VFS monitoring & response
Updated: June 11, 2020
VFS online & phased campus re-opening
Since the province of B.C.’s mid-May announcement of a strategy for safe re-openings, we have been working on necessary planning towards VFS being able to deliver limited activities on campus, and to do so as safely as possible.
Our key objectives and considerations are as follows:
- Ensure safety in what we do and how we do it. This is presently the key consideration in all decisions being made.
- Resume certain activities in a phased approach to avoid risks that are increased by overcrowding of spaces.
Phase 1 – A very limited number of students in certain departments are being invited to come back to VFS, on an opt-in basis, to resume some specific hands-on activities. All classes and activities that can continue to be delivered online will remain online during this phase.
Phase 2 – Some classes, although deliverable online, will start to be delivered in our campus classrooms. Physical distancing will still be a safety requirement and so a hybrid model may require that students are split between being in class or online at certain times. Therefore, these classes, will also be made available online for students who are not able or willing to attend in person.
Phase 3 – A vaccine has been developed or community immunity in the region has been declared by the provincial and federal health authorities, resulting in VFS being able to fully open all campuses.
As of June 11, VFS is implementing Phase 1 of its resumption of activities.
First, we will begin with on-campus delivery of select hands-on activities (so long as they can be carried out with proper physical distancing in accordance with WorkSafe BC & Provincial Health Officer protocols) that have been undeliverable otherwise over the past two and a half months.
As each program, each stream, and each term have different levels of hands-on activities, students will be hearing directly from their program administrators regarding the next steps in Phase 1.
Consideration is also being given to students who are not currently in Vancouver. Program administrators will communicate directly with these students to recommend the best way to stay engaged from a distance or, for some programs, advise on when it would be appropriate to return to Vancouver. Please note that any return to Vancouver needs to be done in full consultation with program administrators and with respect to all provincial and federal government restrictions.
Finally, for the next while, scheduled activities on campus are optional. Should anyone not feel comfortable returning to campus at this stage, your program administrator will share all other options with you.
As we continue planning for Phase 2, we will keep everyone informed through school-wide and program-specific updates. We are closely following the announcements and recommendations of health authorities and keeping informed about other factors such as travel restrictions into Canada.
For complete details about resumption of activities at VFS, please consult the VFS COVID-19 Safety Plan.
As COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) continues to spread around the world, Vancouver Film School is actively monitoring the situation and supporting a global response.
What you need to know
COVID-19 is a serious disease, but outbreaks can be managed and contained. At this time, Canada’s Public Health Agency and B.C.’s Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) have assessed the risk associated with the virus as “low,” and the vast majority of infected people are expected to recover.
However, at this time, the province of British Columbia and Canada’s Public Health Office advise against all non-essential travel outside of Canada, including the United States.
If you are returning from abroad, you will need to stay away from work and school for 14 days upon your return. Should any symptoms arise during the 14-day monitoring period, immediately limit your contact with others and call 8-1-1.
If you are travelling abroad for Vancouver Film School business or study, please contact Andrew Tsang.
If you’re concerned you may have COVID-19 symptoms and want to do a self-assessment, please visit: https://covid19.thrive.health
What VFS is doing
Our message to all prospective and enrolled students, as well as their parents and guardians, is about our increased response to COVID-19, and how we’re empowering everyone at VFS to make decisions that are best for their health.
VFS has established a COVID-19 Committee consisting of key stakeholders in all departments and we are communicating on a daily basis to review the latest updates from the Provincial, Federal and World Health Organizations, and to make the appropriate changes to our procedures, best practices, and communication within the VFS community.
Offshore requests to visit VFS
On March 18, the federal government announced the closure of Canada’s borders to non-essential travel due to COVID-19 measures.
Until further notice, international visitors (including those from the U.S.) are not allowed in Canada.
Visitors who had arrived from the U.S. prior to the closure must observe a 14-day isolation period before visiting VFS, as established by the provincial and federal governments.
All visitor requests (i.e. agents, school representatives, visiting scholars, third-party vendors, etc.) are to be reported to the relevant Department Supervisor for approval.
While the Public Health Agency of Canada has assessed the risk associated with coronavirus as low thus far, we continue to monitor developments very closely.
The B.C. government has restricted events and gatherings of 50 people or more. Consequently, VFS is currently evaluating all event commitments for the sake of everyone involved.
For more information about our scheduled events, visit vfs.edu/events
VFS has stepped up its facilities and janitorial services by frequently wiping down high-touch, and high-traffic areas. Most importantly, VFS will continue to promote the following best practices to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, as noted by the BC Provincial Health Authorities, the BC Centre for Disease Control, the Canadian Centre for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization.
The best way to further protect yourself and those around you from the virus is to:
- Wash your hands often with soap under warm running water for at least 20 seconds.
- Do not touch your face with unwashed hands.
- Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
- When sneezing or coughing, cover your mouth and nose with your arm to reduce the spread of germs.
- If you use a tissue, dispose of it as soon as possible and wash your hands afterwards.
Most importantly, if you have any kind of illness, please stay home, get rest, and take the time to recover.
For more information on COVID-19
Public Health Agency of Canada — https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html
BC Centre for Disease Control — http://www.bccdc.ca/about/news-stories/stories/2020/information-on-novel-coronavirus
World Health Organization — https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) – Canada.ca:
How COVID-19 is affecting applications to visit, work or study in Canada
International students can travel to Canada only if they are exempt from the travel restrictions and are coming for an essential purpose.
If you are an international student, meet the criteria for the travel exemptions, and you want to apply to come to Canada, there are changes to the application process. Learn more on the IRCC website.
If you have questions about COVID-19, please visit: