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How We’re Keeping Centre for Digital Media’s Community Safe

Jan 19, 2022 By Elyse Economides

What CDM is doing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on campus.

Centre for Digital Media and Great Northern Way Campus are committed to the responsible resumption of on-campus activities, based on the guidance of the Provincial Health Officer, WorkSafe BC, SFU FCAT and CDM’s ability to provide support for safe operational practices.

CDM staff and faculty and GNW staff are working hard to maintain processes and measures to keep everyone safe on campus. The health and well-being of students, staff and faculty is paramount. Read our full Communicable Diseases Plan.

All activities that can be carried out remotely should be undertaken remotely to the greatest extent to which this is possible. CDM follows SFU’s Safety Plan closely to help guide on-campus activity.

Note: Any students arriving from outside of Canada (regardless if they are living on campus or not) may be subject to completing a mandatory 14-day isolation. For more information, read SFU's Self-Isolation Guide for International Students.

Do not visit campus if any of the following apply: 

  • Experiencing any COVID-19-like symptoms such as a sore throat, fever, sneezing, coughing or loss of taste. Self-isolate at home for a minimum of 10 days from the onset of symptoms, until symptoms are completely resolved.
  • Persons who have travelled internationally must remain away from campus for at least 14 days.
  • Persons who live in the same household as a confirmed or clinical COVID-19 case or person who is self-isolating.

If you feel unwell, contact your project supervisor and your course instructor to advise them that you are unwell and won’t be in class. Work with your instructor to determine how to make up any missed work during your self-isolation or upon return to study.

Prevention on campus

All visitors must wear masks or face coverings when on campus, specifically in all common areas. It is encouraged to bring and wear your own face mask if possible. If visitors do not have a personal one available, they can request a disposable one from reception. Although not currently required to access the lobby or classrooms, vaccination is highly recommended. Learn more about how to get vaccinated.

Cleaning Protocols

Visitors are encouraged to wash their hands often, including prior to entering and when leaving the facility. We also ask that visitors follow well-established protocols for hygiene etiquette and avoid touching their mouth/face with their hands. Hand sanitizers and Lysol wipes are available all over the school. The events kitchen and the washrooms are available for hand washing and are kept well stocked.

There has been increased cleaning throughout campus, especially the high touch surface areas. High touch surfaces, such as table tops and door handles will be disinfected multiple times a day by cleaning staff.

If a staff, faculty, student or visitor has COVID-19 like symptoms, Property Management will be contacted in order to have cleaning staff do a thorough disinfecting of the area where affected individuals were.


We continue to ensure that all mechanical heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems in both 685 and 577 Great Northern Way are operating as designed, and are maintained in accordance with WorkSafe BC requirements and ASHRAE Standards (American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers) for indoor air quality.

As SFU did on its main campus in 2021, CDM upgraded its HVAC system in both buildings with enhanced MERV-13 filters, the highest filters compatible with our infrastructure (whereas many existing buildings in North America will have HVAC systems stuck at level 7 or 8). MERV stands for “minimum efficiency reporting value” and ratings are determined by ASHRAE. A MERV-13 filter will trap air particles (ie, respiratory droplets) that are 0.3-1.0 micron in size (coronavirus is 0.1 microns) at a rate of 75%.

While WorkSafeBC continues to advise at this time that building ventilation systems, in good operating condition, do not contribute to the spread of COVID-19, CDM’s HVAC system has continued to operate normally and effectively throughout the pandemic. We are satisfied with the reporting from our HVAC service provider, who has recently (as of December 2021) reported another successful round of maintenance at CDM.

    Arriving on campus

    All staff, students, faculty and visitors must wear a mask upon entry to the building. Centre for Digital Media will provide masks to those who do not have one.

    Use of masks is required in all indoor common areas and learning spaces including:

    • Lobbies, hallways, bathrooms
    • Classrooms, teaching laboratories and other indoor instructional settings
    • Meetings and seminars in small meeting rooms

    As always, campus buildings are only accessible via access cards.

    If students require access to shared computers, headsets or other tech gear, they are cleaned and quarantined after each use.

    Campus services

    The front desk will remain open to receive packages for residents. We do not accept food or grocery orders. Students are encouraged not to come to the front desk unless they have to.

    Students can contact Student Services through email or by phone.

    Please visit our COVID-19 Info page for the latest COVID updates.