Two of B.C.’s largest universities have announced they are moving all classes online amid concerns over COVID-19.
Simon Fraser University and the University of B.C. said campuses will remain open, however classes will be hosted virtually.
UBC said the change will be effective until the end of term.
“We understand this shift in delivery will have a significant impact on our community and you have many questions, UBC president Santa J. Ono said in a statement. “I would ask for your patience as we seek to answer those questions.”
He added that the decision to transition to online classes is not due to any confirmed cases of COVID-19 on campus, but instead in response to recommendations by B.C. health officials.
University of Victoria has cancelled classes that include more than 250 attendees, along with asking faculty and instructors to use their best judgment in how they deliver and complete their course.
“In cases where content remains to be delivered, faculty and instructors can choose the most appropriate alternative delivery method for their pedagogy, such as emailing students with course content, posting slides or lecture notes online, uploading video content, and/or using online learning platforms, at their discretion,” reads a statement from Jamie Cassels, UVic president.
Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced Friday that a ban on large gatherings will be upgraded to a ministerial order, a day after the B.C. government announced the restriction.
On Thursday, Selkirk College told students to stay home if they experience coughing, catch a fever or have difficulty breathing.
Sixty-four people in B.C. have become infected by the novel coronavirus, including one man who has died.
More to come.