COVID-19 Host Updates

[ Last Update 17-Nov-20 09:00 a.m. (PST) ]

Thank you for your continued patience and understanding, and everything you’re doing to ensure the health and safety of your family, students and community.

As reports from across the country signal spikes in the spread of COVID-19, it’s important to circle back to the basics of hand-washing, use of masks, social distancing, monitoring symptoms / self-isolating when sick, and avoiding any unnecessary travel. 

Please be sure to check your local public health authority website for real-time information on COVID-19 and counter measures in your community.

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HAND WASHING, HAND SANITIZING, AND HARD-SURFACE DISINFECTANTS

The best thing you can do to prevent spreading COVID-19 is to wash your hands frequently with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds. If there are no hand-washing facilities available, use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.

Hand sanitizers and hard surface disinfectants do not claim to kill coronaviruses. But they can help to lower the spread of microorganisms.

Learn about the best ways to clean your skin and surfaces to lower your risk of COVID-19 infection, here: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-health-products/disinfectants/covid-19.html

NON-MEDICAL MASKS AND FACE COVERINGS

When worn properly, a person wearing a non-medical mask or face covering can reduce the spread of his or her own infectious respiratory droplets.

Non-medical face masks or face coverings should:

    • allow for easy breathing
    • fit securely to the head with ties or ear loops
    • maintain their shape after washing and drying
    • be changed as soon as possible if damp or dirty
    • be comfortable and not require frequent adjustment
    • be made of at least 2 layers of tightly woven material fabric (such as cotton or linen)
    • be large enough to completely and comfortably cover the nose and mouth without gaping
    • Some masks also include a pocket to accommodate a paper towel or disposable coffee filter, for increased benefit.

Non-medical masks or face coverings should:

    • not be shared with others
    • not impair vision or interfere with tasks
    • not be placed on children under the age of 2 years
    • not be made of plastic or other non-breathable materials
    • not be secured with tape or other inappropriate materials
    • not be made exclusively of materials that easily fall apart, such as tissues
    • not be placed on anyone unable to remove them without assistance or anyone who has trouble breathing
    • Download the poster on the do’s and don’ts of wearing a non-medical mask or face covering.

Learn more about the dos and don’ts of wearing a non-medical mask or face covering, here: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/diseases-conditions/covid-19-safely-use-non-medical-mask-face-covering.html

GOVERNMENT OF CANADA TOOLS & RESOURCES

The Government of Canada has a suite of tools to help Canadians and visitors access services and get information on COVID-19.

GOING OUT: PERSONAL AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

As provinces and territories lift or adjust public health measures, please consider the risks associated with different settings and activities.

Minimize your risk by avoiding the 3 Cs:

    • Closed spaces with poor ventilation
    • Crowded places with many people nearby
    • Close faces, such as close-range conversations

Before going out, consider the risks and make informed choices to keep yourself, your family and your community safe. If a planned activity puts you at higher risk of getting COVID-19, consider avoiding it.

To learn more about how to reduce the risk of getting or spreading COVID-19, visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/prevention-risks/going-out-personal-social-activities-during-pandemic.html

SELF-ISOLATION GUIDELINES

If you or your student are in self-isolation due to recent arrival to Canada, because of COVID-like symptoms or because of a positive test for COVID-19, please adhere to the guidelines as instructed by your local health authorities. Typically, this means isolating at home for 14 days, no venturing out in public except for emergencies, wearing appropriate PPE, and maintaining a 2-metre distance from others.

Under certain circumstances, failure to following self-isolation guidelines can lead to serious consequences including fines and criminal charges.

If you have any questions or need help, please contact your Relationship Manager.

TALKING ABOUT COVID-19

When talking about COVID-19, facts, not fear will help stop the spread.

    • Share facts and accurate information about the disease
    • Challenge myths and stereotypes
    • Choose words carefully. The way we communicate can affect the attitudes of others.

For more information about preventing and addressing the social stigma of COVID-19, download this World Health Organization guide.

“SAFE ARRIVAL” PROTOCOL

All students who are arriving from abroad must follow our latest Safe Arrival Protocol. The protocol provides advice for hosts as well as students, and changes when we have updates from government departments. For this reason, we ask that you review it regularly. For more information, visit: https://canadahomestaynetwork.ca/safearrival 

This protocol has been shared with students, and they are expected to bring a signed copy of the Student and Natural Parent Declaration when they arrive at your home. CHN is mailing a hard copy of this form directly to you as well, in case your student forgets to bring it with them.

CHN’s “SAFE ARRIVAL WELCOME” PROGRAM

Many of our students require quarantine upon arrival, and you may be hosting your student during their quarantine period. Please note that if you are over 65 years of age or immunocompromised, Health Canada recommends against providing accommodation to students in quarantine.

We have developed a checklist for hosts to help better understand the expectations during the quarantine period. You will also be receiving an invitation to join our new online learning centre. You’ll be able to access short courses on a variety of hosting topics for free. Expect an invite from CHN Host Learning Centre by email.

