COVID-19: Faculty of Education Updates


Dr. Blye Frank (Chair) Dr. Teresa Dobson Dr. Margaret Macintyre Latta
Dr. Marlene Asselin Dr. Patsy Duff Dr. Marianne McTavish
Dr. George Belliveau Dr. Mark Edwards Dr. Samson Nashon
Anna Bin Katy Ellsworth Clara Ng
Dr. Natasha Boskic Dr. Mona Gleason Dr. Suzanne Scott
Dr. Robert Boushel Dr. Jan Hare David Sequeira
Dr. Mary Bryson Dr. Shelley Hymel Dr. Jennifer Shapka
Dr. Wendy Carr Dr. Anna Kindler



If you are viewing this page on a hand-held device, please scroll down for links to units/departments/schools' updates, FAQs and additional resources.


March 30, 2020 | 4:15 pm

Protecting Your Health and the Health of Others

Please ensure that, in addition to physical distancing, frequent hand-washing and care when venturing outside your home, you are vigilant about monitoring any symptoms you or a family member might be experiencing. Please refer to the BC Centre for Disease Control’s self-assessment tool, which may be found here: bc.thrive.health. Should a call to the provincial 811 help line be indicated, please note that the Province has recently added more staff to answer calls.

UBC Human Resources Information for Managers and Supervisors

UBC Human Resources has provided some FAQs for manager and supervisors on a variety of topics, which may be found here: hr.ubc.ca/covid-19. These will be updated in the days ahead...   read more

Team Communications while Working Remotely

Communication while working from home remains a critical part of how to work creatively and relationally. There are networking tools that you can access for free, that will allow you to connect your team/s digitally, in a way that is more efficient than email and that is less taxing than meetings. These tools are a good replacement for the f-t-f interactions we have with small clusters of colleagues on a regular basis that have disappeared with remote work.

Keeping Teams Connected

Zoom and Collaborate Ultra are great way to have video meetings. However, you can also set up small and large clusters of colleagues and have immediate communication with the whole office, teams and individuals by using other tools, that are less bandwidth demanding and faster than email. Read more here: educ.ubc.ca/covid-19-faculty-of-education-update-educational-technology-support.


March 27, 2020 | 3:10 pm

Many of you may have seen today’s updates from the Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry. I commend all of you who are continuing to do your part to help prevent the spread of disease within our community. This is not the time to relax our vigilance—please continue to help #FlattenTheCurve.

Emergency Funding: Information for Students

Today, Dr. Jennifer Shapka, Director of Graduate Studies in Education released additional information about emergency funds that are available for students during COVID-19. Please read Dr. Shapka’s full message here.

Undergraduate students facing severe financial hardship are encouraged to schedule a confidential advising appointment with an Enrolment Services Advisor. For BEd students in the Teacher Education Program, the point of contact in Enrolment Services is es.edusupport@ubc.ca...   read more

Maintaining Good Mental Health during the Outbreak

The World Health Organization has published a set of helpful documents with guidance on mental health and psychosocial support for health workers, managers of health facilities, people who are looking after children, older adults, people in isolation and members of the public more generally.

Accessing the Campus

With fewer people on campus, and in order to protect the safety of those who remain on campus, Campus Security is enhancing security procedures and processes on campus. I strongly recommend that you not come to campus at this time. For those of you who have prior approval to be on campus, please have your UBC ID on display or ready to show.

Listserv Postings

Over the past several weeks, we have limited Faculty listserv postings to COVID-related information only. We are now moving into a somewhat more settled phase of our new working environment. Beginning Monday, March 30th, the listservs will once again convey regular Faculty business. Please continue to email posting requests directly to Katy Ellsworth.


March 26, 2020 | 4:45 pm

Here are today’s updates from within the Faculty as well as from the University. I encourage you to check regularly for updates under Units, Departments and Schools on this page.

Research Office Updates

Please note that, as a result of the current curtailment of on-site research at UBC and of fieldwork involving human subjects, there have been some necessary changes in the Office of Research in Education. While ORE is proceeding with most of its internal funding competitions, the nature of the activities that the International Research Visiting Fellowships typically support (visits, lectures, lab work, etc.) compels them to postpone the competition, likely into the fall. Details about a new deadline will be announced in the coming weeks.

With regard to active programs, applicants should consider carefully their research timelines and methodologies for their proposals in keeping with the aforementioned UBC COVID-19 directive on research curtailment. If applications are funded, applicants should be prepared to adjust the operationalization of their projects in accordance with the current and future University directives on research activity...   read more

We understand that this is a challenging time for the whole research community and we appreciate your patience as we find ways to support your research while attending to the safety and wellbeing of our communities.

More information: ore.educ.ubc.ca/research/funding
FAQs: research.ubc.ca/covid-19-curtailing-research-activities-ubc-campuses

Convocation Ceremonies

As we know, in-person spring convocation ceremonies will not be taking place at UBC-Vancouver or UBC-Okanagan. President Ono has posted a letter to the community indicating that a postponed in-person ceremony for the Class of 2020 will be announced when possible, degrees will be conferred and mailed to those who applied and meet requirements, and a virtual ceremony will take place. Read more here: president.ubc.ca/letter-to-the-community/2020/03/26/spring-graduation.

Grading Options

Further information about grading options for the current term, involving Credit/D/Fail, is provided on the School of Kinesiology website. (Most students using this provision, afforded only for undergraduate courses, are in KIN, but the provisions apply to Education courses.) Please note that the usual limit of number of credits and use only for elective courses will be waived when individual students submit their request. The period during which the provision may be requested is Apr. 22 to May 6.

