Worried about returning to SFU and what to do about COVID 19 this school year?
So is everybody!

There is no doubt that returning to SFU this year feels more different than ever. You are not alone in having questions and concerns. The following is an assortment of information put out by SFU, the SFSS, and the Provincial Health Office regarding what to expect in 2022/2023. It is my hope that this will offer some peace of mind and a centralized location for information for students.

ALL OF THIS INFORMATION IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE, but is current, to the best of my knowledge, as of October 20, 2022, and will be updated as frequently as necessary/possible. -Trish


Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has announced the end of the face coverings order effective March 11, 2022 at 12:01 a.m.  Masks are no longer required in indoor public spaces across the province. Masks will be a matter of personal choice going forward, unless further public health orders are made.

Community members can pick up masks at Student Central in Burnaby and at the information desks in Vancouver and Surrey.



Vaccines are STRONGLY RECOMMENDED for anyone and everyone who is able to receive full vaccination and boosters and they are REQUIRED for many students, staff and faculty (see below).

Vaccination clinics will be available on campus. The clinics are operating on a drop-in basis, with no appointments necessary to receive a free immunization. Medical Services Plan or personal health coverage is also not required, which means students who have not yet received B.C. health documentation are still eligible. For a full list of dates and times visit the pop-up vaccination clinic website. The list will be updated if additional clinic dates or locations are added.

PROOF of Vaccination STRONGLY RECOMMENDED for students, staff, and faculty
Mandatory vaccination is not currently a policy in B.C. so it is not required at SFU. Faculty, staff and students are strongly encouraged to get fully vaccinated, BUT, proof of vaccination is NOT required to attend in-person classes, seminars or tutorials. By order of the PHO, students participating in health science programs must be fully immunized to participate in student practicums and clinical placements in long-term care or extended care facilities.

Social Distancing

Strongly recommended wherever possible

Hand Washing and Sanitizing

Strongly recommended to be done frequently and thoroughly. May be required in some locations.

I think I am sick. Should I come to Campus? What do I do?

NOT ALLOWED! Those experiencing symptoms of illness should NOT come to campus. Students, staff and faculty with flu-like symptoms should stay home. If you have COVID-19 symptoms self-isolate, get tested and follow the instructions from the Public Health Office. Visit the B.C. CDC website for information.
…but what happens to my classes and assignments if I can’t come to class when sick? DO NOT COME TO SCHOOL SICK!
SFU is relaxing requirements for doctors’ notes and providing flexibility to work and study from home for those who are experiencing symptoms or need to self-isolate. Academic concessions may be granted when unexpected situations or circumstances prevent students from participating in course-related activities, such as a minor illness of 1-5 days. Such circumstances could result in students missing a class, or being unable to complete graded work or exams. Academic concessions are normally given at the discretion of individual instructors, so it’s up to them to decide whether or not to grant one (although some departments and faculties have specified procedures). Faculty members should let students know how and when they want to be contacted in the case of an unexpected event interfering with a student’s ability to participate in course-related activities. For the 2021-2022 academic year, faculty who normally require documentation supporting a concession should use the new self-declaration form as SFU will not be requiring medical notes for minor absences during this period. Should a student need to be absent for a longer period, they will normally need to obtain additional documentation, including medical documentation. For example, if a student were to need to apply for a Withdrawal Under Extenuating Circumstances (WE) or an extended deferred grade (DE), documentation will be required. In some cases, an extended injury/illness (eg. Concussion, or fractured writing arm) may qualify a student for a formal accommodation through the Centre for Accessible Learning’s temporary injury process.
International Students As of October 1, 2022, Vaccination will no longer be required for entry into Canada. The ArriveCan app will also become optional.

Current federal travel guidance and requirements for entering Canada
Federal checklists and exemptions for international students


I need to self isolate…

For Self Isolation Support at SFU (for folks who live on and off campus), go here!
I still have questions! If you have a question or concerns that are not covered here, please email it to covid19@sfu.ca and they’ll work to get you an answer as soon as they can.

What else can I do to help myself out this year?

Set yourself up for success!

Photo by Bich Tran on Pexels.com


Go in with a plan! If your Instructor/TA doesn’t have much of a plan for assisting students who are ill or must isolate, consider making your own plan.

  • What can you put in place now, while you and everyone else is healthy and well, that will help later on if someone should get sick? Make this specific to your classes and Instructors/TAs.

For example: Form a group of 5 or 6 students and share each other’s contact information. Should a member of the group fall ill, or have to isolate at home, someone else from the group can volunteer to share notes, record the lecture, or even bring a device to class and set up a zoom. It is unlikely everyone in the group will be away from class at the same time, so you should be covered! Do this for each of your classes.

This gives you, the student, more control over how to manage your time, energy, and get through an illness or mandatory isolation and it removes the burden from your Instructor/TA to find a solution, so they should be supportive too! People LIKE to say yes, and when you make that easy for them to do, your odds are even higher!

Let your instructors/TA know now what your plan is, so nobody is surprised if you put the plan into action and make sure they do not consider anything involved to be an Academic Integrity issue in any way. Note that in the past faculty have been upset about shared note documents and other forms of collaboration (digital or otherwise), so make sure that you have their full understanding and approval; maybe even get that approval in writing if you can.

Ask for help if you need it!

Photo by MART PRODUCTION on Pexels.com

SFU has SOOOO many resources for students, now more than ever. If you are in need of help or support of any kind, ask for it! See this page for tons of support options available to all students and specific supports for students from Equity Seeking groups. You can always reach out to studentadv.coord@sfss.ca too!

The information on this page is accurate to the best of my knowledge as of October 20, 2022.

Student Advocacy Office Homepage