We are getting ready to host our students in a safe and welcoming environment in ther host families. Our agent network has contacted us with multiple questions and we would like to present you with the our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s).
What happens if a student or a member of their host family tests positive for COVID-19 in Canada?
A student in Canada living in a homestay is considered by local Public Health Authorities to be a member of that host family. This means that if a student tests positive for COVID-19, they would be required to remain in the homestay under the care and support of the host parents until the student is no longer sick. This also means that all members of the host family would be required to remain in quarantine for a minimum 14-day period, or until the Public Health Authority provides instructions that the quarantine is over. The quarantine period is in effect from when the student was first diagnosed with COVID-19 to reduce the risk of the spread of the virus.
Likewise, if a member of the host family tests positive for COVID-19, the entire family (including the student) will be expected to remain in quarantine for 14 days or until receiving instructions from the Public Health Authority that the Quarantine period is over.
During the time that the student or family member has COVID-19, the infected person and the host parents must remain in contact with the local Public Health Authority to ensure all necessary steps are being taken. If symptoms worsen, the student or family member with COVID-19 may be required to visit the local hospital for further assessment with the support of the local Public Health Authority.
While ill, and at home, the person with COVID-19 may also be required to self-isolate within the home to reduce all possible chances that other family members are exposed to the virus. This means the person with COVID-19 will be required to eat his/her meals in their bedroom, and not participate in activities throughout the rest of the home. If possible, the person will also be assigned his/her own bathroom during this time. S/he will be responsible for cleaning all of his/her personal belongings and areas where s/he lives until s/he is well to reduce the opportunities for the virus to be passed on to others living in the home.
At the end of the required quarantine period, the person with COVID-19 will return to the doctor to confirm s/he no longer has the virus and is therefore able to return to normal daily life.
How are you preparing host families for the September 2020 arrivals of new students?
All families will receive a comprehensive briefing on the current Public Health Authority regulations that apply to their community. This will be reviewed in detail with host families to ensure their questions and unique situations are carefully addressed and a clear best practice is established for every possible scenario. In addition, prior to student arrivals, our standard host family webinars and 2020 Host Family Guidelines document will include a review of the “new normal”. All families will be asked to acknowledge that they are aware of and understand our COVID-19 protocols and agree to follow them.
Many of our host families who had students living with them through the restrictions of these past few months will also be hosting in September 2020. We will continue to draw on the experience and knowledge of these “experts” as our understanding of best practices evolves.
Will host families impose their own COVID-19 related rules in the home? Are you providing guidelines to families related to COVID-19?
We will require all host families to follow the recommendations set out by their local Public Health Authority and protocols as established above. Naturally, each host family will have their own home rules that vary from home to home. These rules must be within reason and meet the specific needs of the health and safety of all members living together and cared for by members of the family. We will also provide host families with guidelines for house rules that are updated to reflect the new reality of the pandemic.
Will medical insurance cover complications due to a COVID-19 infection?
Students arranging their own medical insurance should assess their own insurance policy to ensure issues related to contracting COVID-19 are specifically addressed.
For students who purchased coverage through CISS MLI insurance provider GuardMe, we can confirm that emergency medical issues arising from a positive COVID-19 test will be treated like any other medical emergency and therefore are covered by the policy. The policy will not, however, cover the costs of self-isolation if, for example, a hotel or alternate accommodation were requested for the student by the natural parents.
GuardMe coverage begins from the moment the student arrives in Canada. In other words, if the student shows symptoms or is confirmed as testing positive for COVID-19 as s/he lands in Canada, it will be covered and dealt with like any new and emergent condition
Will all nationalities be accepted in MLI homestays?
Yes, all nationalities will be accepted into MLI Homestays.
Will there be other international students in the home?
Our hosting guidelines state that host families can host up to two international students, but they must not speak the same natural first language, and each student must have his/her own bedroom. This remains unchanged.
My student has friends or relatives that are willing to host him/her for the 14-day self-isolation period; is that an acceptable alternative to the Orientation programme?
We strongly suggest that all students join the CISS MLI Orientation Programme we have organized in British Columbia or Ontario. Should you wish to discuss an alternate plan, please reach out to your CISS MLI contact for further discussion.
Are there any restrictions on who can host due to the pandemic?
Yes, it is suggested that special consideration be given to ensure the host family members are fit and able hosts and their work and lifestyle does not put students at high or unnecessary health risk. MLI Homestay is meeting with each host to review their situation to ensure for both the student and host that there are no unknown work circumstances or underlying health concerns that would put either at increased risk.