Covid-19 Information for English Schools in Canada & USA

To ensure a safe environment during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are prioritizing the health and safety of both students and staff at all of our schools. Our team is committed to upholding the highest standards of cleanliness throughout our facilities and in light of the dramatic changes to public health guidelines due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have updated or enhanced many of our hygiene and safety protocols to help ensure the safety and security of everyone who walks through our doors.

We have also implemented robust COVID-19 related policy through close analysis of the various provincial/state and federal government and health authority guidelines, including WorkSafe BC, BC COVID-19 Go-Forward Guidelines, and the Government of Canada’s Guidance for Post-Secondary Institutions During the COIVD-19 Pandemic, as well as the order of the provincial health officer of British Columbia, and the governments of Ontario, British Columbia, and California.

A link to our Health & Safety Plan can be found here:
Vancouver Health and Safety Plan
Toronto Health and Safety Plan
San Diego Health and Safety Plan

 

Scroll down for more on:
Canada’s Covid Update
Information on Travelling to Canada and the US
Information for Students
Information for Staff
Information for Agents
Frequently Asked Questions

Canada COVID Update

The Public Health Agency of Canada is working with provinces/states, territories and international partners, including the World Health Organization, to actively monitor the situation, while global efforts are focused on containment of the outbreak and the prevention of further spread.  Current COVID-19 information can be found on the Public Health Agency of Canada website here.

According to the Government of Canada, as of September 21, 2020 there are 10,653 active cases of Covid-19 in Canada.

Active cases by province/state:

British Columbia: 2,189

Ontario: 3,299

 

COVID-19 is a serious health threat, and the situation is evolving daily. The risk varies between and within communities, but given the number of cases in Canada, the risk to Canadians is considered high.  Current COVID-19 case numbers can be found on The Government of Canada’s website here.

For more information, please visit the provincial resources page for British Columbia, Ontario, and San Diego:

BC: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19

Ontario: https://www.publichealthontario.ca/en/diseases-and-conditions/infectious-diseases/respiratory-diseases/novel-coronavirus/

 

 

Information on Travelling to Canada and the US

According to the Government of Canada, you can travel to and enter Canada if you’re a:

  • Canadian citizen
  • dual Canadian citizen with a
  • permanent resident of Canada
  • person registered under Canada’s Indian Act
  • protected person

click here for more information

 

Some international students may travel to Canada if they are eligible. To be able to enter Canada, you must be one of the following:

  • an international student with a valid study permit or who was approved for a study permit on or before March 18, 2020
  • travelling directly from the US

 

Your travel to Canada may be considered if:

  • you already live in Canada
  • you need to be in Canada for your program (for laboratory work, workshops, or similar)
  • your school isn’t offering online study options
  • you can’t study online from your home country because of internet restrictions or bandwidth limitations
  • you can’t participate in live online classes from your home country because of the difference in time zones

A border services officer will make the final decision on whether your reason for travelling to Canada is non-discretionary or non-optional.

 

When you travel to Canada

Make sure you have proof that you’re exempt from the travel restrictions and that you’re travelling for a non-optional or non-discretionary purpose.

 

When the border services officer greets you, they will look at several factors, including

  • your non-discretionary reason for travelling to Canada
  • your ability to complete a 14-day quarantine period as soon as you arrive at your final destination
  • if you either
    • have time to complete your quarantine before you physically attend classes, or
    • can study online during your quarantine

 

You must also bring

  • a valid study permit, or
  • a port of entry letter of introduction that shows you were approved for a study permit, if you’re coming from the United States, or
  • a port of entry letter of introduction that shows you were approved for a study permit on or before March 18, 2020, if you’re coming from any other country

 

Before you travel, you can contact the Border Information Service for more information.

 

Health requirements for travellers to Canada

To travel to Canada, you must

Last updated: September 22, 2020

 

Information for travelling to the US

For information on travelling to the US, please visit the US Department of State travel advisory webpage.

Information for Students

We prioritize the health and safety of our students so we have implemented the following policies to ensure safe arrival, accommodation and learning environment in addition to the school’s Health & Safety Precautions:

 

Pre-Arrival, Arrival & Accommodation

  • Pre-Arrival

Prior to arrival In Canada, students and accompanying family members will be provided with clear instructions and documentation to students on the required protocol for safe travel, quarantine, and behavioural expectations upon arrival in Canada.

  • Arrival

Students will be provided with details of a designated quarantine site that is equipped to follow necessary procedures to provide a safe, comfortable, full-service two-week COVID-19 quarantine period. Students will be required to be tested for COVID-19, or be examined by a medical professional, before the end of the quarantine period, following the specific requirements of provincial government requirements.  If a student or staff member needs to be tested for COVID-19, OI will provide transport (following the strict transport protocol outlined in this section) to and from one of the assessment centres.

