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 September 8.

Dear colleagues,

This is the eighth edition of our biweekly update and we continue to make progress in our return plans. This week has been full of new information passed on by the BC government, pertaining to the upcoming return to class, as well as the recent UBC announcement about vaccine declaration and rapid testing for COVID-19. We thank you in advance for your patience as we work to bring you the most up-to-date information available including the news that on August 30 Interior Health will begin offering COVID-19 vaccine clinics on campus.

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.  

Please note, any new announcements made do not supersede the regional restrictions of August 20 for people who live in the Interior Health region.

COVID-19 vaccine clinics at UBC Okanagan

This fall, on-campus vaccine clinics will be offered for students, faculty and staff starting August 30 at the Nechako Housing Commons Open Mezzanine, followed by two more vaccine clinics on September 8 and 17. Information on the clinics, including what you need to bring with you to receive your vaccine, is available at ok.ubc.ca/covid19/vaccines.

UBC implements vaccine declaration and rapid testing for COVID-19

On August 26, President Santa J. Ono shared an update with the UBC community on the implementation of vaccine declaration and rapid testing for COVID-19. Information on this decision can be found on the UBC Broadcast/COVID-19 page.

Further to yesterday’s announcement, we can clarify that UBC will require COVID-19 testing for all students, faculty and staff, with exemptions provided for those who are vaccinated against COVID-19.

While UBC is still working through the details, we can share that we will hold discussions with our students, faculty and staff and public health officials as the university firms up plans for rapid testing.

We understand that this is a frustrating time and that members of the UBC Okanagan community will need more details on the program. We will share more specifics around the frequency of rapid testing and our vaccine declaration process as soon as we have them.

Province-wide PHO order on masks in public indoor settings

Starting August 25, masks are required in all public indoor settings in BC for all people 12+ (born in 2009 or earlier). The mask order will apply in all indoor public areas on campus including lobbies, hallways, stairwells, elevators, classrooms and labs. Other post-secondary areas include common areas of sport and fitness centres, as well as patios and indoor eating areas, when not seated at tables.

However, the current regional mask order for the central Okanagan is more specific and should be the first point of reference for UBC Okanagan. Up-to-date information is available on the UBC Okanagan COVID-19 Health and Safety Requirements page.  

There are exemptions to mask criteria, which are listed on the government of BC website.

Proof of vaccination requirement begins September 13

On August 23, the province announced the proof of vaccination requirement, starting September 13. On that date, an individual who wants to enter any discretionary indoor space will be required to show proof of receiving their first vaccination. By October 24, proof of a second vaccination will be required. Information on the events, services and businesses that require this proof of vaccination can be found on the government of BC website.  

This proof of vaccinations will be required by all students who are registered for UBC Okanagan housing. If a student does not already have a World Health Organization approved vaccination before arriving on campus, vaccine clinics will be available on campus starting August 30. Additionally, students may receive express line service at the Trinity Hall vaccination clinic until September 7, which is operated by Interior Health and is available on a drop-in basis. Information on the clinics can be found at ok.ubc.ca/covid19/vaccines.  

Rapid Screening Clinics to continue for Fall Term

UBC Okanagan will continue to offer COVID-19 rapid screening at on-campus clinics from August 30 to December 31, 2021, as part of a project supported by the BC Centre for Disease Control.  

Information on these clinics is available on the Testing and Reporting COVID-19 page

Self-monitoring versus self-isolating

As more students, faculty and staff arrive on campus, it’s important to understand the difference between self-monitoring and self-isolating, and why each is important. Everyone on campus is expected to self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 through a daily health assessment, using the symptoms list available from the BC Centre for Disease Control.  

Self-isolation may be required when you have been in contact with a person who has COVID-19, including up to two days before that person had symptoms or went for a COVID-19 test. Information on what to do if you have been in contact with a person with COVID-19 and details on how to self-isolate can be found on the Interior Health COVID-19 contact information page.  

In case you missed it…  

UBC Broadcast on BC Vaccine Card

On August 23, UBC President Santa J. Ono provided an update to the community on the government’s BC vaccine card. Additional information was updated on the UBC FAQs page on health guidance and vaccines.

Updated FAQs on events

Effective August 23, Interior Health has implemented further restrictions in the region. Planners are encouraged to review the Regional Health Order on events and gatherings.

  • Indoor events: Effective August 23, indoor organized gatherings are limited to 50 people
  • Outdoor events: Effective August 23, outdoor organized gatherings are limited to 100 people
  • Flow-through events: Effective August 23, flow-through events are limited to 50 per cent of the capacity of the venue

UBCO events with planning underway and/or UBCO events approved to proceed prior to August 23 may no longer comply with the updated regional order. If you are unsure of associate processes, please contact ready.ok@ubc.ca.

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 September 8, but in the meantime, please do not hesitate to reach out via email with any questions to ready.ok@ubc.ca.  


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