COVID-19 information sharing

- University of Victoria

In light of the public health officer’s recent notice regarding increased transmission of COVID-19, as well as concern about more transmissible and virulent variant strains, we want to reassure our campus community that the health, safety and well-being of our students, faculty and staff remains of utmost importance to the university.

COVID-19 cases are surging in B.C., and case numbers are at their highest level on Vancouver Island since the pandemic began. The south island region currently has the most active cases in the Island Health region, which is affecting all communities and institutions, including the university.

We understand and acknowledge that news or rumours of COVID-19 cases on-campus can cause concern. It is important to understand that whenever there is a confirmed case or potential exposure on-campus, the university works directly with Island Health’s (IH) Public Health team to manage these situations. This includes direct communication with Medical Health Officers.

IH has well-established protocols for case management and contact tracing, which are performed for every lab confirmed case of COVID-19. The process is designed to ensure anyone with a potential exposure to a confirmed case is identified, contacted and given directions to protect their health and the health of those around them. If you become aware of a COVID-19 case or exposure on-campus, but were not directly contacted by IH, it means you were not deemed at risk.

IH also has a process for notifying people in a defined setting (ie: a dorm, campus, office) or the general public with times and locations of known possible exposures when they are not confident in their ability to reach or identify all individuals potentially exposed via contact tracing.

Please know the university follows IH direction on communicating information about cases to you. Protecting the privacy of COVID-19 positive individuals, while also providing people with the information they need to protect their health, is a top priority. Having individuals identify their symptoms immediately and seek testing is critical to controlling the spread of this virus. If individuals feel their privacy may be unnecessarily violated if they test positive it's a detriment to everyone and the ability to fight this virus.

It is especially important during this time to continue to follow safe work plans on campus, perform daily health checks and adhere to public health guidelines including frequent handwashing, wearing a mask in public settings, limiting social gatherings and activities, staying home from work or school and getting tested if you develop any sign of illness–however mild.

We will continue to work closely with IH on any COVID-19 related situations that may affect our students, faculty and staff and ensure the timely coordination of all campus communication, where applicable, with the provincial health officer’s regular updates. It remains our priority to ensure our community has the latest information contained in public health notices. Any decisions the university makes, based on those notices or direction from IH, will be communicated in the appropriate way, and quickly, as the goal is always to keep everyone safe.

We appreciate the continued cooperation and understanding of students, faculty and staff.

Please continue to visit UVic’s COVID-19 website for the latest information and answers to any questions that you may have: