SFU community frequently asked questions about COVID-19

Get answers to your questions about COVID-19 and how we are responding at SFU

Last Updated: Fri, 11 Sep 2020 11:45 AM

SFU follows the latest information and recommendations about COVID-19 from regional and provincial medical health officers. For the latest number of confirmed cases in British Columbia, please visit the BCCDC website.

New information:

If you are concerned that you may have COVID-19, try the BC government COVID-19 self-assessment tool to help guide you on what to do. The province of BC has also set up a dedicated COVID-19 hotline at 1-888-COVID19 or text 604-630-0300. The service is available daily from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. with information available in over 110 languages.

As COVID-19 continues to spread globally, watch out for associated scams. Review these tips to protect yourself

COVID-19 impact scale

For information specific to students, staff/faculty and campus services, please check out the links below. For answers to common questions about COVID-19 please check out BC CDC's FAQs.

Campus building access

All SFU campuses and buildings remain open with limited access

  • Limited access means the majority of perimeter doors for all buildings and all campuses will be locked, with specific doors unlocked between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm, Monday to Friday.
  • For immediate or urgent access requests, please contact Campus Public Safety at 778-782-7991. For non-urgent access requests, please email patrolop@sfu.ca with the subject line “Access Request”. As you can expect, there may be delays with processing email requests, so please ensure you are giving advanced notice and including all relevant information (campus, date and location).
  • Access is available only to current members of the SFU community who present SFU identification, which can include your SFU ID, business card or other similar documentation. Family and friends of community members should not be on campus at this time.
  • Signage on locked doors will direct community members to accessible entry points, along with a contact number for further information. More information can also be found here.
  • The majority of public washrooms will be closed with signs posted to direct to the nearest open washroom. 

Some SFU buildings are not wired for fob access and may be restricted to authorized SFU personnel only. For more information on how to gain access to specific buildings on campus, please visit the Campus Public Safety website.  

Please note that SFU recommends everyone on campus wear a non-medical mask in all indoor public areas. For more information, visit the General FAQ section.


The Library remains open, providing virtual service and electronic collections while our physical library buildings on campuses are closed. Rich collections of online journals, e-books and databases are available by searching the SFU Library Catalogue and filtering results to "Full text online," or using the online resources only option.  Virtual research help, consultations through the Student Learning Commons and Research Commons, and remote library instruction workshops are also available. 

As guidelines from the Province are being updated, we are gradually restoring in-person services, beginning with mediated access to the Library's physical collections. SFU faculty, staff, and students can now place requests for print books, to be picked up through our contactless pick-up service at Bennett Library (SFU Burnaby), and place requests for scans of book chapters, to be delivered by email. More information and updates are available online at https://www.lib.sfu.ca/about/covid-19. If you have additional questions, please contact us at library@sfu.ca.

Health and Counselling Services

Health and Counselling Services are still available; however, due to COVID-19, many of the services are moving to a virtual format.  Please call ahead to book an appointment or to access any of our services. 

Burnaby: 778-782-4615

Vancouver: 778-782-5200

Further details are available at: http://www.sfu.ca/students/health/see-a-doctor.html

All SFU graduate and undergraduate students can access free counselling and support through My Student Support Program – reachable from anywhere in the world by phone or through the downloadable app. 

All students currently registered is a B.C. post-secondary institution also have access to Here2Talk – a provincial program that offers free, confidential counselling and community referral services, conveniently available 24/7 via app, phone and web.

Updates from Safety and Risk Services: access control, Safewalk, Campus Public Safety

SFU Campus Public Safety (CPS) remains operational as the safety and security of our students, faculty, and staff remain a priority. Please note the following updates to on-campus services: 

  • CPS response is based on the priority for life-safety related calls while response to non-urgent matters will be on an availability basis.
  • The Safety & Risk Services main office in Discovery 1 is now closed and all urgent access control requests should be directed through the non-emergency number 778-782-7991.
  • Programs such as Safewalk will be reduced; CPS dispatchers will accommodate requests to the best of their abilities to ensure continued safety on-campus. 
  • CPS is temporarily suspending all vehicular Safewalk transport, effective immediately.

CPS is unable to provide medical advice related to COVID-19 or other illness. In an emergency, call 911. Campus Security provides support, first aid response, and helps to guide emergency responders (fire, ambulance, police) to the right place on campus.

SFU Athletics and Recreation programs, activities and facilities

All SFU Recreation programming and activities have been suspended until further notice.

  • This includes the temporary closure of the Lorne Davies Complex and all related activity within the centre.
  • We recognize the importance of health and wellness during this time and encourage our community members to be active outside until we can re-open our facilities and programs.
  • Refunds for programs and memberships will be assessed once a date for resumption of service has been determined.

