Courses and Program Delivery Updates

JIBC is committed to reducing the transmission of COVID-19 by continuing proactive measures. These measures will be adjusted over time based on levels of community transmission and guidance from Public Health and the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training.

On March 8, 2021 Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry recommended that post-secondary institutions begin preparing for a safe resumption of normal levels of on-campus instruction and activity this fall.

JIBC has been safely providing limited in-person learning for many months now, by implementing the JIBC COVID-19 Safety Plan. The COVID-19 vaccinations, which have been shown to be highly effective and will be available to all B.C. adults by July at the latest, provide a further layer of protection. This allows us to confidently begin planning for increased on-campus and in-person learning opportunities for the fall.

Reducing the opportunity for infectious contacts will continue to be an important strategy, particularly for those who may not be able to be vaccinated themselves or who have contact with vulnerable individuals. Until Public Health guidance changes, our COVID-19 safety plan expectations will remain important, and will continue to be updated as required.

JIBC continues to communicate closely with provincial ministries, the Public Health Officer, and WorkSafeBC for direction on COVID-19 safety requirements and guidelines.

We will continue to communicate with you as we receive more information and as decisions are made. Updates will be posted to the COVID-19 page.

In the meantime, JIBC has developed a Go Forward Plan with the following approach for the first half of 2021: 

  • Courses will continue to be conducted online wherever possible.
  • JIBC will continue to provide face-to-face training opportunities for justice and public safety professionals where training and evaluation cannot be achieved remotely. Where possible the theory components of such courses will be provided in online formats.
  • Anyone with concerns about face-to-face course participation is asked to discuss them with the appropriate program staff, or in the case of recruits, their employers.

Prior to returning to face-to-face classes each student must complete a short online orientation module and submit an acceptance of risk/acknowledgement of training form.

The course outlines expectations for participation including:

  • Completing a Daily Health Assessment and staying away if any concerns are identified.
  • Mask, physical distancing, and hand hygiene requirements.

As you all know every student, instructor, and staff person is responsible to perform a daily Personal Health Assessment using the Thrive BC COVID tools prior to attending campus.

One of the last questions in the screening is:

Did you provide care or have close contact with a person with confirmed COVID-19?

Note: This means you would have been contacted by your health authority’s public health contact tracing team.

This question is meant to screen out individuals who may be caring for or living with a person with COVID-19 outside of the healthcare environment.

For healthcare professionals, please use the following guidance related to this question:

Acceptable: An active health care worker or first responder who has cared for COVID patients as part of their work assignment, but is asymptomatic, and was wearing their own full PPE according to their work protocols during any close contact.

Not acceptable: Anyone who has been directed by Public Health, a physician, or their employer to self-isolate based on their personal or work-related close contact with, or caring for, a COVID patient (including all instances where they were not wearing their full PPE).

COVID-19 is transmitted most easily when people are indoors together for an extended period of time, especially when physically active and and vocalizing. As this describes many of our activities at JIBC, the safety plan sets out protocols for students, staff, and faculty addressing the following:

  • Students, staff and faculty must each complete a personal health assessment using the BC Thrive tools daily before arriving on campus. Anyone with symptoms or positive answers to other screening questions must not attend campus and must arrange for a COVID-19 test and/or self-isolate for 10-14 days. Instructors or supervisors must be informed of your status immediately.
  • Where appropriate, staff will be supported to work from home, and services will be provided remotely. These will be adjusted depending on changing levels of transmission in the community.
  • Occupancy limits in rooms and elevators are established and signage clearly displayed to enable physical distancing.
  • Changes to work and class schedules to stagger attendance and enable physical distancing.
  • Plexiglass barriers have been installed at face-to-face service desks, in some training facilities, and in some vehicles to protect individual breathing zones.
  • Participants in activities requiring close contact (less than 2m) will be limited to designated ‘partners’ or ‘work pods’ for the duration of the course.
  • Access to campuses is limited to registered students and authorized staff and faculty.
  • Wearing of non-medical masks is mandatory in all indoor shared spaces with limited exceptions. Masks are also strongly recommended outdoors in class situations when distance is difficult to maintain. Use of masks must always be done in conjunction with proper hand washing and physical distancing.
  • Cleaning frequencies and protocols have been established including increased cleaning of high-touch surfaces.

