Last updated: July 30, 2021
Along with the rest of UBC, Student Housing and Community Services continues to respond to the global effects of COVID-19 and plan for a return to on-campus activity for Winter Session, Term 1, with the guidance of the Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, and public health teams in the health authorities.
This page includes our current and ongoing response to this extraordinary situation and our efforts to protect the health and safety of our communities. Our first priority is to help reduce the impact of COVID-19 by caring for our staff and for the communities we serve. We are committed to continuing to provide services and amenities that help create a healthy, safe and supportive community environment to the very best of our abilities.
SHCS staff can visit this page for regularly-updated information and for valuable resources and support. We strongly encourage you to also stay updated on UBC’s overall response at ubc.ca. Thank you for your continued dedication and professionalism.
Information, updates and resources for you
→ ubc.ca: UBC-wide information, updates and resources.
→ hr.ubc.ca: Information and resources for managing/supervising and working during COVID-19.
→ vpstudents.ubc.ca: Additional information and resources for members of the Vice-President, Students (VPS) portfolio, which includes all SHCS staff.
For SHCS staff (on this page)
Departmental Updates for SHCS
Find out about how each of the SHCS departments is responding to COVID-19.
Year Round and Student Family residences remain open and we are preparing for a full return in both Year Round and Winter Session residences in August and September 2021.
Strong encouragement and detailed information about mandatory and recommended public health advice and enhanced cleaning/hygiene protocols are being regularly communicated to all residents.
Enhanced cleaning and sanitizing is ongoing. Units suitable for self-isolation have been set aside. Instructional flyers are available for these units and include resources and recommendations as well as information from the BCCDC for people who have been tested for COVID-19 and then directed to self-isolate.
Of note, monthly residence fees for students in residence will remain at 2019-20 rates until further notice.
Many students will need to self-isolate, whether they are travelling to UBC from abroad, have been directed to self-isolate due to contact or as a result of symptoms.
While some students in some situations are able to self-isolate in their current residence room, UBC and SHCS are offering a variety of self-isolation options for others, along with self-care resources for all.
Learn more about the self-isolation options and resources UBC and SHCS are offering on both our Vancouver and Okanagan campuses.
All three residence dining rooms (Feast, Gather and Open Kitchen) are currently preparing for a safe return to full service in late-August when our first students move into residence.
View COVID-related updates and FAQs for customers.
Restaurants & Catering
Sage Restaurant has now re-opened for catering and events.
Find out what’s open on-campus at UBC Okanagan Food Services.
View COVID-related updates and FAQs for customers.
UBC Parking Rates
UBC Parking reinstated hourly parking rates effective May 4. If you have a permit, there are no changes. You can continue to park for free in the locations your permit allows.
If you don’t have a permit and wish to park at UBC, you are now be required to pay for parking. Please pay at the nearest meter or from your phone via the HONK payment app.
For permit holders requiring a refund, we will continue to process refunded permits at the end of the month
Child Care Services (CCS) continues to operate as usual, providing care for families in our UBC community and beyond.
Please visit UBC Child Care Services for the most up-to-date info on how CCS is responding to COVID-19.
Get up-to-date information on Campus Mail’s response and operational changes due to COVID-19.
Conferences & Accommodation
C&A staff are working hard to support clients who have had to cancel conferences, camps, workshops and events – and they are doing a great job re-booking many of these clients for this summer or in 2022.
West Coast Suites remains open to hotel guests.
Resources for Remote Workers
For those staff who continue to work remotely, whether full-time or on a hybrid schedule:
Connecting to Your Desktop Remotely
SHCS staff at UBC Vancouver and Okanagan can log onto their UBC desktops and access shared drives remotely.
Step 1: Download Two Pieces of Software
Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client (the program that runs the UBC VPN)
- Browse to myvpn.ubc.ca
- Log in using your CWL credentials
- Follow the prompts to download and install Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client
VMware Horizon Clients (the remote desktop software)
- Browse to my.vmware.com
- Download and install the version of VMware Horizon Clients that is compatible with your home computer
Step 2: Connect to Your Remote Desktop
Connect to the UBC VPN
- Open Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client
- Select a server (myvpn.ubc.ca or myvpn2.ubc.ca)
- Log in using your CWL credentials
- Once connected, leave Cisco AnyConnect running in the background
Connect to your remote desktop
- Open VMware Horizon Clients
- Type “vdi.housing.ubc.ca” in the connection server field
- Type your username and password (the same ones you use to log onto your computer at work)
- If there is a domain field, enter “Housing”
Step 3: Disconnect When You Are Done
Given that UBC’s VPN servers are working at maximum capacity right now, please:
- Disconnect from the VPN when you do not need it for work
- Avoid streaming videos and music while you have the VPN running
- The VPN must always be connected before attempting to connect via VMware
- If you are unable to connect to the VPN, try selecting a different server because it may be overloaded (myvpn.ubc.ca or myvpn2.ubc.ca)
- If you are still unable to connect or receive an error message, please contact Sam Pat at firstname.lastname@example.org or Aaron Ng at email@example.com.
