UBC Student Housing Response to COVID-19

Last updated: Thursday, April 2, 4:42 pm

Along with UBC, Student Housing is planning and responding to the global progression of the COVID-19 virus. This page includes our current and ongoing response to this extraordinary situation and our efforts to protect the health and safety of our community.

UBC is regularly receiving and proactively responding to updated information from both the Provincial Medical Health Office, BC Centre for Disease Control, Ministry of Health and the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority.

First and foremost, student residences currently remain open. 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.

In response to COVID-19, we have taken the additional following measures:

  • Additional signage in community and public washrooms and throughout residence buildings reminding residents, staff and visitors to wash their hands
  • Hand sanitizer dispensers in each Commonsblock and the residence dining rooms
  • Enhanced cleaning and sanitizing.
  • Residence staff trained to refer residents with cold or flu-like symptoms to HealthLink BC at 8-1-1, Student Health Services or their own health care professional
  • Limited number of self-isolation units set aside for residents who are not local and have been directed by their health professional to self-isolate
  • Fitness rooms are closed
  • Outdoor recreational areas are closed


Could I be required to move out on short-notice if the decision is made to close UBC Student Residences?
Students who are unable to leave residence may continue to stay in residence for the duration of their contract (up to April 30, 2020). If you believe you require housing following the end of your contract, please apply immediately for summer housing. 
My contract expires on April 30, 2020. What will happen if I’m stuck and have no place to live and/or cannot go home?
We encourage current residents to apply online for Summer Stay Through residence as soon as possible.
If I move out now, will I get a refund?
Students with a Winter Session contract who check-out of residence by March 31, 2020 will receive a refund to their Student Housing account from the day they vacate their residence to the end of their contract (pro-rated). Students with a Year Round contract will also be able to claim a refund should they move out by March 31, 2020 and not be signing a new contract for May 2020 – April 2021.
If I move out now, will I get a refund on my Residence Meal Plan?
If you are a resident of Orchard Commons, Place Vanier Residence or Totem Park Residence, you will receive a pro-rated refund of your residence meal plan effective the date of your move-out. This will be adjusted as applicable taking note of your remaining residence meal dollars.
If I am eligible for a refund, how will that be issued to me?
Student Housing processes refunds using your most recent method of payment. If we are unable to do so, we will contact you via email with refund options.
I have concerns related to the payment of my residence fees, who can I contact for help?

Our Assignments team is here to help. Please see the list of emails below and contact the one most appropriate for your residence area.

Winter Session Residence: information@housing.ubc.ca

Year Round Residence: yearround@housing.ubc.ca

Acadia Park Residence: family@housing.ubc.ca

I’m thinking of returning home and require air travel, what options are currently available to me?
Students who would like to travel home via air travel should aim to book flights immediately. Air Canada and WestJet are currently operational, but flying only to specified locations. Please search routes on their websites for the most accurate information or speak to a travel agent. The Government of Canada is updating travel advisories, which can be found here. Travelers are recommended to book direct flights when possible.
Are there storage options available to me if I am leaving residence?
Students living in Totem Park Residence and Place Vanier Residence can speak to their residence Front Desk about a limited number of internal storage options. Find options for storage in the Vancouver area online.
Are there changes to the recreation spaces in residence?
In keeping with directives from our local and provincial health authorities, fitness rooms in residence are now closed, along with outdoor spaces such as sports courts and fields. Physical distancing is important in all spaces at this time.
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. Typically, contacts of confirmed cases would be contacted by public health to discuss precautions.
What changes are you making at Residence Dining and UBC Food Services to respond to COVID-19?

Learn about the precautions we are taking to keep customers safe and what you can do to help.

How can I help prevent the spread of COVID-19?
Coronavirus COVID-19 is transmitted through contaminated droplets spread by coughing or sneezing, or by touching your face after coming into contact with contaminated hands, surfaces or objects. All community members have been urged by UBC to follow the advice of the BCCDC:
• 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.
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick with an infection.
• If you are ill, have symptoms of flu like a fever or cough, you should stay home.
I've got more questions. Who else can help?
Please do not hesitate to reach-out to your Residence Life Manager who can direct you to help. We also understand this is a challenging time for many and we are here support residents. This includes our Counsellors in Residence who are still, and will continue to be, available for students looking for support and opportunities to chat during these unprecedented times. Appointments with the Counsellors in Residence will be primarily offered via phone or video chat. To book an appointment, e-mail counsellor.residence@ubc.ca with your name, student number, and (if applicable) your schedule/available times.

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.