As the COVID-19 situation is continually evolving, we will adjust where necessary as any new information and guidance comes from provincial health officials. We must continue to do what we can to protect ourselves and each other from this global pandemic.

The provincial health officer announced a new mask mandate effective August 25, 2021, when masks must again be worn in all indoor public spaces throughout B.C. regardless of vaccine status. For JIBC campuses, this means masks are now required at all times in common areas, regardless of distance. This includes all indoor or in-vehicle teaching spaces/classrooms.

Masks may be removed temporarily:

  • While eating in a physically-distanced location in a break room or cafeteria. Limiting potential exposure time is an important control so when you have finished eating please replace your mask.

Whenever you get up to move about the room or building, you must wear your mask. If someone has forgotten a mask or theirs is somehow damaged, back-up masks are available from Security or Reception at each campus. If someone is unable to wear a mask for any reason, please reach out to your instructor or supervisor for assistance in determining what appropriate accommodations are possible.

Whether working or learning on campus, employees and students must continue to:

  • Maintain 2m physical distance at all times (masks do not replace distance).
  • Wear masks in all common areas.

Common areas include all spaces shared by other people such as classrooms, theatre, change-rooms, washrooms, maintenance areas, open-concept or shared office areas, study areas, hallways, and stairwells. Do not relax precautions in break rooms and kitchens. Masks can be removed while eating only if physical distance is maintained. 

Further, masks must be worn when working or studying within two metres of another person on campus, regardless of whether or not the location is public space, an office, or a classroom, unless there is a physical barrier meeting WorkSafeBC guidelines to protect each individual’s breathing zone.

Non-medical masks are also now strongly recommended to be worn by class groups when participating in outdoor activities where they may have difficulty maintaining two metres distance (e.g. gathering for a debrief).

Using only a mask by itself is not enough to prevent the spread of COVID-19. You must also:

  • Stay home if you are feeling unwell.
  • Maintain two metres physical distance from other people.
  • Limit duration of close contacts even when wearing a mask:
    If a task requires closer contact, immediately return to distancing as soon as the contact portion of the task is done.

All people participating in face-to-face JIBC activity or attending our sites are asked to bring and use their own well-fitting, non-medical face masks for general use in common areas. Masks will be provided for students and staff participating in any activity which requires contact closer than 2m. A limited supply of disposable masks will be available from campus administrators, Reception, or Security for cases when a mask has been forgotten or damaged.

You can learn more about masks generally here and how to safely and effectively use a mask.

You are required to stay home if you are exhibiting any flu-like symptoms and as with any illness, students may request academic concession. To the extent possible, we urge any affected student to email or phone their instructors, program area or course administrator if they are to be absent. Instructors will waive the medical documentation requirement (i.e. a health care practitioner’s note) for students who are ill until further notice. No student will lose their term due to absence caused by illness.

We encourage you to take the day off, and follow the advice of the BC Self-Assessment Tool.  As with any illness, students may request academic concession. To the extent possible, we urge any affected student to email or phone their instructors, program area or course administrator if they are to be absent. Instructors will waive the medical documentation requirement (i.e. a health care practitioner’s note) for students who are ill until further notice. No student will lose their term due to absence caused by illness.

If you have a question that is not covered here, please contact your instructor, program area or course administrator directly by phone or email and we’ll work to get you an answer as soon as we can.

Student Resources

If you are directed by health professionals to follow self-isolation due to COVID-19, contact your instructors, program area, or course administrator by phone or email to notify them of the situation. This information is necessary to allow JIBC to evaluate the response required to protect others. JIBC will also work with each student to review their specific circumstances and ensure they can complete their term. No student will lose their term due to needing to self-isolate.

Email and telephone support is available to all JIBC students. You may contact our Senior Manager of Learning Support and Disability Resources between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday to Friday, by phone at 604.528.5884 or 1.877.275.4331, or by email at Mindshift and Headspace are helpful apps you can download to help with feelings of anxiety and worry.

The BC Crisis Line is also available 24/7 at 1.800.784.2433.

The Canadian Government launched the Canada Emergency Student Benefit (CESB) for eligible students and recent grads. For more information and to apply to the program please see the CRA’s My Account.

