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Health & safety

Our safety programming is informed by guidance and direction from the provincial health officer, COVID-19 Return to campus guidelines for B.C.’s Post-Secondary Sector and public health guidance from the BC CDC.

If you're sick

Please do a self-assessment before coming to campus.

If you're sick:

  • stay home and let your instructor or supervisor know about your absence
  • call 811 for medical advice
  • do not visit UVic's rapid-testing centre if you have any symptoms of COVID-19.

Students: Learn what to do if you have to miss class.

COVID-19 symptoms

The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to illnesses like the flu and common cold. 

Key symptoms of COVID-19 may include: fever or chills, cough, loss of sense of smell or taste and difficulty breathing. 

Other symptoms may include: sore throat, loss of appetite, extreme fatigue or tiredness, headache, body aches, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea.

Additional information for:

Get a COVID-19 test

Testing for people with symptoms

If you have symptoms of a communicable disease, you must be tested for COVID-19 by specially trained staff. Symptomatic testing is only offered by Island Health.

Contact Island Health to book an appointment. They will provide instructions on how to safely get to your nearest testing centre.

  • If you test positive for COVID-19, self-isolate and follow guidance provided by public health. Do not attend classes or other activities on campus until your self-isolation period ends.
  • If your test is negative, you should not return to work or school until you are feeling better.

Rapid-testing at UVic

If you're a UVic student or employee and have not yet been vaccinated against COVID-19 or choose not to disclose your vaccination status, you must participate in weekly rapid testing.

These tests are only for those who do not have symptoms of COVID-19.

Masks

Masks are required for everyone in indoor public/common areas. This includes:

  • elevators, lobbies, hallways, stairwells, bathrooms
  • libraries, retail outlets, theatres, museums and galleries 
  • sport and fitness centres when not engaged in physical activity
  • coffee shops, restaurants, pubs and bars when not seated
  • indoor events
  • classrooms, lecture theatres, teaching laboratories and other indoor instructional settings (e.g. art studios, shops, music and theatre facilities, etc.)
    • Note: an instructor, student or visitor can choose to remove their mask while lecturing, performing or presenting if they can maintain two metres (2m) physical distance from others
  • vehicles when transporting students, if more than one student is present in the vehicle
  • meeting rooms, shared office areas, staff kitchens and break rooms, and research labs and facilities
    • Note: employees can choose to remove their mask if they are able to maintain 2m physical distance from others when seated or at a workstation.

Medical exemptions

You can apply for an exemption to the mask mandate if you have underlying medical conditions that inhibit your ability to wear masks.

When you self-declare your vaccination status, there is an option to indicate that you require a medical exemption. If you select this option we will contact you with next steps.

Vaccinations

The COVID-19 vaccine is available to everyone 12+ who lives or works in BC. COVID-19 vaccines are safe and protect against infection.

Self-declaration

Students, staff and faculty coming to campus must declare their COVID-19 vaccination status.

Your declaration is confidential and will be securely stored.

If you declare that you have been fully vaccinated you must, if and when required by the university, provide proof of your vaccination status. We'll be performing audits of this documentation.

Managing COVID-19 cases on campus

UVic works closely with public health to manage COVID-19 cases on campus.

As COVID-19 continues to circulate in the broader community, there will be cases on our campus. Our plans and protocols are designed with this in mind.

Our community has a high rate of vaccination. Island Health does not regard UVic as a high-risk setting.

A confirmed case of COVID-19 on campus does not necessarily mean that:

  • the case was contracted while at UVic; OR
  • others at UVic have been exposed or are at risk.

Those who test positive for COVID-19 are required to stay home and follow guidance from public health. UVic provides self-isolation space for students living in on-campus housing.

Notifications and contact tracing

Island Health oversees the process of case management and notification. In low-risk settings like UVic, broad public notification is not normally required.

Contact tracing is used by Island Health to notify those who may be at risk of exposure.

Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 will be contacted by Island Health. Case and contact management will be prioritized by Island Health in settings with a higher risk of outbreaks and/or vulnerable individuals.

However, Island Health will prioritize high-risk individuals and settings with vulnerable individuals or that are at a higher risk of outbreaks for intensive case and contact management.

Island Health will notify instructors, classmates, students in campus housing and those involved with Vikes Athletics if they've determined there is a significant risk of COVID-19 exposure.

In these cases, UVic may assist with contact tracing or notifications.

Island Health will determine, on a case-by-case basis, if self-isolation/self-monitoring is required by following the general guidelines from the BCCDC.

Privacy

Your privacy will be protected under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA).

The university will only provide identifying information to the health authority as requested, and in accordance with current Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act  (FIPPA) guidelines. It may be necessary to notify the university community of a COVID-19 case on campus if there are broader safety considerations, but all effort will be made to protect the identifying details of the ill person. Information provided to the University of Victoria may be used and disclosed to only those University of Victoria employees as needed for the same purposes.

Cleaning & additional safety measures

We've implementing enhanced daily cleaning and disinfecting in higher occupancy spaces including indoor common areas and classrooms.

Hand sanitizer

We are continuing to supply hand sanitizer stations at all main entrances to buildings, and have added more stations in buildings with higher occupancy levels, to promote hand hygiene.

Building air quality & ventilation

We’re taking steps to further improve indoor air quality as part of our COVID-19 health and safety planning.

Travel safety

All university-related international travel remains restricted. Approval is required for all international trips.

Where travel is allowed, you're expected to understand the risks and restrictions in place at your destination.

Find COVID-19 travel safety information for students, faculty and staff.

Wellness resources

For students

  • Book an appointment with the Student Wellness team (counsellors, physicians, spiritual care providers and more)
  • SupportConnect is a free and confidential 24/7 mental health service for UVic students.
  • Graduate students who have a valid BC MSP number are eligible to use telehealth services to talk to a licensed physician online or over the phone.
  • There are many community resources for health and wellness available to you throughout the Greater Victoria area.

For faculty & staff

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