Province introduces mask mandate for post-secondary institutions

- University of Victoria

The university continues to work closely with the Provincial Health Officer (PHO) and Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training to support a safe return to campus.

Today, in response to rising COVID-19 cases, the province introduced a new mask mandate for all people aged 12 and older in indoor public settings. On Aug. 23 the province announced the introduction of a proof-of-vaccine requirement (BC Vaccine Card) for BC citizens.

Masks

In accordance with the new province-wide restrictions , as of August 25 everyone must wear a mask at all times in public indoor settings and indoor common areas. These include:

  • elevators, lobbies, hallways, stairwells, bathrooms, break rooms, staff kitchens, libraries, coffee shops and retail outlets¬†
  • restaurants, pubs and bars when not seated at a table
  • sport and fitness centres when not engaged in physical activities
  • classrooms and labs

Additional details for mask requirements in classrooms and work areas (e.g. shared offices and meeting rooms) are still being developed.

Exemptions

There are also exemptions for people with underlying medical conditions that inhibit their ability to wear masks. A full list of exemptions and masking requirements will be published on the OHSE website as soon as available. 

Vaccinations

The BC government announced the BC Vaccine Card program on Aug. 23. The program comes into effect Sept. 13 and will require those over 12 to show proof of vaccination for admission to select activities and events, and for student dining and housing (beginning Sept. 7).

More details about how this program will impact campus services and activities will be announced soon. We are working with our ministry and our sector association to determine how best to extend the new BC Vaccine Card program for people who work on campus.

As current COVID-19 cases are largely among the unvaccinated, UVic continues to encourage students, staff and faculty to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19. We thank the vaccinated members of the campus community for protecting not only your own health and well-being, but others as well.

Vaccination clinics

We are working with local public health officials to make access to COVID-19 vaccines as easy as possible. Through a partnership between Student Wellness and Island Health, students, faculty and staff will be able to access vaccines on campus throughout September. We will publish more information about on-campus vaccination clinics in the coming days. 

Vaccine survey

A survey of all students, faculty and staff will be conducted to help us better understand the actual vaccination rate of our community. The anonymous survey will be launched later this week.

As we have throughout the pandemic, UVic will continue to follow the advice of our local and provincial health experts. Thank you for your understanding and your ongoing adaptability to health and safety requirements.

Resources

More details will be available once the BC Return-to-Campus Guidelines have been updated by government.