Health guidance

Your questions answered

Below are a list of questions and answers to help you understand your role in helping prevent the spread of illness on our campuses and learning sites.


  • What precautions can I take to stay healthy and prevent the spread of infections?

    What precautions can I take to stay healthy and prevent the spread of infections?

    The advice from health agencies is:

    • Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds using soap and water.
    • If a sink is not available, 60-90% alcohol-based hand rubs (hand sanitizer) can be used to clean hands if they are not visibly soiled. If they are visibly soiled, you can use an alcohol-based disposable hand wipe to remove the dirt and then use an alcohol-based hand rub.
    • Do not touch your eyes/nose/mouth with unwashed hands.
    • When you sneeze or cough, cover your mouth and nose with a disposable tissue or the crease of your elbow, and then wash your hands.
    • Stay home when you are ill to avoid spreading the illness to others.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick with an infection.
    • If you are ill, have symptoms of flu like a fever or cough, you should stay home.
  • What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

    What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

    Information on the prevention, transmission, symptoms, and treatment of COVID-19 can be found at the BC Centre for Disease Control website under Symptoms.

  • What is self-isolation? Do I need to self-isolate?

    What is self-isolation? Do I need to self-isolate?

    When it comes to self-monitoring and self-isolating, we recommend following advice of local health authorities. Visit the Self-Isolation section on the BC Centre for Disease Control website for the most up to date information on this subject.

  • Should I get tested for COVID-19?

    Should I get tested for COVID-19?

    The BC Ministry of Health has developed a self-assessment tool, to help determine whether further assessment or testing for COVID-19 is recommended.

  • What should I do if someone I know shows symptoms of COVID-19?

    What should I do if someone I know shows symptoms of COVID-19?

    We recommend that you visit the BC Centre for Disease Control website for the most up to date information about what to do if you’re sick. The site includes a link to the BC COVID-19 Self Assessment Tool that you can use to help determine if you need further assessment or testing.

  • What is UBC doing to minimize the risk of infection?

    What is UBC doing to minimize the risk of infection?

    UBC has senior-level committees working to develop plans and responses to the evolving situation. We regularly consult with the BC Centre for Disease Control and Vancouver Coastal Health on how to detect and mitigate any potential cases on our campuses. We have appropriate measures in place, in the event that we are presented with someone displaying COVID-19 symptoms.

    To lower the risk from our campus environment:

    • Routine cleaning is scheduled daily and follows industry cleaning standards laid out by the Association for Higher Education Facilities Officers (APPA), which are a blended approach designed to manage risk. Our cleaning standards comply with APPA’s best practices.
    • We have posted information to remind people of how to reduce the spread of infections and continue to monitor and refill our current hand sanitizer stations located in the main entrances.
    • We encourage campus users to visit https://srs.ubc.ca/covid-19/health-safety-covid-19/prevention/

    The university is also working hard to ensure that students, faculty and staff receive reliable and up-to-date information on preventive measures to reduce the risk of COVID-19.

  • What is UBC’s policy on non-medical masks?

    What is UBC’s policy on non-medical masks?

    Effective Wednesday, September 16, 2020, UBC students, faculty, staff and visitors are required to wear non-medical masks, when indoors on our campuses. 

    The requirement to wear non-medical masks indoors recognizes that transmission is reduced when face masks are worn in conjunction with physical distancing and other safety practices.  

    The requirement for the use of non-medical masks applies to shared indoor spaces within UBC buildings, such as hallways, stairways, building entryways, washrooms and study spaces, classrooms, common areas in residences and other high-traffic areas. Further details regarding this policy and its implementation will be posted online in the week commencing September 14.

    For the full announcement click here. For more information on the use of non-medical masks, you can also visit the Safety and Risk Services website.

    As part of UBC’s commitment to the health and safety of our community, and the responsibility we all share in preventing the potential for COVID-19, students, faculty, staff or visitors are required to follow UBC’s COVID-19 Campus Rules when on campus, such as assessing yourself daily for COVID-19 symptoms and following signage and floor markings when moving around premises. 

  • Are there exceptions to UBC’s mask policy?

    Are there exceptions to UBC’s mask policy?

    There are some exceptions to wearing masks inside buildings on UBC premises. For more information, please refer to the COVID-19 Campus Rules.

  • What is the notification process for confirmed cases of COVID-19?

    What is the notification process for confirmed cases of COVID-19?

    Notification of COVID-19 cases, and potential exposures within our community, is managed by public health authorities, not by UBC. If UBC is asked by public health authorities to notify our community members of a confirmed case, we will do so by distributing material prepared by those public health authorities. Only those identified through contact tracing as “needing to know” will have access to this information. You can learn more about the contact tracing process here.