Stronger restrictions within province

- University of Victoria

On Mar. 29, Dr. Bonnie Henry announced stronger province-wide Public Health Orders in response to the significant increase in COVID-19 cases, particularly variants of concern.

The measures aim to restrict indoor social activities, including group exercise classes, dining at restaurants, bars and pubs, and religious gatherings and worship services, for a three-week-period until April 19, 2021.

These orders have the following impacts on campus activities:

Campus services and amenities

The majority of on-campus services and amenities, including those operated by the UVSS, are not affected by the Mar. 29 Public Health Orders.

However, the orders require UVic to continue the temporary suspension on all in-person faith-based services.

Food on campus

The MOD remains open for individual dining and takeout. You can also find grab-and-go food options in the SUB and Mystic Market.

The University Club and Felicita's are now offering outdoor dining options and takeout only.

Athletics and Recreation

Our Fitness Weight Centre, McKinnon Pool and CARSA Climbing Centre remain open for individual exercise. Don’t forget to reserve your spot in advance.

All indoor group fitness classes will be temporarily suspended effective immediately, resuming Tuesday, Apr. 20, 2021.

Programs for children and youth under the age of 21, including Vikes summer camps, are not affected by these orders.

The Public Health Orders strongly recommend a number of safety measures, as follows:

Working on campus

The orders encourage working from home whenever possible, unless it is essential to be on site in the workplace. The services and activities we are currently providing on campus have safe work plans in place and are considered essential. Faculty and staff working on campus are supporting on-campus research, instruction, students, staff and faculty, and the safety and security of our campus population and infrastructure. 

Supervisors and leaders may approve further remote work over the next few weeks for staff members under their supervision whose work can be performed remotely without impacting current on-campus service levels or operations.

We have been assured by the PHO team in a sector call on March 30 that universities should continue to plan for a full return to in-person instruction and campus activities in September 2021.

Avoid non-essential travel

The Public Health Orders also ask everyone to avoid non-essential travel. For now, avoid travel to other regions inside or outside of the province unless it is essential. As of Mar. 29, Whistler Blackcomb ski resort is closed.

If you must travel for essential reasons, wash your hands often and practice physical distancing. Respect the communities you're travelling to by staying within your household bubble and sticking to the outdoors as much as possible.

These orders are in addition to the restrictions already in place for international travel, which include mandatory COVID-19 testing.

We are actively working with Island Health and the most directly affected on-campus services, including Multifaith, Food Services, the University Club and the UVSS, to implement the new restrictions. 

Additional health and safety measures

Masks continue to be required in public indoor spaces and shared work areas.

Parents are encouraged to keep their children home from school if they feel sick or have any signs of illness. Get tested immediately if you or anyone in your family feels sick

Outdoor gatherings

Up to 10 people can gather outdoors on campus. Please stick to socializing with the same ten people. When you are getting together with friends, remember to remain physically distant, wear a mask, and practice all other COVID safety protocols.

Daily self-assessment

Everyone must do a self-assessment daily for COVID-19 symptoms before coming to campus. All units must implement a process to ensure that every employee performs a daily COVID-19 health check before entering the workplace.

For more information about daily health screening and steps if you are feeling ill, visit the Health & Safety section of the COVID-19 website.

We will continue to monitor and adjust to the evolving COVID-19 public policy environment. For an overview of the public health protocols guiding the BC post-secondary sector, please see the province’s COVID-19 Go-Forward Guidelines. These guidelines reflect recent public health orders and guide COVID-19 case management, including contact tracing and communication. For up-to-date guidance and information about the university’s ongoing COVID-19 response, please visit the COVID-19 website.