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COVID-19 safety

Latest updates

March 10, 2022 - Updated health orders for masks

Dr. Bonnie Henry has announced that as of March 11, 2022, wearing masks is a personal choice in BC. This applies to all spaces on all UFV campuses. 

See the health order updates


February 24, 2022 - Updated health orders for events, gyms, restaurants

Provincial health guidelines have been updated for indoor or outdoor gatherings and events, which can now take place at full capacity with proof of vaccination. Health order changes also impact gyms, athletic events, and restaurants.

See the details


January 20, 2022 - UFV Winter 2022 term changes

On January 24 UFV returns to in-person and online learning as scheduled in the Winter 2022 timetable.

This decision was made in collaboration with the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training and with the Provincial Health Officer and reflects concern for health, well-being, learning, and business continuity. Dr. Bonnie Henry has explained the science behind returning to campus in a letter to BC post-secondary presidents.

Layers of protection:

The layers of protection UFV has employed have kept transmission rates low. From September 7, 2021, to December 11, 2021, according to Fraser Health, just 1.7% of total reported cases among Fraser Health residents have been associated with staff and students attending post-secondaries. Of those cases, minimal to no transmission occurred on campuses.

However, given the transmissibility of the Omicron variant within the community, we also recognize that many within our UFV community will be impacted by COVID-19. The following reminders are important to ensure we maximize the protection of one another while on campus.

Before you come to campus:

If you are sick:

Students:

  • Do not come to campus if you have symptoms of illness. If you had a scheduled appointment with Advising, Counselling, or other unit, please ask to convert the appointment to virtual or phone. Alert your professor that you will be absent from class; they will accommodate your absence, providing opportunities to make up the work and instruction you have missed. Follow all directions provided by the BCCDC regarding isolation.

Masks and vaccines:

  • Ensure you are properly wearing your multi-layer cloth mask or medical mask in all indoor settings including classrooms.
  • Practice good hand hygiene using soap and water and hand sanitizer.
  • Ensure you are fully vaccinated and acting upon booster invitations when provided – this continues to be the best form of protecting ourselves from serious illness and limiting the severity of illness caused by variants.

Faculty:

  • If you are informed that a student is isolating and following COVID-19 protocols, please remind them to follow all protocols outlined by the BC Centre for Disease Control and accommodate their absence, providing opportunities to make up the work and instruction they have missed.
  • Please return to using PASS for students who are struggling and in need of additional support. In the case of COVID, this could be a student experiencing significant illness that necessitates additional academic accommodation, but would not be a student who simply reports symptoms or a positive test.

Faculty and staff:

  • If you have a confirmed case of COVID, or if you have symptoms but not a test result, you should not come to campus, but should work remotely and follow the BC CDC recommended isolation period.
  • If you are not able to work, you should submit the form to use sick leave days.
  • If a close contact has a confirmed case of COVID you should monitor for symptoms, but should attend work if you do not have symptoms. You are encouraged to wash your hands regularly, wear a mask, and wipe down the surfaces of your workspace regularly.
  • If your child that normally requires childcare is impacted by the functional closure of their school you should seek permission from your supervisor to work remotely on a temporary basis while the functional closure is in effect. 

December 24, 2021 — Updated provincial Return to Campus guidelines

UFV has relied on the expert advice of the Public Health Officer (PHO) as we have navigated the pandemic. We will continue to do so, and look forward to welcoming students and employees back to campus in January. On December 22, the Province of B.C. updated the Return to Campus Guidelines for all post-secondary institutions. These updates include: program-specific considerations; the PHO’s decision to continue on-campus instruction; and a letter from Dr. Bonnie Henry addressed to all post-secondary presidents in BC that references the Omicron variant and outlines rationale for continuing on-campus instruction.


October 6, 2021 - Vaccine mandate for provincial employees does not apply to UFV employees

On October 5 the Public Health Officer announced that the Province of British Columbia is mandating that all of its public service employees must be fully vaccinated by November 22.

This provincial mandate stipulating that all public service employees must be vaccinated does not apply to UFV employees, who are not direct employees of the public service.

