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Students and faculty can expect the return to in-person learning this fall.

Following the announcement that BC has transitioned into Step 3 of the province’s restart plan, students, faculty, and staff at BC colleges and universities can expect the return by September.

Post-secondary institutions will no longer be required to have a COVID-19 safety plan, instead developing communicable disease plans to reduce the risk of all respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19.

See also: BC schools set to go back to ‘near-normal’ in September

Informed by the release of new Return-to-Campus Guidelines, post-secondary institutions can ramp up operations and welcome back faculty, staff and students, as well as plan for close-to-full occupancy on-campus student housing.

The province said that fall guidelines will highlight the importance of public health measures, such as daily health checks and hand hygiene, as well as classroom logistics and on-campus student housing and dining services.

Mental health supports for students, faculty and staff, Indigenous gathering places and accommodations for on campus-services will be provided to help guide the opening.

“We have made excellent progress with our provincial immunization program in BC. That, along with declining case counts and low hospitalization rates, means we can gradually and safely move ahead with our restart plan – including in-person learning at our colleges and universities,” said Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry.

“We will continue to carefully monitor any transmission episodes on campuses, just as we do with influenza or other respiratory illnesses this fall, to keep students, faculty and staff safe. This is something we have shown we can successfully manage in B.C.”

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