More than 2000 UVIC students are being asked to leave their dorms as a safety precaution amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Both domestic and international students are asked to leave as soon as possible, with a final check-out date on March 27.
“Since the end of face-to-face classes, closure and pending closure of many university facilities, university students can now return home to finish out the term using alternate course delivery methods,” said Paul Marck, UVIC’s public affair’s associate manager.
With more than 2000 students living on campus, UVIC said they had no choice but to send everyone home as the Provincial Health Officer has ordered there be no public gatherings of more than 50 people.
With the call for social distancing louder than ever, UVIC decided it would not be possible to do so with so many students living in one area.
“Our first priority is for the safety and security of members of our university community,” said Marck.
Those in exceptional circumstances can apply for an extension to continue living on residence until they are able to find somewhere to stay.
UVIC is also not charging students for moving out early.
“There are three different options for moving out, all of which will include waiving the $250 cancellation fee, a refund on room fees, and a transfer of meal plan funds at the point of check-out to your flex account,” says UVIC’s website.
UVIC is not alone; multiple post-secondary schools across Canada are sending dorm residents home.
The University of Ottawa and Toronto’s Ryerson University have ordered all students living on campus to vacate their rooms.
Some schools are not ordering, but encouraging students to leave voluntarily, such as McGill University and Algonquin College.
Post-secondary institutes across the country have moved their classes online, to limit face-to-face interactions in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.