Skip to main content

Health & safety

Current step: 3

As of July 2, UVic has moved into Step 3 of our restart plan.

  • Masks recommended in indoor common areas
  • Physical distancing reduced
  • If you're sick, stay home
  • Enhanced cleaning & hygiene measures
  • Existing and transitional safety plans in place

Our safety programming is informed by guidance and direction from the provincial health officer, COVID-19 Go-Forward Guidelines for B.C.’s Post-Secondary Sector and WorkSafeBC.

Learn what you can expect when you return to campus this fall.

Daily health assessment

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

As of July 1, employees are no longer required to confirm their daily health check.

If you feel ill or have symptoms of a communicable disease (e.g. fever and/or chills, recent onset of coughing, or diarrhea):

  • please stay home
  • let your supervisor or instructor know about your absence
  • consult the BC COVID-19 self-assessment tool to see if you should get tested, and contact 811 for medical advice

You should also stay home if:

  • you've been instructed to self-isolate by a public health authority
  • you're required to self-isolate based on current travel restrictions

Download the COVID-19 BC Support App to use the self-assessment tool. Available on the App Store and GooglePlay.


Following direction from the provincial health officer (PHO), as of July 1 masks are recommended in indoor public/common areas for anyone 12+ who is not yet fully vaccinated. This includes: lobbies, hallways, stairwells, washrooms, elevators, kitchens and break rooms.

We also recommend you wear a mask while in classrooms, lecture halls, laboratories, computer labs, art studios, theatre and music facilities (when not playing an instrument), study spaces and research facilities.

You are considered fully vaccinated 14 days after receiving your second dose.

As per public health policy in BC, UVic will not be asking for proof of vaccination. It is a personal choice to continue to wear a mask after you're fully vaccinated.  We're updating our mask signage to reflect this new guidance.

COVID-19 vaccinations

The COVID-19 vaccine is available to everyone 12+ who lives or works in BC. You must register to receive an invite to book a vaccine appointment.

COVID-19 vaccines are safe and protect against infection from the severe disease that can occur in people of all ages. The vaccines cause your body to produce antibodies that will help to protect you and those who are not vaccinated or are susceptible to infection from getting sick if exposed to the virus. 

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

Please note: the COVID-19 vaccine is not mandatory in order to study, work, visit or live on campus. No vaccines in Canada are mandatory. Public health authorities encourage all British Columbians to learn about the benefits and safety of the vaccine and consider vaccination to protect themselves and others.

Building air quality & ventilation

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

Travel safety

Domestic travel

The provincial travel restrictions have been lifted and recreational travel is now permitted within BC.

Essential travel between provinces continues to be allowed. If you must travel for essential reasons—including travel for work, research and field schools—follow all local health and safety protocols, wash your hands often and practice physical distancing.

Travel for work and for educational purposes is considered essential. This includes travel for students who are returning to their homes at the end of term, arriving on campus for the summer term, or participating in practical learning activities such as fieldwork, practicums and clinical placements.

International travel

The Government of Canada and BC’s provincial health officer have advised against all non-essential travel outside of Canada, including the USA.

UVic has temporarily suspended centrally funded (e.g. department/school or faculty budgeted) international travel.

Please check the Government of Canada Travel Advice website for the latest travel information.

COVID-19 symptoms

If you have any symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or are feeling sick, avoid contact with others and self-isolate at home, even if your symptoms are mild.

The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to other respiratory illnesses including the flu and common cold.  According to BCCDC, key symptoms of COVID-19 include: fevers 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. 

If you are concerned that you may have COVID-19, use the BC COVID-19 self-assessment tool to help guide you on what to do.  If you have health questions, you can call your doctor or call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1 toll-free in B.C., or for the deaf and hard of hearing, call 7-1-1 or contact through Video Relay Services. The province of BC has also set up a dedicated COVID-19 hotline for non-medical questions at 1-888-COVID19.

If you are a student at UVic you can also call the Student Wellness Centre at 250-721-8563. The Student Wellness Centre may be able to provide currently registered students with testing for COVID-19. Please call first to receive instructions and an appointment time; do not arrive at the Student Wellness Centre unannounced if you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19.

