E14 – COVID-19 Procedures

Originator: Safety and Health Services
Approver: Senior Leadership Team
Effective: August 27, 2021
Replaces: April 12, 2021

1.0 Preamble

Red River College (RRC) is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for all members of the College community, including Students, Residents, Employees, Contractors, Clients, and Visitors.

RRC is committed to taking all precautions necessary to minimize the risk and impact of COVID-19 on all campuses and in all spaces owned or occupied by the College, including classrooms, boardrooms, meeting rooms, lecture theatres, gymnasiums, dining rooms, restaurants, cafeterias, lounges, student residences, laboratories, shops, hallways, outdoor spaces, and other common use areas.

2.0 Definitions

  1. “Accepted Vaccine” means a COVID-19 vaccine that has been approved for use by the College as defined in the Appendices.
  2. “Approved Face Mask” means a medical mask or a non-medical mask made of three (3) layers of a tightly woven material, which covers an individual’s nose and mouth, fits securely with no gaps and has no holes.
  3. “Campus” refers to all RRC campuses (including regional campuses), and any and all spaces owned or occupied by the College, including classrooms, boardrooms, meeting rooms, lecture theatres, gymnasiums, dining rooms, restaurants, cafeterias, lounges, student residences, laboratories, shops, hallways, outdoor spaces, and common use areas.
  4. “Client” means a third party with whom the College has entered into an agreement to provide services, including but not limited to research or instructional services.
  5. “Contractor” means a third party with whom the College has entered into a contract to provide services to the College and includes a Vendor of goods or services.
  6. “Employee” means an employee of the College.
  7. “Exposure” refers to exposure to COVID-19 through close contact with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19.
  8. “Fully Vaccinated” means having received both doses (any combination) of a two-dose Accepted Vaccine or a single dose of a one-dose Accepted Vaccine, with more than fourteen (14) days having passed since the final vaccination was received, on or before October 17, 2021 meaning that an individual is considered Fully Vaccinated by no later than October 31, 2021. The College reserves the right to require an additional dose(s) on the basis of guidance and/or requirements of federal or provincial authorities.
  9. “Hand Hygiene” refers to hand cleansing by washing hands with the use of water and soap or applying an alcohol-based hand rub to the surface of hands.
  10. “Health Services” refers to a division of Safety and Health Services (SHS) that is a nurse run clinic located at the College’s Notre Dame Campus that supports Employees, and Students’ physical and mental health.
  11. “Occupancy Assessments” refers to the review of the capacity of College spaces that adhere to physical distancing recommendations set by the Government of Manitoba’s Public Health Branch.
  12. “Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)” refers to any equipment and/or clothing used by an individual to minimize exposure to a specific hazard. As it relates to COVID-19, PPE may include items such as gloves, safety glasses, masks, etc.
  13. “Proof of Vaccination” refers to an official immunization record or government issued immunization card, and which displays the name of the individual presenter and which indicates that the individual presenter is Fully Vaccinated.
  14. “Resident” means an individual that resides in a College residence.
  15. “Safety and Health Services (SHS)” refers to the College’s department responsible for providing a safe environment for Employees, Students, and other individuals attending Campus. SHS works in conjunction with Academic Programs, Facility Management, Security Services, and the Workplace Safety and Health Committee (WSHC).
  16. “Student” means a student enrolled at the College.
  17. “Supervisor” means any person who has charge or authority over an employee, such as Chairs, Directors, Instructors, or Managers.
  18. “Symptomatic” means having symptoms of illness. Symptoms of COVID-19 in adults includes feeling unwell/weak/tired, coughing, sneezing, runny nose, headache, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, sore throat, loss of taste, loss of smell, breathing problems, skin rash, red/irritated eyes.
  19. “Visitor” means any person who has been invited to attend a Campus for pre-approved, official College business or has been invited by a Resident as a guest to attend a student residence and is not a Student, Resident, Employee Contractor or Client.

3.0 Policy

3.1

Red River College requires that all Students, Residents, Employees, Contractors, Clients, and Visitors adhere to the COVID protocols that have been implemented at all College Campuses as described in the Appendices attached to this Policy, as may be amended from time to time at the College’s sole discretion.

3.2

All individuals over the age of 11 that attend a Red River College Campus must be Fully Vaccinated or have an Approved Exemption in accordance with the Appendices. Red River College prohibits all individuals, whether or not Fully Vaccinated, from attending any Red River College Campus if experiencing symptoms of or exposure to COVID-19. This applies to any Contractor with business on Campus.

