Our responsibility to uphold provincial and federal government COVID guidelines

A note from VIU President Deborah Saucier to VIU employees

Many of you likely heard the recent provincial and federal announcements regarding the seriousness of the second wave of COVID-19 and outlining new restrictions and guidelines we all must uphold to stop the spread of the virus and once again come together to protect our communities.

I am connecting today to both recognize the anxiety these announcements may have caused and to reinforce that it is incumbent upon all of us to meet or exceed these guidelines and orders. As a public sector organization, we have an even greater responsibility to do our part and also model for others the importance of supporting these new Public Health Guidelines to the best of our collective ability.

With that in mind, I wanted to outline the key elements of these new orders and guidelines as they relate to our community.


  • All pre-approved essential travel for work can continue. This includes commuting back and forth to campus if you are working on campus and have an approved Safety Plan. Non-essential work travel continues to be postponed. 
  • All recreational and non-essential personal travel should be avoided for the immediate future, and at least until December 7, the end of the current order.
    • For instance, Dr. Bonnie Henry asked that if you live in Victoria and had plans to go to Tofino, please postpone those plans for another time.  
    • For more information please see the provincial guidelines

Working on campus:

  • If you are part of a department or faculty that has an approved Safety Plan in place (which ensures you can safely come to a campus or facility) you can continue to come to work. However, for those of you who do not have an approved Safety Plan, please continue working from home. We will begin review of new Safety Plans once the provincial orders are lifted. If you have concerns, please discuss them with your manager. 
    • REMINDER: Daily Screening:
      • Each time and before you come to campus - you must do your daily health screening through either the VIU Safety App or through the BC COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool as described in your area’s Safety Plan.
      •  If you are using the VIU Safety App, a reminder notification to complete the self-assessment will now be going out every Monday.

Working from home:

  • If your area does not yet have an approved Safety Plan, then please continue to work from home.


  • Masks are mandatory in all public areas, including hallways, stairways, elevators, lunchrooms, and any area where you cannot be more than two metres apart.
    • For instance, Dr. Henry reminded us that you do not need to wear a mask when you are alone in your private office, but when you step out of your office into the hallway or common area, you need to wear a mask.
    • Note: Exemptions include anyone with an underlying medical condition or disability that inhibits their ability to wear a mask or face covering
  • Please review our revised mask policy, in light of the new mandatory order from the Public Health Officer.

If you have any questions about the above please speak to your supervisor.  

Finally, I think it is important to remember another key piece of Dr. Henry’s message yesterday. Although she introduced new restrictions, she also said that there is light at the end of the tunnel, especially given the news about the successful vaccine trials. This is an important reminder. Together we can take the appropriate action and bring us all through this stage and closer to the end of this situation.

Thank you all for your ongoing hard work and commitment; it helps us all keep our community safe and healthy.