JIBC continues to support students by providing access to necessary learning support services. This includes the following:

  • JIBC Library

The JIBC Library at the New Westminster campus is currently closed until further notice. The library will continue to offer its usual services in alternate formats including phone, email, Skype, and BlueJeans. The library also offers online resources, including eBooks, databases, and streaming media. More information on specific resources can be found on the library's eResources page. If you have any questions please contact the JIBC Library at 604.528.5599 or by email

The library also provides information in the links below:

  1. APA citation and reference list assistance
  2. AskAway virtual reference chat service (note the extended hours)
  3. ARES course readings
  4. Copyright questions
  5. Research & reference (e.g. helping students do their searches; doing research for faculty)
  6. Continued password-protected access to many digital resources including journal and newspaper articles, e-Books and streaming media
    Students use student number and password; faculty/staff use network credentials
    Forgot your credentials? Go to
    Questions about your credentials (user ID and password), contact the program assistant for your area.

Although the format may be different, the commitment is the same – to ensure our students get as much help as possible; and, that our faculty/staff are supported as best we can.

  • Writing Centre

The Writing Centre is closed to all face-to-face and drop-in sessions but the coordinator and several tutors are still accepting submissions and writing questions by email. Please email your draft and the assignment description in the syllabus to The Writing Centre will do its best to give you feedback within two business days.

Additional learning support is available through the Senior Manager, Learning Support and Disability Resources and can be arranged by emailing

  • Blackboard

During this period of transition you may have questions about Blackboard. First, check out the Help for eLearning page. If the information provided does not answer your question, check out the website or contact Student Services for more information at 604.528.5590 or toll free at 1.877.528.5591.

The uncertainty associated with this COVID-19 pandemic, as well as this time of social distancing, may result in feelings of anxiety and loneliness. Please make sure you stay connected with each other, whether through social media, text, private messaging apps like WhatsApp, or even actual phone calls! Check on your classmates if you haven’t heard from them. Emotions are high for many people right now. It’s time to come together and support one another.

If you are struggling and need to connect with support, 24/7 support is available by calling the Crisis Line at 1.800.784.2433.  You can also go online for support via chat at (12 p.m. to 1 a.m.) or (12 p.m. to 1 a.m.).

For information on anxiety and COVID-19, check out Here to Help’s info sheet with tips to manage anxiety.

There are also a number of apps you can download to help stay well and keep anxious thoughts in check, including:

If you need more resources, or wish to talk further, please contact Mary Kallberg, JIBC Senior Manager of Learning Support and Disability Resources, at

Please also check out the Adapting to COVID-19 resources section on the BCcampus website, which in addition to a section on mental health supports, contains other useful information and support for post-secondary students adapting to COVID-19.


Campuses & Services

Our first priority is always the continued health and safety of JIBC students, staff and faculty, and our broader community. We have developed a comprehensive COVID-19 Safety Plan and COVID-19 Recovery Framework following the principles and guidelines provided by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training, the Provincial Health Officer, and WorkSafeBC. These documents will provide details of the COVID-19 safety protocols we’ve put in place at JIBC.

JIBC has activated a COVID-19 Go Forward Oversight Group to coordinate plans and responses to the evolving situation. We regularly consult with the BC Ministries of Health and Advanced Education and Skills Training; the Public Health Agency of Canada; and the BC Centre for Disease Control on how to detect and mitigate any potential cases on our campuses. We have appropriate measures in place, in the event that we are presented with someone displaying COVID-19 symptoms.

To reduce the risk for our campus environment, we:

