UBCO Student Housing Response to COVID-19

Last updated: July 29, 2021.

Along with UBC, Student Housing has implemented plans to provide the best possible accommodation for our residents given COVID-19 challenges.

As we prepare to welcome more students for an increased on-campus experience in 2021-2022, Student Housing is making plans to accommodate more students in residence. This website contains useful FAQs and resources, and is being updated regularly following advice from provincial and federal health agencies. Please continue to check in, as information changes regularly.

Health and safety remains our first priority and we continue to work closely with the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training and with other post-secondary institutions within B.C. to ensure our plans are aligned with health and safety guidelines.


I’m moving into UBC Student Housing in August or September 2021. Where can I find information about moving in and what you are doing differently this year?

Learn more about moving into residence at UBC on our Moving In page.

  • All incoming Winter Session residents will also receive direct emails with important information about moving in, including adjustments we may make in response to COVID-19.
  • Looking for information about self-isolating in August? Visit here.
I have concerns related to the payment of my residence fees, who can I contact for help?

If you would like to discuss a payment plan, our housing administration team is here to help. Please contact us at information@housing.okanagan.ubc.ca

If you’re facing financial hardship or have questions around your finances, please contact Financial Aid at sis.ubco@ubc.ca.

I’m an upper-year student with roommate requests, will we be able to live together still?

We will do our best to honour your requests, while abiding by the recommendations of health authorities when making room assignments.

Where can I find more information about student supports?


Tell me more about UBC's self-isolation packages for students travelling to UBC from outside Canada.
  • We are continuing to offer self-isolation accommodations through August based on availability. Our package includes accommodation and three meals a day. Please visit our self-isolation website for more information.
How do I learn about my eligibility to enter Canada, and any mandatory COVID-19 tests or quarantines that may be in place?

Guidelines and protocols are ever-changing. For the most up-to-date information about who can enter Canada, and what regulations they must follow, visit UBC’s Travelling to Canada During COVID-19 web page.


Tell me more about the COVID-19 Student Housing Health and Safety Rules

Rules are in effect in all Student Residences managed by UBC Student Housing to help maintain the health and safety of yourself and others in the residence community. Compliance is mandatory; failure to follow the stated rules may result in residence standards action and/or termination of your residence contract and eviction from residence. Full details along with the rules themselves can be found here

If I'm feeling sick, what should I do?

If you are feeling ill, are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (such as fever, dry cough, difficulty breathing, or lack of taste or smell), or think you may have come into contact with someone with COVID-19, follow these steps:

  1. Stay home.
  2. Check your symptoms on the BC Centre for Disease Control website, or contact Health and Wellness.
  3. Use this self-assessment tool to determine your next steps (be that visiting a clinic, testing facility, emergency department, etc). Testing is recommended for anyone with cold-, flu- or COVID-19-like symptoms – even mild ones.
  4. Need to be tested for COVID-19? Learn more about the process here. The Testing Centre in Kelowna is available by appointment, and is open 7 days a week.
  5. Self-isolate until your test results come back. If you require food, medication, or have other needs while isolating, contact your Residence Life Manager to alert us of your situation, and we will outline supports for you.
  6. If you test positive, public health will get in touch and give you instructions on how to self-isolate.

Visit the BC Centre for Disease Control website for the most up-to-date information about COVID-19.

I'm moving into Student Housing and need to self-isolate. Can you help?

Visit our self-isolation accommodation website to learn more.

What will happen if a resident contracts the virus while living in student housing?

A number of self-contained suites have been set aside for residents in the event of illness that may require self-isolation/quarantine support during the Fall 2021 term. If this occurs, we will work closely with Interior Health to ensure all safety precautions are taken for ill individuals and other residents.

Will I be told if another person at UBC or on my floor/house/residence is diagnosed with confirmed COVID-19?

In the event of a confirmed case, information would be provided to the public by the relevant health agency, according to their protocols.

What Residence amenities have been adjusted in response to COVID-19?

We will continue to provide the services and amenities that align with guidance from health authorities and help create a healthy, safer, and supportive community environment. Keep in mind that we may have to adjust our services and amenities on an ongoing basis, often on short notice, to align with public health authorities.

