UBC’s COVID-19 Rapid Testing Program — update on progress

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In September, UBC launched its COVID-19 Rapid Testing Program and since that time, thousands of students, faculty and staff have declared their vaccination status.

As of December 5, we can report that 78,132 UBC students, faculty and staff have declared their vaccination status, of whom 97% report being fully vaccinated and 91% have uploaded proof of vaccination. We have also begun the auditing process in order to verify the declarations, and any associated proof of vaccination. These strong levels of vaccination declaration demonstrate how our community is actively doing its part to support our collective wellbeing.

In considering the rapid testing program, including options for enforcement, we have sought expert advice from within the university and externally on the current scientific evidence, public health direction and guidance, and the most recent data regarding vaccination rates and transmission levels. This has been the subject of detailed discussion at the Board of Governors, the UBC Vancouver Senate and the UBC Okanagan Senate.

Public health experts have indicated the fall term has demonstrated that, in the context of high immunization coverage, both UBC campuses operated with very low risk of COVID-19 transmission on campus. However, given the evolving nature of COVID-19 and its variants, the UBC Board of Governors has approved the decision to maintain the rapid testing program with a requirement for all students, faculty and staff to take part.

Both the UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan Senates have developed academic regulations to enforce consequences for students who fail to comply. The university is also enforcing consequences for faculty and staff who do not take part in the program. Any UBC students, faculty and staff who fall into this category can expect to receive direct communication in the coming weeks.

What does this mean for you?

If you have already declared and verified your vaccination status, no further action is required. If you have not declared your status, visit https://rapidtesting.covid19.ubc.ca/ to declare your status and upload proof of vaccination. UBC will continue to pursue consequences as appropriate for those who are not exempt from the mandatory testing requirement because they are not fully vaccinated or who have chosen not to declare their vaccine status, and who fail to comply with mandatory testing.

Members of our community under Public Health Orders

It is important to note that some members of our community are bound by Public Health Orders that require proof of vaccination — namely our students in residence and students and employees who are based within health care settings (“care locations”). You can learn more about these Public Health Orders at:

Finally, we would like to thank all those UBC students, faculty and staff who have declared and verified their status, or taken part in COVID-19 rapid testing. Public health partners continue to monitor the situation regarding COVID-19, its variants and distribution of COVID-19 booster doses across the province. Should there be any changes to vaccination rates or public health guidance, UBC is well positioned to further adjust its approach, as required.

This is a collective effort and plays a vital role in our return, as a community, to even more activity on our campuses. Thank you for supporting a safe environment at UBC.

Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor

Lesley Cormack
Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Principal, UBC Okanagan

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

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