UPDATE: Due to an unforeseen health and safety issue the Nest and Blue Chip cafe will reopen a day later on May 20th. Our apologies for any inconvenience this might have caused.
On May 6th the BC Government announced their plan to begin a phased reopening of the province starting mid-May. A number of the Phase 1 sectors identified by the government are in line with what is provided in the Nest, specifically:
- Hair salons, barbers and other personal service establishments
- In-person counselling
- Restaurants, cafes, pubs, as long as there is sufficient distancing measures
- Museums, art galleries, libraries
- Office-based worksites
- Child care
Following the Province’s lead, the AMS has decided to reopen the Nest starting May 20th from 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday.
The health and safety of the UBC community is a top priority. The AMS Nest plays such an important role for the UBC community, and we are taking a cautious and measured approach to slowly restart offering our services to students. With a lot of the campus closed, the Nest provides an alternative destination for students who have been mostly confined to their living spaces. Reopening the Nest also allows us provide employment to some of those who were not able to work during the shut-down.
Provincial health authorities believe that as long as people continue their personal hygiene and physical distancing practices, a move to 60% of pre-COVID-19 interactions will result in a relatively flat transmission rate. The AMS is confident we can stay well below the 60% benchmark. There is already fewer than half of the number of students on campus during the summer term, and this year UBC has transitioned 2020 summer classes online, further reducing the student population at UBC.
We are continually monitoring this situation and will adjust the following guidelines accordingly in conjunction with provincial health authorities.
Personal Responsibility Guidelines
Everyone plays a part in keeping BC’s infection rate low, and we expect that students, staff and visitors will continue to practice good hygiene and physical distancing, including:
- Maintaining a two metre distance from anyone you don’t live with.
- Using a mask if a two metre distance can’t be maintained.
- Avoiding physical contact such as handshakes and hugs.
- Frequent hand washing.
- Coughing or sneezing into a disposable tissue or your elbow.
- Staying home when sick.
Signage will be used to remind people of their personal responsibilities. The AMS will monitor behaviour and should we find that personal responsibility guidelines aren’t being followed, we may close the Nest again.
Building and Facilities
- The Nest will operate on reduced hours, 9am – 6pm, Monday to Friday, until further notice.
- No gatherings in the building greater 50 people, as long as physical distancing can be maintained.
- The building will be cleaned two times a day.
- Designated entry and exit doors.
- Hand sanitizer stations will be placed near entrances.
- No table seating until further notice.
- Maximum two people in an enclosed space such as an office
- Bookable meeting rooms will be locked until further notice.
- Signage will be placed throughout the building reminding people of these policies.
- Elevators will be restricted for use by persons of disabilities and limited 2 occupants maximum.
- Elevator floors will be marked to show where to stand to maintain physical distancing.
- Club events, meetings and office access will be suspended until further notice.
Food & Beverage
- Blue Chip Cafe reopening May 20. Honour Roll and The Gallery reopening May 25.
- High touch point surfaces within outlets will be sanitized once an hour.
- All food work areas will be sanitized every hour.
- Dine-in is temporarily suspended, outlets will offer take-out only.
- Outlets floor plans for staff and customers to be properly spaced to allow for physical distancing and walking flow.
- To minimize face-to-face interactions we will begin to offer food delivery.
- We have temporarily suspended accepting re-usable cups, china or cutlery. $.25 disposable cup fee will not be charged.
- Removed all water stations inside the outlets.
- All food handling staff to wear gloves & masks.
- Perspex sneeze guards are being installed at all outlets.
- Hand sanitizers will be available.
Catering & Conferences
- No bookings greater 50 people, as long as physical distancing can be maintained.
- Increased cleaning of high touch surfaces.
- All staff will wear gloves and face masks.
- Hand sanitizers will be available.
- Sanitizing tables and chairs after each breakout session or lunch.
- Catering outside of the Nest will use disposable food ware and be drop-off only.
- Event floor plans will be properly spaced for physical distancing with planned walking flow.
- Buffets will be suspended; catering will be restricted to only individual meals.
- Beverages will only be served in individual bottles or cans. Coffee, juice, and water stations will be suspended.
- Use of reusable china and cutlery will be suspended.
- Catering staff to wear gloves, and masks.
- Small meeting rooms / bookable rooms will not be used until further notice.
- The SASC will continue to provide support & advocacy services online and over the phone Monday-Friday 8am-10pm and Saturday & Sunday 11am-7pm.
- Starting May 20th, in-person appointments will be available on request Monday-Thursday from 10am-4pm.
- To schedule an appointment in-person or remotely, contact the SASC at 604 827 5180 or email@example.com.
- Most SASC staff will continue to work from home and a maximum of 2 staff will work in the office on any given day.
- Workspaces will be arranged to maintain a 2 metre distance between staff.
- All in-person appointments with the SASC Support & Advocacy team must be scheduled in advance. Only 2 people will be permitted in the support room for in-person appointments.
- Masks will be worn for in-person appointments and the support room will be sanitized after every appointment.
- Support groups will continue to be offered online.
