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As we approach the end of Winter Session, we would like to recognize all our students, faculty and staff who have continued to demonstrate their resilience and respect for safety measures as we returned to campus for the majority of programs.
Over the last number of weeks, changes have been made to Public Health Orders to reflect the evolution of COVID-19 to a communicable disease, including the end of the requirement to wear masks for some activities and events.
At that time, UBC made the decision to continue to require that masks be worn in public indoor spaces on both campuses until the end of Winter Session on April 30, 2022. This decision was based on evidence that masks are a simple, but important, way to continue to provide all members of the UBC community with an added layer of protection. They also provide an additional layer of protection for our most vulnerable among us.
As there are now signs of further Omicron variants and increased case numbers, experts have indicated that BC is about to enter into a sixth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. In light of these factors, UBC has made the decision to maintain the requirement to wear masks until June 30, 2022.
As a reminder, masks are required in all indoor public spaces on both UBC campuses. You can learn more by reading the UBC COVID-19 Campus Rules at https://srs.ubc.ca/covid-19/ubc-campus-rules-guidance-documents/. Students, faculty and staff who take part in academic activities outside of university campuses are still required to wear a mask if mandated by a Public Health Order; for example, in health care settings.
We appreciate that for many of us it has been a long period of adjusting and adhering to the health and safety protocols required to limit the spread of COVID-19, and while the pandemic is evolving, it is still very much with us. By continuing to follow measures such as wearing masks indoors in public spaces and staying home when sick, we can help keep ourselves and others safe.
UBC is also now transitioning from COVID-19 Safety Plans to a Communicable Disease Prevention Framework in alignment with the BC Centre for Disease Control and WorksafeBC. This means the university will replace the current seven institutional plans, with a single plan to cover all campus activities, effective May 1, 2022.
As we have done throughout the pandemic, UBC will continue to monitor the situation regarding COVID-19, and is well placed to adjust its approach if required. We urge all members of our community to receive their COVID-19 vaccine booster doses as soon as possible. We also encourage you to show empathy and support for your friends and colleagues, understanding that everyone has different circumstances as we move through this pandemic.
Thank you for your continued commitment to UBC.
Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor
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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