  1. Have reduced our operating hours as follows:
    • Weekdays - New Westminster campus main building locked at 5 p.m., staff can access until 11 p.m.
    • Saturday and Sunday - New Westminster campus main building locked, staff can access until 5 p.m.
  2. Have increased cleaning of high touch surfaces meaning we have increased cleaning and disinfecting of objects and surfaces that are frequently touched by multiple students or staff throughout campus; disinfectant wipes have been placed in common areas for use by staff, faculty and students where there is sharing of equipment and furniture.
  3. Have posted information to remind people of how to reduce the spread of infections and continue to monitor and refill our current hand sanitizer stations located in the main entrances.
  4. Non-medical masks, covering nose and mouth, are mandatory in all indoor shared spaces at all JIBC campuses and any sites where we hold face-to-face activities They are strongly recommended while outdoors during class situations where distance may be difficult to maintain. Use of masks must always be done in conjunction with proper hand washing and physical distancing.
  5. Students and staff coming to in-person classes or work activities are expected to follow the required daily health check procedures and confirm their completions so their instructors or program staff can document confirmations.
  6. Are encouraging all campus users to follow the best practices in self-care being shared by the BC Centre for Disease Control and your local health authority including Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health.
  7. COVID-19 related mitigation measures are in place to promote social distancing at the New Westminster campus. The following areas are impacted:
  • Atrium: tables placed 2m apart; excess chairs removed.
  • Classrooms: classrooms are assigned to deliver face-to-face classes in accordance with JIBC’s COVID-19 Safety Plan. Please do not enter a room assigned to another user group - so that they can remain assured it has been cleaned prior to their use.
  • Gun Range: number of operational lanes reduced to provide 2m distance.
  • Food Services: Food services at all campuses are closed until further notice.
  • Cafeteria Seating Areas: tables moved 2m apart and labelled for maximum occupancy; excess tables removed, outdoor chairs and tents provided to encourage physical distancing while taking breaks outside.
  • Elevators: signage installed stating occupancy limits – please use the stairs if possible to allow elevator access for those who need it.
  • Service Desks: plexiglass barriers and floor taping installed to indicate 2m line-waiting distances.
  • JIBC Bookstore: closed until further notice as the footprint cannot accommodate 2m social distancing. Orders can still be placed via
  • JIBC Library: Services are available via phone or email at 604.528.5599 or
  • Washrooms – occupancy limits and hygiene signage posted.

No. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as of March 17, 2020, JIBC has taken the preventive measure to suspend external facility rentals and activities at all our campuses until further notice.

JIBC continues to adapt to the COVID-19 situation and the challenges of conducting research while maintaining the health and safety of research participants, students, staff, faculty, and the general public. Currently, there are physical and social distancing measures in place for the safety of all Canadians, which is also impacting research.

All JIBC research and projects that collect data through physical and/or social interaction such as focus groups and face-to-face interviews must be restructured and use other data gathering methods to protect the health and safety of all Canadians.

For more information please consult the JIBC Research Ethics Board Response to COVID-19 on the Research Governance website.


Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, there are important procedures and protocols you need to be aware of and follow as an international student travelling to Canada. Details are outlined in our Travel and Self-Isolation Guide for International Students.

Please follow the infection control protocols of the facility in which you are currently working or learning. Please directly contact your academic coordinator/supervisor (e.g. co-op or practica co-ordinator, course instructor, graduate supervisor, etc.) to discuss your options.

You may also contact the Office of International Affairs if you require assistance. They can be reached at or 01.1.605.528.5636.

See current direction for returning travellers on the BC-CDC website. As of March 25, all travellers who enter/return to Canada are required by law to self-isolate for 14 days, provide a self-isolation plan to provincial government officials, and to monitor their health for respiratory symptoms.

  • Those who develop COVID-19 symptoms during the 14-day monitoring period should call their healthcare provider or call the provincial health line at 8-1-1 to discuss any need for testing and follow up. They must also add 10 days of self-isolation from the start date of symptom onset.

More information on self-isolation is available at



JIBC has so far not had any cases of COVID-19 transmission on any of our campuses. Our community, however, has been impacted with confirmed cases and/or orders to self-isolate related to Public Health contact tracing of transmission from other environments.

The official name for the disease was deliberately chosen to avoid stigmatisation - the “co” stands for Corona, “vi” for virus and “d” for disease, 19 is because the disease emerged in 2019.

The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to other respiratory illnesses, including the flu and common cold. They include cough, fever or chills, loss of sense of smell or taste, and difficulty breathing. As with influenza, older people and people with a weakened immune system or underlying medical condition are considered at higher risk of severe disease.

Coronavirus is transmitted via larger liquid droplets such as when a person coughs or sneezes. The virus can be transferred through these droplets via the eyes, nose or throat if you are in close contact. It is not something that comes in through the skin.

It can be spread by touch if a person handles surfaces on which droplets have fallen and then touches their face. That’s why we recommend you cough or sneeze into a disposable tissue or your arm to prevent spread of droplets, wash your hands regularly, and avoid touching your face.

Close contact means someone who lived with, or otherwise had close prolonged contact with a person infected with COVID-19 (within two metres for more than 15 minutes); or a caregiver/healthcare worker who had close physical contact with a person infected with COVID-19 without use of personal protective equipment.