A set of FAQs is being developed by the School and will be linked on this website. General UBC information may be found here: students.ubc.ca/enrolment/courses/creditdfail-grading (however, some limitations are being waived during this exceptional term).

Protection of Personal Privacy

All Education and Kinesiology students were advised today that any information about an individual’s health status in relation to suspected, presumptive or confirmed case of COVID-19 may not be shared. This applies to all members of the UBC community.

Personal Protective Equipment

UBC central administration has sent an urgent request to unit heads and directors to provide information about inventory of critical materials, including personal protective equipment. This is being tracked in order to determine those supplies that are needed on campus and those that can be donated to hospitals and medical facilities.

The supplies should remain in place for now; however, if you know of any supplies that might not already be included in your unit, department or school’s inventory, please be in touch with your head, director or lead administrator.

Graduate Student Leave Absences

A message from Brendan Morey, Asst. Dean, Student Administration and Awards, was sent to graduate advisors and staff yesterday outlining options for graduate students with regard to different scenarios for possible leave requests for the summer term (May-Aug 2020). Read more here: educ.ubc.ca/covid-19-faculty-of-education-update-graduate-studies.

Faculty Travel Requests

Faculty members are asked to not submit any travel preapproval or booking requests until after the end of April 2020. Further information will be provided closer to that date.

Questions

Please send any Faculty of Education – COVID-19 questions to education.COVID19@ubc.ca
Please send any UBC – COVID-19 questions to admin.covid.question@ubc.ca


March 26, 2020 | 10:53 am

UBC Broadcast | COVID–19 — Important information for secure remote working

With an increase in the number of faculty and staff currently accessing UBC's systems and networks remotely, we would like to remind you of the IT resources and support available to you at this time.

Keeping UBC’s systems and networks safe

While we already have several technologies in place to help secure remote access, please remain extra vigilant when accessing UBC files and logging in to UBC's systems and networks. This includes:.. read more

  • Using the Virtual Private Network (VPN) to remotely connect to the UBC network. Visit it.ubc.ca/telecommute for details on how to log-in.
  • Ensuring you are enrolled with an Enhanced Campus-Wide Login for multi-factor authentication.
  • Logging out of VPN and your devices when not in use.
  • Not clicking on links from unfamiliar sources. Doing so can download malware onto your computer even without further action on your part.
  • Reporting any suspicious emails to security@ubc.ca, so the UBC Cybersecurity team can investigate them.
  • Implementing a strong password on all of your accounts and log-ins, and keeping it secure. Please do not use UBC accounts or passwords for any other websites.
  • Completing the mandatory Privacy and Information Security Fundamentals training at privacymatters.ubc.ca

UBC’s Cybersecurity Team is also working on additional security software and precautions to ensure UBC information remains protected. More details will be shared internally with IT departmental administrators this week. Please ensure you are following any guidance that may be issued to ensure you take the necessary precautions and have the appropriate security software installed to protect UBC’s data.

Bookmark privacymatters.ubc.ca for more tips and resources on information security.

IT guide to working remotely

IT has compiled some key technical resources to support you in working remotely, including programs that will help you stay connected to your colleagues through audio conferencing, virtual meetings and instant messaging. Access them here: it.ubc.ca/ubc-it-guide-working-campus

Contacting the UBC IT Helpdesk

Currently, the preferred method for requesting assistance from UBC IT is to submit a ticket with the Help Desk. Please find the relevant links below:

On behalf of the Privacy and Information Security Management (PrISM) Executive Leadership Committee, thank you for keeping UBC's systems and networks safe and secure.

Hubert Lai, Q.C.
University Counsel

Peter Smailes
Vice-President, Finance & Operations

Andrew Szeri
Provost and Vice-President, Academic, UBC Vancouver


March 25, 2020 | 4:55 pm

Thank you for another important day of adjusting to new demands and protocols. It is heartening to hear how many are stepping up to challenges and/or taking on new duties. This is so appreciated by all of us.

Course Grading

A message to all undergraduate and graduate students was sent today and outlines options for course grading currently completing, underway and/or scheduled for upcoming terms for the foreseeable future:

  1. Those enrolled in undergraduate courses (including KIN students; excluding TEO candidates) have the following options*:
    • accept assigned grade,
    • withdraw from course and accept “W” on your transcript (no course credit, no tuition refund), or
    • choose Credit/D or F standing
      • Credit – assigned when grade is 55% or higher. Degree credit earned.
      • D – assigned when grade is 50-54%. Degree credit earned.
      • F – assigned when grade below 50%. No degree credit earned.

*For courses with an exam, the choice of option may be made after exam result is provided...   read more

  1. Those enrolled in the Teacher Education Program (BEd degree) continue to be graded on a Pass/Fail basis
  2. Those enrolled in graduate courses have the following options:
    • accept assigned grade, or
    • withdraw from course and accept “W” on your transcript (no course credit, no tuition refund).

Please know that instructors, administrators, support staff, and advisors in your department, program and Faculty are here to support your progress and your wellbeing. We will continue to provide current information as we receive it. I encourage you to regularly check this page, your department, school or program website and to reach out to any of us in the Faculty if and as you need to.

