Frequently Asked Questions

SFU’s return to campus is complex and will be challenging for many of us. If you have a question, you’re not alone. Please view our most frequently asked questions below. We’ll update them regularly with new information. If you have have a community-specific question, please check-out our students, faculty and staff, research and alumni & visitor pages.

Last updated: January 21, 2022

General FAQs

We are working closely with the Provincial Health Officer, WorkSafeBC, the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills, and Training’s Return to Campus Guidelines and other post-secondary institutions to support the healthy and safe return to on-campus activities.

Safety plan

How are COVID-19 cases being managed on campus?

SFU works closely with Public Health, who oversee the process of case management and notification. Instructors, colleagues or classmates, should never share a person’s private medical information, which includes test results or that they are being tested for COVID-19. Learn more on the How COVID-19 Cases are Managed page.

What safety measures are in place to protect the community?

SFU has introduced a number of layers of protection to keep the community safe on our return this fall. We follow the public health guidelines set by the BC Provincial Health Officer and WorkSafeBC. Visit the Safety Plan page for more information.

SFU has introduced a number of layers of protection to keep the community safe on our return this fall. We follow the public health guidelines set by the BC Provincial Health Officer and WorkSafeBC. Visit the Safety Plan page for more information.

How will safety protocols be enforced?

If you notice someone isn’t following safety protocols, contact the responsible instructor, supervisor or submit concerns through the COVID-19 Safety Reporting Form.

After we resume on-campus activities, how will you determine whether to close SFU campus again?

SFU makes determinations based on public health guidelines recommended by the BC Provincial Health Officer and WorkSafeBC.

Why is SFU returning to in-person teaching, learning?

There is a unique and irreplaceable value in in-person learning and we have been guided in our decision to return to in-person learning by Public Health. Past data on student impacts from the pandemic and this important study on mental health impacts for young people from the BCCDC also highlights the importance of the in-person learning experience to our community.

Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health have both reported that high immunization rates among students, staff, and faculty and the health safeguards in place have helped to keep COVID-19 case rates low at post-secondary institutions. Public Health maintains that learning settings such as classrooms and laboratories are at particularly low risk of transmission. Since returning to in-person activities in the fall, Public Health has not reported any transmission of COVID-19 in learning settings on an SFU campus, and there is currently no public health rationale for continuing remote learning. We continue to monitor the advice of public health and will make any adjustments in the future as required. 

How did SFU arrive at this decision? 

SFU administration has had many conversations with academic and administrative leadership, student groups, unions and partners about timing of our return to in-person learning. We have also heard from individual students, faculty and staff. Amongst our student body we know there are a very wide range of opinions and  preferences. We also know this is a difficult time for most of us as we navigate a new phase of the pandemic. We are guided in our decision by public health expertise, our own data on student impact and research conducted by the BCCDC.

How do I avoid getting sick?

COVID-19 is something that will circulate in our communities for years to come, but there are layers of protection you can use, including getting vaccinated, wearing a proper-fitting mask, washing your hands, and self-monitoring. If you feel sick, stay home. This is what we need to do as we move through this latest phase of the pandemic.

What should I do if I get sick?

Learn how to care for yourself if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have tested positive for COVID-19 on the BCCDC website, which is continually updated with the latest information.

When should I return to campus after being sick?

Public health guidance is for fully vaccinated individuals to stay home for five days or until symptoms are abating and they have been 24 hours without a fever. We are confident in this advice, and many people are fully recovered from the illness caused by this variant within this time frame. Learn more about self-isolation and self-monitoring with the latest guidance from the BCCDC.


Will there be on-campus vaccination clinics?

SFU has partnered with Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health to host pop-up vaccination clinics at all three campuses. Visit the Pop-up Vaccination Clinics page to learn more.

Will SFU require proof of vaccination on campus?

Following directives of the BC Public Health Office, proof of vaccination using the BC Vaccine Card will be required starting September 13, 2021, to access certain discretionary non-essential activities, events and businesses at SFU. Visit the BC Vaccine Card page to learn more.

How will SFU ensure I won't have to closely interact with unvaccinated individuals?

BC Vaccine Card

Starting September 7, proof of vaccination is required for students living in student housing and September 13, for all community members participating in non-essential campus activities. Visit the BC Vaccine Card page to learn more.

Vaccine Declaration 

It is also expected that all students, staff and faculty submit a COVID-19 Vaccine Declaration by September 20, 2021.

Combined with the mask mandate for all public indoor spaces and other measures, these steps minimize risk for the community.

Who needs to complete a vaccine declaration?

We are asking students, staff and faculty to submit vaccine declarations to inform SFU’s Safety Planto encourage the community to get vaccinated and to help SFU plan for safety measures on campus including rapid screening. Learn more on the Vaccine Declaration page.


Do I have to wear a mask on campus?

Masks must be worn in all indoor common areas and learning spaces (including classrooms and labs) on SFU campuses. Visit to the Mask Guidelines page to learn more about where masks are required and where they aren’t, exemptions and more.

What masks does SFU recommend for use on campus?

Visit the Mask Guidelines page to learn more about types of masks, how to wear them effectively and where to get masks on campus.


What is being done to optimize building ventilation on campus?

SFU follows the standards for ventilation set by ASHRAE - the society that governs heating and ventilation equipment - and the guidelines they have developed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This is the guiding standard utilized by WorkSafeBC for workplace indoor air quality. Visit the Air Quality and COVID-19 page to learn more about ventilation standards for a list of areas that have been checked for air quality in preparation for return to campus.


Will rapid screening be available on SFU’s campuses?

We are working closely with public health and the ministry of advanced education, skills, and training on a rapid testing plan specific to SFU and will share details of the plan with our community as soon as it is finalized.

Meetings, events and conferences

What COVID-19 health measures are required for meetings, events and conferences?

Learn about the different measures for internal and external meetings and events, essential and discretionary events, events held inside an outside, when masks and the BC Vaccine card are required and more. Visit the MECS website.


If you have a question that is not covered here, please contact us and we'll work to get you an answer as soon as we can.