Follow the same advice that public health officials recommend for the cold and flu season: wash your hands often with soap and water; cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing; avoid close contact with people who are sick; and stay home when you are sick.

The most important thing you can do to prevent coronavirus and other illnesses is to wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your face.

The advice from health agencies is:

  • Wear a non-medical mask in all public indoor spaces
  • Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds using soap and water.
  • If a sink is not available, 60-90% alcohol-based hand rubs (hand sanitizer) can be used to clean hands if they are not visibly soiled. If they are visibly soiled, you can use an alcohol-based disposable hand wipe to remove the dirt and then use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Do not touch your eyes/nose/mouth with unwashed hands.
  • When you sneeze or cough, cover your mouth and nose with a disposable tissue or the crease of your elbow, and then wash your hands.
  • Stay home when you are ill to avoid spreading the illness to others.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick with an infection.

On wearing non-medical cloth masks, please read Dr. Bonnie Henry’s response for thorough detailed fact-based information. To summarize, medical masks and N95 respirators should be reserved for health-care workers. Wearing a non-medical cloth mask by itself will not protect you from COVID-19 and the best preventive measures are the ones listed above. A mask prevents your droplets (such as from heavy breathing, cough or sneeze) from dispersing in the immediate vicinity and so will protect others in case you are carrying the virus. They should not be used to replace any of the advice listed above but can be used to help prevent others from being exposed to your droplets.

Students, faculty, staff or visitors who have been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 by laboratory testing should stay home or self-isolate in their residence for 14 days after their last encounter. Individuals should monitor themselves daily for symptoms (fever, cough, muscle aches, difficulty breathing).

Avoid creating stigma. Respectfully and privately provide information from this document to the individual. Report your concern to your supervisor. 

Anyone who is concerned that they, or someone they have had close contact with, may be experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should contact their health-care provider or call public health at 8-1-1. If you are planning to see a health care provider about suspected COVID-19, please inform your health care provider when calling for an appointment so that appropriate protective measures can be taken.

There is a proliferation of new terminology describing how the public should modify their behaviour to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The BC Centre for Disease Control provides an up-to-date glossary of commonly used terms to reduce public confusion and enhance public clarity about protective measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Preventing COVID-19

In addition to social distancing, the most important thing you can do to prevent infection is to wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your face. To help reduce your risk of infection:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Using soap and water is the single most effective way of reducing the spread of infection.
  • If a sink is not available, 60-90% alcohol-based hand rubs (ABHR) can be used to clean your hands as long as they are not visibly soiled. If they are visibly soiled, use a wipe and then ABHR to effectively clean them.
  • Do not touch your face, eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a disposable tissue or the crease of your elbow when you sneeze or cough.
  • Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
  • Do not share food, drinks, utensils, etc.

Physical Distancing

Physical distancing (also called social distancing) is a way that we can slow the spread of COVID-19 by limiting close contact with others. Even though we are not sick, we should still keep about two metres (six feet) or the length of a queen-sized bed from one another when we can when outside our homes.

There are many ways to practice physical distancing: 

  • Limit activities outside your home
  • Use virtual options to connect with others
  • If you are out in public, try to keep two metres between yourself and others
  • ‎Keep your hands at your side when possible
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cough into your elbow or sleeve
  • Avoid social activities in large gatherings


Self-monitoring means you should be monitoring your health and the health of your children for symptoms such as fever, cough, loss of sense of smell or taste, or difficulty breathing. Individuals who are self-monitoring are allowed to attend work and school and take part in regular activities.


Self-isolation means avoiding situations where you could infect other people. This can help prevent the spread of infections. Self-isolation lowers the chance of spreading the illness to other people. When you are exposed to an illness, there is the time between exposure and when you start to feel sick. This is called an incubation period. There is a small chance you can spread germs in the days before you feel sick. People at high-risk of having been exposed to the illness are asked to self-isolate. 

Plan ahead and prepare for what you will do if you or a family member becomes sick and needs care.

*Note that all definitions were taken, verbatim, from the BC Centre for Disease Control website. Please consult the website for the most up-to-date definitions and if new terms enter our common vocabulary to describe prevention methods.


Other sources you can consult include:


Government of Canada