UBC Okanagan Global Message

This email is being sent to all faculty and staff at UBC's Okanagan campus on behalf of the UBC Okanagan Resumption Planning and Coordination Committee.

COVID-19: Extension on Public Health Orders announced

Dr. Bonnie Henry has extended existing Public Health Orders for British Columbia as of Friday, February 5. The order is in effect until further notice. Read more on the BC Government’s province-wide restrictions.

What does this mean for faculty and staff?

Daily self-assessments required

UBC’s COVID-19 campus rules (available at ok.ubc.ca/covid19) require that all students, faculty, staff, and others must assess themselves daily for COVID-19 symptoms prior to accessing UBC premises. To do this, please use the BC self-assessment tool at bc.thrive.health.

Anyone experiencing symptoms should follow the guidance provided in the self-assessment tool.

Read the UBC FAQ on self-assessment requirements for more information.

Maintaining physical distancing and wearing non-medical masks

Public Health Orders reinforce the need for all members of our community to maintain physical distance and wear non-medical masks. As a reminder, UBC students, faculty, staff and visitors are required to wear non-medical masks when indoors in common areas on our campuses.

The requirement for the use of non-medical masks applies to shared indoor spaces within UBC buildings, such as hallways, stairways, building entryways, washrooms, shared study spaces, common areas in residences and other high-traffic areas.

The Gatekeeper education program, focused on providing education on the UBC COVID-19 Rules and current public health orders in high-traffic campus areas, will continue to support these compliance efforts.

COVID-19 safety training

Faculty and staff are required to complete the UBC COVID-19 safety training module to be able to work on UBC premises. Please encourage students who are coming to campus to complete the UBC student COVID-19 safety training available through Canvas.

Safe Work Plans

As part of the Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) Continuous Improvement Program, HSE staff are conducting regular inspections to confirm on-campus employees are operating under Safe Work Plans. Safe Work Plans are available from supervisors or administrative heads of unit. Parent Plans are available on the UBCO COVID-19 resumption site as part of the whole-campus coordinated perspective.

Access online resources about mandatory training and signage to support recommended physical distancing protocols in your area.

Events and graduation ceremonies at UBC

By order of the Provincial Health Officer (PHO), all individuals, places of work and businesses within all health regions across British Columbia must significantly reduce social interactions and travel.

The PHO  has advised there should be no social gatherings of any size with anyone other than your household or core bubble. The order is province-wide, and applies to all UBC campuses and sites and to any in-person events and gatherings planned to be held on or off campus, in British Columbia.

UBC Vancouver and Okanagan Spring 2021 Graduation: UBC will follow Public Health Orders and guidelines in planning the Class of 2021 Spring Graduation ceremonies. Please visit graduation.ok.ubc.ca for updates.

For the status of events at UBC, see the UBC COVID-19 information page.


The Provincial Health Officer has advised that non-essential travel should be avoided. This includes travel into and out of BC and between regions of the provinces.

Essential travel for work-related activities is managed through your unit’s Safe Work Plan in accordance with the applicable Parent Plan. Careful consideration and assessment is required prior to any travel planning.

Mental health and wellbeing support

These times are stressful as many of us continue to study and work remotely, and others are working in ways quite different than we’ve known before. Resources are available to students, faculty and staff:

For those of you working with students, please make note of the UBC Student Assistance Program, a free, 24/7 wellness resource to support students' mental, emotional, physical and financial health. Services include personal counselling, life coaching, group programs and more.

Additional FAQs related to COVID-19, and UBC’s response, can be found at: covid19.ubc.ca/information-for-faculty-staff

Together, our campus community is navigating new ways of working. Kudos to the many of you who took the time to share your work experiences in the recent Workplace Preferences Survey. We look forward to reviewing the survey learnings when UBC Human Resources shares the survey results in the coming weeks.

Thank you for your support as we continue to work together to respect public health guidelines and protect our communities. 


Shelley Kayfish
Director, Campus Operations and Risk Management
Co-chair, UBC Okanagan Resumption Planning and Coordination Committee

Prof. Michael Burgess
Associate Provost, Strategy, UBC Okanagan
Professor and Chair in Biomedical Ethics, School of Population and Public Health, UBC Faculty of Medicine
Co-chair, UBC Okanagan Resumption Planning and Coordination Committee