3.3

This Policy and associated Appendices shall, at a minimum, comply with all applicable provincial laws including The Personal Health Information Act (PHIA), The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA), recommendations and Orders under The Public Health Act, and The Workplace Safety and Health Act and regulations and The Human Rights Code.

4.0 Responsibilities

4.1

College Community: Every Student, Employee, Contractor, Client, Resident, and Visitor has the responsibility to review and abide by this Policy. Any questions or concerns should be brought to the attention of a Supervisor, Safety and Health Services (“SHS”), or Security.

4.2

Departments: All Departments and Programs must take all precautions necessary to protect the safety and health of Employees against COVID-19.

4.3

Supervisors: Supervisors must ensure Employees within their department act in accordance with this Policy and related Appendices (which may change from time to time at the College’s sole discretion) and any direction from Safety and Health Services. Supervisors must ensure that Employees use appropriate PPE in accordance with this Policy and the College’s SHS Code of Practice on Personal Protective Equipment. Guidance on the College’s latest COVID-19 Protocols can be sought from SHS at any time.

4.4

Safety and Health Services: Safety and Health Services will investigate concerns related to COVID-19 and conduct necessary follow-up; SHS shall adhere, at a minimum, to Manitoba Public Health guidance on COVID-19 and shall be responsible for updating this Policy and associated Appendices as required.

SHS will provide necessary education and training related to COVID-19 to Employees and Students and will counsel individuals with concerns about COVID-19 and oversee all processes developed under this Policy.

5.0 Exceptions

5.1

No exceptions from this Policy may be granted without the approval of SHS or other designated authority (Human Resources). The College will retain discretion to permit exemptions from any aspect of the Policy not specifically contemplated where required, including to comply with The Human Rights Code.

Related Policies

E1 – Safety
E2 – Emergency Response
E11 – Reporting of Accidents and Serious Injuries
H1 – Respectful Workplace and Learning Environment Policy
SHS Code of Practice on Personal Protective Equipment

Appendices

Appendix A – COVID-19 Protocols – Updated as of August 27, 2021

Red River College requires all Students, Employees, Residents, Clients, Contractors, and Visitors to adhere to the COVID-19 protocols that have been implemented at all College Campuses. These protocols include the following:

  1. Subject to approved exemptions, all individuals over the age of 11 must be Fully Vaccinated to attend Campus;
  2. Mandatory personal screening as set out in Appendix B which must be completed prior to attendance on Campus;
  3. Adherence to physical distancing based on public health requirements or College guidelines;
  4. Wearing an Approved Face Mask while on Campus in all indoor spaces and outdoor spaces (if working or meeting with more than 1 person);
  5. Not exceeding occupancy assessment limits for classrooms, labs, office, residence rooms, etc., and all common spaces;
  6. Using proper Hand Hygiene;
  7. Using proper Cough Etiquette; and
  8. Wearing PPE that has been identified for your work or learning environment or student residence.

Vaccination Requirement

1.0

Commencing on September 10, 2021, all persons attending Campus must comply with RRC’s requirement to be Fully Vaccinated as outlined in this Appendix. The vaccination requirement shall apply to any person attending at any College Campus over the age of 11 years old and in the event that an Accepted Vaccine is approved by Health Canada for those age 11 or younger, shall also apply to those age 11 or younger who are so approved. An individual must receive their first doses by September 10, 2021 and second doses (if applicable) by October 17, 2021.

2.0 Accepted Vaccines

2.1

The College will accept for entry onto Campus only those COVID-19 vaccines that have been approved by Health Canada and/or the World Health Organization (WHO). This Policy relates solely to entry to Campus and does not replace or limit any legal requirements applicable to international Students and others entering Canada or Manitoba. All individuals are responsible for complying with any additional obligations, including as it relates to vaccinating and quarantining, that may be imposed by a federal or provincial authority for entry to Canada, Manitoba, or any other location.

2.2

Individuals who have been vaccinated with a vaccine other than those approved by Health Canada and/or the WHO will not be allowed on Campus until 14 days after either having received their approved single-dose vaccine or the first dose of an approved double-dose vaccine.

3.0 Providing Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination

3.1

Individuals coming on Campus who are over the age of 11, will be required to:

  1. Provide proof of having been Fully Vaccinated with an Accepted Vaccine;
  2. Provide proof of having received the first dose of a two-dose Accepted Vaccine by September 10, 2021 and the second dose of a two-dose Accepted Vaccine by no later than October 17, 2021 or a single dose of a single dose Accepted Vaccine by no later than October 17, 2021; or
  3. Provide proof of having an exemption approved by the College in accordance with this Appendix.