Research Updates

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) has updated its COVID-19 response page to include information about the state of its various funding programs. nserc-crsng.gc.ca/Media-Media/NewsRelease-CommuniqueDePresse_eng.asp?ID=1139

Research curtailment

Please note that, as previously mentioned, off-campus research involving in-person interaction with (human) research participants is curtailed (see: COVID-19 Bulletin). Please check the BREB websites or e-mail jean.ruiz@ors.ubc.ca (BREB) for more information.

Graduate student access to data analysis software off campus

VPRI suggests that, during this COVID-19 research curtailment period on campus, students may be able to navigate normal site-license restrictions for off-campus software use (e.g., SPSS) and secure data storage by contacting: PopData BC: info@popdata.bc.ca or UBC IT: site-license@it.ubc.ca

Teaching and Learning

Educational Technology Support (ETS) is working non-stop to provide support for all those shifting coursework to online delivery. They will soon have a set of video tutorials as well as FAQs for instructors. On a similar theme, UBC’s Centre for Teaching, Learning & Technology (CTLT) is proposing a Summer Academy to support online course development. Stay tuned!

Dr. Edwards notes that it would be very helpful to ETS personnel and allocation of resources if instructors could indicate if the course they are co-developing for online delivery is likely to be used once or possibly on an ongoing basis (as a fully online or hybridized course).

Questions

Please send any Faculty of Education – COVID-19 questions to education.COVID19@ubc.ca
Please send any UBC – COVID-19 questions to admin.covid.question@ubc.ca


March 24, 2020 | 4:00 pm

We are working hard to provide the most current information on a wide variety of areas and issues. Thanks to all who are managing questions, concerns and new demands in this dynamic situation. Please know that the University’s recently-established Emergency Operations Centre and Crisis Management Team are grappling with a daily onslaught of matters, so gaining answers about some topics is taking time.

Online Teaching and Learning

The ETS team is working hard to support instructors in the online delivery of courses. It is important to migrate basic course content and also ensure that the teaching/learning experience is as pedagogically sound and engaging as possible.

Please reach out for support as needed: ets.educ.ubc.ca   read more

IT Guide to Working Remotely

UBC IT has produced an IT Guide to Working Remotely with information on how to access UBC files and systems, which video conferencing tools to use, and more. Information will be continually updated on this page: it.ubc.ca/ubc-it-guide-working-campus

As has been mentioned in earlier posts, it is essential to remain vigilant when accessing UBC files and networks. The following cybersecurity precautions and tips from the Privacy Matters site, include these key points:

  • encrypt any non-UBC devices: privacymatters.ubc.ca/encrypt-my-devices
  • activate myVPN to keep online communications, downloads, uploads and other sensitive transactions and items secure – please turn off when working off-line to reduce the risk of overloading the system
  • ensure that you are using Enhanced CWL
  • ensure that all passwords are as strong as possible

For questions related to working remotely not addressed in these resources, please consult with your dept, unit or school administrative manager.

Questions

Please send any Faculty of Education – COVID-19 questions to education.COVID19@ubc.ca
Please send any UBC – COVID-19 questions to admin.covid.question@ubc.ca


March 23, 2020 | 4:45 pm

Welcome to Week 2 of UBC’s Work from Home Arrangement. I hope you all continue to be safe and well during this period of self-isolation and physical distancing, and please accept my very sincere thanks to all of you for ensuring that our Faculty continues to serve its constituencies in these very altered circumstances.

Responses to Questions

So much of what we are experiencing is uncharted territory, for ourselves, our students, and for the University’s senior leadership. We recognize that you have many questions about how existing policies will be adapted or applied in these changed circumstances. Policies and procedures are being revised as quickly as possible, according to the level of urgency. Please be as patient as possible as you wait for a response, and recognize that not every aspect of academic life will proceed in a “business as usual” mode.

Please also note that there is a lag for some decisions due to ensuring they align with central UBC shifts that are unfolding on a daily basis...   read more

Study Leaves

Several people have asked questions relating to study leaves. Faculty Relations has confirmed that, if a study leave is postponed due to COVID 19, the year(s) at work is counted towards the next leave. This direction is also supported by Faculty Association. This exception to normal processes has been created to help with the current crisis; once the crisis passes, normal procedures will resume.

Please note that information about other types of leave is forthcoming.

Grading and Concessions for W2

We are aware that students are concerned about grading and concessions. We are presently waiting for updated information from the Office of the Provost. As soon as we have the update, we will share it with the Faculty community.

Protection of Personal Privacy

It is critically important that any information about a person’s state of health in a suspected, presumptive or confirmed case of COVID-19 may not be shared publicly. To do so is a violation of the Public Health Act. Only Vancouver Coast Health has the authority to provide public reports following its own established protocols.

Please use the following protocol to protect the health and privacy of our community:

Education Technology Support

This morning, Dr. Boškić shared key information about:

  • Connecting using UBC’s online & remote platforms
  • Reducing the load on UBC’s VPN
  • Teaching online

Please review the information here.

How Can I Help?

Thanks to some of you who have already reached out to provide support to others in the Faculty community. Given that workloads have been impacted in different ways during the current remote work arrangement, please check in with your Head, supervisor or administrative manager if you have time and skills that could be shared with another unit or area.

Questions

Please send any Faculty of Education – COVID-19 questions to education.COVID19@ubc.ca
Please send any UBC – COVID-19 questions to admin.covid.question@ubc.ca


March 20, 2020 | 4:15 pm

Thank you to all members of the Faculty of Education community for your support and collaboration during this extraordinary time. We are working together to address challenges at many levels and attempting to make the transition to working and learning in ways that will maximize health and safety.

