COVID-19 Return to campus


Last updated: September 15, 2021

Keeping you safe as we return to campus

Your health and safety is UBC’s number one priority. Whether you are a student, faculty, or staff, rest assured that UBC has precautions in place to protect your health as we return to campus and in-person activities. UBC will continue to follow guidance and direction from the Provincial Health Officer and adopt PHO orders and any regional requirements as part of our efforts to prevent infections.

This page contains information about the measures UBC is taking to help you feel comfortable in all our UBC campus spaces. Please note that individual Faculties are also providing updates.


Infection Prevention

Communicable Disease Prevention Plan

  • Currently, UBC’s seven COVID-19 Safety Plans align with BC’s Restart Plan Step 3.
  • Upon the start of Step 4, the university will transition from detailed safety plans to a university-wide communicable disease prevention program that will outline measures we can all take to help prevent the transmission of communicable diseases that could impact the workplace.

Campus Rules

  • Based on the guidance and direction from the Provincial Health Officer, PHO orders and any regional requirements, UBC has COVID-19 Campus Rules. These rules apply to all activities that take place and persons on UBC campuses.

Go Forward COVID-19 Safety Planning Training

  • All faculty, staff and student-staff are required to take the UBC Go Forward COVID-19 Safety Planning Training prior to coming to campus.
  • This training provides important information on how to ensure your health and safety upon your return to campus.

Face Coverings

  • Currently, all persons on UBC premises must wear an appropriate face covering when in indoor public spaces of buildings. For a complete list of exceptions and details on mask requirements, refer to the UBC COVID-19 Campus Rules.
  • UBC will continue to follow guidance and direction from the Provincial Health Office and adopt PHO orders and any regional requirements into campus rules.
  • For current guidelines on UBC’s use of face coverings, please visit COVID-19 Return to Campus FAQ

Sanitizing Stations

    • Hand sanitizer stations have been installed and are available in the main entrance of UBC buildings managed by Building Operations
  • For more information on UBC’s Safety Planning Framework visit the SRS website.

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Prescreening and Testing

Health Screening

  • All students, faculty, staff, and others must continue to assess themselves daily for COVID-19 symptoms prior to engaging in in-person UBC activities on UBC premises.
  • Signage has been posted at building entrances

A full list of COVID-19 symptoms can be found on the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) website.


  • UBC will continue to encourage all students, faculty and staff participate in the provincial COVID-19 vaccination program.
  • UBC will provide employees up to three hours of time off, without loss of pay, to get each dose of their COVID-19 vaccine.
  • All UBC students, faculty and staff must complete an online, confidential declaration of their vaccination status.
  • UBC will require enrollment in the rapid testing program for all student, faculty and staff who do not fulfill vaccination exemptions.
  • In keeping with provincial requirements, proof of vaccination will be required for any person participating in non-academic activities on campus, as outlined in the Events and Gatherings Orders, Section D on the BC Government website.

On-campus Rapid Screening

    • The university will provide rapid testing on campus for students, faculty, and staff who identified themselves in the vaccine declaration as either not being fully vaccinated, partially vaccinated or do not disclose their vaccination status
    • Those who test positive or who are symptomatic are referred to their respective health authority.

Contact Tracing

    • UBC continues to work with public health authorities in distributing notifications where required
    • Notification of COVID-19 cases and potential exposures within our community will continue to be managed by public health authorities.
    • Currently, all indications from Public Health authorities is that COVID-19 contact tracing will continue. As we move beyond the pandemic, COVID-19 will remain on the list of reportable communicable diseases – the list of diseases for which contact tracing is regularly used as a Public Health tool to protect the public against communicable disease transmission.
    • For more information on Contact Tracing, visit ‘COVID-19 Contact Tracing‘.

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Facilities Maintenance

Building Ventilation and Air Filtration

  • UBC established a COVID-19 Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) working group to review and consider implementation of technical recommendations (ASHRAE) to enhance building ventilation systems and reduce the risk of airborne infectious aerosol exposure in UBC owned and operated buildings
  • HVAC enhancements implemented include:
    • Increased ventilation and outdoor air
    • Improved air filtration
    • Enhanced maintenance and upgrades
    • Air monitoring
  • Every air filter within university buildings have been audited and replaced as necessary
  • For more information on Cleaning, visit UBC Facilities and UBCO Facilities Management website.


Wastewater Monitoring

  • UBC Vancouver has engaged with the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) and our Civil Engineering department, to run a pilot of a COVID-19 wastewater surveillance at designated residences on campus.
  • In the event COVID-19 proteins are detected in the wastewater samples, a notification will be sent to the residence area in question with a recommendation to visit the on-campus Rapid Antigen Screening Clinic as a mean to reduce the risk of community spread.

For more information on Facilities Maintenance and Safety Measures, visit UBC Facilities and UBCO Facilities Management website.

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Ways that you can protect yourself and others as we return to campus

As UBC continues to follow guidance and direction from the respective authorities, here are some ways that you can protect yourself and others as we return to campus:

  • Get vaccinated, if you are eligible.
  • Wear a face covering as defined by the Campus Rules.
  • Wash or sanitize your hands often.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Monitor your health daily
  • Stay home if you feel unwell and follow up with medical care.
  • Take care of your mental well-being by checking in with loved ones and practicing self-care.
  • Follow the COVID-19 Campus Rules

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For UBC’s latest response to COVID-19, please visit

For inquiries regarding COVID-19, campus return planning, and health and safety, please contact