COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS UPDATE - APRIL 3, 2020
In an ongoing response to COVID-19, employees and students of Great Plains College are to continue working and studying from home until further notice. The general public will no longer have physical access to college locations. However, college staff can be reached by calling 1-866-296-2472 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
As such, major events, including convocation, will be postponed until further notice. This does not mean students will not graduate, but that the celebration and formal recognition of doing so will take place at a later date.
The college is following recommendations from the Chief Medical Health Officer of Saskatchewan and the Ministry of Advanced Education. We will continue to follow the advice of government and health officials in the coming weeks and will provide notice when current work and study-from-home arrangements will change.
If you have questions and/or require support from a health perspective, the following tools are available:
- Free counselling services (Great Plains College students only) – To access free counselling simply go to www.inkblottherapy.com/greatplains and register using your GPC email address. In the past, you were required to contact your student adviser and the adviser would sign you up for the free counselling service. In order to make this service more confidential, you can now access free counselling directly through the service provider. If you happen to encounter issues then you will need to contact your student adviser to assist, but it is our hope that you will be able to easily access the service and get the support that you need during this unusual time. If you are currently receiving free online counselling through Great Plains College, you do not need to re-register, you can either continue to receive the services as you have in the past or you can access the services from the link provided above.
- HealthLine 811 – Call 811 for health-specific questions about COVID-19.
- Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency Toll Free Line - Call 1-855-559-5502 for non-health specific questions about COVID-19 and to report violations of the mandatory public health orders.
- COVID-19 Health System Information - The www.saskatchewan.ca/COVID19 website is an online source for all COVID-19 information in Saskatchewan and hosts the SK Health Authority’s Self-Assessment Tool, which can help determine whether you need a referral for COVID-19 testing. Public inquiry email is also available at COVID19@health.gov.sk.ca.
Additionally, it’s important to know about Canada’s Emergency Response Benefit.
The Federal government has just announced funding to support people who have lost income due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Applications for this open April 6 through the Service Canada online. In order to be eligible for this program you need to meet the following criteria:
- You must be in a situation where you have not received income in the past 14 days.
- You must have earned a minimum of $5,000 in the past 12 months through employment, self-employment, maternity or parental leave benefits.
The majority of information available to date can be found at: www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/ei/cerb-application.html.
COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS UPDATE - March 20, 2020
Effective March 21, the general public (including students) will not have access to Great Plains College locations without an appointment. On-site services, such as exam invigilation and Safety Training, will not be available from March 21-April 5 inclusive.
Alternative methods are being used to deliver programming during this time. Current students are encouraged to contact their program coordinator directly for details.
The college will continue to maintain its services remotely and will be answering inquiries via email (email@example.com) and phone (1-866-296-2472).
COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS UPDATE - March 18, 2020
Earlier today, Saskatchewan was put into a State of Emergency with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, Great Plains College locations will move into a "restricted access" status. This means that campuses will remain open with minimal staff for March 19 and 20.
Skills and Safety Training has also been suspended for the remainder of the week, in addition to post-secondary, Adult Basic Education, English Language Training and Essential Skills programming.
COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS UPDATE - March 16, 2020
In partnership with the province's other post-secondary institutions, Saskatchewan Regional Colleges, including Great Plains College, is suspending all classes and programming, with the exception of Skills and Safety Training, for the remainder of this week (March 17-20). This includes post-secondary, Adult Basic Education, English Language Training and Essential Skills programming. Skills and Safety Training will continue as scheduled.
Great Plains College programs will be offered through alternative delivery options, where possible, to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, effective March 23.
The class schedule for this week is below:
- March 17-20: in-person classes are suspended.
- March 20: more information will be provided regarding alternative delivery where possible.
- March 23: alternative delivery programming for students will begin, where possible.
Updated information for students will be provided via Great Plains College email by their relevant program coordinators.
Great Plains College campuses and program centres are not closing at this time. Regular staff services will be available at each location.
All non-essential gatherings and events will be cancelled until further notice. Events and activities not directly connected to academic programs are postponed. This includes, but is not limited to: Safety Breakfast, Toastmasters, Line Dancing and the 567 Workshop Seminar that were to be/are hosted at Swift Current Campus. Public exams and invigilation will continue to take place across the college locations, as will services provided by Fresh Start in Maple Creek.
