Covid-19July 31, 2020 2023-02-02 14:09
Mitigation and Management at Eston College
To the Eston College Family,
We are so thankful for your consistent support, encouragement, and prayers over the past few years as we have been navigating how to run an academic institution in the midst of a global health pandemic. You may have some questions about what we have been doing to help minimize the spread of COVID-19 and what we are planning for the future. We have answered some FAQ’s below. If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
What is your mitigation plan for this year?
Eston College has a two-stage approach (Monitoring & Response) to Covid management for the 2021-2022 academic year. These stages are guided by provincial regulations and upon advice from SHA.
Provincial Health Guidelines
The College will be following regulations put out by the Saskatchewan Health Authority as they arise.
All staff, students, and volunteers who are feeling unwell will be asked to wear a mask within public spaces, self-monitor, have their temperature checked daily, and take extra hygiene precautions.
Students are required to let the Dean of Students know of any illness they are feeling or any contact with someone with COVID-19.
Visitors are required to check in at the main office of the college and have their temperature checked.
All buildings (rooms within) will continue to be cleaned according to a regular schedule with common touch surfaces sanitized frequently. Should an individual become symptomatic on campus the areas where that individual entered will be thoroughly cleaned and sanitizing will be completed.
In consultation with the Health Inspector for our region our Food Services Director (and overseer of the campus cleaning) has been instructed on requirements for cleaning and sanitizing.
Rapid tests are available on-site and will be used on-site, as needed.
Students and staff of Eston College will be encouraged to care for their health from a holistic perspective. Exercise opportunities, nutritious food, and other factors will be made available to protect and nurture the general health and wellbeing of the staff and students.
As part of our hands-on education students will have the opportunity to put their in-class education into practice on the field. As we have many options for ministry opportunities, students will not knowingly be sent into communities where there are a high number of COVID-19 cases. All COVID-19 protocols/regulations will be followed for the specific situation (ie. Ministry in church settings/religious gatherings).
Self-Isolation and Monitoring
All students and staff are required to report if they have symptoms of COVID-19. Reporting a change in health is important. At no time should anyone be made to feel that not reporting is a better option. No one should be made to feel punished or stigmatized for stating they are unwell, potentially have COVID-19 and/or have or may have transmitted it to someone else.
Anyone sick with mild COVID-19 like symptoms will be asked to:
- Wear a mask in all public spaces (dorm common areas, chapel, cafeteria, lounge, prayer room, classroom, library, etc.) and maintain a 2-meter (6-foot) social distance from others.
- Refrain from singing in worship settings.
- Check their temperature twice daily.
- If necessary, complete the self-assessment tool and/or call 811. Those directed by 811 to get a COVID-19 test will isolate until they go for testing and until they receive a negative result.
- If they test positive for COVID-19 they will be moved to one of the designated isolation locations for 10 days from the date of the positive test. See Appendix A for Isolation Plan.
Note: Even before a test is administered, if symptoms are worsening students will be asked to self-isolate. If a student must be driven to the testing location in Kindersley both the student and driver will wear masks in the vehicle and be as far apart in seating as possible.
Non-close contacts (distanced, masked, and/or fully vaccinated) who have still had some contact with positive Covid cases will be asked to follow the same protocols for those with mild symptoms listed above. Self-monitoring includes taking one’s temperature twice a day and watching for symptoms of illness. Self-monitoring should continue for a period of 10 days.
Should an outbreak occur on-site (3 or more active cases of Covid at one time), students and staff will be assigned cohorts, and physical distancing and masking measures will be put in place to minimize transmission until deemed necessary by the Dean’s Department and relevant health authorities. Off-site visitation will be restricted. Health authorities will also be consulted as to possible additional containment protocols.
How did you manage Covid-19 in the last school year?
With the help of all our staff and the local health authorities, we were able to successfully complete our academic year on campus and incident-free. We maintained high levels of cleaning regulations, followed all health restrictions and protocols, and ensured our students could focus on their studies and faith growth.
Is the campus opening again in the Fall?
Yes, the new school year begins in September. The dorms will open on September 13 for orientation and opening services, Mini A begins on September 20th, and regular classes commence on September 27th.
Is the campus opening in the Fall?
Yes, we will be open and running! The dorms will open on September 7 for orientation and opening services, Mini A begins on September 14th, and regular classes commence on September 21st.
Will the semester run as normal?