- The SASC’s education services and workshops continue to be available online and can be scheduled by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
AMS Food Bank
- The Food Bank is open 1pm – 5pm on Thursdays only.
- The Life building is not scheduled to reopen at this time, as a result clients will not have direct access to the Food Bank.
- Clients wishing to use the Food Bank are asked to wait by the lower Southwest doors of the Life building and call 604-822-2371 when you arrive. Food Bank staff will come to the door and provide you with a pre-filled grocery bag and a $10 grocery gift card. Families will receive two bags and two gift cards.
- For students who need support outside of our hours or live further from campus, the Greater Vancouver Food Bank is still open.
- Safewalk walking service is temporarily suspended until further notice.
- Students are advised to contact UBC Security 604-822-2222, especially if walking at night alone.
- Consider walking in groups, or have a friend that can call you in 5-10 minutes’ intervals to check in with you.
- If you experience an emergency, please call 911.
- Main AMS office doors will be closed to the public.
- Perspex barriers will be installed at AMS reception desk.
- Staff are asked to continue meeting virtually as much as possible.
- AMS meeting rooms limited to no more than 6 people or the maximum capacity possible while maintaining adequate physical distance.
- Encouraging students and visitors to email requests rather than come to the office.
- Workspaces will be arranged to maintain a 2 metre distance between staff.
- A maximum of one person in the photocopy room at a time.
- A maximum of three people in the lunch room at a time.
- Hands must be washed prior to using the kitchen.
- Containers must be washed prior to placing them in the office refrigerator.
- Staff are encouraged to eat lunch at their desks or elsewhere in the building.
- Masks and gloves will be made available for AMS staff who wish to wear them.
- Hand sanitizer stations will be placed near the office entrances.
- Minimizing the number of staff in the office by staggering shifts.
- Remote working is advised where possible.
- Employees with cold or flu symptoms are not to report to work.
- Office will be cleaned more frequently.
- Occupants including CiTR and the Ubyssey are expected to to follow these guidelines as well.
- Occupants are required to sign off on adhering to NEST and BC Public Health Guidelines.
- Random checks will be conducted to ensure guidelines are being followed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are you reopening the Nest?
- With a lot of the campus closed, the AMS Nest provides key resources for UBC students including support services and affordable food options. Our role as an employer factored into the decision – reopening the building allows the AMS to provide employment for those who were not able to work during the shut-down.
Why was May 20th chosen as the date to reopen?
- On May 6, 2020 BC health authorities announced a phased reopening of the province starting mid-May. The May 20th reopening date aligns with the government’s recommendations and gives us the opportunity to get the Nest ready for reopening.
Won’t reopening increase the risk of spreading the disease?
- Provincial health authorities believe that as long as people continue their personal hygiene and physical distancing practices, a move to 60% of pre-COVID-19 interactions will result in a relatively flat transmission rate. The AMS is confident we can stay well below the 60% benchmark. There is already fewer than half of the number of students on campus during the summer term, and this year UBC has transitioned 2020 summer classes online, further reducing the student population at UBC.
Are you limiting access into the building?
- In an effort to stay below the 60% benchmark set by the province the Nest will open on reduced hours, Monday to Friday from 9am – 6pm. As well some areas of the building will remain locked and certain activities will be limited or temporarily suspended.
How will your safety measures be enforced?
- Everyone plays a role in keeping BC’s infection rate low, so we’re relying on people to monitor themselves and follow our guidelines. We will regularly monitor activity in the building and adjust our plans accordingly.
Doesn’t bottled water and disposable food-ware work against AMS sustainability plans?
- Our move away from reusable items is to help minimize transmission between staff and customers. Since September 2019 the AMS has been using compostable and/or recyclable cups, plates and cutlery in all our food operations and we encourage everyone to sort and dispose of these items properly. We will continue to evaluate this policy as the situation evolves.
How will this affect clubs?
- With provincial restrictions on indoor gatherings all club activities and office access in the Nest will be temporarily suspended until we’ve had an opportunity to access the situation after reopening.
Why can’t students use the small meeting rooms?
- The risk of transmission increases in enclosed spaces and due to the fact we’re unable to closely monitor activity in the meeting rooms they will remain locked until further notice.
What if someone feels unsafe coming to the Nest?
- Anyone who feels unsafe and doesn’t have a specific reason to visit the Nest should avoid coming to the building. Staff and employees who feel unsafe returning to work should speak to their manager and the HR department.
What if someone in the building tests positive for COVID-19?
- If a student tests positive the AMS will work with the university to determine the level of risk and the appropriate course of action.
- If it’s an AMS staff member or student employee we will determine the level of interaction between that employee and co-workers. Low risk exposure to a confirmed COVID-19 case includes walking by the person or briefly being in the same room. If low risk, the co-workers should self-monitor for symptoms and practice good hand hygiene and physical distancing in public, at home and at work. High risk exposure includes prolonged periods of working closely with the person. Co-workers who are considered high risk are recommended to self-isolate for 14-days. High-touch surfaces and the work areas near the person will be sanitized before staff can return to that area.