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Communicable Disease Prevention

Working to prevent communicable diseases

On May 5, 2023, the World Health Organization declared that COVID-19 no longer qualifies as a global emergency. This announcement came alongside UFV’s own discussions about transitioning to a communicable disease prevention framework.

A communicable disease is an illness caused by an infectious agent or its toxic product that can be transmitted in the workplace from one person to another. UFV’s Communicable Disease Prevention plan describes ongoing prevention measures that are maintained at all times, as well as additional measures that may be taken as directed by Fraser Health’s medical health officer or BCCDC where related to our industry, region, or workplace. This includes orders, guidance, and recommendations issued by a medical health officer or the provincial health officer.

Information on active communicable disease

We publish regular updates on emerging respiratory viruses.

Updated: June 2023

Communicable disease prevention measures

Some of these communicable disease prevention measures are used on an ongoing basis (i.e. health checks, behaviours, cleaning, functioning HVAC systems) and some measures may be implemented when there is an elevated risk of communicable disease (i.e. barriers, physical distancing, and wearing masks). For example, the level of risk may rise from time to time or on a seasonal basis, and therefore the number of protective measures needed may rise, as recommended by Public Health.

Not all measures will be available all of the time, and therefore it is recommended that members of the UFV community understand and practice them in a risk-aware manner, guided by their comfort and Public Health Recommendations.


 Health checks
and staying home

Daily health checks are a great way to check in with your body and decide whether you need to stay home. Staying home stops the spread of disease and gives you the rest you need to recover more quickly. 

How are you feeling?

  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Cough
  • Chills
  • Diarrhea
  • Body aches
  • Headache
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Confusion
  • Other abdominal symptoms

Sick? Stay home.

UFV has implemented policies to support faculty, staff and students who have symptoms of communicable disease so they can avoid being on campus when sick.


Behavioural considerations

Behaviours that help prevent the spread of infection

  • Covering coughs/sneezes
  • Using tissues
  • Frequent hand-washing
  • Masks are optional

Behavioural considerations each offer a layer of protection against communicable diseases. Some behaviours are used routinely, such as handwashing and respiratory etiquette, while others may be added when communicable disease risk is elevated (wearing masks, distancing). Consider wearing a mask, especially in enclosed areas where people are in close proximity. Masks remain optional and it’s important to respect that many people may or may not choose to wear one.


Stay up-to-date on routine vaccinations

Vaccines have proven to greatly reduce, and even eliminate, many infectious diseases that once killed or harmed people. Vaccines lower your chance of catching certain diseases, and/or experiencing a serious outcome from disease. Vaccines also lower your chance of spreading disease, which protects people in the community who are unable to be vaccinated. Being sure you are up-to-date on your routine vaccinations, getting annual flu shots and being fully vaccinated against COVID-19, are ways to protect yourself and others from preventable infections. A list of vaccines recommended for all adults is provided by Immunize BC.


Immediate work environment



Cleaning of shared areas, objects, and workstations, is important in preventing the spread of communicable diseases.


HVAC systems  

Building ventilation systems can help in reducing the transmission of some communicable diseases, such as influenza and COVID-19. Building ventilation can be improved through measures such as enhanced filtration, introduction of fresh air, and system verification and maintenance.


Getting outside  

Respiratory illness is more easily spread between people who are in close contact as respiratory droplets or aerosols can move between people more efficiently. Getting outside offers the ability to spread out, while the breeze can disperse and dilute infectious particles.


UFV's Communicable Disease Prevention Plan [PDF]

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