Free rapid test kits for VIU community members

The Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training, in collaboration with the Public Health Office and BC Centre for Disease Control, has given VIU rapid antigen test kits for all students in face-to-face programs, students living in residence and employees. These rapid test kits were offered as an optional, time-limited initiative for post-secondary institutions for the testing of symptomatic employees and students. The tests are an optional self-management tool intended to support the continuity of on-campus learning, instruction and research.

This is a one-time only, free kit distribution and each qualifying individual will receive one kit containing five tests. Your VIU employee or student ID will be required to ensure each person who wants a kit gets one. 

Please do not come to campus to pick up a kit if you are sick:

  • Continue to isolate.
  • If you are sick at the time we are distributing these tests, please use this online screening tool to assess your symptoms, or call 811. Rapid antigen tests that can be completed at home are available through Island Health for people who meet the criteria for COVID-19 testing. Please do not come to VIU if testing is recommended for you. These are not the tests you require.

Nanaimo Campus Distribution 

Students with in-person classes:

Date: March 1 and 3, 2022

Time: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm

Location: Building 300, outside the Upper Cafeteria in the courtyard.

  • VIU student ID is required to pick up your kit.
    • If you don’t have a VIU student ID card, please make sure that you know your student ID number. You will also need to provide government-issued photo ID in these circumstances.
      • Need a student card? Head over to the library before you come.
      • You need to be present to pick up your kit. Please do not ask a friend to pick yours up for you.
      • Students who are only taking online courses will not receive a kit because these are intended to support the continuity of on-campus learning, instruction, and research.

Regional Campus Distribution (Powell River, Cowichan, Parksville)

  • Each regional site is receiving their own kits to distribute.
  • Employees and staff at those locations will be notified by Campus Administration when they are available to pick up.
  • Please bring your VIU employee or student identification with you when you pick up your kit.
    • You need to be present to pick up your kit. Please do not ask a friend to pick yours up for you.

When and how to use rapid tests

Employees and students are advised to only use the rapid test if they have symptoms of COVID-19. Asymptomatic screening of employees and students is not recommended by public health and tests distributed to post-secondary institutions from the provincial supply are not to be used for asymptomatic screening programs. Current public health recommendations for COVID-19 viral testing are available from the BCCDC. Instructions on how to use different types of rapid tests are also available from the BCCDC and an instruction manual will be included in your test kit.

Test results

Individuals who test positive should be referred to If You Have COVID-19 for information on self-isolation and notifying contacts. All individuals who test positive are encouraged to self-report their positive result on the BCCDC online survey. This survey allows health authorities to prioritize individuals for public health follow-up and identify those who may benefit from available treatments. Individuals who test negative should be instructed to return to on campus work/class when they feel well enough to resume regular activities.