COVID-19 (novel Coronavirus) Information

COVID-19 Updates: FULL DETAILS

COVID-19 (novel Coronavirus) Information

We are committed to the health and safety of our campus community, we have created a COVID-19 Dashboard that includes the latest details about confirmed cases among our students, faculty and staff who are working and studying on-campus.

Latest Update

  • Posted June 24, 2021 at 12:46 PM

    The Government of Alberta announced that effective July 1, 2021, Alberta will move into stage three of their reopening plan for all Albertans, businesses and organizations. In stage three, health restrictions will be eased due to targets being hit for the provincial vaccine rollout and a decline in hospitalizations.

    COVID-19 Vaccines 

    Olds College encourages all employees and students to get vaccinated. Staff and students who get vaccinated before August 31, 2021 will be eligible to be entered to win some fantastic prizes through the This is Your Shot Campaign

    Alberta Health Services and the Government of Canada confirms all COVID-19 vaccines available in Canada are safe and effective at preventing serious illness. To book your vaccine visit alberta.ca/covid19.  Eligible Albertans can also enter the Government of Alberta’s Open for Summer Lottery. 

    Learn more about how the vaccine works.

    Return to Campus for fall 2021 

    We are planning for a full return to campus for students and employees at the end of August in preparation for the fall semester. Olds College employees will receive communication from their supervisor about their department’s plan for return to campus. For the remainder of the spring/summer semester classes will be delivered on-campus.

    July 1, 2021 - Ease of Restrictions on Campus 

    Olds College will be following the public health restrictions as outlined by Alberta Health Services for stage three. Below is a recap of the revised restrictions, effective July 1, 2021. 

    It is imperative that all members of the Olds College campus community stay home if you are feeling unwell and call Health Link 811 or fill out the AHS COVID-19 Self Assessment tool. We must all continue to monitor our health and to practice good hygiene habits like hand washing. All staff and students must continue to follow the isolation and quarantine requirements if exposed to COVID-19. Any student who is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 that are not related to a pre-existing illness or health condition should fill out the Student Isolation Registration form. Employees should notify their managers. 

    The following represent key changes that will go into effect July 1, 2021:

    • Masks or face coverings will be optional.

    • Students and staff are no longer required to fill out the daily health attestation form on the OC Alert App. Guests are still required to sign in on campus as part of our standard security protocol. 

    • Social distancing protocols are no longer required. Capacity in the brewery, retail meat store and campus store will return to normal. 

    • Indoor and outdoor social gatherings will be permitted 

      • Lunchrooms and student lounges, including the Hive and Learning Commons, will be open. 

      • In-person meetings are permitted.  

    • Elements Dining Hall will be open to in-person dining.     

    • CLC Fitness Centre is open.  

    • The Health and Wellness Centre is open for in-person nurse and counselling appointments.  

    • Provincial and Federal travel restrictions must continue to be followed. Travel for Olds College business and professional development is allowed as long as it complies with all provincial and federal travel restrictions.

    To see the full list of provincial health measures please visit alberta.ca/openforsummer.

    Olds College Confirmed Cases Dashboard - Updated June 24, 2021

    We are committed to the health and safety of our campus community, we have created a COVID-19 Dashboard that includes the latest details about confirmed cases among our students, faculty and staff who are working and studying on-campus.

    Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 (as reported to Olds College)
    Confirmed Active Cases: 0
    *Campus Exposure
    Recovered cases: 55

      ...more

Spring/Summer Term for Students

Will the College be holding classes in Spring/Summer 2021?

Yes, while classes might look a little different this term, the Olds College team is working hard to create experiential learning opportunities for our students.

Emails have been sent out to all admitted students for the Spring/Summer 2021 term, highlighting what the program delivery will be. Please check your Olds College email account for more information.

Will I be able to access the campus during Spring/Summer term?

Yes, students who need to access the campus during the spring and summer term will be able to. Service delivery is dependent on the current health restrictions put in place by the Government of Alberta. The most up-to-date list of services on campus can be found above in the general web update.

Since classes will be offered in a remote delivery, will tuition be lowered?

While classes may be delivered in a different way, the cost to deliver the programs has not changed. Costs include faculty, administration, equipment, infrastructure and maintenance, as well as ensuring our programming continues to be of the highest quality while reflecting the needs of industry. For these reasons, tuition will remain the same.

