COVID-19

Publish Date: March 27, 2020 4:00 PM

There is no general update today. Please check your NIC student or employee email for other possible updates. We will update this page again on Monday, unless the Provincial Health Officer encourages more urgent updates. Please check this website frequently for the latest updates and information.


Publish Date: March 19, 2020 4:30 PM
Face-to-face Operations Suspended
Update from NIC President John Bowman

NIC has suspended regular face-to-face operations at all campuses until further notice as a result of COVID-19. Effective immediately, NIC will only provide alternate delivery of instruction and services to students to enable social distancing as directed by the Provincial Health Officer. 

The public and students should not attend any campus. College services can be accessed via telephone and online. 
NIC is allowing employees the ability to voluntarily work from home, where possible. This will enable us to accommodate appropriate social distancing and support NIC meeting its operational needs. Check the website frequently for updates and details.


NIC remains committed to providing a safe and clean campus environment. Please help us help reduce the risk of COVID-19 and other illnesses:

  • 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 face/eyes/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.

This news can be stressful, we want you to know there is support available if you need someone to talk to, please call Student Services toll free 1-800-715-0914 or book a counselling appointment online from NIC’s website.

Learn more about COVID-19


Previous updates

Publish date: March 20, 2020 5 pm

There is no general update today. Please check your NIC student or employee email for other possible updates.

The Provincial Health Officer will be providing another briefing Saturday at noon. Please check this website after 2 pm March 21 in case there are relevant updates.

Publish Date: March 19, 2020 4:30 PM
Face-to-face Operations Suspended
Update from NIC President John Bowman

NIC has suspended regular face-to-face operations at all campuses until further notice as a result of COVID-19. Effective immediately, NIC will only provide alternate delivery of instruction and services to students to enable social distancing as directed by the Provincial Health Officer. 

The public and students should not attend any campus. College services can be accessed via telephone and online. 
NIC is allowing employees the ability to voluntarily work from home, where possible. This will enable us to accommodate appropriate social distancing and support NIC meeting its operational needs. Check the website frequently for updates and details.

Update: March 19, 2020

Update from NIC President John Bowman

NIC has suspended regular face-to-face operations at all campuses until further notice as a result of COVID-19. Effective immediately, NIC will only provide alternate delivery of instruction and services to students to enable social distancing as directed by the Provincial Health Officer.

The public and students should not attend any campus. College services can be accessed via telephone and online.

NIC is allowing employees the ability to voluntarily work from home, where possible. This will enable us to accommodate appropriate social distancing and support NIC meeting its operational needs. Check the website frequently for updates and details.

Update: March 18. 2020, 5:00PM

Face-to-face Operations Suspended

Update from NIC President John Bowman

NIC has suspended regular face-to-face operations at all campuses as a result of COVID-19. Effective immediately, NIC will only provide alternate delivery of instruction and services to students in order to enable social distancing as directed by the Provincial Health Officer. Students should check the website for information on how to access these services. Check the website frequently for updates and details.

Publish Date: March 17, 2020 5:00 pm

NIC is transitioning its services for students from face-to-face to phone and other modes of delivery by March 18 where possible, to enable social distancing as required by the Provincial Health Officer. In other words, as of March 18, the physical spaces associated with the student services listed below will be limited to employees only. Face-to-face services will no longer be offered, but instead will be delivered to students via phone and other modes.

This includes:

  • Library and Learning Commons
  • Registration
  • Advising
  • Counselling
  • Elders
  • Accessible Learning Services
  • Student Technical support
  • Office of Global Engagement
  • Assessment Services
  • Student Employment Services

More information on how to access these services will be posted as soon as possible. Check the website and your email frequently for updates.

Bookstores at all campuses will be closed. Food services will offer take out orders only.

As stated in a previous message, NIC continues to be focused on transitioning from face-to-face instruction to alternate modes of delivery and assessment where possible by Friday March 20, 2020. Unless notified otherwise, and if they are able, students should attend their first class of the week to learn from instructors what their alternate modes of delivery and completion may look like.

Any major changes will be posted as soon as possible.

Check your email and this webpage frequently for updates.

March 16, 2020 4:15 pm

NIC continues with transition to alternate delivery to finish term

NIC continues to be focused on transitioning from face-to-face instruction to alternative delivery methods and assessment where possible by Friday March 20, 2020. Unless notified otherwise, and if they are able, students should attend their first class of the week to learn from instructors what their alternate forms of completion and delivery may look like.

As of March 16, 2020, The Provincial Health Officer has ordered the cancelation of gatherings of more than 50 people due to COVID-19.

In light of this information, all NIC classes, events, gatherings and spaces must be limited to fewer than 50 people in one location and social distancing must be practiced.

Our goal continues to be to support students to successfully complete their terms through alternate delivery

The PHO added new COVID-19 information numbers 1-888-COVID19 and a texting line has also been established at 1-888-268-4319. These are in addition to 8-1-1.

Any major changes will be posted as soon as possible. Check your email and this webpage frequently for updates.

