Coronavirus update: April 30, 2021 - 10:12 a.m.

April 30, 2021

I’m following up Wednesday’s COVID-19 update with some more news that impacts the entire UNBC community. I felt it was important to share it with our students, faculty and staff so you can stay as informed as possible.

As we look forward to the first weekend of May and the dawn of the Spring semester on Monday, we have to continue to be diligent in following COVID-19 safety protocols such as wearing mandatory face masks in public indoor settings, physical distancing and limiting the size of indoor gatherings to our own households.

We have to stay the course of following all local, provincial, federal and international health and safety guidelines to ensure a safe return to campus in September.

In today’s update:

  • Fall semester planning
  • Paid leave for COVID-19 vaccines
  • Vaccination registration open for those 18+
  • BC COVID-19 SPEAK survey

Fall semester planning

Fall 2021

I know that you are all eagerly awaiting information regarding what the fall semester will look like as you have decisions to make and arrangements to organize. Our planning continues for the increased return of face-to-face classes in September and we appreciate your patience. The Post-Secondary Institution (PSI) sector Go-forward guidelines will be out imminently. As soon as the direction and mandates we are provided as a PSI are cross-checked with our planning we will provide notification to the community. I know this is hard but please hang in there.

Paid leave for COVID-19 vaccines

Ensuring our employees can take time away from work to get the COVID-19 vaccine is beneficial to everyone, not only for themselves and their families, but for their colleagues and the UNBC community.

On Wednesday, April 28, the provincial government amended the Employment Standards Act that will now provide all B.C. employees with up to three hours of paid leave to get each dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

No employee, whether part-time or full-time, will lose pay if they need time away from work to get vaccinated.

Vaccination registration now open for those 18+

Effective April 23, anyone who is 18-years-old and older (born in 2003 or earlier) can now register for the COVID-19 vaccine.

When you register, you’ll receive a confirmation number. Please keep it handy. However, don’t expect to able to book a vaccine appointment on the same day you register. You’ll receive a text, email or phone call when you’re eligible to book an appointment.

Vaccines are a safe and effective way to fight against COVID-19 infections that can occur in people of any age.

BC COVID-19 SPEAK survey

Many of you may have already participated in a survey conducted by B.C. Public Health. As a PSI we have been asked to share information to our community regarding a second survey that is now open until May 9. 

The purpose of the survey is to share your experiences with the pandemic, lending your voice to help public health better understand the experiences of British Columbians over the past 12 months. The survey will ask how has COVID-19 affected your family, what barriers may exist to prevent vaccinations, and what are your needs for recovery?  The survey takes about 20 to 30 minutes to complete and is available in 10 languages.

We regularly update the Coronavirus (COVID-19) website with the latest information and resources. If you can’t find the information you’re looking for here, or if you have questions, let us know at

Stay safe, and thank you!

Geoff Payne
President and Vice Chancellor (Interim)

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