3.2

Individuals coming on Campus will be required to upload Proof of Vaccination using the RRC Mobile Safety App or other designated process.

3.3

Personal health information, including attestations and other proofs of vaccination, collected by the College will be stored in accordance with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Policy (G3).

3.4

Individuals’ personal health information will not be disclosed alongside any other identifying data except as required to facilitate approval.

3.5

Individuals who make false attestations about, or provide false documents related to, being vaccinated may be subject to disciplinary actions, up to and including expulsion for Students, termination for Employees, voiding of contracts for Clients and Contractors and removal/restriction from Campus for Visitors.

4.0 Exemptions

4.1

The College will consider requests for an exemption from the vaccination requirement from Students, Residents, and Employees who, because of protected characteristics such as medical or creed/religious needs, or for other reasons, will not be Fully Vaccinated in accordance with this Policy. Exemption requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis. There is no guarantee that a requested exemption will be approved.

4.2

Students, Residents or Employees with an approved exemption to being Fully Vaccinated will be accommodated through reasonable alternative measures as described in this Appendix.

4.3

Requests for medical exemptions will be considered upon completion and presentation of the Request for Medical Exemption form. The College will request supporting documentation and reserves the right to have the documentation reviewed by applicable medical specialists.

4.4

Requests for creed/religious exemptions will be considered upon completion and presentation of the Request for Creed/Religious Exemption form. The College reserves the right to make the appropriate inquiries to verify the sincerity of a creed/religion-based claim.

4.5

Requests for exemptions on other grounds will be considered upon the completion and presentation of the Request for Other Exemption form. The College reserves the right to determine the appropriateness of the request on the basis of the particular circumstances, acting reasonably.

5.0 Process for requesting Exemptions for Students, Residents, and Employees

5.1

Only those Students, Residents, and Employees with a characteristic protected by The Human Rights Code, including medical and/or creed/religious needs, or presenting another compelling reason will be considered for an exemption.

5.2

Students, Residents or Employees who are granted an exemption will be required to follow a variety of appropriate reasonable alternative measures or accommodations, up to the point of undue hardship, as reasonably determined by the College at its sole discretion, which may include:

  1. undergoing testing for COVID-19 at regular intervals, up to three times weekly at the sole discretion of the College acting reasonably, and to provide the College with proof of negative results for each such test. Individuals that do not provide negative test results to the College will not be permitted to attend Campus until they comply. Repeated failures may result in the approval for the exemption being revoked; or
  2. permission to attend Campus with other restrictions or requirements; or
  3. other reasonable accommodations acceptable to the College.

5.3

The College will administer testing for any individuals approved for an exemption. The College has a legal obligation to accommodate individuals with needs based on protected characteristics. As a result, the College will cover the cost of testing for individuals who have been granted an exemption on the basis of protected grounds such as medical or creed/religious needs. Individuals who are granted an Exemption on grounds other than for protected grounds such as medical or creed/religious needs may be responsible for the cost of testing on a cost recovery basis.

5.4

Where a Student, Resident or Employee wishes to request an exemption, it must be requested before they come to any Campus. The timing of such requests must permit the College adequate time to review the request. If the individual does not request an exemption in a timely way, the College may not be able to make a determination regarding whether to approve the requested exemption or implement such reasonable accommodations as may be required on that individual’s preferred timeline.

6.0 Student Residence

6.1

Residents must meet the vaccine requirements outlined in this Appendix unless they receive approval for an exemption and follow any testing or other requirements imposed by the College acting reasonably in its sole discretion.

6.2

Guests who choose not to be Fully Vaccinated will not be allowed to enter a student residence.

7.0 Clients and Visitors

7.1

Clients and Visitors who choose not to be Fully Vaccinated will not be allowed on RRC campuses in any indoor location unless they produce a negative test obtained within the previous 48 hours.

7.2

Generally, for the Fall 2021 Term, Campuses will have limited access and will not be open to Visitors with the exception of individuals on pre-approved, official RRC business.

7.3

Approved Visitors must comply with these procedures. Failing to do so may result in removal from Campus.

8.0 Contractors

8.1

Contractors must ensure that any of their employees or subcontractors who attend a Campus and will be entering an indoor location are Fully Vaccinated or have been accommodated by the Contractor in a manner consistent with, and no less stringent than, the testing required in this Policy. For greater clarity, employees of Contractors must be either Fully Vaccinated or undergo regular testing for COVID-19. Contractors have the primary responsibility to provide accommodations for their own employees and subcontractors.

