SFU announces self-disclosure of vaccine status for return to campuses

Third-party website to provide data gathering service

Two COVID-19 vaccine containers and one injection needle

By: Karissa Ketter, News Writer

SFU president Joy Johnson announced updated COVID-19 safety measures in preparation for the return to campus. In an email sent to faculty, staff, and students Johnson announced, “We are working to implement mandatory self-disclosure of vaccination status for all those who access our campuses including students, faculty, staff, and visitors.” 

Students who self-disclose must confirm two doses of an approved COVID-19 vaccine by September 13, 2021. While SFU stated they are working towards mandatory disclosure, those who do not disclose their vaccination status or are unvaccinated will be required to have “regular rapid testing.” The process will remain confidential.

Johnson’s email noted SFU is working to finalize the process. In a statement to The Peak, assistant director of external communications Braden McMillan said, “The community can expect regular updates as details are finalized.”

An update provided on September 2, 2021 noted SFU will soon be launching a “third-party website to gather vaccination status data of our campus community [ . . . ] All members of the SFU community, including faculty, staff, students and those who plan to visit one of our campuses are required to register and make a self-declaration.” It is unclear how this will be reinforced. 

As of September 2, 2021, 67% of faculty and 53% of students participated in an anonymous survey to disclose their vaccination status to SFU. At that point: 

  • 96.4% of faculty and staff and 90.1% of students are fully vaccinated 
  • 98% of faculty and staff and 95.2% of students have received at least one dose of the vaccine
  • 1.1% of faculty and staff and 1.8% of students indicated they are unlikely to get vaccinated
  • 1.7% of faculty and staff, and 1.2% of students chose not to disclose their vaccine status

SFU’s website reported they will be hosting at least 11 pop-up vaccination clinics across the Burnaby and Surrey campuses. Any individual age 12 and up can use these facilities. The clinics will be used on a drop-in basis. They are being hosted in partnership with Fraser Health. 

Along with implementing their university-wide communicable disease plan, SFU will require individuals to wear non-medical face masks in indoor spaces. SFU noted a small number of individuals will be exempt from wearing masks due to medical reasons. The process to receive exemption is unclear. The plan also includes cleaning surfaces, maximizing air flow, and auditing spaces for air quality. 

Students will need to prove vaccination in order to live in student housing, participate in intramural athletics, use the recreational facilities, and attend clubs or events.

The Peak reached out to SFU Administration for more information on the process for self-disclosure, but they noted the details had not been finalized at the time of publication.

“I am pleased with the clear decisions of the past week regarding masks and the BC Vaccine Card. We are already seeing the impact on vaccination registration due to the BC Vaccine Card. This is a meaningful approach, and will have a significant impact on vaccination rates,” said Johnson’s email.

Students with more questions regarding SFU’s COVID-19 safety plan have been directed to email covid19@sfu.ca

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