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 a community-specific question, please check-out our students, faculty and staff, research and alumni & visitor pages.

Last updated: May 09, 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.


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.

If I test positive for COVID-19, who do I need to notify?

Individuals are responsible for notifying their close contacts. Using the criteria provided by the BC CDC, close contacts include people you live with and people you had intimate contact with.

Based on the above criteria, the majority of in-person classroom and learning settings are not considered close-contact environments. At this time, post-secondary institutions are not responsible for contact tracing, and should not provide notifications to faculty, staff or students about potential or confirmed communicable disease cases (including COVID-19) unless requested to do so by the local Medical Health Officer. Learn more about how COVID-19 cases on campus are managed.

When should I return to campus after being sick?

Public health guidance is for fully vaccinated individuals to stay home for five days AND until symptoms improve and you no longer have 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.

What if I'm a close contact of someone that tests positive?

You are not required to self-isolate, and you can continue to participate in routine activities, such as work or school, as long as you do not have any symptoms. Follow current B.C. CDC instructions for close contacts.



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. 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.

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

Why did SFU return to in-person teaching and 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. 


Where can I get vaccinated?

Visit the B.C. government’s website for the latest information about vaccination and boosters.

Will SFU require proof of vaccination on campus?

As of April 8th, 2022, the BC Vaccine Card is no longer required to access businesses, events and services in B.C.

Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to declare their vaccination status by completing their vaccine declaration.

Who needs to complete a vaccine declaration?

Students, staff and faculty are encouraged 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. Vaccination declaration continues to be mandatory for those who are studying, working or conducting research in settings where being vaccinated is required by Provincial Health Order, such as in healthcare or long-term care facilities. Please speak to your supervisor if you are unsure if you are required to declare.


Do I have to wear a mask on campus?

Masks are a personal choice, and are no longer required in indoor spaces. SFU encourages mask use on our campuses, particularly in spaces where people are in close proximity. Please be understanding of people’s individual circumstances and individual choices. Visit the Mask Guidelines page to learn 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.

Can I recycle my mask?

You can recycle your used facemask at any SFU campus. Learn more about the mask recycling program and find a recycling receptacle near you.


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.


Will rapid testing be available on SFU’s campuses?

SFU has received a one-time shipment of self-administered Rapid Antigen Tests from the Provincial Health Services Authority. These tests have been provided to SFU to support the continuity of on-campus learning, instruction, research and operations during the spring 2022 term. Learn more about the rapid testing program.

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. 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.