In-person Classes Starting January 10; Updated Health and Safety Protocols

January 7, 2022 - 2:30pm

Sent on behalf of VIU’s Senior Management Team

Happy New Year VIU Community,

We look forward to welcoming students, faculty, and staff back to campus on Monday, January 10, when in-person classes resume at VIU, supported by reinforced safety measures to keep everyone safe.

The health and safety of our community

When making any decisions, VIU’s Senior Management Team considers the specific realities of the VIU community, particularly around our educational delivery model, which includes small class sizes. Since the start of the pandemic, our health and safety protocols have effectively limited the spread of COVID-19.

Over the past week the VIU Health and Safety team has been reviewing and reinforcing safety protocols on campus to align with Public Health Office (PHO) and WorkSafeBC requirements. We want to reassure our students, faculty, and staff that our campus is safe, and protocols are in place to help limit transmission.

For all of these reasons we remain committed to returning to in-person classes on Monday, January 10.

With the highly transmissible nature of the Omicron variant, we expect to experience a higher rate of absenteeism. Plans are in place to ensure academic continuity for our programs. While VIU will not move to online classes at this point (in accordance with PHO direction), temporary use of online strategies for learning may be necessary to maintain academic continuity for students in the event that faculty or students are unable to attend in person. Employees should work with their managers or Chairs, and students with their instructors for options and strategies to manage absenteeism.

The current situation may change rapidly and any changes or adjustments to safety protocols or program delivery will be communicated in a timely manner. As always, we will continue to carefully monitor this situation, taking direction from public health officials and the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training, following the Return to Campus Guidelines, and adjusting as needed.

We recognize these continue to be challenging times. Collectively, we all have a responsibility to self manage in case of infection, follow proper isolation protocols, and report absenteeism. We would like to thank everyone for continuing to do their part to support and respect each other as we navigate through this next stage. If you are struggling or see someone else who is in need of support, please remember there are support services available for both students and employees.

Below you will find more information on current health and safety protocols as well as details on how the current public health orders are impacting VIU activities. For more information, please bookmark our COVID-19 updates page and pay close attention to your email, our social media channels, and VIU’s Safety App.

Actions required: Health and safety protocols

  • Get your vaccine: Everyone eligible is strongly encouraged to get fully immunized against COVID-19. Everyone 18 years and older will be invited to get a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine about six months after their second dose of the vaccine. For more information on the booster program please visit the provincial’s government’s “Get your booster dose” webpage.
  • Wear your mask: Current mask guidelines are still in place which include students wearing masks in classrooms and everyone should wear a mask in indoor public spaces except when eating or drinking.
  • Do a daily health check through the BC CDC Thrive app.
  • Stay home when you are sick and contact your manager or instructor for support.
  • Wash and/or sanitize your hands. 

Facilities that are open/closed:

  • Closed:
    • Gym; weight room closed until January 18
    • Sports tournaments are cancelled until January 18
  • Open:
    • Following the public health orders the gymnasium floor will be open with health and safety protocols in place.
    • The cafeteria on the Nanaimo campus
    • The library on the Nanaimo campus 

Event procedures:

  • If you are holding an in-person event on campus, please check the event planning guide or contact VIU’s Health and Safety Team for direction and to ensure all the health and safety protocols in place: safety@viu.ca.

Tags: Announcements