In an Oct 5 news release, the province said that the vaccination mandate applies to 30,000 employees.


September 29, 2021 - New health orders, Athletics

New health orders do not apply to educational activities

On September 28 the Public Health Officer issued health orders applying to the Eastern Fraser Valley and the geographic areas where UFV campuses are located.

These orders explicitly exempt post-secondary educational activities from proof of vaccination requirements for gatherings. These health orders do not apply to “educational activities for students of schools or post-secondary institutions”. This includes classes and all education-related activities at UFV.

The new restrictions do apply to all non-educational activities on UFV campuses.

Proof of double vaccination now required to participate in athletics & fitness activities

As of September 29 students, faculty, and staff using UFV gyms and recreational facilities will require proof of full vaccination. 

We strongly encourage those who have not yet been vaccinated to register today. There are many clinics in our region.


September 22 - Mask safety zones in classrooms

The UFV Campus Planning and Facilities team has now marked safety zones in UFV classrooms to show where instructors can temporarily remove their masks while teaching should they choose to do so, as outlined in the Provincial Health Officer’s (PHO) mask order.

Green & red lines indicate safe distances

Green taped lines on the classroom floor indicate a two-meter distance to the nearest student seat. The red line will typically align with a lectern at the front of the class, and marks where an instructor can temporarily remove their mask as they teach.

Taped lines are not installed in labs, study spaces, and workrooms.

Clear plastic barriers provide a mask safety zone in some rooms

Some space configurations do not allow for two meters of distance between the instructor and student. In these rooms, a clear plastic barrier has been hung to ensure there is still a “mask safety zone.” Masks can be removed temporarily while behind this barrier if the instructor or faculty member so chooses.

Plexiglass barriers have also been added to meet the specific needs of certain areas: MOLA classes, advising offices, and service counters, for example.

If you have unique classroom needs 

Faculty that have unique classroom needs are welcome to submit requests through the Campus Planning and Facilities Management department – work request process. Accommodations are dependent on the PHO mandates and available resources.

Questions?

If you have questions, please contact Facilities at facilitiesservicedesk@ufv.ca.


September 8, 2021 - Important: new campus health and safety measures

In response to rising COVID-19 cases and as students return to in-person learning on campus, the Provincial Health Officer and the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training have announced new health and safety measures for universities in BC including UFV.

Masks:

Masks will be mandatory in all indoor public spaces on UFV campuses including classrooms, lobbies, washrooms, hallways, stairwells, elevators, and labs.

For staff and faculty, masks must be worn in all UFV indoor public spaces except if alone in your private office or workspace.

For more details on mask requirements, including in the classroom, please visit the UFV Mask Guidelines page. 

Proof of vaccination:

  • Proof of vaccination is not required to attend in-person classes, seminars or tutorials, or other educational settings on UFV campuses (shops, labs, etc.)
  • Proof of vaccination is not required to access on-campus cafeterias.

The Government of British Columbia has announced that proof of vaccination will be required through the BC Vaccine card in order to attend certain non-essential social and recreational gatherings and events. The measures set out by the Province will, as relevant, apply to post-secondary campuses including UFV.

Currently, students, faculty, and staff will be required to show proof of vaccination in the following circumstances:

  • Students living in on-campus housing - proof of first vaccination will be required through the BC Vaccine Card by September 23 and full vaccination by Oct. 24. UFV recognizes that a transition period beyond September 7 may be needed for students arriving from outside BC and Canada in order to access vaccinations and obtain a BC Vaccine Card. Further information will be provided in the coming week.
  • Students participating in off-campus activities - UFV students who are required to follow all regulations of the external partner when participating in off-campus activities (for example medical clinical placements) will require proof of partial vaccination with one dose by September 13 and full vaccination seven days after dose two by Oct. 24.
  • Athletics – Students, faculty and staff using UFV gyms and recreational facilities will require proof of partial vaccination (one dose) by September 13 and proof of full vaccination seven days after dose two by Oct. 24. 

