UBC launches new COVID-19 rapid testing clinic with expanded eligibility

UBC launched a new COVID-19 rapid testing clinic on May 26, following a rapid testing pilot project in residence earlier this year.

The new clinic on the third floor of Orchard Commons residence will run for 13 weeks and will use the Roche SARS-CoV-2 Rapid Antigen Test Kit. All students living in residence, custodial and campus security staff, varsity athletes and those attending in person classes — including faculty members — are able to access the clinic.

Eligible community members must be asymptomatic and over 16 to participate.

In February, UBC launched a rapid testing pilot for students and staff living or working in first year residence. An expansion of the project allowed students and staff who lived and worked in Thunderbird, Fraser Hall and Fairview Crescent residence, athletes and fraternity members to get tested.

Members of UBC sororities and fraternities are eligible for this new clinic as well.

According to Centre for Health Services and Policy Research Professor Sabrina Wong, data from the pilot project will be used to “determine the viability of self-administered rapid COVID-19 testing technology for potential use by the public across Canada.”

The rapid testing pilot at UBC earlier this year identified 25 active COVID-19 cases, according to a Twitter thread by a Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) Medical Health Officer Michael Schwandt. UBC said the pilot saw 1,100 participants in its two months of operation.

“We are pleased to be expanding our rapid screening clinic to include more students, faculty and staff on campus,” said Executive Director of Safety and Risk Services Rae Ann Aldridge, in a press release.

“This clinic provides us with another tool to help keep our campus community safer from COVID-19.”

The clinic is a joint project of the government, Providence Health Care, VCH, and the School of Nursing and Student Housing and Community Services at UBC.

Booking can be done on the Thrive Health platform.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.