There has been a great deal of email from within and beyond the Faculty, which is to be expected during a dynamic situation such as this. In an effort to reduce the influx, we would ask that any communications you wish to send to the Faculty listservs be sent to Wendy.Carr@ubc.ca and Katy.Ellsworth@ubc.ca who are overseeing content for the Faculty COVID-19 website. They will assist in featuring and archiving any information you wish to share.

Please refer to this webpage, educ.ubc.ca/COVID-19, for the most up to date information.

Building Closures

Please note that the closures announced yesterday are in effect to reduce the chance of transmission of the virus. Current information indicates that healthy-seeming people can act as unknowing carriers of the disease, allowing it to spread quickly...   read more

Closing the buildings has the added benefit of protecting the security of our equipment and sensitive information stored onsite. We recognize the inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your cooperation.

Curtailing of Research Activities

The VP Research and Innovation has indicated that all non-critical research activities will cease to take place on UBC campuses. Further details are forthcoming: research.ubc.ca/covid-19 and will be posted on the Faculty COVID-19 site.

SSHRC Update

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) has launched a new web page to explain the agency's response to COVID-19, including new provisions for grant extensions, expenses related to travel cancellations, and exceptional expenditures: sshrc-crsh.gc.ca/news_room-salle_de_presse/covid-19-eng.aspx

Study and Other Leaves

Faculty Relations has advised that a notice outlining provisions for study and other leaves is forthcoming. It will be posted to the Faculty COVID-19 site.

Ongoing Work-at-home Pilot

Given the evolving situation with the global pandemic, it will likely become necessary to extend the current work-at-home pilot beyond early April. Please begin planning for this likelihood.

Teaching and Learning – Summer Terms

As we are planning for the online delivery of Summer Term 1 courses, it is probably wise to think about planning for Summer Term 2 courses as well. This will include considering alternate possibilities for visiting scholars and other important aspects. These are early days, but we understand that long-range planning (and adapting) starts early.

How Can I Help?

During the COVID-19 outbreak, the Dean of Education Endowment Fund will allocate emergency relief funds to Faculty of Education students experiencing financial crises. If you would like to help support students during this challenging time, you may donate online via UBC’s secure Online Gift Centre. You will receive a tax receipt for the full amount of your gift.

Thanks to the efforts of Drs. Jennifer Katz, Jenna Shapka and Lesley Andres, with support from Aloy Anyichie in ECPS, an emergency fund to provide short-term food relief to graduate students has been established on GoFundMe. This initiative, titled Adhoc COVID-19 Student Support, along with established donation sites, such as the AMS Food Bank, are linked on this webpage in the How can I help? sidebar.

Questions

Please send any Faculty of Education – COVID-19 questions to education.COVID19@ubc.ca
Please send any UBC – COVID-19 questions to admin.COVID.question@ubc.ca


March 19, 2020 | 5:20 pm

UBC Senior Leadership | Situation Updates

Action taken

  • Today, we asked the Infectious Diseases Information and Advisory Committee to stand down and established an Emergency Operations Centre. Activating the EOC will enable us to do work more efficiently in line with global emergency management practices and in line with our partners. We will be able to respond quicker to situational developments and better coordinate cross-institutional planning, response and communications.
    • a. We are using a modified EOC structure in response to the unique situation presented by COVID-19. We have maintained the working groups that have been successfully supporting IDIAC.
  • UBC broadcast circulated and website established re: COVID-19 - Curtailing research activities at UBC.
  • Late payment of tuition and fees: Enrolment Services will defer sponsors’ payments and the application of late payment fees by a month for the winter term...   read more
  • Refunds for Summer Session: Students are asking if they should pay tuition for summer session and what will happen if programs cannot be delivered. Enrolment Services has a notice on the website indicating that refunds will be provided if classes are cancelled
  • The Office of the Senate developed a memo regarding take/home remote exams and the importance of not making them all due or occur on the last day of the exam term (for mental health reasons and instructors and deans’ offices being able to manage marking and submission of grades).
  • The Belkin Gallery is closed to the public until Tuesday, April 7.

Work in progress

  • Building Closure - The Building Operations Facilities Managers are working with the Deans' Offices, VP Research Office, Campus Security and Secure Access to limit access to buildings while still allowing critical/crucial activities to be maintained. The Deans' make the final decision on building access. The primary challenge is that most buildings have multiple users with different needs and they must consulted.
  • Plans for congregation and communications should be ready by Friday. The intention is to grant degrees and issue parchments (by mail probably) in May. New convocation rules are being drafted to allow the Chancellor to confer degrees in absentia.
  • Emergency Bursaries: there is strong demand for funding support and the emergency bursary funding envelopes are about to be depleted. We are analyzing the nature of the requests: type of requests, amounts by type, by international, domestic, graduate, undergraduate, etc. Also examining both federal and provincial programs to see if we can tap into this for income replacement, travel costs, etc.
  • Refunds for Winter Session: Enrolment Services will have a proposal ready by tomorrow for undergraduate programs; any programs with practicums/clerkships, etc. need a different solution and ES needs to know how these programs are modifying the curriculum to help with decision making.
  • Facilities Operations - All Facilities departments are adjusting to a rotating schedule to minimize the number of staff on campus while ensuring crucial services are maintained. The staffing adjustments are being made in consultation with Academic, HR and Finance partners to maintain alignment with campus needs and to ensure the health of our staff and community. Building Operations rolled out the schedule changes today. Energy & Water Services will commence on Monday.

