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 regular 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.

Dear colleagues,

This is the 11th edition of our resumption update and we continue to make progress in our return plans. One of the recent endeavours includes the recent addition of student health ambassadors, distinguished by their blue shirts. If you see them on campus, be sure to say hello and thank them for their hard work. They, like all of you, are part of how we continue to move forward to a full return to campus, thanks to increasing numbers of fully vaccinated students, faculty and staff, as well as adherence to daily safety testing and rapid testing if needed.

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.

Upcoming on-campus vaccine clinic October 15

Interior Health is offering another free, drop-in COVID-19 vaccination clinic at UBC Okanagan on October 15. The clinic is open to all UBCO students, faculty, staff and anyone who works on campus.

To find out more, visit: ok.ubc.ca/covid19/vaccines

Managing symptoms by staying home

As we move into flu season, it is important to remember that, if you are experiencing any symptoms of illness, please remember to use the Daily Health Assessment at bccdc.ca and, if directed, to stay home instead of heading to campus. Information on upcoming flu clinics will be shared in coming weeks and the UBC Thrive assessment tool is available 24/7.

Wearing a mask on campus

Campus rules indicate that masks should be worn in public indoor spaces, and those include areas that are open to the public. While there have been questions about whether masks should be worn in shared office areas that do not serve the public, please consider proximity to other individuals as a determining factor.

As referenced in previous campus resumption emails, as well as by the Deputy Chancellor at the fall Town Hall, if you’re in doubt, wear your mask. If you are near someone, or could be, wear your mask. Campus Rules are available for reference, as is the Mask Requirements page.

Updated COVID-19 safety plans

The UBC COVID-19 safety plans have been updated to align with the BC Restart Plan and what has been learned about COVID-19 over the past year.

The seven COVID-19 safety plans do not require customization, just implementation, and are applicable UBC-wide. They are based on your work activities, so simply choose the plan(s) that suits your work situation.

For example, if your work activity includes a laboratory, office, and common spaces, you will need to reference three applicable COVID-19 safety plans. Unlike the previous COVID-19 safety plan, the new plans do not need to be submitted or approved.

The amended safety plans are available to review on the UBCO Covid-19 Safety Planning Framework page.

Mental health supports for faculty and staff

New information is available on mental health supports as we return to campus. Some of the supports available for faculty, staff and managers/leaders include the employee and family assistance program, mental health services through our extended health benefits, and the Not Myself Today initiative. There is also a manager/leader toolkit available. Information on these resources is available on the Mental Health Supports page.

Domestic travel vaccine requirements

On October 6, the federal government announced that, by October 30, all travellers departing from Canadian airports and travellers on VIA Rail and Rocky Mountaineer trains, need to be fully vaccinated.

For travellers who are in the process of being vaccinated, there will be a short transition period where they will be able to travel if they can show a valid COVID-19 molecular test within 72 hours of travel, but that transition period will end on November 30. Information is available on the Government of Canada website.

Remote work plan submission requirements

If you have a request to continue working remotely part-time, a remote work plan must be submitted via Workday. Have a conversation with your supervisor before submitting the plan, but please submit your plan as soon as possible in order to assure time for processing and approval. Instructions on submitting the plan are available on the Workday Knowledge Base.

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 October 27, 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