Starting March 16, UBC classes will transition online for social distancing

UBC just announced that all in-person classes will transition online starting Monday, March 16 and lasting for the remainder of the term to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

According to a broadcast email sent out earlier today, the transition will apply to all campuses at Vancouver, Okanagan and Robson Square. The news comes after several schools across the country including McGill, the University of Toronto and more recently Simon Fraser University announced that they would be cancelling all in-person classes.

“We are working as quickly as possible to inform our faculty, in order to assist them in preparing their materials for online. We understand this shift in delivery will have a significant impact on our community and you have many questions. I would ask for your patience as we seek to answer those questions,” wrote President Santa Ono in an official letter to the UBC Community.

While classes will shift to online-only starting Monday, the campuses will remain open and university operations will proceed as normal.

Earlier in the day, UBC cancelled or suspended all events and classes that included over 250 students and asked students to self-quarantine for 14 days if they were travelling abroad. This news came after BC health authorities recommended cancelling all events with over 250 people to try and prevent the spread of the virus on Thursday, March 12.

Ono also wrote that the university is exploring options for administering exams remotely and holding graduation ceremonies.

It is unclear whether the Nest and AMS services will operate as usual. In a written statement to The Ubyssey, AMS President Chris Hakim said the society is still considering its options and will keep students updated.

“We’re working with staff on our next steps and will be providing more information to ensure staff are healthy and safe soon,” said Hakim.

BC Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced today that as of now, there are 64 cases of COVID-19 in BC.

In his letter, Ono noted that there are no presumptive or confirmed cases among UBC students, faculty or staff.