Covid-19 Updates

This page provides information about Quest’s response to Covid-19 for staff, students, and faculty. We are doing our part to mitigate the risks and effects of widespread infection and are responding to a quickly evolving situation. Below are key points about changes at Quest as well as public health guidelines and links to resources.

Today I am writing to express my thanks and my solidarity as our community navigates an unprecedented public health challenge.

I know how difficult it is for students to move on short notice; for faculty to switch to online teaching; and for staff to find themselves confronted with more work even as they are told to leave campus. I am grateful for everyone’s commitment and efficiency.

In times like this, we are tested. At Quest, we talk about social justice and respect for others. We believe in community and altruism. Our students show this every day in the questions they ask, the paths they pursue, and the events they create. Staff and faculty show it in the subjects they study and teach, and the way they approach one another and everyone else.

Now we must show it in our response to COVID-19. Many university students are heathy and young. This is about something bigger than any individual person and family. It is about a healthcare system that, while imperfect, aims to be fair and treat those who are most vulnerable. It is about recognizing that you could harm others if you are not prudent. You can be contagious even without symptoms; the novel coronavirus spreads easily and hides well. It is about accepting discomfort and inconvenience for the sake of the greater good. For the sake of people whom you may not know at all. For the sake of the principles we all claim to believe in.

My thoughts are with you every hour of every day. I miss running into you on campus. I miss our impromptu chats as well as our scheduled face-to-face meetings. I remain as dedicated to Quest as ever. Leading this institution is one of the great rewards and joys of my long career.

Keep teaching, learning, studying and working. Things do not need to come to a standstill. We are a creative community, and we will come through this. We must simply adjust for a while.

Warm regards,

George
(March 2020)

  • In mid-May, BC began reopening in phases. Physical distancing directives remain in place.  Please pay attention to provincial updates.
  • Keystone Symposium and Showcase were posted online in video form on Friday, April 24. The May Keystones will be posted too. Our homepage also contains congratulatory messages to the Class of 2020!
  • If you need help or if you can help others (e.g, with supplies, masks, groceries, other assistance), visit the Sea-to-Sky Covid-19 Mutual Aid Facebook group created by a visiting tutor, tobias c. van Veen.
  • As of May 19, the US-Canada border closure has been extended for another 30 days. International students are still able to enter Canada and are expected to honour the Quarantine Act.
  • Travel restrictions are in place for people who exhibit symptoms.

ACADEMICS AND EVENTS

  • We will begin the Fall term with remote learning, due to ongoing concerns about the coronavirus.
  • We will transition to in-person learning when it’s safe to do so, in accordance with public health advice.
  • Field and lab activities are suspended for now.
  • Please monitor your emails for updates from the CAO.

RESIDENCES AND CAMPUS

  • In March, students were asked to leave campus. This was essential for de-densifying the area. Exemptions have been granted on a case-by-case basis. If you remain at Quest, it should be because you have no other reasonable option.
  • The RecPlex is closed.
  • The Academic Building is not accessible to students. The Services Building is closed. The Library Building is accessible to students during limited hours for mail (10am-2pm).
  • There is no meal service or retail food available on campus.
  • If you must remain at Quest, do not bring guests to campus.
  • Monitor your emails for updates from Student Life and Facilities.

STAFF AND FACULTY

  • We ask that you try not to have packages shipped to campus, as we have limited ability to sort.
  • Staff are telecommuting. Supervisors should stay in close touch with their teams.
  • If you are returning from travel outside Canada, you must self-isolate for 14 days as per the federal Quarantine Act; get in touch with your supervisor or HR if you need guidance on working from home, and ask IT for tech support if needed.
  • If you are sick at this time, Quest will not require any doctor’s notes, per government guidelines.
  • Staff and faculty have received emails with updates from Quest’s extended health insurance provider. Please read those updates because Equitable has revised policy more than once. (Equitable’s most recent travel policy was issued on March 17 and includes a phone number for members who are traveling.)
  • Please monitor your Quest email for updates.

ADDITIONAL

  • We will email the Quest community with updates.
  • Please bookmark this page. We will do our best to keep it current, but things can change quickly.
  • You can carry the coronavirus without exhibiting any symptoms, and could easily transmit it to others who could become gravely ill or worse. Follow public health guidelines!
  • Take physical distancing seriously.
  • If you’re sick with anything infectious (even if it’s just a cold), quarantine yourself.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds in accordance with the W.H.O method. 
  • Use alcohol-based sanitizer when soap and water are not available.
  • If you sneeze or cough, cover your mouth with a tissue, then throw the tissue away immediately; if you don’t have a tissue, bury your cough or sneeze in your elbow. Wash your hands after you throw the tissue away.
  • The virus remains detectible on surfaces, such as cardboard (up to 24 hours); copper (up to 4 hours); and steel, plastic and glass (up to 72 hours). It is not clear if it’s infectious that way, or for how long, but err on the side of caution.
  • Avoid contact with anyone who is sick.
  • If you are a caregiver to someone who is sick, follow advice for caregivers.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces, including handles, knobs, and electronics. You can mix bleach and water in various proportions to disinfect most items.
  • Do not shake hands or hug people.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • If you are traveling back from outside Canada: the federal Quarantine Act requires you to self-isolate for 14 days. Please also fill out the Portal form. Travel of any kind should be followed by a period of self-isolation.
  • Note that many governments have declared a state of emergency; follow travel advisory guidelines.

Covid-19 symptoms include a dry cough, fever, fatigue, and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. If you have symptoms, or suspect you’ve been exposed:

  • Isolate immediately.
  • Use BC’s self-assessment tool to determine if you need further assessment or testing.
  • Do not go to the hospital unless your symptoms are severe, per Vancouver Coastal Health’s request. Testing is reserved for people who need hospitalization or work in front-line care.
  • After using the assessment tool, follow the instructions. If you are still unsure of how to proceed, call 811 (HealthLinkBC); expect long wait times on the phone.
  • Please fill out the confidential form on the Portal so Quest can take appropriate action.

Local businesses are reopening in phases. You can join the Squamish Coronavirus Info Facebook page to keep up with local developments.

Covid-19 Quick Sheet: Government of Canada Announcements

Covid-19 self-assessment tool

Vancouver Coastal Health

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Info sheet for students with a guard.me policy (March 6)

Revised Equitable Life policy on travel coverage (March 17)

Toll-free Government of Canada info line: 1.833.784.4397

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