Provincial announcement re mask mandate for post-secondaries

As announced today by Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training and Dr. Bonnie Henry, Provincial Health Officer, a new mask mandate is now in place for indoor spaces across British Columbia including in post-secondary institutions.

As of Wednesday, August 25, 2021, masks must be worn by everyone in all indoor public areas on campus including, “lobbies, hallways, stairwells, elevators, classrooms and labs.”

This follows yesterday’s announcement that a proof of vaccination,“will be required in BC for people attending certain social and recreational settings and events.”

Today, Dr. Henry introduced the mask mandate as an additional layer of protection as we transition into September. It is temporary and will be reassessed as the BC Vaccine Card is fully implemented. The provincial Return to Campus Guidelines that were created to support BC’s post-secondaries are now being revised to reflect the new mask order and the proof of vaccination requirements. We will provide specific guidance and direction to our community on what both of these new health orders mean and how they will be implemented as soon as possible.

One of the key messages from both announcements is that vaccines are critical to getting us through this pandemic. We encourage those who can to get their vaccines as soon as possible. To support this, we are working with Island Health to have vaccine clinics set up at different campuses. A reminder that the VaxVan will be on VIU’s Nanaimo campus, in the Royal Bank Plaza outside Bldg 200, on September 7, from 10 am - 4 pm and is open to anyone who needs to get a first or second dose of their vaccines.

We will share more details through email, the employee and student enewsletters (the VIU Digest and The Pulse respectively), as well as through our Covid-19 Update page and social media channels.