8.2

If a Contractor sends an employee who is not Fully Vaccinated, or accommodated in accordance with section 8.1, to Campus it will be deemed cause for the College to terminate the contract with that Contractor.

9.0 Face Mask Usage

9.1

Red River College requires that an Approved Face Mask be worn at all times in all Campus indoor spaces and facilities, including classrooms, labs, workrooms, meeting rooms, areas where employees work (unless a private office with the door closed), washrooms, hallways, elevators, and public spaces.

9.2

Approved Face Mask use is required in all outdoor spaces at the College when working or meeting with anyone outside of an individual’s household.

9.3

Approved Face Mask use is not required outdoors when working alone and there is no interaction with Employees or Students as part of that work.

9.4

Approved Face Masks can be removed while eating but individuals should take measures to ensure physical distancing during meal and snack breaks.

9.5

The College will provide one disposable mask every day for any Student or Employee that needs one.

9.6

Accommodations for individuals who are not able to wear a mask will be addressed through Safety Health Services and Human Resource Services.

Appendix B – Campus Entry Procedures [Updated on August 27, 2021]

1.0 Entry Approval

1.1

In order to ensure that all persons attending Campus are Fully Vaccinated or have an approved exemption, Employees, Residents, and Students attending Campus will be required to show that they have been approved for entry via the Mobile Safety App or other designated form of approval.

1.2

Individuals who have made a request for an exemption that is under consideration will not be allowed to attend Campus after September 10, 2021 until the request has been approved.

1.3

All other approved Visitors, Contractors, and Clients must report to security and provide Proof of Vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test that is no more than 48 hours old.

2.0 Personal Screening Tool

2.1

Each individual attending Campus must self-assess using the personal screening tool provided by Manitoba Health prior to attending Campus. The most up-to-date version of the personal screening tool will always be reflected in Appendix B of this policy.

2.2

Users of the personal screening tool must follow the recommendation received by public health:

  1. If the personal screening tool indicates you should call Health Links, self-isolate, and/or get tested for COVID-19 then:
    1. do not come to Campus,
    2. notify your instructor/Supervisor of your absence; and
    3. contact Health Services.
  2. If the personal screening tool indicates that you do not need to call Health Links, self-isolate, and/or get tested for COVID-19 at this time, then;
    1. proceed to attend Campus.

2.3

If an individual has been directed not to come to Campus by Health Services for any reason, they cannot return to Campus again until cleared by Health Services.

2.4

Supporting medical documentation may be requested by the Supervisor and/or Human Resources for Employees. If a Supervisor or Human Resources receives a request for accommodation, an individual assessment is conducted for each request.

2.5

Supporting medical documentation may be requested by the College for Students. If an instructor receives a request for accommodation, the instructor is to reach out to the Health Centre. The Health Centre will take the lead on reviewing and coordinating any other services that may need to be involved (I.e., Student Support Services).

2.6

Follow Appendix C for process if an individual is onsite showing potential symptoms of COVID-19.

2.7

Appendix D should be followed if an individual is being uncooperative and/or showing potential symptoms of COVID-19.

Appendix C – Protocols for Symptomatic Worker or Student on Campus

These protocols apply to all persons attending Campus, including those who are Fully Vaccinated.

Any Worker (or Student) who is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 while on campus must immediately:

  1. Contact your instructor/Supervisor to advise of your departure.
  2. Leave Campus immediately and travel home via the most direct means.
  3. Once, home, complete the Manitoba Health personal screening tool and follow directions.
  4. Call the Health Centre at 204-632-2238. Employees and Students are not permitted to return to a Campus, other than their Residence suite if a Resident, until authorized by College Health Services.

Appendix D – Individual Uncooperative on Campus [Updated August 27, 2021]

  1. The College expects that all individuals will treat others with respect in connection with this Policy.
  2. Where an individual refuses to comply with this Policy and does not have an approved exemption or fails to behave in a manner consistent with the College’s behavioural expectations, the College will take the steps outlined in the attached flowchart.
  3. In addition, in the event that any individual behaves in a manner inconsistent with the College’s behavioural expectations in their interactions with any College Employee or Student, they may be removed from and/or barred from Campus. The College reserves the right to impose other appropriate consequences as outlined in the Student Discipline Policy or under the Collective Agreement between the College and the MGEU.