Parking & Sustainable Mobility Services

After reviewing feedback and confirming that SFU will remain at a level of High (H2) on the SFU COVID Impact Scale, SFU Parking and Sustainable Mobility will not be charging students, faculty, and staff for parking in the Fall 2020 term. The department will continue the COVID Parking policy adopted on July 1, 2020 and will reassess our policies for the 2021 Spring term.

If you are working from home, studying remotely, and/or don't require parking: Nothing needs to be done – if you were a staff member on payroll deduction we will continue to halt your parking payroll deduction payments and we will continue to "hold" your permit. 

If you will be on campus (even temporarily or part-time) and/or will require parking: If you are a faculty or staff member who already has an annual 2020 parking permit, you don’t need to do anything.

If you are a student or faculty/staff member who does not already have a 2020 annual parking permit, please fill out our customer information form and email it to parking@sfu.ca to be included in the complimentary parking list.

Note: Hourly and daily pay parking rates remain in effect for visitors and contractors at the Burnaby campus.

Due to COVID, the Parking and Sustainable Mobility office will remain closed to the public during this time. If you have questions, comments, or concerns please contact parking@sfu.ca

Burnaby Campus Shuttle

Suspended until further notice. Will be reassessed as the need arises. 

Burnaby Dining Services


The Dining Hall (located by residences) is open to the community from 7 am to 10 pm daily, offering take-out service only. 


All other dining operators are temporarily closed

  • AQ - Mackenzie Café, Subway, Renaissance Café, Jugo Juice, Taco Cantina, Simon C-Store, Menchies
  • ASB - Renaissance Cafe
  • Cornerstone - Starbucks 
  • Diamond Alumni Centre (DAC)
  • Discovery 1 - Discovery Café
  • MBC  - The Study Pub, Higher Grounds Coffee and all MBC Food Court units
  • WMC - Tim Hortons, Starbucks

Meeting, Event & Conference Services (MECS) & catering

At this time, limited one-time, episodic in-person meetings, events, or ceremonies with approved safety plans and fewer than 20 participants are allowed for faculty and staff only with the following restrictions.

Only a limited number of SFU spaces/buildings can be used:

•  SFU Burnaby Campus: Halpern Centre (meetbby@sfu.ca)

•  SFU Vancouver Campus: Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue (meet@sfu.ca)

•  SFU Surrey: TBD - under assessment (meetsry@sfu.ca)

•  Outdoor spaces which allow physical distancing (meetbby@sfu.ca)

To request space, contact Meeting, Event and Conference Services (MECS):

MECS is available to provide support for these limited internal in-person gatherings at SFU campuses. Please note that IT support may be limited due to availability

An event safety plan will need to be prepared by the event organizer/host. MECS and Ceremonies and Events will have guidelines and a risk mitigation checklist for the event organizers to follow. 

If the in-person meeting, event, or ceremony is off-campus, the gathering must also be less then 20 participants and a safety plan based on the MECS and Ceremonies and Events safety guidelines and risk mitigation checklist will need to be prepared by the event organizer/host. 

NOTE: Should the university need to move to a higher risk rating level on its COVID Impact Scale, there is a possibility that in-person gatherings of any kind would be suspended.

Bookstore & Spirit Shop

Burnaby, Surrey & Vancouver campus stores are closed to walk-in customers until further notice. Course materials can still be found online via the SFU Bookstore. Supplies, gifts and SFU spirit wear can be found at the SFU Spirit Shop’s online store

Document Solutions

Printing, scanning and digital services are available online or through WebCRD. Both Burnaby and Surrey service desks are closed until further notice however Document Solutions staff can be reached at docsol@sfu.ca.

IT Services

All walk-in IT Service Centers are now closed. IT support is available Monday – Friday from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm at its-help@sfu.ca or 778-782-4828.

The IT Services’ computer lab in WMC 2502 at the Burnaby campus is open 8:00 am - 8:00 pm, Monday - Friday.

The following IT Services labs are closed: AQ 3148, SUR 2300, SUR 3140, HCC 1340, HCC 1350, and HCC 2960

Archives and Records Management Department

The Archives and Records Management Department has suspended in-person services until further notice. 

Please note that this change does not mean archival reference services are suspended. We continue to offer access to online resources and will provide as many services as possible through online and virtual methods. For further details on what reference services are available and how to access them, please contact the Reference Archivist at archives@sfu.ca or 778.782.2380.

University Records Centre services, including box transfers and file retrievals, are temporarily suspended. However, please continue to submit University Records Centre requests to rcclerk@sfu.ca so that we can monitor the need for these services at this time.

Protection of privacy services and freedom of information requests are unaffected by this change.

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