UBC’s operational and safety planning

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.

Last week, Premier John Horgan announced the gradual reopening of provincial sectors as set out in BC’s Restart Plan for COVID-19. We would like to take this opportunity to update you on this plan and UBC’s approach to operational and safety planning.

The four phased Restart Plan was received with both appreciation and a recognition that this reopening must be a cautious process and that foremost is the health and safety of British Columbians.

The province is currently in Phase 1 and expected to enter Phase 2 after the May long weekend when additional sectors will be reopened under enhanced protocols. BC will enter subsequent phases as transmission rates stay low and continue to decline. Post-secondary institutions have been identified as a component of Phase 3, which will take place between June and September, if transmission rates remain low. The final phase will be reached at the time when there is wide vaccination, community immunity, or broad successful treatments for COVID-19.

The provincial government is working with representatives from various sectors to develop the health and safety measures that will need to be in place before moving to the next phase. In parallel with these sector plans, UBC is developing an operational safety plan and approval process that Faculties and administrative units will be required to complete before any changes can be made to the remote work arrangements currently in place. We will provide you with more information about this process within the next two weeks.

Please do not change your current personal work arrangements until your Faculty’s or administrative unit’s operational and safety plans or reopening plans have been approved by the Executive.

A series of core measures* are set out in the Restart Plan for the post-secondary sector, which include:

  • Routine daily screening for all students, faculty and staff.
  • Routine and frequent environmental cleaning.
  • Explicit policy for students, faculty and staff who have the symptoms of a cold, flu, or COVID-19 with coughing or sneezing not coming into classes or taking part in extra curricula activities and sports.
  • Increased use of online learning balanced against the need of social interaction for learning and development.
  • Early arrival and self-isolation for 14 days of international students.

* Please note: we expect further guidance from the provincial government regarding implementation of the core measures within the next few weeks.

As you know, there are many different types of service and activity provided at UBC, including health services; museums, art galleries, and libraries; child care; agriculture; retail; recreation and sports; and restaurants. UBC’s operational safety plans will take into account the standards of practice for these specific sectors as identified in the Restart Plan.

We anticipate that before mid-June, the post-secondary sector will receive information on the safe organizational practices, as approved by WorkSafe BC. We will provide further updates as soon as we can.

Thank you, once again, for your ongoing commitment to the health and safety of the UBC community.

Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor

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

UBC Broadcast is used to communicate time sensitive, organization-wide information to faculty, staff and students. Learn more