Health-Related

The university is committed to continued vigilance related to COVID-19. Symptoms of COVID-19 include cough, fever, sore throat, and difficulty breathing.  Most individuals who contract COVID-19 will have mild symptoms that can be managed at home.  Those who are most at risk of becoming more seriously ill are the elderly and those with other medical conditions.

Health authorities are asking that individuals and groups take preventive health measures to keep themselves and others from getting COVID-19.  These include:

  • Washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (if soap and water are not available)
  • Not sharing food or utensils with others
  • Using proper coughing or sneezing etiquette (cough/sneeze into elbow or tissue, not hand)
  • Isolating yourself when sick (even with a mild cold)
  • Physical distancing:  Avoiding large groups; staying 2 metres apart from others when sharing a closed space; avoiding handshakes or other greetings involving touch.
  • Spend time outdoors

The following questions relate directly to COVID-19 as they relate to the TWU community. We recommend that you refer to healthlinkbc.ca as your most up-to-date source of health-related COVID-19 information. Information for health professionals is available here

ARE THERE ANY CASES OF COVID-19 ON CAMPUS?

There was one confirmed case of COVID-19 at Trinity Western University. This individual, who is an employee, has now fully recovered, and has been officially recognized by public health as such. TWU worked closely with relevant health authorities regarding this situation.  There is no risk to the TWU community.  We recommend that all members of the TWU community continue observing measures such as physical distancing, hand hygiene and self-monitoring as outlined below.

WHAT PROACTIVE MEASURES HAVE BEEN TAKEN TO REDUCE THE SPREAD OF COVID-19 ON CAMPUS?
  • All resident students able to travel home have done so. This has meant the departure of over 900 students from campus. 
  • The 200+ remaining are mostly international students who are unable to travel home. On-campus living arrangements follow health authority recommendations  
  • All Summer travel studies are canceled until further notice
  • All non-campus-specific staff and all faculty are working remotely
  • Library and Registrar’s office services have moved online
  • Gymnasium and fitness center are closed
  • All live events have been canceled, deferred or moved virtually
  • Seating in remaining public spaces reconfigured to physical distancing requirements
  • Cafeteria service to remaining students transitioned to take-out only
I THINK I HAVE COVID-19, CAN I GO TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM TO BE TESTED?

At this time patients are asked to avoid going to the emergency department for novel coronavirus testing.

If you feel that you might have COVID-19, please call ahead to your primary care provider's office or 8-1-1 to assess whether you need testing. Calling ahead to the clinic before you go ensures that the clinic is prepared to test you and keeps the clinic’s staff and other visitors safe.

If you do not have a primary care provider, please call 8-1-1 for assessment. The nurses at 8-1-1 can give you more information regarding where you can go for assessment and testing, for example, an urgent primary care centre or a walk-in clinic.

Nurses at 8-1-1 have been instructed to complete an exposure risk assessment of callers with compatible symptoms, such as cough or influenza-like symptoms. In some cases, the 8-1-1 nurses may suggest a caller go see a healthcare provider for assessment and testing, and recommend that the caller call ahead to tell the clinicians that they are coming.

SHOULD I BE TESTED FOR COVID-19?

Testing is available for all who need it but not everyone requires a test.  If you have no symptoms, mild symptoms or you are a returning traveler self-isolating at home, you do not require a test.

Those who have severe illness, require hospitalization, are residents of long-term care facilities or are healthcare workers will continue to be tested.  We will also test anyone part of an active investigation or outbreak cluster.

To help determine whether you require a test, use the BC COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I HAVE BEEN TESTED FOR COVID-19?

The BCCDC COVID-19 Negative Results line is staffed from 8:30AM to 4:30PM, seven days a week. People who have tested are asked to wait 72 hours before calling the Negative Results line. Most people who have been tested are calling before the 72 hours and, as a result, the line is experiencing an extremely high call and voicemail volume. We ask for your patience and to try calling back if it has been more than 72 hours since your test.

If someone tests positive, public health will contact them. However, while you wait for your test result, you should follow the advice of your doctor or testing provider to self-isolate.

I HAVE BEEN IN CONTACT WITH SOMEONE WHO IS BEING TESTED FOR COVID-19. SHOULD I SELF-ISOLATE?

Yes, if you have been in close contact.  Students, faculty, or staff who have been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 by laboratory testing, should self-isolate for 14 days after their last encounter. They should also follow any directions provided by the local health authority, and self-monitor daily for symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing). If symptoms occur, they should call 8-1-1 for advice.     