NIC remains open, transitioning to alternate delivery to finish term
A message from NIC President John Bowman

North Island College remains open as we continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and is following the guidance of the Provincial Health Officer (PHO). We are focused on enabling students to complete their learning using alternate modes of delivery and modification of methods where appropriate and possible. Our priority is to have students achieve essential learning outcomes given the unusual and evolving circumstances.

NIC’s COVID-19 Response Coordination Team and Deans met Sunday to discuss additional measures on how we can support and encourage social distancing on campus. Over the next week, NIC will be transitioning from face-to-face instruction to alternative delivery methods and assessment, where possible. Unless notified otherwise, students should attend their classes as regularly scheduled to learn from instructors what their alternate forms of completion and delivery may look like. Because of the diversity of the types of programs NIC offers, we recognize that not all programs, courses, labs and shops may be suited to be delivered through a single alternative method. Students will learn of the changes affecting them through their instructors. Students should check their NIC email and this webpage frequently for updates

Please be aware that service levels may be modified in some areas at NIC due to the impacts of COVID-19. We recognize that this situation is challenging for everyone. I want to thank you for your patience and compassion in these challenging circumstances.

We value the health and wellbeing of all our students and employees. I am confident we will come through this together as a community if we continue to follow the advice of health officials and support one another.

Please check your email and this webpage frequently for updates.

John Bowman,
President North Island College

As you know, COVID-19 is impacting communities around the world. We at NIC are working with our local, provincial and federal health colleagues to address the possible impacts of COVID-19 based on the best available public health expertise and recommendations. The College continues to work and make decision with the best information available. Updated information regarding these cases can be found at bccdc.ca. At this point, the risk to British Columbians remains low, and there are no known cases of COVID-19 at NIC at this time.

The situation is rapidly evolving and, in response, NIC has convened a working group of senior leaders who meet daily to monitor the situation, develop plans and respond as needed. We are currently developing contingency plans which, in the event of campus closures or interruption of regular program delivery, will allow you to complete your programs. This may involve both creative and diverse solutions, and I ask for your patience as we explore and identify the best pathways forward.

Below is a list of answers to some frequently asked questions about how students can proceed as your studies continue.

The Provincial Health Officer (PHO) has stated that learning is important to society and that closing schools and post-secondary institutions is not appropriate or advised at this time and therefore NIC will remain open. NIC, or any other institution, would only close due to COVID-19 at the direction of the PHO. Therefore, students and employees should plan to attend classes and work and check www.nic.bc.ca frequently for updates.

NIC senior leaders, Deans and faculty are working on various strategies to ensure students can complete their learning as best as possible under the evolving circumstances. Please be aware that service levels will likely be reduced in some areas at NIC due to the impacts of COVID-19. Please be patient, understanding and kind to one other during this evolving situation.

Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, is scheduled to provide updates daily at 3:30 pm and we will make updates to www.nic.bc.ca as soon as possible after her briefing.

NIC is monitoring information about COVID-19 (formerly known as the novel coronavirus) and following the lead of health officials to ensure plans are in place if a response is needed.

The Canadian Public Health Agency has assessed the current risk for Canada is low.

The latest recommendations from the Provincial Health Officer outline what students and employees can do to stay healthy during this time.

There are measures that all students, faculty, and staff can take to help reduce the risk of respiratory illnesses such as COVID-19, colds, and influenza:

  • 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 face/eyes/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.

If you plan on travelling internationally, please review the government of Canada’s Travel Advice and Advisories which provide important advice to help you to make informed decisions.

Additional information on COVID-19 is available on the BC Centre for Disease Control website at: http://www.bccdc.ca

This page will be updated on an as needed basis. If you have any further questions, contact: questions@nic.bc.ca

The following is sent on behalf of Colin Fowler, VP, Finance and Facilities:

Further to the update sent on January 31, I would like to share the following update from the Office of the Provincial Health Officer to all Post-Secondary students, faculty and staff.

As many of you are aware, there has been an outbreak of a novel coronavirus beginning in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. NIC is monitoring the ongoing coronavirus situation following the lead of health officials.

The Canadian Public Health Agency has assessed the current risk for Canadians as low.

To help reduce your risk of infection HealthLinkBC advises people should:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water is not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub to clean your hands.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or sleeve.
  • Dispose of tissues appropriately.
  • Avoid contact with sick people.

For further information on how to help prevent the spread of the Coronavirus, visit HealthLinkBC or BC Centre for Disease Control.

If students, faculty or staff suspect they have the virus, what should they do?

If you have flu-like symptoms and have not been exposed to an affected region, follow normal protocols by staying at home, resting and minimizing your social contact.

If you have flu-like symptoms and have travelled internationally to an affected region, follow normal protocols by staying home and contact your health care provider. Faculty and staff should visit their family doctor or health care clinic. Please call the health care provider in advance to notify them that you will be attending the office.

If you are concerned about the intensity or duration of your symptoms, please contact your doctor or call 8-1-1, a free-of-charge provincial health information and advice phone line.

If students, faculty or staff are scheduled to travel in the coming days. What should they do?

If you plan on travelling internationally, please visit the following website to determine the risk level of travel in that region. https://travel.gc.ca/destinations/china

You can find more information on the novel coronavirus in Canada at www.Canada.ca/coronavirus.

Additional resources: