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Rapid COVID-19 testing to be required for students, staff who aren't vaccinated at some B.C. universities

Vancouver -

Two major B.C. universities will require rapid testing for students and staff who aren't fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University made announcements Thursday saying those who don't get two shots against the coronavirus or don't disclose their vaccine status will need to take a test.

Both universities said they're still working on their vaccine declaration system, but said it'll be confidential and for all who access campus including students, faculty, staff and visitors.

Details on the rapid testing are also being worked out. SFU's statement suggested the testing would need to be done regularly, while UBC didn't have any information on the frequency of testing.

"We are confident these additional measures will augment the already high number of students who have been vaccinated," Santa Ono, UBC's president, said in a news release.

"To all our community members, I strongly recommend that you become vaccinated before returning to campus, if you are eligible."

Earlier this week, B.C.'s top health officials announced vaccinations will be required for anyone living in campus housing. Students studying health sciences will also need two shots because of the nature of their training and practicums. 

Students living on campus will have until Sept. 7 to prove they've had at least one vaccine dose.

Similar to the province-wide requirements, proof-of-vaccination will also be required to access on-campus restaurants and to participate in sports and indoor club meetings.

A mask mandate will also be in place for all indoor public areas, including in-class learning.

"We have received clear guidance on additional measures our sector can implement," Joy Johnson, SFU's president, said in a statement. "Though we have been given some autonomy, any additional measures will be considered in co-operation with public health."

Health officials said Monday institutions can, as an employer, discuss vaccine requirements for staff and faculty, but could not require them for students to attend class. Top Stories

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