UVic COVID-19 response overview

As government continues to coordinate the provincial response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the provincial B.C.’s Restart Plan, the University of Victoria’s approach continues to be careful and gradual while maintaining our focus on the health and workplace safety of our campus community.

The most current information specific to UVic is available on our COVID-19 website. Here are the key things you need to know:

What we are doing

Providing safe workplaces on campus

In our continued and evolving response to COVID-19, the university is introducing new plans, protocols and resources to protect the health and safety of all members of our university community.  Our safety programming will be informed by guidance and direction from the provincial health officer (PHO), the post-secondary sector and WorkSafeBC. We have created a Safe Work Plan website with templates, resources and instructions to support a principled, safe and gradual resumption of on-campus activity.

Following the provincial health officer’s lead

We are ensuring the decisions we make about university operations and the workplace align with the direction of the PHO to address the situation here in B.C. As this direction changes, we will adapt our approach. Because things can change quickly, we might not always be able to provide the answers you need right away. But we’ll do our best to provide as much certainty as we can.

Requiring you to stay home if you’re sick

In cases of COVID-19 related absences, we are not requiring faculty and staff to provide a doctor’s certificate to access sick leave benefits.

Supporting working from home

Working from home helps support the physical distancing practices recommended by public health officials. Where it is operationally feasible, the university is expected to encourage and support faculty and staff members who want to work from home and should be flexible in considering alternative work arrangements. We also recognize that some staff may feel more productive if they have the opportunity to work on campus more regularly. Leaders will be asked to prioritize on-campus working while balancing health and safety protocols, meeting on-campus operational requirements and individual needs.

Offering a predominantly remote learning environment for students

The majority of our undergraduate courses are being offered fully online for first term, with a few exceptions for courses where hands-on learning cannot be effectively replicated in an online environment. To support the gradual resumption of research activities, some graduate courses will also be offered in person where hands-on learning and research is essential to achieving core learning objectives. Learn more about our fall plans.

Cancelling or postponing events

We are cancelling or postponing workplace events involving more than 50 people in accordance with the PHO’s order. Any smaller events that cannot be conducted using virtual options should only take place if absolutely necessary and only where required physical distancing, cleaning and hygiene measures can be applied.

Minimizing work-related travel

We are reducing work-related travel where possible and encouraging the use of virtual meeting options as an alternative.

What you can do: Be kind, be calm, be safe

Take care of yourself

We must all follow the direction of the PHO: wash your hands, avoid touching your face, practice physical distancing, cough or sneeze into your sleeve, and regularly clean surfaces. We are also all obligated to provide a safe and healthy work environment, including acting respectfully and professionally in our interactions with our students, the public and each other. It’s a stressful time, made less so if we act with kindness.

Take care of your community

For the vast majority of people, if you contract the virus you will experience mild symptoms. But it’s important that we all act to limit the spread of COVID-19 to protect our most vulnerable students, colleagues and community members and ensure they can access the care they need. The steps everyone is asked to take, while inconvenient, will help support that goal.

Stay home if you are sick

Contact your supervisor and, if you are well enough, work from home if it’s possible. If you are concerned you have been exposed to COVID-19 or have symptoms (such as fever, cough, difficulty breathing), call 811.

Trust our expert colleagues

Follow and trust the workplace safety guidelines and the most recent advice and recommendations from B.C.’s public health experts—and encourage your friends, family and colleagues to do the same. You can find current and accurate information online at the BC Centre for Disease Control. The most current information specific to the university is available on our website.

This information was used with the permission of the BC Public Service Agency.