No, if you have not been in close contact. Instead, self-monitor. If you have not been in close contact, you should self-monitor daily for symptoms like fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. If you have no symptoms you may take part in regular activities, following physical distancing recommendations currently in place.

For more information please visit healthlinkbc.ca .  Information for health professionals is available here.

WHAT DOES “CLOSE CONTACT” ENTAIL?

This means you have been close enough, long enough, to the person to be exposed to respiratory droplets or other bodily fluids.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SELF-ISOLATE AND SELF-MONITOR?

“Self-isolate” means avoiding situations where you could infect other people. This can help prevent the spread of infections. Self-isolation lowers the chance of spreading the illness to other people. More information on self-isolation is available from the BCCDC.

“Self-monitor” means you should be monitoring your health and the health of your children for symptoms such as fever, cough or difficulty breathing. Individuals who are self-monitoring can attend and work in school and take part in regular activities. If you develop symptoms, you should self-isolate. Individuals who are self-monitoring may take part in regular activities, following the physical distancing recommendations currently in place.

I HAVE BEEN RECOMMENDED TO SELF-ISOLATE. WHAT DO I DO?

While self-isolating you should:

  • Stay in a well-ventilated room, including an open window, if possible. Do not have other people come into the room.
  • Limit going in shared spaces. Try to keep a two-metre distance between yourself and others whenever possible.
  • Practice good respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene as described above.
  • If possible, have supplies dropped off outside your door to help avoid direct contact, and limit the number of people helping to care for you.
  • Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.  Regular household cleaning products are effective against most viruses, and you can also use 1 part bleach to 9 parts water as an effective disinfectant.
  • Use dedicated linen and utensils, which can be washed with soap and water and re-used, and do not need to be disposed of.
  • Dispose of any tissues, wipes, masks, or gloves in a waste container lined with a plastic bag before disposing with other household waste.
  • Wash your clothes in hot water (between 60-90 degrees C) and then thoroughly dry them.

Further information is available at the BC Centre for Diseases Control (BCCDC) website. You can also view this poster.

For students living in residence on the Langley campus who are self-isolating. Please use the following link to complete a Report of Self-Isolation during the COVID-19 Pandemic

HOW DO I SELF-MONITOR?

The BC Ministry of Health has developed an online Self-Assessment Tool that will help you determine whether you need further assessment or testing for COVID-19. You can complete this assessment for yourself or on behalf of someone else if they are unable to do so. Please follow this link to access the tool. At this time, it has been recommended to avoid Ibuprofen and other NSAIDS if you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms.  

WHAT DOES PHYSICAL DISTANCING LOOK LIKE?

Physical distancing helps keep everyone safe by separating you from people who may be ill and by keeping you away from others as you may be unknowingly be contagious. These activities help reduce the spread of the illness.

  • Keeping 2 metres away from others.
  • Respectfully keeping your distance from someone who sick
  • Isolating yourself when sick (even with a mild cold)
  • Avoiding going to group events
  • Avoiding handshakes or other greetings involving touch.
  • Washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (if soap and water are not available)
  • Not sharing food water bottles, or utensils with others
  • Using proper coughing or sneezing etiquette (cough/sneeze into elbow or tissue, not hand)
  • Throw away used tissues or disposable items
  • Frequently cleaning touched surfaces with household disinfectant

This will likely require making changes in your daily routines. Please help us, to help you, so we can help the most vulnerable members of our community and our healthcare workers. This will help the nation-wide effort to “flatten the curve” so we can reduce how quickly this virus moves through the population, which will mean fewer people need critical care and our health care system will be able to support them.

Campus Operations

IS THE CAMPUS OPEN?

Find campus updates on the COVID-19 Information page.

What will change at TWU if British Columbia moves to a lockdown scenario?

The measures we have taken to date have prepared TWU well for the possibility of a lockdown. University leadership has been preparing contingency plans, including plans to provide essential services on-site.

When will TWU campuses return to full operations?

TWU administration is working closely with BC provincial health authorities to ensure a safe and healthy campus environment. Once the BC government announces that it is safe for university campuses to open, TWU will do so with utmost care and attention to health, safety and sanitation. We will provide further updates and details regarding campus operations when the time comes.

Dining & Housing

I LIVE ON CAMPUS AND HAVE DECIDED TO MOVE BACK HOME. WHAT DO I DO NEXT?

Your Resident Assistant and Resident Director will work closely with you to ensure you have the support you need to make packing, moving, and travel arrangements.

HOW HAS SODEXO ADAPTED THEIR SERVICES TO SAFELY PROVIDE FOOD FOR THE STUDENTS STILL ON CAMPUS?

For students with meal plans who are still on campus Sodexo has moved to a takeout system.