Information provided by government/healthcare agencies

  • Dr. Bonnie Henry has clarified, for first responders, including police and fire, that they do not need to self-isolate if they assist a citizen who is experiencing symptoms, unless they are directed to by public health, or unless they begin to exhibit symptoms. They do not have to self- isolate or cease operations if they think they or another member of their unit has been exposed. We believe that this clarifies what we need to do when people are exposed.
  • A new resource has been provided to help people understand what is entailed re: self-isolation, isolation, and self-monitoring: canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/diseases-conditions/self-monitoring-self-isolation-isolation-for-covid-19.html
  • Universities Canada clarified with IRCC that IRCC has determined that international students and workers who are currently outside of Canada and the US will not be permitted to board an aircraft to return to Canada. All temporary residents already in Canada are encouraged to apply for an extension so that they may maintain their temporary resident status in Canada. Once the application is submitted, the client will benefit from implied status and may remain in Canada until a decision is rendered on their application.
    • Universities Canada is seeking further clarification or possible exceptions for international students who are the spouse, common-law partner or dependent child of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. IRCC is working with Global Affairs Canada on potential facilitation measures to address minor children on an exceptional basis;
  • For our US students who are on loans a bill has been introduced in both the US House and Senate that would grant a waiver from the law that prohibits any part of a program of study for students receiving U.S. loans from being taught via distance education, which would be made retroactive to 1 March.
  • CIHR is assessing how best to move forward with the Spring 2020 Project Grant competition. They are seeking to minimize disruption to the research community, while recognizing the importance of contributing to efforts to help stop the spread of the virus. A decision will be made in the coming days. CIHR is committed to supporting grant- and scholarship-holders, applicants, and peer reviewers. They could adjust program application and reporting dates, extensions to grants, etc. They are reviewing all competitions that were recently launched, are in progress, or were to be launched in the coming months, and coming up with mitigation strategies.

Canadian and BC update

  • BC has 271 confirmed cases of COVID-19 (40 new) and an additional death of a resident of the Lynn Valley Care Centre, as of 3:00PM March 19.
  • Of the total cases, 152 are in Vancouver Coastal Health, 81 are in Fraser Health, 22 are in Island Health, 12 are in Interior Health and four are in Northern Heath.
  • As of March 19 at 8:30 PST, there were 736 confirmed cases and 34 probable cases of COVID-19 in Canada. Ontario and BC account for 66% of all cases (does not include BC’s new cases reported at 3PM, today).
  • Of these cases:
    • onset of illness occurred between January 15 and March 15, 2020
    • 52% of cases are male
    • 31% of cases are 60 years old and over
    • 11% of cases have been hospitalized
    • 9 people have died of COVID-19
    • 69% of cases are travellers and 13% are close contacts of travellers

International update

  • The number of COVID-19 related deaths in Italy has risen to 3,405; a rise of 427 over yesterday and the number of new cases rose by 14.9%. The number who have died has surpassed China’s numbers.
  • We’re now up to more than 200,000 cases of COVID-19, and more than 8,000 deaths.
  • For the first time, China has reported no domestic cases
  • The first vaccine trial has started and the first person was enrolled in the trial in the U.S., two days ago.
  • The situation in numbers – total cases and (new cases), reported on March 17, for the previous 24 hours:
    • Globally
      • 179,112 confirmed (11,526 new)
      • 7,426 deaths (475 new)
    • Western Pacific Region
      • 91 779 confirmed (289)
      • 3357 deaths (23)
    • European Region
      • 64 189 confirmed (8507)
        3108 deaths (428)
    • South-East Asia
      • 508 confirmed (124)
      • deaths (2)
    • Eastern Mediterranean Region
      • 16 786 confirmed (330)
      • 873 deaths (3)
    • Regions of the Americas
      • 4910 confirmed (2234)
      • 68 deaths (18)
    • African Region
      • 228 confirmed (42)
      • 4 deaths (1)
    • WHO RISK ASSESSMENT
      • Global Level Very High

Reliable Sources of Information

  1. World Health Organization – who.int
  2. British Columbia Centre for Disease Control – bccdc.ca/about/news-stories/stories/2020/information-on-novel-coronavirus
  3. Vancouver Coastal Health – vch.ca/about-us/news/vancouver-coastal-health-statement-on-coronavirus
  4. Public Health Agency of Canada
  5. Government of Canada Travel – travel.gc.ca/destinations
  6. To view the provincial health officer's order on mass gatherings, visit: www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/about-bc-s-health-care-system/office-of-the-provincial-health-officer/current-health-topics
  7. For more information on B.C.’s updated testing strategy and self-isolation, visit: bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/testing-isolation
  8. For recommendations on protecting yourself and your community, visit: bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19
  9. For the COVID-19 pandemic preparedness and planning materials, visit: www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/about-bc-s-health-care-system/office-of-the-provincial-health-officer/current-health-topics/pandemic-influenza
  10. For more information and latest updates on COVID-19, follow the BC Centre for Disease Control on Twitter @CDCofBC or visit the centre’s website: bccdc.ca
  11. For the latest audio clips of COVID-19 media availabilities, visit: soundcloud.com/bcgov

March 19, 2020 | 3:32 pm

UBC Broadcast | COVID–19 — Curtailing research activities on UBC campuses

As part of UBC’s response to COVID-19, the university is curtailing on-campus research activities on its Vancouver and Okanagan campuses. This is in line with social distancing protocols regarding remote teaching and working arrangements implemented in the last week.

