Coronavirus update: December 14, 2020 - 4:00 p.m.

December 14, 2020

I know many of you are in the midst of wrapping up the semester, be it completing exams and final assessments to finishing off some end-of-year projects. Thank you all for your continued commitment to UNBC and to keeping our community safe.

In today’s update:

  • Daily Health Check Requirement
  • Take care of yourself – and others
  • A Few Reminders

Daily Health Check Requirement

The Provincial Health Officer has issued orders that require us to take some further actions. Today, I’ll speak specifically to conducting a health self-assessment before visiting any of our campuses.

For employees:

Employees are defined as all faculty, staff, student employees, and contractors.

Employees attending any of our campuses, sites or locations must directly confirm with UNBC that you have completed a self-assessment for symptoms of COVID-19 before arriving on campus each day. Please use the B.C. self-assessment tool and follow the guidance there. Once complete, please fill in and submit this form on the UNBC website.  This form will be sent to a confidential email account; the information contained will only be accessed to assist Public Health for contact tracing purposes and will be deleted after 30 days.  As an employer we are not collecting any personal information about workers, specially your responses to health check questions. We just need to collect a confirmation from you that a health check was done.  Supervisors and Chairs are encouraged to check in with employees to ensure the daily assessment is completed.

For students:

Students taking part in face-to-face instructions (classes, labs etc.) are already checking in with their instructors.  For students who are attending any of our campuses, sites or locations for study or other reasons, you are already required to complete a daily self-assessment for symptoms of COVID-19 before arriving on campus each day. I encourage you to also submit the online self-assessment declaration form as the confidential information contained could assist Public Health contact tracing purposes.

This requirement is ONLY for those persons coming to any of our campuses, sites or locations. Those who are learning, teaching or working remotely need not complete the daily self-assessment (although it’s never a bad idea to check!).

This requirement is ongoing – UNBC will provide further information and guidance when the situation changes. Please remember – if you can work or learn remotely, please do so. And if in doubt, or if you find yourself asking whether you need to complete an assessment, do so to be safe.

Take care of yourself – and others!

As we navigate through this pandemic, it’s important to remember that our actions and words have an effect on others.

Remember, if you are displaying flu-like systems or have answered yes to questions on the health check self-assessment, please do not come to any of our campuses or facilities. It is critical that we monitor ourselves and act accordingly to limit the spread of COVID-19. This is not the year to be ill and to “be tough” or “work through it.” 

And if you do become aware of an exposure or even a positive case, let’s show compassion towards one another, and not stigmatize people for seeking out testing or self-isolating. Remember that the information pertaining to a positive case is confidential and UNBC needs to be a safe place for us all. In short, let’s be kind and take care of one another!

A Few Gentle Reminders

The Provincial Health Officer has ordered an extension to existing province-wide restrictions to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. I ask that the UNBC community note the restrictions and use them to guide our day-to-day activities:

  • The PHO Gatherings and Events Order, which has been in effect since Nov. 19, has been extended to Jan. 8, 2021 at midnight.
  • All events and social gatherings are suspended to significantly reduce COVID-19 transmission related to social interactions. 
  • All non-essential travel should be avoided. This includes travel into and out of B.C. and between regions of the province.

I know this holiday season will be different for all of us from past years. Yet we can still connect with those closest to us, and perhaps find virtual ways to reach out to our extended circles (although I know I am looking forward to a bit of a Zoom break!).

As always I’ll remind you that we regularly update our Coronavirus (COVID-19) website with the latest information and resources. If you can’t find the information you’re looking for there, or if you have questions, let us know at

Stay safe, and thank you!

Geoff Payne
Interim President and Vice-Chancellor