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: Resumption activities and updates

This biweekly Global email is sent to faculty and staff at UBC Okanagan to highlight institutional information pertaining to campus resumption, and to provide updates that are specific to the successful, safe return of the UBC Okanagan campus community. Expect the next issue of this Global email on July 28.

Dear colleagues,

We'd like to first acknowledge the challenging summer we are having in the Okanagan, with the recent heat wave and subsequent aggressive start to the wildfire season. Thank you for your ongoing, proactive work to support each other as we move forward with campus resumption, especially as this summer has demanded so much flexibility. Your dedication to a safe, measured return is appreciated. 

This is the fifth edition of our biweekly update and we continue to make progress in our return plans.

As always, if you have questions that are specific to the pandemic, resumption planning or health and safety on campus, you can contact ready.ok@ubc.ca. We further encourage you to check the UBC Okanagan COVID-19 website regularly as we make every effort to post the latest information as it becomes available.

Health and safety guidelines for post-secondary institutions updated

On July 5, the Health and Safety Guidelines for Post-Secondary Institutions were updated to reflect the province’s restart plan move to Step 3. The new guidelines are available online

Rapid screening pilot program offered

UBC Okanagan is offering COVID-19 rapid screening at on-campus clinics from July 5 to August 27, 2021, as part of a pilot project supported by the BC Centre for Disease Control. The clinics are available to UBC Okanagan students, faculty, staff and anyone who works on campus. Students in residence, student athletes as well as faculty and staff who perform crucial services and/or provide in-person services will be prioritized. Information on the clinics is available at ok.ubc.ca/covid19/testing-reporting

New on-campus signage now available

Refreshed indoor and outdoor signs will be installed in public spaces on campus prior to the start of the 2021/22 Winter Term. For questions about signage usage, please contact ready.ok@ubc.ca

Signage is available on the Resumption Planning section of the UBC Okanagan COVID-19 website.

Layers of protection against COVID-19 exposure and transmission

As we return to campus, we will continue to employ multiple layers of protection to guard against transmission of COVID-19. For details, see layers of protection on the COVID-19 website.

Booking and events update 

As the university prepares for a return to on-campus activity via Step 3 of the province’s restart plan, there are several new items to highlight:

  • An updated version of the UBC directive for events is now available online in alignment with UBC's new general safety plans for units and work areas. 
  • Events not captured within a unit or work area plan should use a safety plan template, and check with individual venues to understand any requirements for events.
  • Outdoor events and safety plan templates continue to be available online. More information and the event approval process are located on the Finance and Operations website

Updated gymnasium and fitness class access

As UBC Okanagan moves to Step 3 of campus resumption, there are some changes to recreation programming. Information can be found on the UBC Okanagan Recreation website

In case you missed it…

Federal government announces changes to self-isolation for travellers  

The Canadian government announced quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated travellers will be eased starting July 5, 2021. If you are travelling to Canada and meet the eligibility requirements, you will not need to quarantine. Travellers who are not fully vaccinated must continue to follow quarantine requirements. Information for students who need to self-isolate is online.

Remote work guidelines for working on campus

Faculty and staff preparing for direct, in-person teaching, learning, student support and other activities for the 2021/22 Winter Session are returning to campus as required. Work is being completed under the COVID-19 UBC Safety Planning Framework

Masks recommended in informal study spaces  

Non-medical masks are recommended in common indoor spaces. UBC Okanagan custodial services will maintain a frequent cleaning schedule for all study spaces and supplies will be available to sanitize frequently touched work surfaces.

Additional resources

On behalf of the Resumption Planning and Coordination Committee, we’d like to thank you again for your continued diligence, hard work and patience. Together we are making great strides in preparing UBCO for a safe and enjoyable return to campus this fall.

Our next message to you is scheduled for July 28, but in the meantime, please do not hesitate to reach out via email with any questions to ready.ok@ubc.ca.

Sincerely,

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