I’ve moved off campus, will I receive a credit or refund for my housing, meal plan and flex dollars?

For students who checked out no later than March 27th the following table applies:

Service Type All Students Graduating Students
 Housing 50% credit of housing fees
(for the total number of unused days)
50% refund of housing fees
(for the total number of unused days)
 Sodexo
 Meal Plan
Credit amount to be determined Refund amount to be determined
 Sodexo
 Flex Dollars
100% credit of the unused amount
at the time of departure
100% refund of the unused amount
at the time of departure

If you are a non-graduating student you are receiving a TWU credit that can be used against anything owing (current or future) on your TWU student account through to April 30, 2021. If you have a balance owing the credit will be applied against that balance.  Students with a positive balance may request a cheque for that amount from the Registrar's Office via the Helpdesk.

If you are a graduating student you are eligible to have a refund issued to you by cheque. Please note that if your account is not in good standing the housing credit will be applied to any overdue amounts first.

If you have any additional questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to visit Student Life Mon. – Fri. 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or email: housing@twu.ca

International Students

I AM AN INTERNATIONAL STUDENT AND AM NOT SURE WHETHER I SHOULD GO HOME.

You may go home if you are able, but must recognize that given the current and potential travel restrictions, you might not be able to get back easily, or at all.  If you do go back home, we cannot guarantee that you will have good access to zoom or other online tools that we will be using from here to complete your coursework online. In either case our aim is to continue to provide supports to help you finish the semester well, and to enroll and successfully complete your online summer courses.

You can find updated travel advisories here.

I HAVE A STUDY PERMIT FOR CANADA. WHAT DO THE TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS MEAN FOR ME?

As of March 20, 2020, the Government of Canada has provided some exemptions to travel restrictions to foreign nationals who have committed to working, studying, or making Canada their home, and will be considered essential travel with regards to land border restrictions.  This includes international students who held a valid study permit or had been approved for a study permit when the travel restrictions took place on March 18.

I HAVE A STUDY PERMIT FOR CANADA BUT IT HAS EXPIRED OR WILL BE EXPIRING SOON. WHAT DO i DO?

If you are able to return home you should do so, however if you cannot return home due to travel restrictions the Government of Canada has provided several options. If your study permit has not expired you can either apply to extend your study permit or apply to change your status to a visitor. If your study permit has expired less than 90 days ago you can apply to restore your status. If it has been more than 90 days since your status expired you can apply for a temporary resident permit. In any of these application processes make sure you make a note explaining why you need to extend your stay in Canada.

More information on this process can be found here.

AM I STILL ELIGIBLE FOR THE POST-GRADUATION WORK PERMIT (PGWP) NOW THAT CLASSES HAVE MOVED ONLINE?

Yes, the Government of Canada has stated that if in-class courses are being moved to an online-only format because of COVID-19, your eligibility for the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) Program won’t be affected.

Online Courses and Learning Resources

ARE SUMMER SESSIONS STILL HAPPENING?

Yes, Summer Sessions are proceeding in an online format. You will receive direct communication from your program administrator if you have enrolled in one of these courses.

For more information visit the Summer Sessions page or email summer@twu.ca.

I NEED TO ACCESS THE LIBRARY. WHAT DO I DO?

You can access online resources 24/7 at twu.ca/library. Reference Librarians are available online to answer your research questions, or to set-up a ZOOM meeting; email: infodesk@twu.ca

For the latest up-to-date library information visit the Library COVID-19 Response webpage

CAN I STILL GET ASSISTANCE FROM THE LEARNING COMMONS?

You can still access learning commons resources online. You book appointments for Writing Centre, Advising, Success Coaching, Resumes, Career Counselling, here. To connect with the Centre for Accessible Learning email accessibility@twu.ca.

WHO DO I CONTACT IF I HAVE CONCERNS ABOUT MY LEARNING EXPERIENCE THAT AREN'T BEING ADDRESSED?

Your experiences of teaching and learning is the primary concern of our Teaching and Learning office. As the remainder of the term unfolds online, if you have concerns about your learning experience that are not being addressed, please contact laurie.matthias@twu.ca.

Graduation

WILL THERE BE A GRADUATION CEREMONY IN APRIL?

Our Spring Graduation Ceremony has been rescheduled.  It will be combined with our Fall Graduation to be held on November 7th. All students eligible to graduate this spring will be invited to walk the stage in the fall.

WILL THIS AFFECT THE DATE ON MY DEGREE?

No, the date on your degree (the conferral date) will be based on the semester that you complete your program.

HOW WILL I RECIEVE MY DIPLOMA?