What to do if you are ill

If you are ill with symptoms consistent with COVID-19, please stay home and self-isolate in accordance with guidance from the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC).

Do a self-assessment and follow the instructions provided in that self-assessment or call HealthLinkBC at 811. If it becomes harder to breathe, you can't drink anything or feel much worse, seek urgent medical care at an urgent care clinic or emergency department.

You must remain off campus until you are medically cleared to end your self-isolation or when you meet the criteria set-out by the BCCDC.

Additional information for:

If you become ill while on campus

If you become ill with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 while on campus (e.g. in a classroom, lab, or workplace), please do the following immediately:

  • Put on a mask or face covering and isolate yourself from others (preferably outdoors) while waiting for transportation and while leaving campus.
  • Wash or sanitize your hands and avoid contact with others. Avoid touching doors, furniture, and other items while waiting or leaving campus.
  • Do not use public transit.

If there is a COVID-19 case on campus

The Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training recently released a sector-wide approach to COVID-19 case management, contact tracing and communication. For complete details, see page 7 of the COVID-19 Go-Forward Guidelines for B.C.’s Post-Secondary Sector.

If there is a confirmed COVID-19 case on campus, Island Health will manage the notification process and directly notify those people who may have been exposed to COVID-19 as a close contact of the ill person.

UVic will work closely with Island Health when asked to notify the university community of any confirmed cases and when broad public notification is required. Please keep your contact information in Online tools up-to-date.

Contact tracing

Contact tracing is the process used by the health authority to identify any close contacts of the ill person. Island Health leads this process.

Island Health will notify the ill person directly if their test for COVID-19 is positive. Notification of the patient and contacts is a priority and occurs as soon as possible after a positive test result becomes known. Contact tracing will identify any close contacts; these people will be notified directly by Island Health.  

The university will provide information to Island Health when asked as part of this process and when Island Health is not able to gather all information necessary during the contact tracing activity. Island Health follows strict guidelines to protect the privacy of the ill person during the contact tracing process.

The university will not conduct additional COVID-19 testing as the result of a positive case in a member of the university community. Any decision to conduct additional COVID-19 testing on campus rests with the health authority.



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 on a need to know basis to only those University of Victoria employees as needed for the same purposes.

Wellness resources

For students


UVic Counselling is offering appointments by phone or video. Please call us at 250-721-8563 to make a same-day or pre-booked appointment.



UVic Health is offering appointments primarily by phone or video. In-person appointments are available when required. Same-day and pre-booked appointments can be made by phone at 250-721-8563.


UVic Multifaith is offering online events and some in-person activities. COVID protocols and small group sizes are in effect for in-person events.

You can reach out to a chaplain directly. Please call 250-721-8338 or email to book an appointment with a chaplain.


SupportConnect is a free and confidential 24/7 mental health service for UVic students. Connect with counsellors, consultants and life coaches by phone or online—anytime, from anywhere.

  • Toll-free (calls from North America): 1-844-773-1427
  • International collect calls: 1-250-999-7621

Telehealth (Graduate 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. Your appointment with a physician will be covered by MSP. 

Additional resources:

  • online text and chat, 6 p.m.-midnight
  • KUU-US Crisis Line Society operates a 24-hour provincial Aboriginal crisis line for adults/elders (250-723-4050), children/youth (250-723-2040), toll-free line (1-800-588-8717).
  • Here2Talk is a confidential, free, single-session BC government service that offers appointments for students by app, phone or online chat, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Students can speak to a trained counsellor by phone, toll-free at 1-877-857-3397 or direct at 604-642-5212. Students calling from outside Canada can dial 1-604-642-5212.

For faculty & staff

Planning & response

The impact rating scale provides a snapshot of UVic's response through various stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. It outlines the impacts of each rating level on our operations and services.

The rating scale is a high-level summary of our overall response. It also suggests indicators that may result in a shift from one rating level to another.

Need help?

We know you have questions about what to expect this fall. Send us an email and we'll help you find the answers you need.

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.