UBCO Student Housing Response to COVID-19

Last updated: Sept 7, 2021.

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

This page contains useful FAQs and resources based on what we currently know, and is being updated regularly following advice from provincial and federal health agencies. Below is a summary of what we currently know, and we appreciate that we will all need to be adaptable and flexible—as we continue to transition away from the unusual circumstances of the past year and a half and also in case of other changes in the months to come.

Health and safety remains our first priority and we continue to work closely with governmental and post-secondary partners within B.C. to ensure our plans are aligned with health and safety guidelines. Please note that our typical array of amenities and services may be temporarily adjusted due to health and safety directives.

If you are travelling to Canada please visit UBC’s Travelling to Canada During COVID-19 web page for important resources and updates.

For more comprehensive information about UBC’s plans to welcome students back to campus, or information about mask mandates, rapid testing and vaccine passports, visit this page here.


I’m moving into UBC Student Housing in September 2021. Where can I find information about moving in?

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.

Do students need to be vaccinated to live in residence?

On August 23, 2021, the BC provincial government made a significant announcement requiring all persons born 2009 or earlier (12+) to become vaccinated in order to live in certain residence facilities at UBC or if they wish to engage in non-essential or discretionary activities on UBC Premises or elsewhere in the province. Please read the UBC Broadcast email about this announcement and refer to the government’s announcement for additional context.

At this time UBC is waiting for further information from the Province of British Columbia regarding the requirement for vaccination as a condition of living in some residences. It is anticipated that all UBC residence areas other than UBC Student Family Housing will be included in the Proof of Vaccination plan. These COVID-19 Residence Rules will be amended when further information is forthcoming.

In the meantime, please find more information about vaccination requirements and how to get vaccinated here.

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.
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.

Where can I find more information about student supports?


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.

Can I self-isolate on campus if travelling to UBC from outside Canada?

UBC Okanagan does not currently have self-isolation units available for students travelling from abroad. For off-campus self-isolation options, visit this page.

Can I access a COVID-19 vaccination at UBC?

Free COVID-19 vaccination clinics will be available to all UBC students, staff and faculty throughout the fall. Please note that you do not need a BC Personal Health Number, a BC Services Card or to be enrolled in BC’s Medical Services Plan to receive a vaccine.


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.

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.

Visit our self-isolation website to learn more.

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 health protocols?

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.

  • 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 required 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.


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.


Can I get a refund?

Prior to Sept. 4, the Student Housing is referring to requests on a case-by-case basis. If you would like to cancel your housing offer, please reach out to us directly. Once you have moved in, the cancellation policy is in effect.

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.


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.