This curtailment is in effect until April 15, 2020 and may be extended. To continue research activities on our campuses, researchers must receive an exemption to be classed as critical research or maintaining critical research resources...   read more

For all other research on UBC’s campuses, research teams should immediately start to develop and implement plans to work remotely, and to have these plans fully operational by the end of day on Tuesday, March 24. Researchers based at health authority sites should follow site-specific directives.

The exemption process is outlined at research.ubc.ca/covid-19. It involves approval at the departmental, Faculty and Vice-President, Research & Innovation levels. Examples of critical research may include COVID-19 research and clinical trials. Critical research resources may include data, cell lines, materials and reagents that are deemed essential and difficult to replace.

The exceptional circumstances in which we find ourselves mean we can only continue the most essential research operations. Guidance, a planning checklist and FAQs are available at research.ubc.ca/covid-19. These guidelines facilitate the temporary curtailment of most on-campus research activities and prioritize health and safety, first and foremost.

We understand that this curtailment will have a significant impact on research programs and research personnel. The university is in active discussions with funding agencies and other bodies to identify ways to mitigate these impacts.

Thank you for your continued support as UBC continues to navigate this challenging, and unprecedented, situation.

Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor

Gail Murphy
Vice-President, Research & Innovation


March 19, 2020 | 2:00 pm

Due to the temporary closures of UBC buildings, Campus Mail is offering on-site pick up from 8:00 am - 3:30 pm at their Vancouver location for mail and parcels that they can’t deliver.

To pick up your mail or parcel, please visit them at the University Community Services building at 2329 West Mall.


March 19, 2020 | 11:11 am

Sincere thanks to all of you for transitioning your work away from campus. As both the Scarfe Building and the Education-related areas of Ponderosa Oak and Cedar are now not in use, there is a needless load being placed on Building Operations and Campus Security. To support our colleagues in these units, I have asked them to lock both spaces and restrict card access for the time being. To clarify, your access card will not unlock the buildings or any of the interior spaces.

This decision will not only assist our colleagues in Building Operations and Campus Security, it will help safeguard equipment and confidential materials that are stored in Education spaces.

Thank you for your ongoing support.


March 19, 2020 | 9:19 am

As COVID-19 increasingly dominates our news cycle and our lives, I would like to remind you that BC’s Centre for Disease Control (CDC) has established protocols for prevention, monitoring, and managing the illness. Please refer to this resource for more information: bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19

You may hear of potential cases on campus or within your professional networks. I would like to remind you that we need to protect the privacy of these individuals. That means not disclosing the person’s name or your connection with them, and not passing along the information to others who may have been in contact with them....   read more

If an individual is tested and has a positive result, the Public Health authorities will contact them and advise them of appropriate treatment protocols. To reiterate, it is our responsibility to protect the privacy of affected individuals. Please, please, follow this protocol.


March 19, 2020 | 8:50 am

Mental Health Resources from UBC Student Health

Amidst the current outbreak of COVID-19, many students may be developing feelings of fear, stress, worry and isolation – these feelings are natural when facing threats that are beyond our control. Everyone reacts differently to these feelings and they can be overwhelming for some. It is important to understand that if you need help in coping with these feelings, there are resources available. Below are articles and resources that will guide you in managing your mental health.

Taking care of your mental health during the pandemic:...   read more

Other resources available online or on the phone to support your mental health:

UBC Counselling Services Counselling Services will be offering appointments by phone during the COVID-19 outbreak. Students can call Counselling Services, 604 822 3811, to schedule an appointment by phone.

  • Empower Me – Empower Me provides counselling and life coaching, free for all students. They can help with anything you're concerned about and will give you the option of getting help online or by phone
  • MindhealthBC – Take a quick online assessment on your mental health and get resources for a variety of related concerns
  • Here to Help – Helps you find quality information, learn new skills, and connect with key resources in BC
  • HealthlinkBC – If you still have questions call 811 to speak with a registered nurse, or access online resources for health-related questions
  • CrisiscentreBC – If you or someone you know is feeling hopeless or at risk of harm, call or chat online with a crisis responder any time
  • TAO – Manage your well-being with tools on stress, relationship problems, substance use, and more. Register with a UBC email, which you can set up for free
  • More information on how to take care of your health and wellbeing can be found at students.ubc.ca/health

We appreciate that this is a very stressful time and we want to reassure you that UBC is here to support you. All necessary steps are being taken, in conjunction with and in consultation with our health agency partners, in order to protect the health and safety of all of our students and the entire community. Your health and wellbeing is our priority.

If you have any further questions regarding any of the information you have received, please do not hesitate to reach out to: Dr Marna Nelson | Director UBC Student Health Service | marna.nelson@ubc.ca


March 19, 2020 | 7:27 am

The UBC Libraries remain digitally available, but physical operations at both campuses will cease at 5 p.m., Friday, March 20. From that time until 9 a.m., Monday, April 6, we will be working remotely.

