Skip to main content

Health & safety

Our safety programming is informed by guidance and direction from the provincial health officer and the Post-Secondary Public Health Guidance from the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC).

If you're sick

Please do a daily health self-assessment before coming to campus.

If you're sick or have symptoms of COVID-19:

  • stay home and let your instructor or supervisor know about your absence
    • Students: learn what to do if you have to miss class
  • use the COVID-19 self-assessment tool to see if you should get tested
  • call 811 if you need medical advice
  • follow the BCCDC guidance for how to self-monitor and self-isolate

Even if you do not have COVID-19, you should stay home if you feel sick. This will help stop the spread of other illnesses, especially during cold and flu season.

COVID-19 symptoms

Symptoms of COVID-19 include: new or worsening fever or chills, cough, loss of sense of smell or taste, difficulty breathing, sore throat, runny nose, sneezing, loss of appetite, extreme fatigue or tiredness, headache, body aches, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea.

COVID-19 symptoms can range from mild to severe. Sometimes people with COVID-19 have mild illness, but their symptoms may suddenly worsen in a few days. 

Additional information for:

COVID-19 tests

Rapid antigen at-home test kits for COVID-19

Rapid antigen at-home test kits for COVID-19 are available to students, staff and faculty.

You can pick up a rapid test kit at two locations on campus using your ONECard. You do not need to make an appointment.

  • UVic Bookstore, open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Campus Security, open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Please do not attend these locations if you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19. You can send someone to pick up a kit on your behalf.

If you test positive:

  • follow public health guidance on how to self-isolate
  • do not attend classes or other activities on campus until your self-isolation period ends, your symptoms improve and you no longer have a fever

If you have not been tested or you test negative and have symptoms of COVID-19:

  • stay home until your symptoms improve
  • do not attend classes or other activities on campus until you feel well enough to return to regular activities

If you are a close contact (but don't have symptoms of COVID-19):

  • follow public health guidelines on how to self-monitor
  • you may continue with regular work or learning activities on campus, as long as you do not have any symptoms

Masks

As of March 11, 2022, masks are no longer required in most indoor public spaces across the province.

While on campus, we strongly encourage you to wear a mask in indoor spaces where you may be close to others, or if you feel more comfortable doing so.

Wearing a mask in public indoor settings is a personal choice.

Some areas on campus are required to continue following sector-specific guidelines mandating the use of masks indoors, including healthcare locations.

Mask types

The BCCDC maintains that all types of masks (including non-medical masks) help reduce transmission of COVID-19 when they fit comfortably over the mouth and nose with no gaps around the face.

Vaccinations

The COVID-19 vaccine is available to everyone 5+ who lives or works in BC. COVID-19 vaccines are safe and protect against infection.

COVID-19 vaccine clinics

UVic employees are entitled to up to three hours of paid leave to be vaccinated against COVID-19, if required.

Clinics on campus

Current students can book an appointment to get the vaccine at the Student Wellness Centre.

Community vaccination clinics

Find a clinic in your community to receive your first or second COVID-19 vaccination.

Proof of vaccination - care locations

  • Students, faculty members, researchers and post-secondary institution staff members are required to show proof of vaccination to access care locations for training or research purposes.
  • Unvaccinated students, faculty members, researchers and post-secondary institution staff members are not permitted to access care locations for training or research purposes.

Self-declaration

Students, staff and faculty coming to campus are no longer required to declare their COVID-19 vaccination status.

Managing COVID-19 cases on campus

As COVID-19 becomes common in our communities, there will be cases on campus. Due to our high rate of vaccination, Island Health does not consider UVic a high-risk setting.

If you test positive for COVID-19, stay home and follow public health guidance.

Public health has updated its pandemic response, shifting to a self-management and outbreak response approach. This is because case management and contact tracing are better suited for diseases with longer incubation periods and limited community spread, such as measles or earlier COVID-19 variants.

Close contacts

The BCCDC defines a close contact as someone who has been near a person with COVID-19 for at least 15 minutes when health and safety measures were not in place or were insufficient.

UVic’s in-person classroom and learning settings are not considered close-contact environments due to the layers of protection in place. Visit the UVic Communicable Disease Safety Plan for more information on our safety measures.

Contact tracing and notifications

If you’ve tested positive for COVID-19, you should notify close contacts using the criteria from the BCCDC, unless otherwise informed by public health.

Notifying people in the unit, class, groups or the entire UVic community is not necessary. Public health will lead any required notifications.

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. Public health has indicated that it is very unlikely at this stage in the pandemic that it would be necessary to notify the university community of a COVID-19 case on campus. However, if this becomes necessary 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

As per BCCDC guidelines, there are no COVID-19 specific cleaning requirements. We clean and disinfect educational spaces following our usual protocols. 

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

Building ventilation continues to meet WorkSafeBC requirements and the university has introduced additional ventilation measures as part of our COVID-19 health and safety plans.

Travel safety

With approval, university-related travel is now allowed to countries and regions listed by Global Affairs Canada (Travel Health Notices) at “Level 1: practise usual precautions” and “Level 2: practise special precautions.

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

This website stores cookies on your computer. These cookies are used to collect information about how you interact with our website and allow us to remember you. We use this information in order to improve and customize your browsing experience and for analytics and metrics about our visitors both on this website and other media. To find out more about the cookies we use, see our Privacy Policy.