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COVID-19 Update | Omicron Variant

President's Office By Gillian Siddall

Posted on December 17, 2021 | Updated December 17, 2021, 8:47PM

Filed in Faculty, Staff, Students

Dear ECU Community,

I have been closely monitoring the evolving situation with the COVID-19 Omicron variant, and wanted to share a brief update with you.

As you may know, the Omicron variant is a cause for concern. While there is no evidence yet that it causes more severe disease than other variants, it appears to be more infectious. To limit the spread of Omicron, the Office of the Provincial Health Officer has issued new restrictions related to travel and social activities.

The BC Public Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, has indicated that the risk of transmission in post-secondary institutions remains very low, and that students in BC can still expect a safe environment for on-campus learning in January. At this time, I do not expect any changes to our plans for the Spring 2022 term. As the situation evolves, we will continue to keep the community informed and revise our activities as necessary.

If you have not yet done so, please complete our COVID-19 vaccination survey now. This data will inform our ongoing planning for the health and safety of our community.

I would also like to share a few recommendations from the federal and provincial governments:

  • As of December 15, international travel is not recommended. This federal advisory applies to fully-vaccinated individuals as well as others. Travellers returning from a country other than Canada or the US will have to quarantine until they receive a negative test result. Please see the Government of Canada website for more information. Travel within BC is not restricted, though unvaccinated individuals are asked not to travel.

  • New restrictions on indoor gatherings and events. Today, the province of BC announced new health measures to limit the spread of the Omicron variant, which will go into effect on Monday, December 21. These include:
    • Mandatory proof of vaccination for events of all sizes, including those with fewer than 50 attendees.

    • A limit on indoor gatherings of one household plus one additional household or 10 guests, as long as everyone is fully vaccinated. Those who are fully vaccinated are advised not to socialize outside their households.

Thank you for your patience. I know this continues to be a challenging time for us all.. If you have any questions, please send them to covid19@ecuad.ca and we will do our best to answer them in the next update.

Sincerely,

Gillian Siddall
President + Vice-Chancellor