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COVID Guidelines Update

VIU Residence: COVID Guidelines

Update - May 5, 2021

Hello everyone!

Welcome to the summer semester here at VIU Residence, please read the updated COVID rules and guidelines it is important that you are all aware of the current rules and regulations here on campus, in residence and in BC.

Travel restrictions for everyone in BC are in place until May 25, 2021 to stop the spread of COVID-19 and variants of concern. Fines can be given to people who leave their region for non-essential travel. Stay local and stay in your community. British Columbians can gather outside in groups of up to 10 people while maintaining social distance, indoor gatherings in residence remains limited to groups of 3. Everyone is being asked to stick to the same group of people, rather than meet with several different groups. Continue to use COVID-19 layers of protection and maintain physical distancing. Patios and outdoor areas at restaurants, pubs and bars are not included as places to gather with 10 people at one table.

Dr. Bonnie Henry previously extended the province-wide Public Health Orders, restricting a range of events and social gatherings, indefinitely for the foreseeable future. She said continuing with current restrictions will buy time to flatten the curve, continue vaccinating the public and learn more about variants of concern. She said keeping case counts low would also ensure the health-care system has room to respond if variants take hold.

As per the updated guidelines from the BC Government please see the updated VIU Residence COVID Guidelines, these have been extended indefinitely or until we hear otherwise from the BC Government. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation in keeping everyone and our community safe at this time.

We all have a requirement to keep our community safe, if you are not feeling well we ask that you please report if you are isolating and not feeling well to the VIU Residence Front Desk or on the VIU Residence StarRez Portal.

Travel Restrictions

Travel restrictions are in place until May 25, 2021 to stop the spread of COVID-19 and variants of concern. 

This includes travel for:

  • Vacations, weekend getaways and tourism activities
  • Visiting family or friends for social reasons
  • Recreation activities

Fines can be given to people who leave their region for non-essential travel. Stay local and stay in your community.

Avoid non-essential travel

The Public Health Orders also ask everyone to avoid non-essential travel. For now, avoid travel to other regions inside or outside of the province unless it is essential. 

At this time, all non-essential travel should be avoided. This includes travel into and out of B.C. and between regions of the province. For example:

  • Do not travel for a vacation
  • Do not travel to visit friends or family outside of your household or core bubble

If you must travel for essential reasons, wash your hands often and practice physical distancing. Respect the communities you're travelling to by staying within your household bubble and sticking to the outdoors as much as possible.

These orders are in addition to the restrictions already in place for international travel, including the new requirement that all air passengers five years of age or older will be required to test negative for COVID-19 before travelling from another country to Canada and must Isolate in a designated facility and test negative before being allowed to finish a 14 day self Isolation period.

Masks continue to be required in all public places

The Public Health Orders require that masks be worn in the following indoor public settings and shared work areas on campus:

  • Kitchens, common rooms, hallways, elevators, customer counters and other high-traffic areas where physical distancing cannot be maintained
  • Bookstore, libraries, athletic/recreation centres and food service outlets

We have been receiving several complaints about people not wearing masks and using eating or drinking as an excuse not to wear a mask in shared spaces. To keep our community safe with faster spreading variants on the rise. Effective immediately the COVID-19 guidelines surrounding the wearing of masks for residents and employees on VIU Residences will be updated.

The updated COVID-19 guidelines around mask wearing are as follows:

  • Masks must be worn at all times when in any common space. This includes but is not limited to common rooms, kitchens, hallways, Cedar Center, board room, shared offices, laundry room etc.
  • Food or drink consumption is only allowed when seated at a dining room table in a common room
  • A reminder that Residence furniture including dinner table cannot be moved.
  • Masks must be worn at all times in every other common room location including the couches, chairs and kitchens
  • Masks should be made of at least 3 layers (2 layers should be tightly woven material fabric, such as cotton or linen, the third (middle) layer should be a filter-type fabric, such as non-woven polypropylene fabric)

These new guidelines will be enforced immediately as a result of several incidences recently reported to Residence Life staff. Any failure to abide by these new restrictions will result in a conduct meeting and subsequent disciplinary action.

Even when wearing a mask, please continue to practice physical distancing as much as possible, as a mask is not a substitute for physical distancing.

Campus Services & Amenities

While you are on VIU campus we ask you to follow all province-wide Public Health Orders and VIU COVID related guidelines that are outlined by VIU, Facilities and Health & Safety

Daily Self-Assessment

Everyone must do a self-assessment daily for COVID-19 symptoms before leaving your room or going onto campus.

For more information about daily health screening and steps if you are feeling ill, visit VIU Residence Portal and click on COVID & Illness Reporting Information

Your Household

  • Your household is considered your, rental suit, this is your room, bathroom and your bathroomate
  • In an apartment all your roommates are considered your household in your pod

Why is my Building or Floor not my Household?

Residence Buildings and common areas are VIU staff work environments they are not a household, as per work safe BC because we have our staff who go into the building to work daily it is not considered a household but a work space. That is why Masks are required in all shared indoor spaces and common areas at VIU and Student Residence

Limit Social Gatherings & Contact

  • The direction is that everyone should limit their social contacts to 2 people (please be aware that this does not mean 2 people at a time) Pick 2 people and stick to it (core bubble).
  • There should not be a group of more than 3 people in Residence anywhere inside VIU Residence Buildings unless it if for required VIU Residence Work.
  • Do not host or attend a party or event inside a house off campus
  • Groups of up to 10 people are allowed to meet outdoors as long as proper social distancing guidelines are being followed
  • Do not gather with several groups of new people. Stick to the same people. Continue to use COVID-19 layers of protection and maintain physical distancing. Patios and outdoor areas at restaurants, pubs and bars are not included as places to gather with 10 people at one table.

Off Campus Guests - Not Permitted

In order to keep our community safe, guests who are not living on VIU Residence Property are not permitted in any Residence Buildings.

Residence Staff

Housekeepers and Residence Staff, including Community Leaders are considered VIU staff and in some situations may be required to meet in groups larger than the 3 in order to perform work responsibilities, to provide support or to follow up on incidents.

COVID & Conduct

We ask that you all follow the provincial guidelines and Residence COVID regulations, social gatherings of more than 3 indoors/ 10 outdoors are not permitted. Anyone hosting a gathering that exceeds COVID policies is at risk of having their residence agreement terminated. 

Thank you all again for your understanding and cooperation in keeping everyone and our community safe at this time.

VIU Residence Staff

We will continue to monitor and adjust to the evolving COVID-19 public policy environment.  For an overview of the public health protocols guiding the BC post-secondary sector, please see the province’s COVID-19 Go-Forward Guidelines. These guidelines were recently updated to reflect many of the recent public health orders and to guide COVID-19 case management, including contact tracing and communication. For up-to-date guidance and information about the university’s ongoing COVID-19 response, please visit the COVID Website