SFU-led projects

SFU staff deliver thousands of rapid tests across three campuses

March 16, 2022
Atid Schmidt, a clerk at the SFU Bookstore and Spirit Shop at Burnaby campus, distributes rapid antigen COVID-19 tests. The test kits are being distributed free to all current SFU students.

A collaborative effort across all three SFU campuses recently saw tens of thousands of COVID-19 rapid tests delivered to students, faculty and staff.

“Students are really excited and very conscious and kind,” says Kelsey Boulé, manager of program administration for SFU’s COVID Assistance and Remote Support (CARES) program, which has been distributing the test kits to students at SFU’s Vancouver campus.

“They are always asking, ‘Is there enough for everyone? If I take one, will another student not get one?’ We’ve seen a lot of kindness. I think everyone has just been really happy with how simple it is and how convenient coming and getting their tests has been.”

SFU CARES was just one of the teams who stepped up to help distribute the test kits: Staff at the SFU Spirit Shop and Bookstore at Burnaby campus; Document Solutions at Surrey campus; and Registrar and Information Services at Vancouver campus all eagerly supported the SFU-wide collaboration to ensure students are able to get their test kits.

"The feedback has been really positive,” says Peter Lisiecki, supervisor of the SFU Spirit Shop. “Everyone seems grateful to get one. We had line-ups in the early days but now there's no wait. It’s important work and we’re proud we were able to help out.”  

In February, SFU received a one-time delivery of rapid antigen tests from the province to help support on-campus learning, research and operations.

The single-use, rapid antigen tests act as a red light – if a person has COVID-19 symptoms and tests positive, they should immediately begin isolating. The tests, which should only be used by those experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, are part of the layers of protection the support the health and well-being of the entire SFU community.

  • Have COVID-19 symptoms? Check the full list, here.

Louis Ballarin, manager of logistics, inventory and fleet services, for SFU Central Stores, began the process of delivering tens of thousands of kits for faculty and staff and students across all three SFU campuses.

“It went well,” says Ballarin. “We got the process down and got in the rhythm.”

Amanda Furney of the SFU CARES program distributes COVID-19 test kits to students at Harbour Centre in SFU's Vancouver campus.

During spring break, Ballarin and his team received a whopping 25 pallet loads of test kits from the Provincial Health Services Authority. They began breaking down the pallets into smaller packages to be delivered to individual departments and units across the university for distribution.

Instead of couriering the kits, Ballarin says he and his team drove them personally to Harbour Centre and Surrey campus to ensure they arrived intact and on time for when students returned from spring break.  

Melanie Brown, director of special projects for pandemic and post-pandemic planning in the Office of the Vice-President, Academic and Provost, commends Central Stores for making sure test kits were delivered quickly and efficiently.

“The team understood how important these tests are to our community and made it a priority to get them out,” says Brown. “This was a very complex project with a quick turnaround and tons of unknowns that really showcased Central Stores’ logistical expertise.”

  • Want to know more about rapid testing at SFU? Click here.

Students attending in-person learning on campus this term are eligible for one free test kit, containing five rapid tests. Students must collect their kit in person and have valid SFU identification.

“The Central Stores team and the distribution teams at all three campuses have truly gone above and beyond to make sure test kits were distributed to staff, faculty, and students as efficiently as possible,” Brown says. “We're so lucky to have such great collaboration at SFU.”

Students: Get your test kit

  • Surrey: Document Solutions (SRYC2590), weekdays: 10 a.m. to noon; 1 to 4 p.m.
  • Vancouver: Harbour Centre (HC1100), weekdays: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Burnaby: SFU Spirit Store in the Maggie Benston Centre (MBC2100), weekdays: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Indigenous students may also access test kits through the Indigenous Student Centre.