UBC student creates campus COVID-19 exposure tracker as cases rise

Sep 15 2021, 10:19 am

A UBC student went out of their way to fill the gaps they believe exist on campus when it comes to COVID-19 tracking and data transparency.

UBC COVID Tracker is a database that lists exposures on campus, including the date, time, the class it happened in, and even approximately where in the class the exposure took place.

The website has no affiliation to UBC administration, the BCCDC, or the provincial health officer.

UBC is currently in its second week of returning to campus.

A post from Ubyssey, UBC’s student newspaper, suggests that students have been receiving emails from professors about potential COVID exposures in their classes.

As of Monday, September 13, nine exposures were reported in email notices from professors.

UBC COVID

UBC COVID Tracker

Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) told Ubyssey they could not confirm the reports due to patient confidentiality. The exposures are also not posted on the public exposure list on VCH.ca.

In a statement to Daily Hive, VCH suggested that when a COVID-19 exposure notice is received, they reach out directly to close contacts of the infected individual.

When all close contacts are not able to be reached, they then post the exposure notification on their website to inform the public, which provides some insight into why some of these UBC exposures were not posted.

A UBC spokesperson told Daily Hive that they could not confirm the accuracy of the information on the UBC COVID Tracker website.

“That is the role of the health authorities. UBC works with the health authorities to assist with contact tracing when requested,” the spokesperson said.

“UBC is the size of a city with 90,000 students, faculty and staff across three campuses. With a population that size, exposures and cases are not unexpected,” they added.

UBC is currently taking precautions to protect students, such as rapid COVID-19 testing for the unvaccinated, and they’ve also introduced a confidential vaccination self-declaration process.

Amir AliAmir Ali

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