We understand you have questions and we will provide more information regarding the implementation of the BC Vaccine Card, and on-campus activities that require it, as we learn more. UFV’s main priorities are your health and wellness, and the university will continue to work with Fraser Health, the Provincial Health Officer, and the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training as these requirements evolve.   

As a reminder please note that pop-up vaccination clinics will be on the UFV Abbotsford and Chilliwack campuses in the weeks ahead. Please scroll down to view times and locations.


September 2, 2021 - UFV to implement confidential self-disclosure survey on vaccination status

As the official start of the 2021 fall semester approaches, UFV is committed to providing a safe return to campus.

Dr. Henry’s recent health orders (August 25) requiring mandatory masks and mandatory vaccinations for certain activities (e.g., student housing, athletics, campus recreation) add further layers of protection for our campuses. Alongside these health orders, the provincial government supports UFV and other post-secondary institutions adding additional health measures to help keep campus communities safe.

Following discussions with representatives from the Faculty and Staff Association and the UFV Student Union Society, UFV will distribute a mandatory and confidential survey asking for self-disclosure of vaccination status to faculty, staff, students, and visitors to campus.  

UFV’s objective with this survey is to better understand specific facts regarding the vaccination level of our community. This step will assist in determining if additional health measures are required on UFV campuses and reflects the university’s continued use of evidence-based decision making.

Please be assured that special care and attention will be taken to ensure the confidentiality and privacy rights of all will be respected.

It is important to note that at this time proof of vaccination is not required for attending campus.

Details and logistics of the self-disclosure process will be provided in the very near future and we appreciate your patience and participation as we continue to plan for September as the local situation evolves.

High rates of vaccination are the clearest path to safe campuses and safe communities. If you have not yet been vaccinated, UFV strongly encourages you to register today. There are many clinics in our region and UFV is hosting a number of Fraser Health pop-up clinics on campus in September. 

Earlier this year, faculties, departments, and faculty members created a fall timetable that includes 70% of classes with a face-to-face component and 30% being delivered entirely online. This mix will help redress the pandemic's long-term impact on students as called for in a recent report from the BCCDC highlighting the disproportionate impact the pandemic has had on people aged 18-29.

You can read President Joanne MacLean’s full letter to faculty staff and students.


Aug 18, 2021 - UFV is hosting pop-up COVID-19 vaccine clinics

‌UFV students, faculty, staff (and friends and family 12+) are invited to attend the following clinics for a first or second dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

Pop-up clinic locations & dates

Abbotsford Student Union Building - Atrium/Evered Hall:

  • August 23 — 1-4 pm
  • Sept 7 — 2:30-4:30 pm
  • Sept 9 — 2:30-4:30 pm
  • Sept 16 — 2:30-4:30 pm
  • Sept 20 — 2:30-4:30 pm

Chilliwack campus:

  • Sept 7 — 10-12 am (Building A Atrium)
  • Sept 9 — 10-12 am (Trades and Technology T1042)
  • Sept 16 — 10-12 am (Trades and Technology T1042)
  • Sept 20 — 10-12 am (Building A Atrium)

Who can come for a vaccine?

  • UFV students, faculty, staff, family members and friends age 12+
  • People who have not yet received their first COVID-19 vaccine dose
  • People who are eligible for their second COVID-19 vaccine dose (which means you have received an invitation to book your second dose from the Provincial Get Vaccinated system, or it has been at least 28 days since your first dose as indicated by your COVID-19 Immunization Record Card.)

When coming to a pop-up clinic, please:

  • Wear a mask
  • Do not attend if you are sick, have COVID-19, or have been asked to self-isolate
  • Bring your Personal Health Number (PHN) and photo ID if you have them, although they are not strictly required. Fraser Health staff will still assist you if you do not have a PHN or ID.  
  • Bring your COVID-19 Immunization Record Card, if coming for your second dose 

 For more info and a list of additional COVID-19 vaccine clinics, please visit fraserhealth.ca/vax


June 10, 2021 - Dr. Bonnie Henry's virtual Town Hall for post-secondary student leaders

On May 28, Dr. Bonnie Henry and her team hosted a Town Hall meeting for post-secondary student leaders. The Town Hall was dedicated to answering questions sent in from the student attendees. It provides a lot of great information about what is informing public health decision-making about the fall return to campus.

