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COVID-19: Prince George post-secondaries trying to reduce number of people on campus

CNC, UNBC resuming classes this week under different delivery methods
CNC-UNBC Prince George
The College of New Caledonia (above) and UNBC campuses in Prince George. (via Submitted/Kyle Balzer)

University students are no longer in the classroom as part of social distancing and reducing the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) on campus.

For College of New Caledonia (CNC) and UNBC, this means most courses have switched to online and digital delivery methods so students are able to complete the semester en route to graduation.

The Prince George schools, however, still have their campuses open to the public amidst the crisis, but measures have been implemented as put forward by Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, who announced a new COVID-19 case in northern B.C. for a total of five.

Its exact locations are unknown out of privacy for those affected by the disease as hundreds of people have self-isolated themselves in their homes.

Starting today (March 23), CNC says it’s taking additional measures to reduce the number of people at its campuses across the region is as small as possible.

This includes online and telephone supports, cancelling all non-essential events, closing recreational facilities and suspending international travel for educational purposes.

“This change in service delivery enables us to reduce density at our campuses and to promote social distancing, while supporting the health and safety of the College community,” reads a CNC statement.

“We are committed to supporting our students, staff and community through continuing operations, just in a different way.”

CNC is also asking its international students returning to Prince George for school to self-isolate themselves for 14 days, as instructed by Dr. Henry.

As for UNBC, its latest update from Friday afternoon (March 20) explains a number of initiatives it’s taking to promote social distancing.

Interim President Dr. Geoff Payne says parking fees will be suspended for those wishing to be on campus, especially teachers that choose to not work remotely.

The school’s daycare centre is also closed, but is set to provide other arrangements and schedules for those who require the centre.

For future students wishing to register for Fall 2020 and Winter 2021, UNBC says the earliest course schedule viewing will be May 1 with more details to be released at a later date.

“Yesterday (March 19), I acknowledged the work of our faculty and the CTLT for their work in supporting our students. Today (March 20), I thank the administrative employees who are doing tremendous work to support our mission. I know all of you continue to make extraordinary efforts to support our University community,” said Dr. Payne in the update.

More information is available on the CNC and UNBC websites.