Over the weekend, the Federal Government and Saskatchewan’s Chief Medical Health Officer recommended that any residents currently travelling internationally should return to Canada while commercial options are available. The Federal Government and Saskatchewan’s Chief Medical Health Officer also recommend avoiding all non-essential international travel until further notice.
All travellers returning from international destinations - including the United States - need to self-isolate and monitor their health for 14 days upon return. Travellers returning from within Canada are advised to self-monitor for 14 days upon return. If they have or develop acute respiratory or flu-like symptoms, they should contact 811 Healthline.
These measures are put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19 in Saskatchewan, protect residents from exposure to the virus and reduce the impact of COVID-19 on the health system.
If you have questions, please refer to details via:
- email COVID19@health.gov.sk.ca
- contact with a regional Public Health Office
- contact with your direct supervisor or program coordinator or email firstname.lastname@example.org
We know COVID-19 is causing unusual and challenging times. Thank you for your patience and cooperation - we all can help to prevent the spread of COVID-19 if we each do our part and work together. The health, safety and security of our students and employees is of the utmost importance.
COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS UPDATE - March 13, 2020
The COVID-19 (coronavirus) is impacting various countries throughout the world, including Canada. As part of our emergency preparedness, Great Plains College has a pandemic plan with protocols and procedures in place in the event that they are required. Great Plains College continues to monitor the COVID-19, in consultation with the Saskatchewan Health Authority, and will provide relevant information to staff and students as needed.
While Saskatchewan has recorded its first presumptive positive case of the COVID-19 coronavirus on March 12, 2020, Great Plains College continues to operate as usual. Should that change, it will be under the advice of the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Saskatchewan Health Authority, which are closely monitoring this situation.
It’s not unusual that the current COVID-19 outbreak may cause some people additional concern when it comes to the regular cold and flu season. While staff and students are encouraged to contact their family physician or Saskatchewan Health Authority Health Line with any individual health concerns or questions, it’s important to remember that there are a number of recommended precautions that can help prevent illness:
- wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- sneeze into your sleeve or elbow and throw away soiled tissues as soon as possible, followed by hand washing
- avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth
- stay home if you are sick
- make sure that your vaccinations are up-to-date
As cases of COVID-19 are detected globally, the Government of Canada and Saskatchewan public health will update travel notices. As such, the Government of Canada has issued travel health advisories for COVID-19 in China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Iran, Italy, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Spain.
All travellers are asked to monitor their health when they return to Canada. While abroad, you may have come in contact with COVID-19. Watch for fever, cough and difficulty breathing for 14 days after you arrive in Canada. If you have these symptoms, contact Saskatchewan Health Authority Health Line or your family physician for assessment and direction. Note that countries with a level 3 travel advisory (Italy, China and Iran as of March 11, 2020) require limited contact with others for a total of 14 days.
Duty to Report
Great Plains College is committed to creating and maintaining learning environments in which students, staff and others feel safe. The college cannot and will not ignore any threat of violence. To keep college communities safe, staff, students, caregivers and community members must report all threat-related behaviours to a Great Plains College staff member or call 1-866-296-2472.
A Student Violence Threat Risk Assessment will be initiated for behaviours including, but not limited to:
- Serious violence or violence with intent to harm or kill
- Verbal/written threats to harm or kill self/others
- Online threats to harm or kill self/others
- Possession of weapons (including replicas)
- Bomb threats
- Fire starting
- Sexual intimidation or assault
- Gang-related intimidation and violence
What you need to know
- An investigation may involve students, staff members, the police of jurisdiction, or other community agencies and may involve locker or personal property searches.
- Interviews will be held with the threat maker and other students or adults who may have information about the threat.
- Threatening behavior may result in disciplinary action.
- An intervention plan may be developed for the student making the threat and a support plan developed for any individuals targeted by threats.
For more information, download Great Plains College's Violence Threat Risk Assessment Protocol.
In Case of Emergency
Your instructor will review Great Plains College emergency procedures at the beginning of your program. You will be made aware of what to do in case of emergencies (such as fires, tornados, lockdowns, etc.), where to assemble outside and who to report your presence to.