Included in this message are details about where to go for information and resources, whom to contact and how to reach them. Librarians are available to support your teaching and research through a variety of methods including email, telephone and video consultations through Zoom and other tools. Please reach out to them as the need arises...   read more

We will prioritize access to our online collections, search tools, the catalogue, research and information databases, and publisher resources. For access to print materials, your librarian will work with you to acquire an electronic version of what you are looking for. Through arrangements with other libraries, membership resources like the Internet Archive, and commercial vendors, we expect to be able to deliver most of your needs.

Along with other libraries, including Harvard University Library, we will temporarily cease loaning physical books after Friday, March 20 at 5 p.m. The library community is currently assessing the safety of handling and loaning physical books, as bindings and paper can host viable Coronaviruses for days.

It is a serious measure for us to take the action of closing our physical facilities, but it is one we must take given the danger the pandemic represents. Libraries by definition do not lend themselves well to social distancing, however we try to make that work. The safety of our community, including our students, faculty, researchers, librarians, and library staff, is top of mind. Knowing that we are able to provide the robust library support that our active community requires is reassuring to us, as we hope it is to you.

In moving to close our physical spaces by the end of this week, we are trying to give people as much time as possible to prepare. Other libraries have had to close their spaces with little or no notice. UBC Library is one of the very last major research libraries in North America to move to completely remote services. Please visit library.ubc.ca for the latest updates about the library’s services.

Librarian Consultations
Contact our Subject librarians with expertise in specific areas for consultations. Once you identify a librarian, you can schedule an appointment with them via email.

Not sure which subject librarian to contact? Contact your branch by email and we’ll point you in the right direction:

Vancouver Campus
David Lam Library: lam.ref@ubc.ca
Biomedical Branch Library: bmb.library@ubc.ca
Education Library: ed.lib@ubc.ca
Koerner Library: hssd.library@ubc.ca
Law Library: law.library@ubc.ca
Music, Art and Architecture: maa.library@ubc.ca
Rare Books and Special Collections: rare.books@ubc.ca
Research Commons: research.commons@ubc.ca
Woodward Library: wd.ref@ubc.ca
Xwi7xwa Library:xwi7xwa.library@ubc.ca

Okanagan Campus
Innovation Library: innovation.library@ubc.ca
Okanagan Campus Library: libquestions.ok@ubc.ca
Okanagan Special Collections: osc-contact@lists.ubc.ca

Dr. Susan E Parker
University Librarian, UBC

Heather Berringer
Chief Librarian and Associate Provost, Learning Services, UBCO


March 18, 2020 | 8:18 am

The Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, has by now declared a public health emergency related to COVID-19.

Members of the Faculty of Education COVID-19 Rapid Response Team are meeting frequently to consult on every aspect of these challenging times, including most recently, how to implement UBC’s Temporary Work from Home Arrangements. The safety of our faculty, students and staff and your families is our top priority.

Given the rapidly changing epidemiological climate and UBC’s Temporary Work from Home Arrangements (pilot to April 6th), and taking into consideration the recommendations of the Faculty Rapid Response team, I have decided we will implement full faculty and staff remote work immediately and without exceptions, as follows:...   read more

  • All Faculty of Education staff, from all professional unions and associations, will work remotely during the Pilot period of UBC’s Temporary Work from Home Arrangements.
  • If you have questions about fulfilling your typical duties while working remotely, please discuss with your manager immediately. Your manager may decide to temporarily change the duties or shift the priorities within your existing job classification based on the unit needs.
  • If you are concerned about the technology/equipment to support working from home, please also discuss with your manager who will work with the unit head to make alternate arrangements.

By working remotely, we will interrupt the chain of COVID-19 transmission, and hopefully make the virus’ impact more manageable for our health care system and as such, for society, with a particular focus on the reducing the impact of the virus on those most vulnerable members of our society. Please do your part to help “flatten the curve.”

Managers who have questions regarding the implementation of this Remote Work pilot program may contact Anna Bin, Director of HR, for advice.

We are here to help. Don’t hesitate to reach out.


March 15, 2020 | 5:34 pm

In light of UBC’s announcement of the three-week pilot of "Temporary Work from Home Arrangements," the Faculty of Education fully supports this approach and recommends that, starting this week (March 16, 2020), faculty, staff, student employees and postdoctoral fellows work remotely wherever possible.

This applies to all employees of the University, regardless of their membership in any union or association. We encourage all members in the Faculty of Education to discuss with their managers or research leads/principal investigators to determine if their positions are appropriate for remote work, to receive written approval to do so and to confirm a start date of the arrangement. Such approval is in the sole discretion of the applicable manager and it is provided on a case-by-case basis. In case a position is deemed not feasible for remote work, the employee will be expected to attend work as they normally do...   read more

Guidelines on this "Temporary Work from Home Arrangements" pilot program can be found at: hr.ubc.ca/faculty-staff-resources/telecommuting/.

This is a temporary pilot program for three weeks at this time. As the advice from the Provincial Health Officer and the BCCDC evolves, the University will continue to assess the efficacy of this program and determine whether it will be necessary to extend or modify it.

Managers who have questions regarding the implementation of this pilot program may contact Anna Bin, Director of HR, for advice.


March 13, 2020 | 7:31 pm

In line with UBC’s latest directive, please be advised that all classes will move to online platforms as of Monday, March 16th, 2020, for the remainder of the term. The campus will remain open and Faculty of Education operations will proceed normally.

For our faculty and sessional faculty: Educational Technology Support staff will provide dedicated technological assistance for all faculty members. Please contact Dr. Natasha Boškić for guidance.

For our staff: Campus will remain open. Please attend work during your regularly scheduled hours.

