Coronavirus update: July 9, 2020 - 1:30 p.m.

July 9, 2020

It has been a few weeks since the last update but wanted to let you know that planning continues with all our stakeholders. We also continue to monitor advice from the Provincial Health Officer, public health agencies and various ministries regarding UNBC’s response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. There are few updates to share as we move closer to the Fall Term.

In today’s update:

  • Physical distancing
  • Library contactless book pick-up
  • Cloth masks and face coverings
  • Convocation 2020

Physical Distancing

It’s important to note that although our campus’ remain open and some students, faculty, staff and researchers are on site, it is not “business as usual” and we must continue to adhere to the principles of physical distancing when on campus. We have noticed that some members of our community are not adhering to these requirements and although the number of confirmed cases within our region remain low we should not become complacent. I expect people to continue working remotely wherever possible.

Library Contactless book pick-up

Although the library remains closed, effective July 7, 2020 they have extended their services to provide contactless pickup and mail delivery of print books to students, faculty and staff. These additional services will be delivered following the provincial and institutional COVID-19 guidelines for the continued safety of our staff and university community. Mail delivery will be available for our remote and regional patrons and inter-office mail delivery will be available for faculty on-campus. I thank the Librarians and staff for extending their services in response to the needs of our community. For any questions or comments about these services feel free to contact the library at


Although non-medical masks and face coverings are helpful in containing your own droplets they will not protect you from COVID-19. UNBC will not be providing cloth masks but some members within our community may choose to wear cloth masks or face coverings when they are attending our campuses. This is a personal choice and one that we all as a community need to respect. Please be kind to each other and respect the choices that individuals make to protect themselves and those around them. 

Convocation 2020

Congratulations once again to the Class of 2020 as we celebrated our graduates’ achievements during two virtual ceremonies on June 29. Thank you to all the graduates who submitted their unique videos, messages and photos, as well as our faculty and staff who provided messages of congratulations, or sang O’Canada. The ceremonies also included greetings from a few prominent Canadians and those from B.C. 

A special thank you to the Convocation Office and its committee for organizing such a unique event in a short timeframe. I have received nothing but positive feedback on how the events unfolded.

If you missed tuning in, you can watch both the College of Arts, Social and Health Sciences and College of Science and Management ceremonies at 

I am so proud of our Class of 2020 and hope to congratulate you and the Professor Emeriti in person when we host your traditional convocation in the future. 

I want to again thank you for your continued hard work as UNBC continues to adapt and evolve in the face of this pandemic. Please visit our Coronavirus (COVID-19) website for the latest information and send your questions to 

Please know that the UNBC community’s safety remains our highest priority. I appreciate your patience as we work with many stakeholders to be solution-orientated in support of our UNBC community. 

Stay safe, and thank you!

Geoff Payne,
UNBC Interim President and Vice-Chancellor