Impact of COVID-19 and UBC’s preparedness

If you are a manager of staff whose work is not computer-based, please print this email and display it in a common work area for them to review.
The impact of the COVID-19 outbreak continues to cause concern, both within Canada and across the world.

The Public Health Agency of Canada has assessed the risk as low for Canada, and UBC does not currently have any confirmed cases amongst our faculty, staff or students.

However, we understand that concerns are increasing around UBC’s preparedness, should we need to reduce the number of people coming to our campuses or other learning sites. At this point in time we are turning our attention to creating the resources to assist faculty and staff, as well as ensuring that leaders are able to assess our readiness as a university.

Contingency planning for teaching and learning

UBC’s overarching goal is to minimize the disruption to our students and their educational progress. We are currently supporting faculty to develop teaching strategies that will not require in-person sessions that fit the particular needs of their course, discipline and context. This planning, including considering alternative approaches to final exams, will enable us to be prepared and act quickly should the need arise.

Faculties and departments are being asked to start planning how they can offer academic instruction and assessment through alternate means. A new website has also been launched with guidance on how to prepare to offer lectures, group work and discussion, and quizzes online through Canvas. You can access it at UBC Okanagan faculty are encouraged to contact the Center for Teaching and Learning

Support for managers and supervisors

As a reminder, guidance has been posted for managers and supervisors, related to employee illness and concerns related to COVID-19. You can view the information at

Organizing events and large gatherings

We recognize that faculty and staff may have questions related to organizing events and large gatherings. We encourage you to use the following resources:

In addition to the above, UBC is convening a working group to explore ways to provide more tailored guidance around this topic. More information will be shared as it becomes available.

COVID-19 and UBC’s response – updates and FAQs

Work is underway to create a stand-alone website to house information related to COVID-19 status updates, as well as FAQs for faculty, staff and students. Further information will be shared in next week’s edition of UBC Today.

Business continuity

The COVID-19 outbreak has expedited existing planning around business continuity and UBC’s efforts to minimize disruption to our students. Members of the Safety & Risk Services team are contacting Faculties and departments with information, support and resources for business continuity planning.

Please visit for the latest updates.

A ‘Letter to the community’ has also been posted from President Santa Ono which you can view at

Andrew Szeri
Provost and Vice-President, Academic, UBC Vancouver

Ananya Mukherjee Reed
Provost and Vice-President, Academic, UBC Okanagan

Marcia Buchholz
Interim Vice-President, Human Resources

This message was sent to faculty and staff in Vancouver and the Okanagan.

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