VIU to delay the start of classes to January 10

Throughout the holiday break, members of the Senior Management Team have closely monitored the ever-changing pandemic situation on Vancouver Island and in BC. We have been in consultation with the Public Health Office, the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training, and our colleagues in the BC post-secondary community to help inform a return to campus decision that is right for VIU. At the centre of our decisions is the health, mental well-being, and safety of staff, faculty, and students.

On December 29, Dr. Bonnie Henry provided another update, indicating the K-12 system will be delayed until January 10 to allow time to assess the impact of the Omicron variant and plan for enhanced safety measures at schools.

VIU will be taking the same approach and postponing the start of Spring 2022 classes until January 10, 2022. We will also be moving our New Student Orientation online.

The increase and sudden surge of the Omicron variant is dynamic and fluid. Since the pandemic’s beginning, VIU safety protocols have effectively limited the spread of COVID-19. We are delaying the start of classes to give our Health and Safety team time to reinforce our current safety protocols and implement any additional measures if needed. Our priority is to keep our staff, faculty, and students safe.

Students who are enrolled in compressed courses or programs such as clinical nursing courses, apprenticeship programs or graduate programs in the Faculty of Management will be contacted directly by the program to advise on scheduling. Due to the nature of these programs, a delayed start may not be possible.  

We intend to continue with in-person classes on January 10, 2022, following the current Public Health Orders.

On December 21, 2021, Dr. Bonnie Henry sent a letter to all post-secondary presidents in BC outlining how continuing with in-person educational delivery is based on solid evidence that educational settings are not only low risk but critical to support the mental well-being of our students.

VIU CAMPUSES REOPENING JANUARY 4:

VIU Campuses will reopen on January 4, 2022, to ensure services are in place for our students. For operational continuity, employees who work on campus or have flexible work arrangements should maintain their current schedule. Please be assured; our Campus is safe. VIU supports the public health and safety measures outlined in the updated post-secondary COVID-19 Return to Campus guidelines, which has kept our campus low-risk. If you have any questions or are directly impacted by the delayed start of the K-12 system, please connect with your direct supervisor.

KEEPING OUR COMMUNITY SAFE:

To continue to provide a safe campus environment, there are several steps we can all take to protect each other:

  1. Follow the Public Health Orders, including limiting your social activity and following the proper mask-wearing protocols.
  2. Get vaccinated: Everyone eligible is strongly encouraged to get fully immunized against COVID-19. As the PHO releases details on the booster shot and rapid testing program, VIU will determine our next steps and advise the community of our role in facilitating these additional measures.
  3. Be patient, kind, and respectful to others as we face this together. 

 REMINDER: SUPPORT SERVICES

We recognize that this ongoing situation can cause anxiety and concern. If you are struggling or see someone who is, remember there are support services available for both students and employees.

REMINDER: KEEPING UP TO DATE ON VIU’S HEALTH AND SAFETY PROTOCOLS

VIU’s Senior Management team is closely monitoring this situation. Updates will be sent through email to employees and students. You can also find information and updates on:

 If you have any questions that are not answered through the above channels, please reach out to universityrelations@viu.ca, and we will do our best to support you.

We recognize that this ongoing situation is challenging, but if we continue to be patient and focus on supporting one another, we can get through it. Once again – thank you to everyone in the VIU Community for your support as we continue to navigate the ongoing impacts of the pandemic.