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Rapid Antigen Testing Program

As part of Ryerson’s commitment to health and safety, Ryerson University has developed a rapid antigen testing program for individuals accessing campus or in-person university activities off campus during the 2021/2022 school year. 

What are rapid antigen tests? 

Rapid antigen tests are a screening tool. They can be performed anywhere, like the testing centre at Ryerson, and are currently administered through a nasal swab. Results take approximately 15 minutes. It does not replace the molecular polymerase chain reaction (PCR) diagnostic test which is performed at COVID-19 testing centres.  If you are experiencing symptoms or have been identified as a close contact of a COVID-19 patient, please do not visit the Rapid Antigen Testing Centre. Instead, please visit a COVID-19 testing centre, external link.

Required Rapid Antigen Testing program for individuals who have received an approved exemption from the university 

Individuals accessing campus or in-person university activities off-campus must be fully vaccinated or have received an approved exemption from the university. Individuals who have approved exemptions are still required to participate in the Rapid Antigen Testing Program and will receive information about how to enrol along with their exemption approval.

Individuals with an approved exemption will receive information on how to enrol in the program. If you have any additional questions, please contact

Participants in the testing program must complete testing twice per week on Mondays and Thursdays, regardless of when they are planning to access campus or in-person university activities off campus.

Participants in the rapid antigen testing program will self-administer testing at home using testing kits provided by Ryerson University. To pick your kits, visit Victoria Building Room 110 (VIC 110). The testing location will be open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday (except statutory holidays). 

When picking up your kit, you will meet with a Registered Nurse, who will walk you through an informed consent process, provide training on administering the test, and provide you with the supplies needed and other instructions related to the program. 

Participants can pick up your testing kits from Victoria Building Room 110 (VIC 110). The testing location will be open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday (except statutory holidays).

Participants in the required testing program must submit their test result to the google formRapid Antigen Testing Program Result form, external link upon completion of your test. This will require you to indicate your name, email, student/employee number, contact information and an image of your negative test result.

If you have received a positive PCR test result in the past 90 days, please reach out to to advise on next steps prior to completing a rapid antigen test.

Yes, everyone, regardless of vaccination or testing status, is required to follow Ryerson’s health and safety protocols. This includes completing health screening before every visit to campus and wearing a mask while indoors.

Voluntary Rapid Antigen Testing Program for vaccinated community members participating in higher risk activities 

Rapid antigen screening is generally not recommended for individuals who are fully vaccinated as the likelihood of COVID-19 is low for this group which could result in an increase of false positive results.  However, Ryerson community members participating in higher risk activities are able to voluntarily participate in the program even if they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This includes (but is not limited to) individuals living in residence or participating in athletics, music/performance or healthcare related programs. Voluntary testing is a layer of protection that can complement the various health precautions already in place.

All faculty, staff and students who are fully vaccinated are permitted to participate in the voluntary Rapid Antigen Testing Program. You will be asked to provide your OneCard and sign a consent in order to register for the program.

No, rapid antigen tests are screening tools and not a diagnostic tool. This means that individuals who have symptoms or have been identified as a close contact of a positive case of COVID-19 should visit a COVID-19 testing centre, external link to receive a PCR test.

While voluntary, we encourage you to receive testing twice per week, evenly spaced.

You can receive testing by dropping into the Rapid Testing Centre at the Victoria Building, room 110 (VIC110) to complete on-site testing. In these circumstances, you will receive your test results within 15 minutes. We encourage you to wait for your test results; however, if you aren’t able, you will be contacted with your test results. 

No, there is no cost to participants of the testing program.

Conduct testing at home every Monday and Thursday

Regardless of the days you attend campus, you must complete the test twice weekly, every Monday and Thursday. After performing the test as you have been instructed to (see instructions for reference), take a picture of the completed test (showing the result, sample provided). Then, immediately report your results through the secure google form.

If your test results are negative, you will continue to conduct your on-campus activities as planned.

Sample photo showing the result of a rapid antigen test

Rapid Antigen Testing Centre

Victoria Building,
Room 110 (VIC110)

Monday to Friday,
7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Detailed instructions for COVID-19 Home Self Testing with Abbott Panbio

Step 1

Self screening reminder

If you have any respiratory or symptoms associated with COVID-19, conduct a self assessment, external link.

Step 2


  • Place your yellow bio bin at your testing area
  • Set the paper tube holder at your testing area
  • Hold the buffer bottle vertically and fill the extraction tube with buffer fluid until it flows up to the Fill-line of the extraction tube (300ul). Make sure there is the correct amount of fluid to ensure correct testing.
  • Place the extraction tube in the test rack
Step 3

Sample collection

  • Tilt your head back 70 degrees
  • While gently rotating the swab, insert the swab approximately 2 cm into one nostril (until you meet with resistance at the turbinates).
  • Rotate the swab 5 times against the nasal wall. Using the same swab, repeat the collection on the other nostril
Step 4

Processing the sample

  • Insert the swab specimen in the extraction tube. Swirl the swab tip in the buffer fluid inside the tube, pushing into the wall of the tube at least 5 times and then squeeze out the swab by squeezing the tube with your fingers.
Step 5

Securing the top cap

  • Break the swab at the endpoint and close the cap of the extraction tube.
Step 6

Removing the nozzle cap

  • Open the dropping nozzle cap at the bottom of the extraction tube.
Step 7

Transferring the sample

  • Dispense 5 drops of extracted specimen vertically into the specimen well on the test kit. Do not move or handle the device until the test is complete and ready to read. Note: if there are bubbles, in the tube, shake the tube gently to release any blockage until you observe free drop formation.
Step 8

Discarding the sample

  • Close the nozzle and dispose of the extraction tube containing the used swab in the biohazard waste yellow bin.
Step 9

Reading the results

  • Start the timer. Read the results at 15 minutes. Do not read results after 20 minutes.
    • 2 lines = POSITIVE RESULT ----- see below for instructions
    • 1 single line on “C” = NEGATIVE RESULT - see below for instructions
    • 1 single line on “T” = INCONCLUSIVE RESULT – REPEAT TES
  • Dispose of the used test kit in your yellow biohazard bin

Testing procedure video

This video gives step-by-step instructions on how to perform a rapid antigen screen using a Panbio nasal and nasal pharyngeal test.

What to do if you test positive

If your rapid antigen test returns a positive result, please do not come to campus or attend in-person university activities off campus. If you are already on campus, please do not attend any additional campus events. 

Please bring your proof of positive rapid antigen test result (such as a photo or the document provided at the Ryerson testing centre) to a COVID-19 testing centre, external link to receive a PCR test, and follow the advice received at the testing clinic regarding the need to self-isolate. This is because the rapid antigen test is a screening tool whereas the PCR test is a diagnostic test which is required by local public health units. Your local health unit will be in touch with you if your PCR test comes back positive with further direction. 

Informing Ryerson of your positive PCR test results

If you have been on campus in the past 14 days, please notify Ryerson University of your positive PCR test result by google formcompleting the Self-Declaration Form, external link. This will allow Ryerson to complete internal processes including contact tracing and notifying any possible close contacts. 

Students, please let your instructor know so that academic considerations can be made as necessary. If you live on campus, please also inform Housing and Residence Life at 1-888-960-1191 right away. This hotline is monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For additional guidance, vist Student COVID-19 Reporting page

Employees, please also confirm any necessary sick time with your leader and cc your HR partner. For additional guidance, visit Faculty, Staff & Visitor Health Screening.