Coronavirus update: September 4, 2020 - 3:30 p.m.

September 4, 2020

It is wonderful to see more people on campus this week as final preparations for the new academic term are wrapping up and students are beginning to return to campus. Beginning next week, there will be even more activity and a greater number of people on our campuses. Throughout the pandemic, the health and safety of everyone in our community have been at the heart of our decision making. Today, I’m sharing three updates with you focused on new steps we’re taking to ensure our campuses are safe.?

In today’s update:

Masks

Beginning on Tuesday, Sept. 8, we are recommending that those in our community who can wear a mask should wear one in public spaces.

We recommend wearing face-coverings in hallways, stairways, atriums and other high-traffic areas where two-metre physical distancing might not be achievable for extended periods of time. It is important to maintain a safe distance even when wearing a mask. Remember, a mask is not a substitute for physical distancing. ?

Some people in our community may not be able to wear a mask for medical or other reasons. Please be kind to each other and respect the choices that individuals make to protect themselves and those around them.

Employee Return to Campus?

As part of our return-to-campus planning, we will soon provide online training modules for all employees who are working on campus. The training modules deal with basic COVID-19 information, hygiene tips, and several points to consider regarding working around others safely and responsibly. The modules provide an excellent introduction to the work environment during the pandemic, but it is also imperative for each unit to have safety conversations focused on their area of work. Individual units are completing Exposure Control Plans and working collaboratively with our Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee (a huge thank you to those committee members who are doing such fantastic work). With health and well-being at the top of everybody’s minds, we can continue a safe, gradual return to campus for employees and students.

If you have any questions about supports and resources, medical leaves or workplace accommodations, please contact UNBC Health & Wellbeing (wellbeing@unbc.ca).

Student Safety Orientation?

It has been wonderful to see so many students accessing our campuses over the past few days. To make the transition easier and to help students familiarize themselves with the new safety protocols we put in place, our Student Affairs team created an online safety orientation course.?

We are asking all new and returning students to access the course through their Blackboard account and select the UNBC COVID-19 Safety Orientation in the courses section.?

Also, our Student Life Department created an exciting online package of events as part of Tuesday’s Virtual Welcome 2020 event. I am looking forward to meeting our new students, virtually, next week. New students can RSVP online at the Orientation website.

Please continue to visit our Coronavirus (COVID-19) website for the latest information. If you have questions, please send them to unbccommand@unbc.ca ?If you feel any information is missing from this site, please let us know and we’ll add it where appropriate.

Stay safe, and thank you!

Geoff Payne,
Interim President and Vice-Chancellor

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