SHCS COVID-19 Workspace Safety Plans
- SHCS Building Services COVID-19 Workspace Safety Plan (View the spring 2021 updates)
- SHCS Facilities Office COVID-19 Workspace Safety Plan
- SHCS 2440 West Mall (Warehouse, Parking Area, Carpentry Shop) COVID-19 Workspace Safety Plan
- SHCS Main Office COVID-19 Workspace Safety Plan
Additional SHCS COVID-19 Safety Plans
Student Housing: For the SHCS Residence Commonsblock COVID-19 Safety Plan (Vancouver), please refer to the Vancouver Student Housing COVID-19 web page.
Food Services: For the SHCS Food Services COVID-19 Safety Plan (Vancouver), please refer to the UBC Food Services COVID-19 web page.
Conferences and Accommodation: For the Conferences and Accommodation COVID-19 Safety Plan, please refer to the C&A COVID-19 web page.
UBC Bookstore: For the UBC Bookstore and Corner Store COVID-19 Safety Plans, please visit the UBC Bookstore COVID-19 web page.
Child Care Services: For the Child Care Services COVID-19 Safety Plan, please refer to the News section on the homepage of the UBC Child Care Services website.
Parking: For the Parking COVID-19 Safety Plans, please visit UBC Parking Help & Support and filter for COVID-19. Alternatively, here are direct links for the Access Desk Safety Plan and the Enforcement Safety Plan.
During this time, it is so important that you take time to care for yourselves and your families. To that end Melissa Baker, our Nutrition & Wellbeing Manager, and Jen Dowdeswell, Organizational Development & Learning Manager have shared some simple but effective tips you can put into practice and remind you of UBC-specific resources to support you and your family and colleagues.
Therapist-assisted Digital Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT): An evidence-based and effective form of psychotherapy for individuals experiencing mental health concerns, which is covered by your UBC Extended Health Benefits. Learn more >
Benefits Support for Staff and Your Families
- Helping Staff and Faculty in Distress
- UBC’s Employee and Family Assistance Program – Your EFAP provides immediate and confidential assistance for any work, health or life concern. Visit www.workhealthlife.com for more information (search UBC Vancouver Campus.)
- Mental Health information, education and training
- UBC Benefits – These include $2,500/person/year, for you and eligible dependents, for counselling and psychological support services, including licensed psychologists, social workers or registered clinical counsellors. No doctor’s note is needed and fees are reimbursed 100% (based on a reasonable and customary charge).
- Find a comfortable space to work. The UBC ergonomics resources page or this recent article written by UBC’s ergonomist, Abigail Overduin about staying comfortable and preventing injury when working from home can support you in setting up a space. We also recognize that it may be hard to have a designated space to work from, other than the kitchen table etc. You could consider setting up agreements with your significant other/older kids/roommates that when the door is shut (or headphones are on) they don’t bother you but you’ll come out at least a few times a day to hang out while you take a break.
- Don’t forget to move! Get up and move every hour. If you have phone calls that don’t require video, stand up and pace or walk. Stretch and remember your posture. Here are 10 stretches you can do.
- Create a routine. Treat it as you would if you were going to the office. Have a start time, and an end time. Take a lunch break – consider getting some fresh air. It is essential to your wellbeing that you are able to create a separation from when you are working, to simply being at home. The more you can structure this, the better you will be at getting your work done during the day, and then relaxing at the end of the day.
- Listen to music. Listening to background music can be very helpful, especially if you are not in the house alone. Spotify and other music providers often offer music with the theme of “Focus.” Here’s an Entrepreneur article that explains why.
- Connect with your colleagues. It will be weird to not see them every day. Consider creating a group chat on Whatsapp or other platform to check in at the beginning and end of the day. See how you can help each other, and also to help keep spirits up.
- Connect with your friends and family. This is an unprecedented opportunity to connect more closely with the people we care about, whether it’s spending quality time together in person or catching up over video chat.
- Self-Care is an important part of building resilience to challenges like the current COVID-19 outbreak. We’ve put together a handy worksheet with ideas and questions to help you create your own self-care strategy.
- Specific to the current situtation, here’s a great presentation from Morneau Shepell emotional wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic.