COVIDSafe Campus headline

Aug. 27, 2021

Rapid testing and vaccine status program

Message to campus community

This week the University of Calgary will launch its new COVIDSafe Campus strategy. Built using evidence-based measures, COVIDSafe Campus is designed to enable our return to campus and help ensure our community feels safe.

The strategy features four aspects: vaccination status, rapid testing, masking, and access to vaccines. These combined measures provide a layered approach to managing COVID-19.

Rapid testing

All members of the UCalgary community who are coming to campus, and are not exempted due to being fully vaccinated, must enrol in our rapid testing program.

  • Rapid testing will take place twice per week
  • Each test must be completed a minimum of 72 hours apart
  • Individuals must have a negative test within 3.5 days prior to attending in-person UCalgary activities.

At-home rapid antigen kits will be provided to participants. Participants can book a time online for pickup at a designated site on main, Foothills and Spy Hill campuses. Individuals will be given up to six weeks of tests at one time. There is no cost to participants in the rapid testing program.

The rapid antigen test kits are non-invasive, self-administered nasal swabs inserted two centimetres into the nose. The test itself should take approximately 15 minutes to complete. Participants will have to photograph their test result and upload the image to a web-based platform built for us by a third-party vendor. The web system will open to UCalgary users starting on Sept. 1.

The rapid testing kits are only for those who are not fully vaccinated or prefer not to disclose their vaccination status. Fully vaccinated individuals are exempt from rapid testing. All other program participants must enrol in the rapid testing program, have picked up their test kits and have uploaded their first test result by Sept. 14, 2021.

Vaccination status

Individuals who choose to volunteer their vaccine status, and who are fully vaccinated, are exempt from rapid testing to come on to our campuses.

A person is considered fully vaccinated:

  • 14 days following the second dose of a Health Canada-approved two-dose vaccine, or
  • 14 days following a Health Canada-approved single-dose vaccine.

Individuals will be able to self-declare their vaccination status to the same web-based platform that will also manage the rapid testing program. Self-declaration must be done by Sept. 14, 2021. Proof of vaccination may be required later as part of regular audits or as the program evolves. 

Providing a false statement is considered serious misconduct under the University of Calgary’s Code of Conduct and the Student Non-Academic Misconduct Policy, and individuals will be subject to discipline for providing a false attestation. 

Online platform

Rapid testing and vaccine status will be managed using an online platform. The University of Calgary is working with a third-party vendor to launch the web-based solution on Sept. 1.

All UCalgary students, faculty, staff, and others eligible for this program will be asked to log in to the third-party web app. They will be asked if they plan to attend campus or in-person activities. They will be asked to declare their vaccination status, with options to indicate if they are fully vaccinated, not fully vaccinated, or prefer not to disclose.

Individuals who are not fully vaccinated or prefer not to disclose their vaccination status will be directed to the rapid testing program where they can book an online appointment to pick up their test kits. The deadline to complete these steps is Sept. 14, 2021.

The system also includes a self-assessment checklist for COVID-19 symptoms. Anyone who is coming on campus to pick up their test kits is asked to complete this self-assessment prior to arriving on site.

Fall course delivery

Courses have been updated in our system in preparation for fall term. Students are encouraged to confirm the location of their classes before classes begin. Students can connect with their faculty advisors for questions or support. 


Any individual who cannot be tested or vaccinated based on medical or other protected grounds, as recognized by the Alberta Human Rights Act, can request an accommodation. For medical accommodations, students are asked to contact Student Accessibility Services, while faculty and staff are asked to contact Staff Wellness. If you are seeking accommodation on non-medical protected grounds, please contact or your HR Partner.

Stay home if sick

Regardless of vaccine status, we need anyone who is feeling sick to stay home. This is incredibly important as we shift to our return to campus. We all need to work together to keep our campus healthy.

COVIDSafe Campus website

For more information on the COVIDSafe Campus strategy, including FAQs on the rapid testing program, vaccination status, masking, and vaccine clinics on campus, please visit

New beginnings

This September will be a fall like no other. We are embarking on a new path as we work to safely bring our community members together again. While we have new measures in place that add complexity to our return, it will be wonderful to see our vibrant campuses come to life. By working together, we will be able to keep our campus COVIDSafe.