandatory quarantine.

Please visit the Canadian Government website for more information about boarding flights to and within Canada and travel restrictions in Canada.

At Sterling College, we are committed to helping you through the above process to ensure you have a safe and comfortable experience. Please contact your CTC representative to arrange your personalized arrival and quarantine plan in Canada.

News Update: Monday, January 4th 1:00pm PST

Effective January 7, 2021, at 12:01 a.m. EST, all air passengers five years of age or older will be required to test negative for COVID-19 before travelling from another country into Canada.

Documentation of a negative laboratory test result must be presented to the airline prior to boarding a flight to Canada. The test must be performed using a COVID-19 molecular polymerase chain reaction (or PCR) test and must be taken within 72 hours prior to the traveller’s scheduled departure to Canada.

Anyone who receives a negative test result and is authorized to enter Canada must still complete the full, mandatory 14-day quarantine. See the Government of Canada’s news release for more details.

All students preparing for travel to Canada should consult our COVID-19 Student Safety Guide to ensure requirements for travel and quarantine in Canada have been met, or contact our representatives with any questions.

News Update: Friday, October 2nd 4:00pm PST

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/

News Update: Tuesday, May 24th 4:00pm PST

Sterling College – On Campus Update

We are getting ready to reopen our campuses in Vancouver and Surrey.

Classes:

  • Sterling College will move to a blended learning model consisting of both online and offer in-person support sessions
  • In person support sessions will be offered in Vancouver with small groups of 5-8 students in a class
  • In person classes will initially be offered for courses that require access to specific equipment, such as nursing and flight attendant. Other courses will remain online until restrictions are loosened by the public health officer

Safety Measures:

  • Thermometers for taking student/employee temperatures at the main entrance
  • Social distancing inside all schools, classrooms and office space
  • Masks will be provided to all students
  • Students will be required to wear masks at all times – we have 5000 in stock and a reliable supplier as we need more
  • Medical grade air filters, (HEPA Filtration Units) as used by dentists and medical clinics, 180 in stock and 1 for each classroom and common areas which clean the air 4 times per hour
  • Hand sanitizers at all entrances and in stock
  • Regular hand washing protocol (signage across the building)
  • Disinfection through fogging and misting
  • Acrylic safety shields installed at the reception desks
  • Face shields for employees in high traffic areas and for teachers
  • Nurses on-campus to monitor all procedures are being followed correctly
  • Vancouver will allow for a maximum of 50 people per floor as per city guidelines

Isolation Measures for New Arrivals:

  • Dedicated homestay families willing to quarantine new arrivals in Vancouver
  • Securing hotels that are setting up for self-quarantine

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.

News Update: Friday, May 15th 9:00am PST

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.

News Update: Wednesday, May 6th 3:00pm PST

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:

  • Emergency benefits
  • Additional student financial supports for 2020-21
  • Repayment supports
  • Temporary service delivery changes
  • Interruption of Study
  • Program eligibility for student financial assistance

News Update: Thursday, April 23 – 5:00pm PST

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:

  • Targeted supports for students who are ineligible for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit;
  • Increased and expanded eligibility for student financial aid;
  • Targeted supports for Indigenous students; and,
  • Expanded supports for graduate 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.

  • All students are encouraged to take part as the results will help governments and other organizations evaluate the need for future services and assistance programs to support post-secondary students during and after the pandemic.
  • To find out more and participate in the short questionnaire, students can visit www.statcan.gc.ca/COVID-students.

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.

COVID-19 Resources:

News Update: Wednesday, April 22 – 9:00am PST

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.

Click here for more details.

News Update: Friday, April 17 – 9:00am PST

Here2Talk – 24/7 Student Mental Health Counselling and Referral Service

  • Yesterday, Minister Melanie Mark announced the launch of Here2Talk. All students currently registered in a B.C. post-secondary institution have access to free, confidential counselling and community referral service, conveniently available 24/7 via app, by phone (1-877-857-3397) and online at Here2Talk.ca

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.

  • If your organization is contacted by an external agency seeking access to surplus supplies or services, please inform them that all requests for BC supplies are being coordinated by EMBC.
  • Please report any external requests for supplies to EM@gov.bc.ca for ministry follow-up.

COVID-19 Resources:

News Update: Friday, March 27 – 2:00pm PST

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.

Temporary Suspension of Repayment

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.

Service Delivery Process Changes

The following process changes have been put in place to support continued delivery of services at this time:

  • To ensure timely document processing, please encourage students to submit documents and correspondence through their StudentAid BC dashboard account or by email to StudentAidBC@gov.bc.ca (excluding documents 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 toward online delivery of programs to comply with public health directives. StudentAid BC 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 and institutions do not need to notify StudentAid BC of these changes but must ensure compliance with their regulator.
  • StudentAid BC will waive online distance policy requirements for new programs for the remainder of the program year, if all other program eligibility requirements are met.   However, to notify StudentAid BC of the new online program, please submit a CODEE.
  • Online programs submitted for the 2020/21 Program Year will be assessed based on the current Online Program Policy.

National Student Loans Service Centre Service Disruption

  • StudentAid BC is working with the National Student Loans Service Centre (NSLSC) to address a temporary NSLSC systems outage that has affected disbursements. This outage resulted in disbursements being temporarily halted.
  • NSLSC is working on this issue and we will provide regular updates on this matter until the issue is resolved.
  • We will provide further updates as required.

News Update: Tuesday, March 24 – 11:10am PST

Please note the following COVID-19 updates:

  1. Provincial Child Care Supports

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.

  1. Payroll COVID-19 Q&A

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.

  1. Provincial COVID-19 Action Plan

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.

  1. Federal Travel Exemptions

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.

COVID-19 Resources:

News Update: Thursday, March 19 – 9:00 am PST

    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

    Click here for more information on Provincial Health Officer-issued advice on self-isolation precautions for first responders.

News Update: Wednesday, March 18 – 9:45 am PST

  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.

Please share these updates broadly within your respective institutions.

COVID-19 Resources:

News Update: Tuesday, March 17 – 9:15am PST

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.

  • COVID-19 guidance and recommendations from the Provincial Health Officer are available online at the BC Pandemic Preparedness
  • 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.

Remember to protect yourself and others from Covid-19.

News Update: Sunday, March 15 – 9:10 am PST

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.

News Update: Thursday, March 12 9:50am PST

What is it?

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).

Who is at risk?

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.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms range from common to severe respiratory illnesses and include:

• fever
• cough
• 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.

What can I do to protect myself?

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

Should teachers or staff come to school if they have flu like symptoms?

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.

How to self-monitor.

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)
• Tissues
• 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

What if I am concerned with someone that is exhibiting symptoms at the school?

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

What if I’ve recently travelled or plan to travel?

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.

What does self isolation mean?

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.

 

Additional Information

For more information, please visit the following resources:

BC Public Health

World Health Organization updates on the virus

Government of Canada updates on the virus

Travel Advice and Advisories

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ILAC Education Group and Sterling College Launches Vaccine Passport for September