University-run, AMS rapid testing sites closed due to lack of rapid test kit supply

The university’s rapid testing distribution sites outside of the bookstore and in Ponderosa Commons will be closing at 5 p.m. today for an undetermined length of time.

UBC began providing these kits on campus on February 7. Thandi Fletcher, a UBC spokesperson from UBC Media Relations, said the university has distributed nearly its entire supply of 70,000 5-pack rapid antigen test kits.

The reopening date of these sites has not been determined.

“We are in conversations with the Ministry [of Health] and PHSA [Provincial Health Services Authority] to determine if additional kits can be provided, but it’s important to note that some Rapid Antigen Test kits are still available to students with a UBC student card at the Graduate Student Society and AMS Student Nest,” Fletcher wrote.

A sign in the AMS Nest states that the student society is out of rapid tests, and refers students to the Graduate Student Society (GSS) in the Thea Koerner House.

In a statement, AMS President Cole Evans said the AMS has distributed "close to 2000 individual rapid test programs to students," but they have now run out.

"The AMS will continue to explore ways to ensure UBC students have easy access to rapid tests, and we will also reach out to UBC to see what their plans are to make sure students have accessible access to rapid testing on campus and ask if they will be procuring additional units," Evans wrote.

GSS President Kimani Karangu said in an email that the GSS had received 36 boxes containing 108 5-pack testing kits each from the university.

"Initially the uptake was slow, but I have noted that we are opening a new box or two since the last couple days. I anticipate this will not last longer since we are handing them to everyone who is in need," Karangu said.

Fletcher also pointed students to rapid antigen test kits available at pharmacies, “depending on eligibility.” Rapid tests are currently only available for free for people 40+ at pharmacies — with only one kit available to each person every 28 days.