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 the week of September 22. 

Dear colleagues,

Welcome back to winter term 1, both on campus and via blended delivery. This is the ninth edition of our biweekly update and we continue to make progress in our return plans. As we have seen over the last several weeks, there is a variety of communication coming from Interior Health and the Public Health Office. We thank you in advance for your patience as we work to bring you the most up-to-date information available. 

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.

Public health guidelines updated for campuses

On September 1, the Ministry of Health and the BC Centre for Disease Control released an update on Public Health Guidance for post-secondary institutions. The guidelines can be found on the UBC FAQ site under British Columbia’s coordinated response.

UBC required rapid testing program launches

UBC now requires COVID-19 testing for all students, faculty and staff, with exemptions provided for those who are vaccinated against COVID-19. As part of that process, you are asked to disclose your vaccination status through the UBC Rapid Testing Program website.

All UBC students, faculty and staff are asked to complete the Vaccination Status Declaration by Friday, September 10, 2021.

New masking guidelines released

As outlined in the September 2 Public Health Order, masks must be worn in all indoor public spaces in BC, including post-secondary spaces by anyone aged 12 and older, including students, faculty, staff and visitors. 

At UBC Okanagan this means non-medical masks must be worn in all indoor public spaces:

  • This includes lecture theatres, classrooms, teaching laboratories, and other indoor instructional settings
  • Instructors and other presenters do not need to wear a mask when two metres away from students while teaching in indoor public spaces 

Masks are not required:

  • in workspaces such as office areas, research labs or shared offices that do not serve the public, or for meetings and seminars in small meeting rooms  
  • if a person is behind a barrier that separates them from other people, like a divider, cubicle, or in a room by themselves

See the UBC Okanagan website for additional information on masks.

Resources for working on campus

Over the past few months, UBC Okanagan has made significant investments into resources for returning to the classroom to support faculty and students for the upcoming academic year. 

These resources included an increase in classroom technology, as well as guidelines for faculty. These teaching resources are available on the UBC Okanagan COVID-19 working on campus page.

Campus ambassadors

As students, faculty and staff return to campus, there will be health ambassadors stationed at buildings to provide education and information on the non-medical mask requirements and the COVID-19 campus rules. Health ambassadors provide an invaluable information resource and serve an important role welcoming students, faculty and staff to our campus, so please make sure to acknowledge their hard work when you can. If you have questions about their role, or any rules or requirements about being on campus, please direct them to ready.ok@ubc.ca.

Bookings and events

As the university returns to on-campus activity, members of the campus community may need to make ad hocbookings for activities that occur outside or in addition to regularly scheduled administrative or educational activities. For information on safe event planning, refer to the UBC Okanagan Finance and Operations bookings and events page.

New signage available

There are new signs available on the UBC Okanagan COVID-19 resumption page for downloading and printing, which have been developed in alignment with the UBC Safety Planning Framework. For questions about signage usage or if you have additional signage needs, please contact ready.ok@ubc.ca.

Building hours resume regular hours

Buildings on campus have returned to regular hours. Please find information on the UBC Okanagan Finance and Operations building hours page.

In case you missed it…  

Drop-in vaccine clinics available

The university continues to encourage members of our community to protect themselves and everyone around them by getting vaccinated. Find out more about the drop-in vaccination clinics available on the UBC Okanagan COVID-19 website.

Rapid testing on campus

On September 7, there was a UBC Broadcast update on UBC’s COVID-19 Rapid Testing Program.

Measures for a safe campus

On September 2, President Santa J. Ono released a UBC Broadcast update on the key points in ensuring a safe start to the new academic year.

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 welcoming our community as they return to campus.  

Our next message to you is scheduled for the week of September 22, 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