Coronavirus update: May 6, 2021 - 2:00 p.m.

May 6, 2021

As the first week of May comes to a close, and the spring semester is about to begin on Monday, I hope you all took some much-needed time for rest, self-care and reflect on the last four months.

It’s important that we take the time to spend with our families, chat with our friends or families, indulge in our hobbies or enjoy any outdoor recreation opportunities if possible (following all COVID-19 safety protocols of course).

We continue to plan for a safe return to campus in the fall. Last week the provincial government provided us with some more information about those plans.

On April 30, the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training sent a COVID-19 Return to Campus Primer to all B.C. post-secondary institutions. The high-level document provides us with guidance required to support planning for the return of our faculty and staff throughout the summer and the updating of campus safety plans in anticipation of a full return to face-to-face instruction.

The document was developed and endorsed by the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, regional health authorities, and the Provincial Health Officer in conjunction with the team of post-secondary institution experts who are developing the Guidelines in partnership with the Ministry.

It was developed with the health and safety of our students, staff and faculty at the top of our minds.

In today’s update:

  • Provincial COVID-19 Return-to-Campus Primer
  • Worldwide COVID-19 surge countries

Provincial COVID-19 Return-to-Campus Primer

The Provincial COVID-19 Return-to-Campus Primer contains many core public health measures and tailored infection prevention and control measures that are expected to continue this fall.

At this time, we don’t know what a safe return to campus will look and we continue to work with the Provincial Health Office on those parameters.

We do know that cleaning protocols and wearing masks or face coverings while on campus will remain in place and that this now includes all learning spaces. Completing the daily COVID-19 self-assessment and not attending campus while ill and directional arrows in hallways for traffic flow will all continue.

Over the course of the next few weeks we will have more details and working with our University community teams develop UNBC’s strategy for the Fall 2021 term working with Dr. Henry’s team and the Go-Forward guidelines.

Worldwide COVID-19 surge countries

Many developing countries around the world are continuing to be impacted by the increasing amount of COVID-19 infections. Our thoughts are with our students, faculty and staff who have friends and relatives who are impacted by the devastation currently unfolding. While you may be studying or working remotely, please know we are here to support you through our full range of support services that are continually available.

As the provincial vaccination roll-out continues this month, I encourage everyone to follow all local, provincial, federal and international health and safety guidelines to ensure a safe return to campus in September.

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
President and Vice-Chancellor (Interim)

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