Will I still be able to live on campus?

Yes, campus housing is available. Applications are open and students interested in living on-campus should submit an application

When can I move into campus housing?

Students are able to move into housing according to their scheduled move-in date and time pre-arranged with CHOC.  You should have already received an email with your date.  If you have not received an email, have questions, or need to make alternate arrangements due to out of province travel, please contact the residence office at campushousing@choc.ca or 587-796-1796.

Can I still live with roommates in the town houses?

Yes, roommates are permitted in the townhouses. The rules on guests and visitors have been modified. Details are shared with students during residence orientation.

Do I need to wear a mask on campus?

Yes, non-medical masks or face coverings that cover the mouth and nose are mandatory for all on-campus indoor public spaces, including classrooms, hallways, washrooms and other common-use spaces. Masks are not mandatory if you are working alone in an office or cubicle or where a barrier is in place. Masks must be worn outside if social distancing protocols can not be met. 

What do I need to know for move-in day at residence?

Students are required to sign up for, and attend a live, virtual residence orientation which will detail move-in procedures as well as expectations and guidelines for living on campus.  You will also be able to ask any questions you may have. 

Students who have not completed an orientation will not be able to move in.

Will meal plans be available for the Winter term?

Yes, meal plans are available for all students. See meal plan options here. 

I was recruited to play for the Olds College Broncos, will I still get the opportunity to play?

Olds College, along with several other post-secondary  institutions, have made the collective decision to forgo competing in a formal 2021 ACAC winter season.  Team specific training, practices, academic supports and exhibition opportunities for all sports at Olds College will continue to be planned for the winter term. 

I have decided that I no longer wish to live in campus housing. Can housing and application fees and deposit be returned?

If you decide that you no longer wish to live in campus housing, standard refund policies and procedures apply.

Are any changes being made to admission requirements for programs due to COVID-19?

No, all program admission requirements are remaining the same and must be met for an Offer of Admission to be given. This includes providing transcripts and other required documentation,  proof of English Language Proficiency, work experience, or job shadowing hours, etc.

I am applying to Olds College after attending another institution. How will Olds College review my transcripts if I have Credit/Non-Credit or Pass/Fail grades?

Olds College is employing a flexible approach that does not disadvantage students. In all cases students must still “pass” (50% or CR) the course or graduate from the program being used for admission.

Can I defer my admission if I do not want to enrol in the winter term?

Admission cannot be deferred. If you decide that you do not want to attend Olds College for the winter 2021 term, you are required to cancel your application. If you wish to be considered for admission again in the future, you will be required to submit another application. Standard refund policies and procedures apply to any cancelled applications.

How will the hands-on labs be facilitated?

For programs that will be offered through remote delivery, some practical lab components may be offered virtually where feasible or moved to a future term. Some programs will still require mandatory hands-on labs that will be delivered in-person on-campus during the winter term.

How can I access online courses if I cannot afford to access the internet?

Students can apply for a student loan to assist with covering computer costs which can include the cost of WiFi. Student Aid will typically assess up to $500 in computer-related costs (e.g. computer, laptop, internet). Students are to submit a student loan application under the province they have resided in 12 months outside of their period of study.

Will I still have to pay the Athletics and Recreation fee?

If all of your courses are offered in the fully online format only, you will not be charged the Athletics and Recreation Fee. 

If you are registered in 8 or less credits on-campus, you will be charged the part-time rate. If you are registered in 9 or more credits on-campus, you will be charged the full-time rate.  These fees are normally charged at a rate of $99.25 per full-time term. As Bronco’s Athletics competition was suspended this year, the overall fee has been reduced and students have been charged $83.66 per full-time term, and $41.83 per part-time term throughout the 2020-21 Academic Year. 

Olds College is committed to setting and charging fees in a fair way. We do this through compliance with provincial regulations and collaboration with the Students’ Association of Olds College (SAOC).  As such, we will issue prorated refunds at the end of a term, based on the time that facilities were open during the term.  Please reference the charts below for refund information for the Winter and Spring terms.