Things will look a little different to begin with. After Mini A, our semester will be broken into two smaller blocks, with students completing two full courses within that time. You’ll have a week off in between the 5-week blocks to rest. This hybrid schedule structure will allow us greater flexibility to make sure that you get an excellent education and we can keep up with whatever guidelines/restrictions may come up in the future.
Will the students need to quarantine when they arrive?
Our students will be restricted to our campus for the first two weeks from the date they arrive. All meals will be provided for them, as usual. Our staff and off campus students will be physical distancing during this period.
What will you be doing to keep the students safe on campus?
As per health guidelines, we will be enforcing a physical distancing policy and increasing our daily cleaning protocols. Sanitizer will be easily accessible, and all people on site will be encouraged to wash their hands frequently. Staff will be sanitizing high-touch areas frequently. Masks will be worn when people cannot maintain 6 feet of distance from one another. Visitors to the site will be required to sanitize their hands, sign in at the front office, and may be asked to wear a mask, depending on the purpose of their visit.
Students will have their own dorms and will be required to keep their areas clean. The cafeteria will switch from buffet style to served meals for the foreseeable future.
Have you been seeking health advice in your planning?
Absolutely. We have made our decision to re-open the College in consultation with the Ministry of Health and in conjunction with our local health inspector and insurance adjuster. We will be following all public health guidelines during the semester and will expect any visitors to the site to do also.
Will there be any conferences this year?
We are planning a digital interactive conference for Encounter Sr. High. Our young adult conferences like Behold andRefresh are on hold for now.
Will students still go on contact trips this year?
We haven’t made a final decision on this yet, but we hope so. If contact trips do run, we’ll be making sure that all the public health guidelines are still being followed on the road, and the communities we send our students to are comfortable and willing for us to come.
What about WAT?
This is completely dependent on international border closures and travel restrictions. We love sending World Action Teams to go and spread the love of Jesus across the globe, but for now, the best way to spread that love may be to stay home. Stay posted for more updates on this as the year continues.
When can we expect to know more?
We will continue to update you on this page with any information we have. If you do have specific questions about these topic (or anything else, for the matter) please send us a message through the contact form below. Above all else, remember that Jesus is in control and He is the provider of all wisdom. You can ask Him too.
Is the College currently open?
Yes, Eston College has continued operations behind the scenes and will continue to do so into the future. To help flatten the curve, our doors have been closed to the public for several weeks. Many staff have been working from home to ensure the continued provision of high-quality, personal education and support for students and their families.
Will classes run in September?
Yes! For now, we are planning on business as usual to return for our upcoming Fall semester. We expect student residences to open in early September, with our regular commencement week to follow. Of course, we are constantly checking in with health and government officials to ensure we are following the guidelines they set.
When do applications open, and will enrollment be flexible due to COVID-19?
Enrollment for 2020-21 is open now. You can read our student catalogue here. We will monitor all government health recommendations and contact our students and community as the situation evolves.
How can I learn more about the College if I can’t come see the campus?
Our staff are available via phone and email to answer any questions you might have about coming to Eston College and would love to hear from you. We also have a variety of virtual events coming up, through Facebook and Zoom.
Amid concerns regarding the Corona Virus, and given Saskatchewan’s proactive stance to prevent its possible spread, we have decided to end the in-residence portion of our academic year as of this Friday. Classes will proceed as per our regular schedule this week and students will head home this weekend. The following will address a few questions you may have:
Will students be able to finish their courses?
Yes! We will provide online learning on a class-by-class basis to ensure students finish up their courses.
Will students get some money back because the term is ending early?
Absolutely, students will be refunded their room and board on a pro-rated basis.
How long can students stay at the college? The Eston College dormitories and the cafeteria will be closed after supper on Saturday, March 21st.
Will grad still happen this year?
Although our graduation celebration has been postponed until a later date, we will do our best to end the school year well and plan to use this week to celebrate the good things God has done this year.
Is Encounter still happening?
No, at this point we have no plans to host an online event or a postponed version of Encounter 2020.
Has anyone at Eston College been exposed to the Corona Virus?
In case you are wondering, we are not responding reactively. As far as we know, no one in our community has been exposed to or tested for, the Corona Virus. Given our rural context and the residential nature of our college, we believe this decision is the best choice for the season we are walking through.
Thank you for your prayers during this challenging season. We know God has good things in store for Eston College and our students, and we believe he will give us His grace to get through whatever trials today may bring.
Got More Questions?
WE HAVE ANSWERS