How is residence supporting physical distancing, hygiene and health protocols?
  • Residence staff is trained to refer residents with cold or flu-like symptoms to HealthLink BC at 8-1-1, Health & Wellness, or their health care professional.
  • A limited number of self-isolation units set aside for residents who have been directed by their health professionals to self-isolate.
  • Additional signage in community and public washrooms and throughout residence buildings reminding residents, staff, and visitors to wash their hands.
  • Hand sanitizer dispensers throughout our buildings.
  • Enhanced cleaning and sanitizing.
  • Masks are recommended in public indoor spaces.
What other preventative measures can I take?

The advice from health agencies is:

  • Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds using soap and water.
  • If a sink is not available, 60-90% alcohol-based hand rubs (hand sanitizer) can be used to clean hands if they are not visibly soiled. If they are visibly soiled, you can use an alcohol-based disposable hand wipe to remove the dirt and then use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Do not touch your eyes/nose/mouth with unwashed hands.
  • When you sneeze or cough, cover your mouth and nose with a disposable tissue or the crease of your elbow and then wash your hands.
  • Stay home when you are ill to avoid spreading the illness to others.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick with an infection.
  • If you are ill, have flu symptoms like a fever or cough, you should stay home.
How will you ensure students don't get sick?

Student Housing is taking measures that align with guidance from health authorities, and help create a healthy, safer and supportive community environment, noting that it takes everyone in the community to accomplish this goal. Please appreciate that in a pandemic situation no one can ensure safety from sickness.


Where do I need to wear a mask in residence?
  • Masks are recommended in indoor public spaces. For more information visit our Residence Rules page here and see point #10.


What Dining options are available?

To see what’s open right now, and where, head here.

What options are available to students who are self-isolating?

UBCO Food Services provides contact-less meal deliveries for all students in self-isolation. Learn more here.


What do I need to know before I accept my 2021-2022 Residence offer?

Before you accept we want you to understand that, in light of the changing dynamics of COVID-19, throughout the year there may be changes to residence practices and policies in response to public health guidance. We ask that you adjust your expectations for your residence experience in anticipation of this and make an informed choice.

We will continue to provide the services and amenities that align with guidance from health authorities, to help create a healthy, supportive and safer community environment, noting that it takes everyone in the community to accomplish this goal.

Please ensure you are familiar with our current COVID-19 Residence Rules (subject to frequent change) as you consider your residence offer.

Due to COVID-19, additional travel restrictions are in place. International students who are abroad must fulfill specific criteria to be eligible to travel to Canada at this time.

UBC is offering a variety of self-isolation accommodation packages to any members of the UBC community who need to self-isolate after arriving in Canada.

I will be arriving from outside of Canada. What do I need to know?

Visit our self-isolation accommodation page to learn about how you can self-isolate on or near campus, or apply for a self-isolation space by filling out this application.

I need to arrive early to campus for reasons other than self-isolation, what should I do?
Students with a Winter Session Residence Contract may be eligible to arrive early. The following groups must apply online to be considered (proof of registration required):

  • Early starting academic programs
  • Athletic commitments
  • Jumpstart

Early arrivals may be placed in a different room than assigned for the remainder of the Winter Session.

Early arrival fees may apply. If approved, payment must be made prior to arrival. You can find out more here.

Winter Session Residence

Once offers for First Year residence are sent and accepted, if you cancel your contract (whether or not you have moved in), please submit a cancellation request online. Standard cancellation policies apply.

If you are cancelling due to issues with travel restrictions or student visas, please provide this information in your cancellation request. It will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

If I cancel my application can I maintain my place on the waitlist (original application date)?

If you cancel your application, you will not maintain your place on the waitlist. Please contact us if you are only interested in a Term 2 offer. Please update your Winter Session application to preference only the residence areas and room types you will accept if offered.

If I decline an offer can I maintain my place on the waitlist?

Typically not. Please update your Winter Session application to preference only the residence areas and room types you will accept if offered.


Where can I buy food or dine on campus this summer?
To see what’s open right now, and where, head here.


Please do not hesitate to reach out to our office and we can direct you to supports.

If you’re facing financial hardship or have questions around your finances, speak to our student services department.

We also understand this is a challenging time for many and we are here to help.

Please check this page regularly for important updates. We also encourage you to stay up-to-date at www.ubc.ca where you will find FAQs with additional resources and information.