Winter Term Based on Full-Time Rate:

Athletics and Recreation Fee

Actual Portion of the Athletics and Recreation Fee

Refund

Recreation Programming

$10.04

No refund as programming was available

Aquatic Centre Access (inc. GST)

$21.08

Full Refund will be issued as the aquatic centre was unavailable

Fitness Centre Access (inc. GST)

$52.53

Facility was available for one month in the Winter term.  The refund issued will be dependent on the students’ on-campus or blended course dates and the time the facility was open.

 

Spring Term Based on Full-Time Rate:

Athletics and Recreation Fee

Actual Portion of the Athletics and Recreation Fee

Refund

Recreation Programming

$10.04

No refund as programming is available

Aquatic Centre Access (inc. GST)

$21.08

Refund will be dependent on the students’ on-campus or blended course dates and the time the facility was open.

Fitness Centre Access (inc. GST)

$52.53

Refund will be dependent on the students’ on-campus or blended course dates and the time the facility was open.

We recognize that closures of these facilities are disappointing to many clients from both our student and community populations.   Thank you for your continued patience as we all navigate the pandemic together. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Office of the Registrar.

How will I get my textbooks?

An online form will be available via the Admitted Student Information section on your program’s webpage to order textbooks from the campus store. Your textbooks will then be shipped to you.

How will I be able to access services & supports (counselling, accessibility services, tutoring, etc) if classes are online in the fall?

Student supports and services will continue to be available using remote technology (e.g., Zoom, Google Meet). Students will learn how to access this information through the online student orientation and the student newsletter.

If there is another “wave” of COVID-19, how will Olds College respond to that?

Olds College continues to follow the directives of Alberta Health Services and Alberta Advanced Education.

  

Information for International Students

Important information about travelling to Canada for the fall 2021  term and quarantine information will be sent to all international students in early July, so please watch your Olds College email address for more details. Please continue to refer to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website for the most up-to-date information on travelling to Canada and quarantine requirements.

You will also need to ensure you complete your Student Quarantine Plan no later than August 9, 2021 and book the Airport Shuttle Form if you will be arriving at the Calgary International Airport (YYC).

How will post-graduation immigration be impacted if the College moves to an online fall term?

To address ongoing developments with respect to COVID-19, on April 7, 2020, IRCC introduced temporary policy changes to the Post-Graduate Work Permit Program (PGWPP). These changes, effective immediately for Spring and Summer terms, allow for an international student graduating from an eligible Designated Learning Institution to be eligible for a work permit if the graduate has:

  • completed a program of study in Canada (minimum 8 month duration);
  • completed at least 50% of their studies in Canada; and,
  • completed at least 50% of their studies in-class

Olds College will continue to monitor the situation for the fall term. Visit the Government of Canada hosted Study in Canada Webpage for up to date information.

As an international student, if I am taking the program online do I still have to pay international tuition?

Yes, international students, regardless of program delivery format are required to pay international tuition rates.

If English Language Testing centres are closed, how can I get proof of English Language Proficiency to support my application?
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) has an online testing option.

  

Current Conditions

What is the current status of COVID-19 at Olds College?

Olds College is taking the COVID-19 situation seriously. The health and safety of our students remains our number one priority. We are actively monitoring the situation and working closely withAlberta Health Services, who are the lead on COVID-19 in our province. The College has enacted our emergency response team to monitor the COVID-19 situation and the impact it may have on employees and students.

As part of Olds College’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic a Re-Entry Task Force was formed to develop a  Re-Entry Plan that provides a coordinated response to the current public health emergency that includes delivery of fall classes and a plan for re-entry to the Olds College campus. The health and safety of our campus community is always our top priority, and we will continue to work to accommodate the restrictions put in place by Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, while providing students with the best possible learning experience.

What is being done to protect the health of the Olds College Community?

As we prepare for a phased re-entry to campus, we are taking precautionary measures to  prevent the spread of illness, including:

  • Enacting the Olds College emergency response team to manage our response to COVID-19. The team is working closely with Alberta Health Services to monitor the situation and the impact it may have on Olds College employees and students.

  • Under the recommendations of the Government of Alberta, the majority of classes will be offered remotely for the fall term, with some exceptions. 

  • For those returning to campus throughout the phased re-entry, daily health monitoring will be required. Staff and Students will use the Olds College Alert App at the start of each work day to complete a quick health assessment. 