Our “Safe Arrival Welcome Calendar” outlines expectations of students and includes a range of activities to keep students engaged, healthy and safe each day they’re in isolation. We have reminded them to also connect with their school and include the required academic activities in their daily routine. In addition, we’re committed to daily check-ins with students via phone, email, or other preferred methods like WhatsApp, and regular Zoom meetings so students can virtually connect with us and some of their peers. Mental health support will be provided in partnership with Guard.me’s KeepMe.Safe program.

TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS

As of October 20, 2020, international students are now permitted to enter Canada if they will be attending a designated learning institution that has been identified by their provincial or territorial government as having a COVID‑19 readiness plan in place. Students must also have a valid study permit, regardless of their length of stay.

Students are still being advised to not make any travel plans until they have met all requirements and obtained all necessary authorizations to qualify to come to Canada under the new rules. Visa processing times are still slower than expected around the world.

As always, if you have questions about the status of your student placement, please contact your Relationship Manager.

IF YOU, YOUR STUDENT OR ANYONE ELSE IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD EXPERIENCES COVID-19 SYMPTOMS

Please follow instructions from the Public Health Agency of Canada: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/symptoms.html#i and inform your Relationship Manager of the outcome so we can assist in any way we can.

If you cannot reach your Relationship Manager, please call our emergency line at 1-877-441-4443 ext. 1.

To get the latest facts on COVID-19 in Canada, please take moment to review the Public Health Agency of Canada’s website: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html

Thank you for your continued patience and understanding!

The CHN National Team  

Frequently Asked Questions

What if my student or anyone else in the homestay household shows symptoms of COVID-19?

Please follow instructions from the Public Health Agency of Canada: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/symptoms.html#i and inform your Relationship Manager of the outcome so we can assist in any way we can.

If you cannot reach your Relationship Manager, please call our emergency line at 1-877-441-4443 ext. 1.

What precautions are being taken for students coming in to ensure the safety of everyone (i.e. quarantine period rules)?

Students will need to observe all Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) guidelines in addition to the provincial and regional health authority guidelines at the time of arrival into Canada. In order to ensure that students are aware of these expectations, CHN has prepared a “Safe Arrival” Protocol that students must sign to acknowledge their understanding and compliance. CHN will conduct Zoom orientations on arrival, and work with our client educators to ensure consistent messaging to students.

What does the pandemic mean for summer and fall students? Do we have any students coming in?

As of June 19, 2020, the only students who are exempt from the travel restrictions, and therefore permitted to enter Canada, are those with a valid study permit, or those who were approved for a study permit on or before March 18, 2020. CHN is hopeful that Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will announce changes to these travel restrictions in time for the September intake of students, and we will update our hosts as soon as we know more.

I got a survey asking about if I would like to take domestic students. What does that mean? Whereabouts would they be coming from?

We’ve been hard at work coming up with innovative ways to overcome recent challenges, especially with less mobility between countries and uncertainty around immigration affecting how quickly international education will rebound.

The lightbulb came on, why can’t Canadian students also benefit from living in a home away from home while they study?

You can help us ramp up this new program in time for fall. Please send anyone you know who’s looking for student housing tohttps://students.canadahomestaynetwork.ca. They can also call 1 877 441 4443 ext. 2900 or email homestay@canadahomestaynetwork.ca for more information.

How do I know if my student is extending their stay? Is anyone checking on the departure dates?

Students are still making decisions about extensions. While there are more flight options now, there are still severe limitations on available flights and itineraries. We are regularly communicating with students and their agents to encourage them to make arrangements, including a strong recommendation to stay in Canada this summer.

My students wants to go home and come back. I am worried if they know about the restrictions. Will they even be able to be let back in?

All students and agents have been advised of the following by email:

If students who are already in Canada choose to travel home for the summer, there is currently no guarantee they will be able to return to Canada due to the following possibilities:

For these reasons, we recommend that students continue to stay in Canada in anticipation of the fall semester. To keep their options open with minimal financial risk or impact, we have extended the following refund policy to the summer months:

  • Students considering staying in Canada this summer, who aren’t sure what they want to do in September, can book and pay for July and August only.
  • If they cancel their booking between June 1-30, they will receive a refund for August.
  • After July 1, students must provide one month (30 days) notice to leave the program. This applies to the summer months and beyond.

As always, if students need to change their plans, we encourage them to consider deferrals instead of cancellations.

Do we need to isolate from the public before a student arrives?

No, there is no need for you or your family to isolate before arrival. There is also no need for your family to isolate during the 14-day quarantine period after the student arrives.

Does saying "no" to hosting upon arrival affect me as a host going forward?

No, your status as a host will not be impacted by your decision to host this fall. We understand that everyone has to make decisions about hosting that is in your family’s best interest. We appreciate you and will be here when you’re ready to host again!

Will students insurance cover COVID-19 if they’re coming at their own risk?

It depends on their travel insurance plan. However, the two major providers that CHN partners with in Canada, Guard.Me and Study Insured, are both offering full coverage for medical services related to COVID-19.

If you have additional questions or concerns, please contact your Relationship Manager.