  • Accommodation

Currently, new students to Canada will have to self-isolate upon arrival for 14 days and during this time can attend classes virtually and will require computer/laptop/ and high-speed internet to attend classes. For the quarantine period, students will be required to stay at one of the accommodation options provided by OI. For hotel accommodation options, students will be directed to those hotels approved and listed in Language Canada’s Study Safe Corridor plan, all of which have implemented rigorous COVID-19 operating procedures as per the Hotel Association of Canada’s Best Practices, Operating Procedures and Considerations for Hotel Guests in Self-Isolation (Canada only).

For both the quarantine period and beyond, all host families, student residences, and accommodation partners will be provided new hygiene and services guidelines to ensure the health and safety of all parties. Students will be required to submit a daily health declaration to their OI contact staff member and will receive a daily phone call from local government authorities.  These phone calls must be answered every day.

 

Student Services

  • Student Support

This is a challenging time for an international student, and we are here to help. An OI staff member will look after your wellness needs and provide counseling.

  • Lessons

Lesson/break times will be staggered, and the usual timetable reworked and expanded outside of normal hours to ensure social distancing measures can be observed effectively. All students will attend remote online welcome orientation/guideline meetings and training before returning to, or commencing, lessons at school facilities.  This will include training on how to deal with suspected contraction of COVID-19, of themselves or others.

  • Social Program

Social programme activities will remain online for the immediate future until guidelines provided by provincial, state, and federal governments deem these to be safe to do in person.

 

Health Insurance

Students must provide evidence of having appropriate medical insurance, effective as of the date of the students’ arrival, which includes coverage for COVID-19. Students can purchase Guard.me insurance through the Client Services & Accommodations Coordinator.

Information for Staff

We prioritize the health and safety of our staff members so we have implemented the following policies to ensure a safe working environment:

 

  • To reduce the number of staff members in the workplace, an assessment will be made of all staff members, the nature of their roles, and where possible, an extension to remote work options will be made available to those employees who are deemed able to successfully fulfil their role in a remote capacity. Virtual team meetings will also be prioritized wherever possible.
  • Assessment of overall office dynamics, and the spaces staff would normally occupy, will be conducted, and staff will adapt accordingly. Working hours/the work day will be extended when appropriate, again to avoid over-use of shared work spaces.
  • When travelling to work, staff should follow health and safety guidelines provided by local public transport providers. If possible, staff should use alternative transport options, avoiding public transport where possible.
  • All staff members will attend remote online training sessions, led by members of management, to ensure that all members of the workforce feel prepared and comfortable with the measures taken by the OI NA team to restart in a safe and thorough manner. This will include communicating all points covered in this document to also ensure expectations of staff.
  • A revised staff travel policy will be made available to staff members whose roles involves either national or international travel, to ensure they comply with provisional/state safety guidelines when doing so. All staff will continually enforce all measures outlined in the Student Guidelines document when communicating and observing students, reporting any health or guideline violations to their respective manager or school director.
  • All staff members are expected to adhere to all Health & Safety Precautions

Information for Agents

We are happy to announce that we are in full operation and have implemented a blended learning program for our students. Students have the option to join classes virtually or in-person. We ensure the delivery of the same high-quality education to our current students, as well as newly-arriving students from abroad.  This will be done via a revised blended learning curriculum, and close management of student enrolment numbers, to ensure OI continues to operate within the capacity guidelines of the province/state.

Please click below to view our official Health & Safety Plan.

Vancouver Health and Safety Plan
Toronto Health and Safety Plan

Frequently Asked Questions

Are the schools still open?

Yes, we are in full operation! We are conducting classes and IELTS testing regularly.

 

How can I protect myself?

According to the Government of Canada, Covid-19 is spread through the following:

  • Close contact: Breathing in someone’s respiratory droplets after they cough, sneeze, laugh or sing.
  • Contaminated surfaces: Touching something with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes with unwashed hands.
  • Common greetings: Handshakes, hugs or kisses.

In order to prevent the spread, the government is advising individuals to:

  • Physical distance
  • Practice good hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette
  • Wear non-medical masks or face coverings
  • Clean and disinfect contact points regularly

click here for more information

 

How are classes being taught – online or face-to-face?

Classes are being taught online and face-to-face. We ensure the delivery of the same high-quality education through a revised curriculum. Students have the option of joining classes virtually or in-person.

 

I’m feeling unwell. What should I do?

If you are exhibiting symptoms of Covid-19, report this to an OI staff member immediately. If you are not at school, contact the following:

British Columbia: Oxford International Vancouver

Business Hours: 604-688-7942

Non-Business Hours: 604-290-3142

 

Ontario: Oxford International Toronto

Business Hours: 416-542-1626

Non-Business Hours: 647-227-1209

 

California: Oxford International San Diego

Business Hours: 619-233-0355

 

You will be given instructions on what to do next. If you cannot contact a staff member, call:

 

British Columbia: 811

Ontario: 1-866-797-0000

 

I want to study with Oxford International. Who do I get in touch with?

If you are interested in studying with us, please contact canada@oxfordinternational.com or sandiego@oxfordinternational.com.