Dr. Henry also held a virtual Town Hall for post-secondary leaders and labour unions on May 11, 2021. You can also watch the May 10 Virtual Town Hall video.


May 27, 2021 - UFV Provost James Mandigo previews fall class composition

Key points covered:

  • Fall 2021 courses are scheduled as 43% face-to-face, 26% hybrid, 31% online
  • This approach was chosen after community consultation showed desire for flexible 'up-skilling' options

Update:

As we start to look towards a new normal this Fall (read the BC restart plan here released on May 25th), UFV’s approach to achieving our vision of being a gathering place for learners, leaders and seekers and the ways in which we engage learners, transform lives, and build communities is starting to become clearer. There is renewed optimism with the development and delivery of highly effective vaccines that have significantly reduced the number of cases and several illnesses due to COVID-19 in Canada. At the time of writing, over 60% of eligible British Columbians have received at least one vaccination. With guidance and support from British Columbia’s top physician, Dr. Bonnie Henry, post-secondary institutions have been given the green light to safely welcome back more people onto our campuses this fall. She and Dr. Gustafson – head of the BC Centre for Disease Control – recently held a Q & A session on the science and research informing their guidance for this plan.

Since the middle of March, academic and administrative units across UFV and the Office of the Registrar have been planning for the Fall of 2021. They have had to plan during BC’s third wave, consider possible changes to student demographics (e.g., number of domestic students, international students, mature students, etc.), trust scientific forecasts predicting a dramatic decline in COVID-19 this fall, and consider the most effective pedagogical methods to deliver each course. This is a monumental task in the best of years, let alone one year into a global pandemic. My sincere thanks and appreciation goes out to each and every Department Head and Director who have worked with their colleagues and their Deans to create a schedule that captures all we have learned over the past 14 months and opens new opportunities and pathways for students to access courses in ways they previously could not.

With the timetable scheduled to be released on Monday, May 31 and registration open on June 15, UFV’s Fall 2021 is shaping up to be one filled with excitement and opportunities. The following is a tentative breakdown of the delivery methods to be used for courses at UFV in September:

  • Face to face = 43%
  • Hybrid (at least 25% online/ 25% face to face) = 26%
  • Online = 31%

This schedule will offer our students even more access to our academic programming. It takes the best from what we have learned throughout the pandemic regarding the flexibility and effectiveness of online learning, while safely reintroducing applied forms of learning in the classroom that UFV has excelled at for decades.

While the pandemic has caused untold suffering around the world, it has also caused us to reflect upon how we can best support our students, each other, and our communities through the largest global disruption to hit education in recent memory. Throughout the pandemic, UFV’s doors remained open to our students. You showed the world that we could respond quickly (yes, universities can move quickly when we need to!) by embracing innovative and creative ways to ensure our students could continue with their academic journey – watch the UFV video Resilience to see some of these ways. While many students have told us through structured consultations and surveys that they miss the personal academic and social connections with their instructors and their peers respectively, they have also told us that they value the flexibility and the access online learning provides.

As part of community consultations facilitated by third parties, the McConnell Foundation and Domain 7, we also heard from those across the Fraser Valley who told us that access to UFV’s programs was never more important to help “build back better” from the pandemic. Opportunities to “up-skill” and “re-skill” in BC’s post-pandemic economy were themes we heard loud and clear from members of the communities in which we serve. Community leaders identified opportunities such as work-integrated learning, student and faculty research projects, problem-based learning opportunities, and targeted academic programming as being critical for rapid recovery and continued development for the Fraser Valley.

UFV’s “new normal” this Fall is filled with opportunities and a continued commitment to pursuing “… diverse pathways of scholarship, leading to community connection, reconciliation, and prosperity, locally and beyond.”

Thank you for all you are doing to make this Fall at UFV productive, memorable, and healthy.

James Mandigo, PhD
Provost and VP Academic


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