UBC and SFU are cancelling all face-to-face instruction in response to coronavirus

Mar 14 2020, 12:14 am

Two BC post-secondary institutions announced today they are cancelling all face-to-face class time and moving to online instruction until the end of the term, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement, University of British Columbia (UBC) President and Vice-Chancellor Santa Ono announced the transition to online classes “effective Monday March 16, 2020 for the remainder of the term.”

For classes that cannot be accommodated online, he said, “we will be issuing further information through our Faculties.”

The move, he said, will apply to UBC Vancouver, UBC Okanagan, and UBC Robson Square.

Information regarding exams will be shared next week.

UBC’s campuses will remain open and all university operations will continue as the transition takes place.

Additional measures taken at UBC this week include:

  • Cancelling all on-campus and off-campus events with more than 250 people (including sporting events), whether indoors or outdoors, that are organized by students, faculty and staff;
  • Cancelling events at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts “for the time being;”
  • Cancelling all inbound and outbound study abroad programs for students. The Vancouver Summer Program for both June and July have been cancelled, as well.

“To be clear, we are not aware of any presumptive or confirmed cases of COVID-19 among our students, faculty or staff,” said Ono. “However, we understand the need to be prepared as a university and act accordingly – aligned with guidance from the Provincial Health Officer and working with the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training.”

Simon Fraser University cancelling face-to-face instruction as well

Simon Fraser University (SFU) has announced it is cancelling all face-to-face instruction for the remainder of the term in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement, SFU President Andrew Petter said the school will be moving away from in-person instruction beginning next week and lasting for the remainder of the term.

“Although the risk in BC remains low, we are taking appropriate steps to ensure continuity for students in a manner consistent with the advice of the Provincial Health Officer to maximize social distancing,” said Petter. “Students will hear from their instructor on next steps.”

He noted that it “may take time to adjust course delivery options.”

“If you are at higher risk and are already minimizing social contact, communicate with your instructor to let them know,” he added.

Petter’s announcement comes after BC Health officials announced on Friday that 11 new coronavirus cases have been detected in the province.

With coronavirus on the rise, the BC Ministry of Health is reminding individuals who attend events and large gatherings to monitor their health for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. And if you’re not feeling well, they recommend staying home at this time. Also, due to unexpected cancellations, please check the event you plan to attend is still taking place. Keep up with COVID-19 news here.

Eric ZimmerEric Zimmer

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