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COVID-19 forces Douglas College to move classes online

Douglas College's campuses in Coquitlam and New Westminster will transition away from in-person classes no later than March 20
Douglas College remains open in Coquitlam but courses are moving online by March 20.
Douglas College remains open in Coquitlam but courses are moving online by March 20.

Douglas College is joining universities, colleges and technical institutes across the Lower Mainland in switching to online classes during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The New Westminster and Coquitlam Douglas College campuses are currently open but will be transitioning away from in-person classes, with the last day of classes “no later than Friday, March 20,” according to information posted to the college’s website Sunday.

The open campus has upset some people, including Dan, who contacted the Tri-City News with his concerns, suggesting that Douglas College should close immediately to protect staff and students, as BCIT has done.

BCIT is closed for Monday and Tuesday and moving to online classes Wednesday, March 18, according to information posted to its website.

UBC moved to online classes Monday but campuses remain open and all university operations, according to its website, last updated on Saturday. SFU is also moving away from in-person instruction this week for the remainder of the term. Students at all facilities have been told they will hear from their instructors on next steps.

All Douglas College campuses will remain open and all services will be available during normal service hours, the college website states. This includes the library, registrar’s office and all other service areas. 

The cafeteria will be open, but with modified food options under the direction of the Ministry of Health. Washrooms, food services, and other high traffic areas are all on accelerated cleaning cycles.

As advised by the Provincial Health Officer, all scheduled events and gatherings of more than 250 people have been postponed or cancelled. College-sanctioned international travel has been suspended and self-isolation is being observed for those returning to Canada, the website notes.

“The Provincial Health Officer advises that the risk of COVID-19 remains low. All measures being taken by Douglas College are being done out of an abundance of caution and in recognition of the stress and anxiety this situation is causing many students, faculty and other employees. COVID-19 represents an unprecedented health challenge and it is up to all individuals and institutions to follow the best advice available from provincial health authorities to help reduce the spread of the virus.”