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Coronavirus: UBC Okanagan transitioning to online classes

The University of British Columbia says it is taking direction from the provincial government as it plans and considers its next steps amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.
The University of British Columbia says it is taking direction from the provincial government as it plans and considers its next steps amid the novel coronavirus outbreak. Google Maps

UPDATE: The University of B.C. says due to coronavirus concerns, it will be transitioning to online classes for the rest of the term.

On its website, UBC president and vice-chancellor Santa J. Ono said the situation concerning COVID-19 continues to evolve and has become an unprecedented scenario for the university.  

“Today I am announcing the transition to online classes effective MondaMarch 16, 2020 for the remainder of the term,” said Ono. 

“For classes that cannot be accommodated online, we will be issuing further information through our Faculties. This will apply to UBC Vancouver, UBC Okanagan and UBC Robson Square. Information regarding exams will be shared next week.”

He also said UBC’s campuses will remain open and all university operations will continue as normal, as we transition.

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ORIGINAL STORY:

The doors to the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus will remain open for the time being, the university announced on Friday morning.

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With B.C. on high alert because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, provincial officials have recommended that gatherings larger than 250 people be cancelled or postponed.

However, schools and universities have not been closed — though spring break is about to start.

READ MORE: Coronavirus — B.C. urges end to large gatherings, international travel, including to U.S.

On Friday, UBC announced that its Vancouver and Kelowna campuses will remain open, but it will be cancelling all on-campus and off-campus events with more than 250 people, including sports events, whether indoors or outdoors, that are organized by students, faculty and staff.

“Countries around the world, including Canada, are working to contain the current outbreak of the [novel] coronavirus disease,” UBC said in a press release.

“At this time, the Public Health Agency of Canada has assessed the public health risk associated with the virus as ‘low for Canada.’”

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The university noted that it is taking direction from the provincial government as it plans and considers its next steps.

UBC also said its health-care partners requested that the university continue operations at this time.

The university said that as of Friday morning, it was not aware of any cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, among its students, faculty or staff, within B.C. or abroad.

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