Durham College (DC) continues to deal with the impact of COVID-19, currently with 11 cases.
DC officials say four cases are on-campus and seven off and two on-campus cases have been resolved.
Since COVID-19 caused a global pandemic in March, schools shut down. DC president Don Lovisa decided with his team to turn classes remote, and keep the college closed for this semester and the winter session.
Most students are learning remotely unless they have a special lab that requires in-person attendance.
“You must show security either a schedule or having some reason to be on campus,” says Lovisa, who was on campus when contacted by the Chronicle.
With the campus being open to very limited students DC has placed some new ground rules for staff and students to follow, in order to be safe from COVID-19.
“We ask students to read the signs, there are hand-washing stations as soon as you walk in we have stations to wash your hands, put their masks on and their masks are required the whole time they are on campus, whether the are in the hallway or the classroom,” he says.
Students must go straight home once their labs are finished, he says.
“We ask students that once their labs are finished, they go home,” says Lovisa.
Students are able to stay on campus to eat but are not allowed to head to campus to study.
“If they are staying over a lunch period, we’ve asked them to either eat outdoors or there are designated areas on campus where you can eat, and they are all socially distanced,” he says.
The school remains at low risk in terms of public health, but Susan Smikle, DC’s manager of risk says there is a risk anywhere you go.
“I think there is a risk of contracting COVID-19 anywhere you go, but we do prioritize health and safety on campus,” says Smikle.
DC has been working with Durham Region Public Health to make sure campus is clean and safe for staff and students to attend.
“We have been working with Durham Region Public Health, we continue to work with them, to make sure that we have protocols in place,” she says.
DC has improved its cleaning protocols since the pandemic took place, such as students wiping down tools before and after use, to lower the risk of contracting the virus, says Lovisa.