Diplomas will be delivered by mail. If you would prefer to pay to have your diploma couriered, there will be an opportunity to indicate that in a future communication from the Registrar.

Travel

WHAT AREAS HAVE COVID-19 TRAVEL ADVISORIES?

The Government of Canada has issued an official global travel advisory to avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice. More information may be found on the Government of Canada COVID-19 travel advice site. In addition, the BC Provincial Health Officer has announced that Canadians should avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada, including to the United States.  Anyone arriving in Canada are required to self-isolate and monitor for symptoms for 14 days upon their arrival.  This is mandatory.

WHAT DO THE NEW BC AND CANADIAN TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS MEAN FOR ME?

TWU has canceled all travel studies outside of Canada for the next two months and all university-related travel outside of Canada until further notice.  Faculty, staff, and students entering Canada from any other country including the United States will be expected to self-isolate for 14 days. 

Employees & Workforce

I AM A TWU EMPLOYEE WORKING FROM HOME. WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW?

People’s health and safety is a top priority for TWU. Beginning Tuesday March 17, people were asked to work from home. Individuals who have been designated “campus-specific employees” whose work is essential to maintaining the safety and delivery of services on campus will continue to carry out their regular duties on campus. All other employees are recommended to work from home. 

In order to work from home, please speak with your manager to determine what specific resources you will need to successfully carry out your role remotely (i.e., laptop, monitor, etc). It is crucial to maintain all secure information on TWU servers. If you need assistance connecting remotely, reach out to IT via the TWIT Service Desk. For all other work-related questions, please contact your supervisor or Human Resources at humanresources@twu.ca.

I AM A STAFF EMPLOYEE AND I CHOOSE TO SELF-ISOLATE BASED ON THE RECOMMENDATION FROM THE BC PROVINCIAL HEALTH OFFICER, WHAT ARE MY OPTIONS?

People’s health and safety is a top priority for TWU. The Human Resources (HR) department has developed a COVID-19 Staff Employee Working Arrangement Guidelines to provide guidance to employees who may want or need to make changes to their work arrangements to lower the risks surrounding COVID-19. This document outlines the recommendations for the four scenarios listed below:

  • Voluntary Self-Isolation - where isolation is recommended
  • Isolation - for employees who have a presumptive or confirmed case of COVID-19
  • Protective Self-Separation - when employees wish to be cautious about their health
  • Employees who live in the United States and work in Canada

Please contact your manager and your HR representative if you need to make changes to your working arrangements. You can also contact HR at humanresources@twu.ca.

Mental & Spiritual Health

HOW CAN I CONTINUE TO GROW SPIRITUALLY DURING THIS TIME?

We encourage you to take advantage of the additional time in your schedule to pray regularly, meditate on the timeless words of the scriptures, and reach out to others, encouraging them to do the same. Trinity Western will be uploading a new message to our Chapel Podcast each Wednesday and Friday.

In a message from Rev. James Ellis III, he shared that we can pray daily for God's peace and protection at 3:16 AM/PM, since in Deuteronomy 31:6 we find these words: "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you." Whether at 3:16 AM or PM, let's refocus attention on God.

Feel free to contact Reverend James Ellis III or another member of our Student Ministries team if you need pastoral care and would like to book a virtual appointment. 

WHAT CAN I BE DOING TO MAINTAIN MY MENTAL HEALTH DURING THIS TIME?

It is normal during times like this to experience higher degrees of stress and anxiety. Here are a few simple activities you can do to take care of your mental health:

  • Maintain a sense of routine or develop a new routine
  • Take advantage of the many forms of communication that we have to maintain your social contacts
  • Look after your physical health, keep up your activity, and spend time outside
  • Maintain a healthy diet and get 8 or so hours of good sleep each night
  • Minimize the amount of news you are listening to if you find it adding to your distress
  • Ensure you are in touch with your healthcare provider if you are experiencing a worsening of your symptoms

To meet with a professional in our Wellness Centre either in-person or online, please continue to book online and in-person appointments through http://www.twu.ca/wellness-centre. For Mental Health Services, please call (604) 513-2100 and for Health Services call (604) 513-2024. Wellness Centre hours are Monday-Friday 9 am to 12 pm | 1 pm to 4:30 pm. The Well is temporarily closed.

What if I’m unsure?

It is normal to feel uncertain about the future. Know that you’re not alone. We have a team of counsellors and support staff who are here to guide you along the path of decision-making, a path that may look different for each of you. Your counsellors are knowledgeable about your respective programs and specializations of study. They can provide answers to your questions, suggest creative solutions to meet your needs, pray with you, and speak words of encouragement.