On May 5, 2023 the World Health Organization declared that COVID-19 no longer qualifies as a global emergency. This announcement came alongside UBC’s own transition to a communicable disease prevention framework. On September 28, 2023,  the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) and British Columbia Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) provided guidance for post-secondary institutions that details the communicable disease prevention measures recommended for all campuses.

Learn more about UBC’s communicable disease framework and BCCDC’s guidance for Post-Secondary Institutions

For UBC Okanagan, please visit UBCO Communicable disease control.

UBC COVID-19 Campus Rules

The UBC COVID-19 Campus Rules have now been retired and there are no general COVID-19 requirements members of the UBC community must follow. Note that UBC student housing may have its own residence-specific requirements. Please see below for more details on Orders of the Provincial Health Officer that are still in effect and may impact some students, faculty, and staff in certain disciplines. To support a successful communicable disease prevention, it is still important that we monitor for symptoms of respiratory illness and stay home when we are sick.

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Medical masks

There is no general requirement to wear a face covering (mask) on UBC Premises. On Thursday, September 28, the Government of B.C. announced updated public health measures in health-care facilities to protect patients, residents in long-term care facilities, health-care workers and people during respiratory illness season.

To increase protections in health-care facilities in B.C., medical mask wearing will be required by all health-care workers, volunteers, contractors and visitors in patient care areas (including UBC faculty, staff and learners who operate in the mentioned areas) starting October 3. Health care facilities include:

  • All health authority hospitals and clinical settings
  • Long-term care facilities
  • Seniors assisted living settings
  • Private hospitals
  • Provincial mental health facilities

A patient care area is any area within a health care facility (including a contracted facility), hallway or lobby, which is accessible to patients, residents in long-term care facilities or clients who are there to access care or services. This includes any other location where care is provided (such as at home and community care locations), but does not include administrative areas or private staff offices that are not generally accessed by patients, residents or clients. Long-term care visitors will be required to wear a medical mask when they are in common areas of the home and when participating in indoor events, gatherings, activities in communal areas of the care home or residence.

Ambassadors will be located at the entrances to health-care facilities to support screening for symptoms of respiratory illnesses, hand out medical masks, and ensure people clean their hands before entering.

For more information, please visit the BC Government website.

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Proof of vaccination

Some UBC Students, Faculty & Staff are required by Order(s) of the Provincial Health Officer to declare their vaccination status if their work or study requires them to access Care locations or community care settings.

Orders of the Provincial Health Officer

Orders are posted on the BC Government webpage: Current Health Issues – COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus)

There are currently Order(s) in effect that requires UBC to ensure that students, faculty, and staff who are in a “care location” (such as hospitals and residential care facilities) for teaching, research, or associated administrative purposes to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Most also apply to contractors, volunteers or technical specialists who are in such locations.

Unvaccinated students, faculty and staff must not attend care locations unless they have received or are in the process of applying for an exemption from the Provincial Health Officer.

Your Program Lead will outline the means taken to achieve compliance to these Order(s). Program Leads can contact if they require assistance tracking compliance to the Order.

Other helpful links: BCCDC, ImmunizeBC, Public Health Guidance for Post-Secondary Institutions and guidance specific to COVID-19.

What is considered “Vaccinated”?

“Vaccinated” means to have received, at least 7 days previously, one dose of Janssen vaccine, or two doses of a vaccine or a combination of vaccines that are approved for use in Canada by the department of the federal government responsible for regulating drugs, or approved by the World Health Organization, with respect to vaccines approved by the World Health Organization but not approved for use in Canada.

Or, after October 5, 2023, (when the updated Order came into effect) in the case of a person who has not been vaccinated as described above, “vaccinated” means to have received the recommended dose or doses of the XBB.1.5-containing formulation of COVID-19 vaccine approved for use by Health Canada and available in the province.

See: BC Centre for Disease Control: Vaccines Available in B.C., Explanation of Changes: PHO Order, and World Health Organization

Acceptable forms of vaccination proof

Proof of vaccination defined in the Order must be issued by the Government, therefore the small paper cards given out at local immunization centres and pharmacies are not accepted as proof of vaccination as per the PHO. For instructions on how to access your digital Health Gateway Records or Federal Proof of Vaccination, please visit the Government BC website.

Please note that BC Vaccine cards are no longer issued by the Province. Proof of vaccination QR codes downloaded more than 6 months ago may not verify properly. Download a new copy of your proof of vaccination to ensure you have a valid QR code.

If your immunization history is not reflected in your Government records, visit the Immunization Record site to update your details before providing your proof of vaccination.

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COVID-19 wastewater monitoring at UBC

As of January 1, 2023, the program for Wastewater monitoring for COVID-19 has ended.

Wastewater monitoring for COVID-19 involves testing for the presence of fragments of the virus (called SARS-CoV-2 RNA gene fragments). These fragments are shed by both asymptomatic and symptomatic individuals into wastewater. Monitoring wastewater can be a useful tool to monitor community transmission of COVID-19.

For information on past sampling results or regarding this program, please contact

For information and sampling results for the Testing for COVID-19 virus in Wastewater for Metro Vancouver, please visit Metro Vancouver’s website.

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