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Coronavirus Information

Province announces details about phase two of its Restoring Safe Services Plan

May 28, 2020

A message from our Interim President and CEO:

On May 27, the Province of Manitoba announced important new details about the second phase of its Restoring Safe Services Plan. I want to highlight some of what was in the plan, and share what it means for our College and our students.

Effective June 1, the Province is allowing limited access to educational facilities for hands-on learning experience, as long as strict physical distancing, sanitation, and other requirements can be maintained.

Examples of hands-on learning include labs, studios, trades instruction, industry-specific training and practicums.

The province is limiting the number of people in a class or lab to 25, including instructors.

In addition to those guidelines, the occupancy analysis of our classrooms and labs, which has been completed by our Health and Safety Services team, will also be an important guide to our re-entry planning.

We’re excited to see the province moving forward, and encouraged by the direction officials are providing to post-secondary institutions. In fact, we’ve already anticipated many of the circumstances outlined in the province’s plan, and have begun developing a blueprint to determine which programs might first resume limited in-person delivery.

Our first priority is to serve those students who are closest to graduation and need to catch up to complete program requirements.

Although our support and administrative services will remain off campus for now, we are also considering their staged re-entry as part of our blueprint planning.

To be clear, we will continue planning for online delivery for the fall term wherever it is possible to do so — in order to meet the space needs of those prioritized catch-up and hands-on learning activities that cannot take place through alternate delivery.

While this is good news, it is the start of an orderly and meticulous process. It is not the turning on of a light switch, but more like the growing of a garden — different plants emerge at different times.

And sometimes it may get frustrating, like the dandelions in my lawn this week! It is going to take time and patience and good planning.

This is complicated and complex work. Thank you to everyone who is providing input as we create a measured approach to returning programs and services to campus not only with this announcement but as the province continues rolling through new phases.

We will work with you to create the right plan for Red River College. While it may be tempting to compare our responses to other organizations or systems, our plan will necessarily reflect the very specific and unique needs of our programs and services that are ours alone.

I want you to know that no matter what approach we take at any phase in our journey forward, our highest commitment is to the health and safety of our staff and students. Every step we take will align with public health requirements and ensure you have the tools and information you need to safely resume on-campus operations.

Many of you will have questions about how this announcement impacts your program or department at the College. As we learn more from the province, and finalize our re-entry planning, we’ll have much more to share. In the meantime, please visit rrc.ca/coronavirus for the latest updates, and don’t hesitate to submit your questions to our Frequently Asked Questions area.

As we navigate this new information and continue to respond to these changes, please remember to take care of yourselves and take care of each other. We will share more information as soon as we have it available.

Take care and thank you,

Dr. Christine Watson
Interim President and CEO

Watch Christine’s video message here: