Rapid Antigen Test Kit Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to register before I pick my kit up?

No, you do not. You only need to show up to the Nanaimo Campus Main Cafeteria (B300) with VIU or Government ID to claim your kit.

Why are we getting kits now?

The BC Centre for Disease Control and The Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training announced on January 25, 2022, that the kits would be made available to post-secondary institutions in BC.

 Rapid tests are available as an optional, time-limited initiative for post-secondary institutions for testing of symptomatic employees and students. The tests are a self-management tool intended to support the continuity of on-campus learning, instruction, and research.


Who gets a kit?

The Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training in collaboration with the Public Health Office and BC Centre for Disease Control has confirmed that VIU will receive rapid antigen test kits for all employees, students in face-to-face programs, and students living in residence.


When do I take a test?

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 BCCDC. Instructions on how to use different types of rapid tests are also available from BCCDC and in the instruction manual in your test kit. 


What if I test positive?

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.


What if I test negative?

Individuals who test negative should be instructed to return to classes when they feel well enough to resume regular activities.


What if I missed one of the distribution dates but still want my kit?

The BC government announced plans to distribute rapid antigen tests to the general public in the coming weeks. You will have access to these kits.

 If there are surplus kits at VIU, a strategy to distribute those will be developed and information will be shared with the VIU community at that time.

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.

If testing is recommended please contact the BC Services call centre: 1-844-901-8442 between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. After speaking with a call centre agent you will receive a website link and code to book a time to pick up your test. Appointments are required to pick up a rapid test kit


What if VIU has left over tests?

If VIU has leftover kits, a plan will be made to distribute them based on risk and need.