  • Engineering controls will be installed around campus to ensure effective physical distancing. 

  • Extra diligence on cleaning with a focus on high-touch areas like handrails, door handles, and washrooms.

  • Promoting good hygiene practices among members of the college community (e.g., handwashing) and providing appropriate hand-cleaning facilities and alternatives like alcohol hand rub.

What do I do if I think I have COVID-19?

If you have symptoms such as fever, cough and difficulty breathing, and have travelled outside Canada or may have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19, stay home and call Health Link 811 or fill out the COVID-19 Self Assessment tool.  

  • Call 911 if you are seriously ill and need immediate medical attention.

Employees should fill out the Reporting Staff Absence form and notify their direct supervisor.

Students should fill out the Student Isolation Registration form

What if someone does test positive for COVID-19 at Olds College?

Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 will be under the direction and support of Alberta Health Services. Alberta Health Services will follow-up with potential close contacts of the individual. Olds College will take direction from Alberta Health Services as to what follow-up measures are to be implemented, should the need arise.

If I need to self-isolate because of possible exposure to COVID-19, whom do I need to tell at Olds College?

Staff and faculty must fill out the Reporting Staff Absence form and notify their supervisor or Association Dean.

Students must submit the Student Isolation Registration form

  

Student Supports & Resources

Is there any COVID-19 financial assistance available to me as a student?

The following is a compilation of available financial aid resources, as of April 2, 2020, for students during this period of active COVID-19 protocols. Please note that some of these supports may not apply to you and that resources are frequently updated. Please continue to check the links below as new information may become available. 

Students can still apply for Student Loans until 30 days remaining in their program. If you are struggling financially make sure to apply under your provincial loan provider as soon as possible. If you have a current student loan and require additional funding, you can submit a request for review on your Student Aid Account outlining your circumstances to be assessed for additional funding (if eligible). 

COVID-19 Provincial Financial Supports (Alberta) 

  • Emergency Isolation Support – for working adults who must self-isolate.
  • Utility payment deferral – residential customers can defer utility payments for the next 90 days
  • Alberta student loan repayment deferral – students in current repayment for Alberta student loans will have payments paused until Sept. 30, 2020. with no accrual of interest starting Mar. 30, 2020 (please visit Student Aid Alberta website)
  • ATB banking customers and Alberta Credit Unions – deferral of loans, lines of credit or mortgage payments (please contact your individual institution for information)

COVID-19 Government of Canada Financial Supports

The Canadian Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) was announced as additional relief for students who fell through the cracks of the previous Federal government announcements.  The Emergency Student Benefit Act was passed in Parliament on April 29.  Pending parliamentary approval Canadian Citizens, Permanent Residents, Protected Persons, and those persons registered under the Indian Act will be eligible.  The application will be launched in May, but no specific date specified as yet.  Below are the details to date:

  • Students will be eligible for $1250/ month (May to August) and an additional $750 top-up for students with disabilities or dependents (this is a change from the original $500 announced and now aligns with the $2000 announced through the CERB Canada Emergency Response Benefit)
  • Students studying full-time or part-time are eligible
  • Recent post-secondary graduates (December 2019) can apply
  • High school graduates are eligible as long as they are enrolled in a PSE by February 2021 (definition of enrolled TBD)
  • Must attest to unable to work or unable to find work or threshold not reached when working (threshold to be released)
  • Canadian Students studying abroad are eligible for funding.
  • The CESB does not need to be declared on the Federal portion student loan application as a targeted resource. Please speak with your province or territory to determine if this will be treated as a resource.
  • Students can access these funds and apply for FT or PT student loan funding if in school.
  • Students who need to demonstrate they have a disability will be able to do so either through an attestation process or through disability status established through CSLP

Other Financial Support 

  • Consult directly with your banking institution for additional possible options when managing hardships caused by recent developments.
  • Students requiring short-term assistance with food are encouraged to contact local food banks:

Student Awards

Winter awards have been selected and students were sent notification to their Olds College email account.  

Students that are currently enrolled may be eligible to apply for external awards.  External awards are not administered by Olds College and most post-secondary students are eligible to apply.  To get you started, a list of external awards is posted on the scholarship page of the Olds College website.  Each award has individual criteria and deadline. It takes a bit of searching, but there are endless student award opportunities available.  Search scholarships, bursaries and awards using keywords such as; your program, your home county, your parents’ or your employers, local agricultural society or other service clubs.

