Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, and the Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training (AEST), Anne Kang, have announced a return to in-person instruction in September 2021 for post-secondary institutions across BC. This includes the University of the Fraser Valley. (Read Dr. Henry’s letter to BC post-secondary presidents here and the AEST news release here).
As UFV begins to plan for September, the university’s priorities remain the health and safety of students, faculty, staff, and our community. At every step, UFV will be working with provincial health and safety organizations to ensure a safe, healthy, and organized return to campus in the Fall.
“I know it has been a very challenging time. Students, faculty, and staff have demonstrated heart, tenacity, and dedication under tough circumstances,” said Dr. Joanne MacLean, President of UFV. “Thank you to faculty and staff for your ongoing devotion and perseverance in delivering education and services to students and to students for your ongoing devotion and perseverance in pursuing your educational goals. While the roll-out of vaccines and this announcement provide encouragement for the Fall, the pandemic is not over, and we must still work diligently to curb the spread of COVID-19.”
The university has begun planning to make the transition to safe, broad-scale, face-to-face learning in our classrooms and activities on our campuses.
This anticipated change will be welcomed by many, but others may find it stressful or unsettling. Counselling and other support resources for students, faculty, and staff will continue to be available.
UFV and other post-secondary institutions will work in partnership with the BC Centre for Disease Control, WorkSafeBC, the Provincial Health Office, and the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training to update these high-level sector plans. UFV will also partner with the Fraser Health Authority and WorkSafeBC to develop more detailed safety plans for the university.
In the coming weeks, Go-Forward Guidelines released by the province will, as they have over the course of the last year, help provide an overview of how things will look for an anticipated return in September.
The university will communicate regularly through a variety of channels including the UFV COVID information page, email, newsletters, blogs, and other channels as plans begin to evolve and solidify.
While this is a ray of hope, as a society and as a university we are not yet through this difficult stage of the pandemic. Please continue to adhere to all existing health orders and processes: wear a mask indoors, practise safe hygiene, and maintain physical distancing. If we continue to do these things and we stay healthy, it will make our return in the Fall that much more of a celebration.