Planning for the safe phased-in re-occupancy of our campuses

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As you know, UBC is introducing a COVID-19 safety planning process to allow for a gradual resumption of programs and activities on our campuses over the four phases of the BC Restart Plan.

Thank you to everyone who continues to work remotely and those who are providing crucial on-campus services. I appreciate that it has been a significant adjustment for everyone, balancing work and home life at the same time as you have so ably transitioned during the extraordinary circumstances of the pandemic. Please know that your efforts do not go unnoticed and I am proud of all our faculty and staff for your ongoing dedication to UBC.

Over the past several weeks, the UBC Executive has been working closely with the COVID-19 Safety Planning Steering Committee to establish a robust process for the resumption of academic, administrative and ancillary services. The safety planning process is built on guiding principles focused on the health, safety and wellbeing of students, faculty, staff and the public; anchored in health and safety guidance from the Provincial Health Officer and public health agencies including WorkSafeBC; adopting a gradual, phased approach; and recognizing that we may need to reinstate restrictions should public health guidance change.

The process involves Faculties, administrative units and ancillary services completing a COVID-19 Safety Plan (CSP) and submitting it to the COVID-19 Safety Plan Steering Committee or to the appropriate approver as identified in the websites below.

Details regarding the COVID-19 Safety Plan submission process, plan templates and other helpful tools can be found at:

All faculty and staff are also required to complete mandatory online training if their work requires them to be on-campus. This training has been designed to help us all in preventing the transmission of COVID-19 on our campuses. More information is available on the websites noted above.

In addition, UBC has developed broad guidelines for the review and approval of COVID-19 Safety Plans. Overall, prioritization will be based on five categories. Please note that other factors may be considered as necessary in the timing of the approval of individual plans. The five categories include:

  1. Academic/research resumption
  2. Services that directly support the resumption of research, teaching and learning
  3. Revenue-generating units
  4. University ancillary services
  5. Administrative units

Planning for a phased approach to on-campus research resumption began in early June. Information relating to the resumption of on-campus research, including information about that process can be found on the UBC Research + Innovation website:

It is also expected that remote work will continue for many faculty and staff. However, remote work may not be appropriate for some, and any changes to individual remote work arrangements will be considered based on a number of factors, including the ability to perform work safely, privacy issues and technology considerations. Changes to your current work arrangements will only be considered after your department/unit’s respective safety plan has been reviewed and has received approval. If your role has required you to continue to work on campus, your department/unit is also required to submit a COVID-19 Safety Plan.

It is vital that we maintain health and safety standards for those returning to our campuses. This includes promoting the importance of staying home if you are ill, getting tested if you have symptoms, continuing to practice good hygiene by frequent hand washing and maintaining physical distancing as much as possible.

The situation regarding COVID-19 continues to evolve, but I am heartened to see UBC moving forward on gradual re-occupancy and the measured resumption of on-campus programs and services. I know that providing our students with the best experience possible at UBC, while ensuring the health and safety of our community, continues to be our first priority.

Thank you for all you do for the university.

Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor

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

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