For our students: We are working in conjunction with a number of UBC units to plan and accommodate exams, practicum placements, and other components of your programs. More information will be shared as it becomes available.


March 13, 2020 | 1:50 pm

The Faculty continues to closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation.

In our continuing efforts to slow the transmission of the virus, we are suspending Faculty-sponsored events that are not part of courses or academic requirements, and that have an expected attendance of 50 people or more. At the unit level, you may decide whether such events should be cancelled or simply postponed.

The suspension is in effect immediately, and will apply to all events scheduled between now until the end of April. The Faculty’s COVID-19 Rapid Response Team will re-assess the situation weekly, and will provide updates as the situation evolves...   read more

The Faculty urges you to be extremely circumspect in planning events, such as receptions or celebrations, to coincide with spring convocation. To be clear, the Faculty is not in a position to comment upon whether convocation will continue as planned; the Faculty is simply advising you to not plan an event at that time.

Organizers of events with an expected attendance of fewer than 50 people are required to consider alternate ways of holding the events (e.g., hosting in large spaces offering sufficient flexibility for social distancing, or hosting online versions of events).


March 12, 2020 | 6:30 pm

The Faculty has convened a COVID-19 Rapid Response Team to coordinate a Faculty-wide protocol. Following are the Rapid Response Team's procedures, decisions and recommendations as of March 12, 2020.

HR Decision-making: Faculty and Staff

We will do everything possible to ensure that the health and wellbeing of our faculty and staff are secured. As such, we are developing a plan to mitigate risks...   read more

  • Faculty or staff shall not be penalized for making the reasonable decision to self-isolate, whether because of probable exposure and/or because of a compromised immune system;
  • Faculty and staff are encouraged to communicate by email to their unit heads (department heads, school directors, associate deans, and assistant deans) regarding concerns about exposure to COVID-19 or other elevated risk factors. Please include as much relevant information as possible (exposure, testing, immune-compromised, etc.);
  • The self-isolation advice provided by the BC CDC provides evidence-informed directives concerning testing, calling 811 and other matters can be found here;
  • Unit heads will not disclose COVID-19-related information except, as required, in cases of a local positive test;
  • Faculty or staff who make a reasonable decision to self-isolate for the recommended period of time, up to 14 days, will be not be required to use existing sick or vacation days. Documentation will not typically be required for this period of self-isolation; and
  • Where possible, unit heads can determine the feasibility of flexible work arrangements (e.g., telecommuting) when there is no actual known illness and self-isolation is used as a risk mitigation strategy.

Teaching and Classes

While we do not anticipate a campus closure, we would be remiss if we did not plan for that possibility. If you would like to move this semester’s course work to Canvas, Educational Technology Support staff will provide dedicated technological assistance. Furthermore, I ask all faculty to plan to move May semester courses to an online format. I recognize that teaching online may not be a familiar modality for some of you, so please be assured that Educational Technology Support will provide support for anyone who request it. Please contact Dr. Natasha Boškić for guidance.

On March 12, 2020, Dr. Andrew Szeri issued a memo, which included the following except:

“On an urgent basis, it is prudent to focus significant attention on active planning to enable alternative and online instruction, should the need arise. These steps will require the work of individual faculty members to modify teaching strategies, with support from the resources on the website https://keepteaching.ubc.ca/ and also in person, through Faculty-based or central instructional support units (including the Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology ctlt.ubc.ca/ on the Vancouver campus, and the Center for Teaching and Learning https://ctl.ok.ubc.ca/ on the Okanagan campus). In addition, plans should be made for the potential need for examinations to be conducted in a manner different than the usual face to face settings. This planning will make any necessary transition to online instruction that much more feasible and smoother, even if it must happen on a short timeline. We ask the academic leaders of the campus to encourage such work, and to provide support to enable it to move forward with all due speed.”

Gatherings

We are working to determine the best course of action with regard to gatherings scheduled between now and July. To assess risk, we ask anyone who is organizing an event with more than 50 people at any UBC campus, venue, field centre or the like, to submit event details here. We will follow up with organizers to discuss available options, and to help mitigate medical, epidemiological, financial, and reputational risks.

Health Canada’s risk-informed approach to making decisions for mass gatherings during COVID-19 can be found here: canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/health-professionals/mass-gatherings-risk-assesment.html

Travel

It is strongly advised that you cancel all University-funded international travel, whether for a meeting, conference, or other purpose. Travel to the United States is included in this advisory. You may have already booked and paid for a trip that will now not take place, such as AERA. We recommend that you make every effort to obtain a travel credit or refund. The Faculty will make it possible to use existing grants or other R accounts in your name for reimbursements should you be unable to obtain a credit or refund. Reimbursement will only be provided for trips that were booked up to the time of this post; if you book a trip now, the Faculty will not be able to reimburse you should your travel be cancelled. If you decide to travel in spite of our recommendation, please be aware that your insurance will likely not provide coverage.

This is a challenging situation for our students, staff, and faculty members. Please remain informed and strategic, while planning carefully for a serious, emerging situation. Please also continue to monitor UBC’s Campus Notifications page, ubc.ca/campus-notifications, and this page for up-to-date information.

Open Searches

Unit heads with active faculty searches should seriously consider carrying out interviews and related presentations virtually. The decision to hold virtual searches should then be applied equally to local, national, and international short-listed candidates. If you have technological questions, please contact Dr. Natasha Boškić.