If you are experiencing extreme financial difficulties or need assistance in applying for funding please reach out to the Financial Aid Advisor - Hannah Ayearst Hayearst@oldscollege.ca or by phone: 403.556.8285

I am feeling very overwhelmed and anxious about COVID-19, is that normal?

It is completely normal to have feelings of being sad, confused, angry or scared when dealing with these kinds of situations. We will do everything possible to communicate accurate information, in a timely manner, and to explore options that will continue to ensure the safest learning environment possible for all. 

Additional tips to stay mentally and physically healthy include: 

  • Limit watching news reports and social media

  • Use only trusted sources of information, such as the Olds College website and the resources we have listed).

  • Keep to regular routines as much as possible.

  • Be sure to look after yourself physically by getting enough rest, fresh air, exercise and nutrition.  

  • Don't isolate yourself from other people (unless ill) but do use reasonable precautions when in close physical contact. Talk to people you trust such as friends or family by phone or email.

  • Avoid using substances to deal with emotions. Instead focus on your strengths and what has helped you through difficult times in the past and use these skills to try to help manage your current situation.

  • Virtual counselling services remain available to students, email councellor@oldscollege.ca to book a phone or google meet appointment.
I cannot log into Moodle/MyOldsCollege/Student Email, who do I contact?

Please contact IT Support 403.507.7777 or ITsupport@oldscollege.ca. For Account issues or password troubles you can also complete the support form that will go to our Learning Commons IT Support team.

  

Faculty & Staff Supports & Resources

Should staff and faculty be working from home?

The health and safety of our staff and students continues to be our top priority. Following the guidelines release from the Government of Alberta, effective Dec. 13 mandatory work from home measures have been implemented unless the College determines that work requires a physical presence for operational effectiveness. College people managers will be working with the Emergency Operations Team to determine what positions will need to continue to work on campus.

See the Working from Home Technology Tips article on OC Connect.

I am having technology issues, who do I contact?

Please contact IT Support 403.507.7777 or ITsupport@oldscollege.ca. Our IT and TLCI teams are ready to help.

What travel restrictions are currently in place for Olds College?
  • Olds College business related travel, outside of Canada, is not permitted. 
  • Olds College business related travel, outside of Alberta, is not permitted. 
  • Olds College travel related to professional development is not permitted. 
  • Any Olds College employee choosing to travel outside of Canada for personal reasons is required to self isolate as per Provincial guidelines and work from home.  If working from home is not approved, this period of self isolation will have to be taken as vacation days. 
Should I be attending meetings in person?

Olds College employees are advised that in-person meetings are not permitted. 

As an employee who should I tell if I am sick or cannot attend work?

Staff who are ill with cold or flu-like symptoms:

  1. Should stay home and complete the COVID Self Assessment.
  2. Based on the outcome of the assessment, decide whether to call Healthlink (811) for instruction.
  3. If instructed to self-isolate by Healthlink, staff should inform their direct supervisor and complete this Staff Absence Form which can also be found on oldscollege.ca/covid19.

Staff who are absent due to COVID-19 illness or advised to self-isolate:

  1. Will be paid for time absent while sick or otherwise self-isolated.
  2. Are not required to produce a doctor’s note. 
  3. Are required to notify their supervisor/manager of their intention to self-isolate.

Staff who are instructed to self-isolate, and are not sick or symptomatic, should discuss with their manager whether they can work remotely and complete the Staff Absence Form.  

At this time, staff who cannot find alternative child care due to the closure of schools and daycare centres should notify their manager to discuss whether they can work remotely and complete the Staff Absence Form.

Please contact Human Resources if you have other unresolved concerns. We will continue to support our staff members as we face this challenge together.

As an Olds College employee, am I expected to work from home while I am in self-isolation?
Staff who are instructed to self-isolate, and are not sick or symptomatic, are encouraged to work from home, if possible. They should discuss with their manager. 
What if I have concerns about someone else who is ill in my work area?

If you are concerned about a co-worker in the workplace who is exhibiting flu-like symptoms, speak to your Supervisor/Manager. Supervisors/Managers can contact Human Resources for further information as needed.


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