COVID-19 planning updates

The University of Toronto is planning for a safe, gradual return to campus in consultation with our community and public health experts. Given the changing nature of the situation, we are providing updates detailing the latest public health guidance, U of T’s COVID-19 policies and return-to-campus plans.

Read the latest update below. Previous entries are posted chronologically beneath the latest message.

An archive of previous COVID-19 updates to the U of T community is also available.

To: University of Toronto community
From: Cheryl Regehr, Vice-President & Provost
Kelly Hannah-Moffat, Vice-President, People Strategy, Equity & Culture

Re: Monitoring COVID-19 conditions 

 

We are writing to update you on our efforts to support the well-being of the U of T community as we continue to plan for a fall with in-person classes and events on all three campuses. 

The University of Toronto continues to monitor Toronto, Peel, and provincial public health guidance as we experience a new wave of COVID-19 infections. Last week, the province of Ontario expanded the eligibility for COVID-19 vaccination second booster shots to anyone over the age of 18. Staying up-to-date on your COVID-19 vaccinations offers the best protection against severe illness. It will also reduce isolation requirements and disruptions to your on-campus activities in the event that you are exposed to COVID-19 or test positive. Information on vaccination eligibility and how to book an appointment is available on the Ontario provincial vaccines portal. Appointments are also available through the Discovery Pharmacy.

We strongly encourage everyone to remain up-to-date on vaccinations and to upload your vaccination documents to U of T’s UCheck platform. Maintaining updated information on the vaccination status of our community will help inform future health and safety planning. It will also minimize disruption should conditions require vaccine requirements to be reimposed. Vaccination documents can be uploaded to UCheck here. Please click on the button reading “Report your Vaccination Booster Status” to upload additional documents.

Recently, U of T reinstated the vaccination requirement for students and employees living in University residences. Students living in residences this fall will be required to have a primary series of a COVID-19 vaccine and at least one booster dose before moving in. More information on this measure is available in the Vaccines FAQs on our UTogether website.

If you are feeling unwell or experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, you should stay home and self-isolate. The provincial self-assessment tool can help provide guidance and information for those that may have been exposed and/or have symptoms.

While the current pause in our mandatory mask requirement continues, the use of a medical mask in high-density indoor spaces when physical distancing is not possible is strongly encouraged during the period when cases are rising in Ontario. The University is a mask-friendly environment, and we ask everyone to respect each other’s decisions, comfort levels, and health needs. The University will continue to monitor public health conditions over the coming weeks as September approaches to adjust our response as needed, and we will update you on any changes.

We hope that you are taking time this summer to rest and enjoy the warmer weather with family and friends. We look forward to a full range of activities on campus this fall.

To: University of Toronto community
From: Cheryl Regehr, Vice-President & Provost
Kelly Hannah-Moffat, Vice-President, People Strategy, Equity & Culture

Re: Fall planning and mask requirement

 

Our community has overcome tremendous challenges both collectively and individually over the past two years. We are grateful to all members of the U of T community for your creativity in adjusting to changing circumstances, for maintaining our educational programs and research and for the compassion and care you have shown to others. We hope that with the close of this academic year, we can all find hope celebrating our new graduates and reflecting on our shared accomplishments.

The close of the academic year also means that we are embarking on the summer term and continue to plan for the fall. We write today to provide some updates, and we encourage all of you to continue to watch our Utogether website for updates and opportunities to reconnect.

Planning for September

The University of Toronto is preparing for mostly in-person course delivery this fall. Details of how courses will be delivered will vary by Faculty, and by campus, according to local needs and program requirements. Information about course delivery will be available on Faculty and campus websites before course registration begins.

We are looking forward to welcoming new and returning members of our community to our campuses this fall. Many will be experiencing campus life for the first time, and for others it will be a chance to become reacquainted. We encourage everyone to seek out the connections and experiences that make U of T such a unique and diverse institution.

Face masks

The University’s current mask requirement will be lifted as of July 1, 2022, subject to any changes in public health guidance.

Some members of our community may choose to continue to wear a mask after July 1. We ask everyone to respect each other’s decisions, comfort levels and health needs. 

Ventilation

The University implemented a sector-leading ventilation strategy that includes improvements to existing ventilation systems that service all parts of buildings, including classrooms, labs, offices, meeting rooms and hallways. Further to this, air-change assessments have met a high-ventilation target in all classrooms that are in use. These exceptional ventilation standards will continue. See U of T’s HVAC strategy website for more information.

Wellness

The pandemic has touched all of our lives in many different ways. Please know that the University has wellness resources available to our community to help us deal with adversity and loss, and to help rebuild our individual and collective well-being.

For students, a number of programs and services are available (see the Office of the Vice-Provost, Students’ webpage for more information).

My Student Support Program (My SSP) provides students with real-time and/or appointment-based confidential, 24-hour support for any school, health or general life concerns at no cost.

The University’s new Employee & Family Assistance Program (EFAP), offers a variety of services and supports to all staff, faculty, and librarians. Resources include confidential short–term counselling, coaching, information, and support for various types of issues relating to mental health, health management, and achieving greater personal and workplace well-being, among others. This program is provided at no cost 24 hours per day, 365 days a year. Call toll-free 1-855-597-2110.

Thank you for your continued dedication to our community and our academic mission as we prepare for the coming academic year together. Although the past two years have been difficult for many of us, we will continue to move forward together with the same care, compassion, respect, and collective strength that have carried us through this unprecedented time.

Please continue to check the Utogether website for the latest updates.

To: University of Toronto community
From: Cheryl Regehr, Vice-President & Provost
Kelly Hannah-Moffat, Vice-President, People Strategy, Equity & Culture

Re: Continuation of mask requirement and updates to UCheck

 

We want to update you on our efforts to support the wellbeing of the U of T community and increased activities on all three campuses. 

Face masks

In light of the recent provincial trends, the University will continue its requirement to wear masks in certain settings until June 30, 2022, in accordance with the Joint Provostial and Human Resources Guideline on Face Masks.

Masks will continue to be required in classrooms and in indoor spaces where physical distancing cannot be maintained. The University continues to recommend the use of medical-grade masks where possible.

In addition, individuals in specific circumstances may continue to be required to wear masks in all settings, subject to changes in provincial or federal requirements, such as those who have been recently exposed to COVID-19 or to someone with symptoms.

Even in settings where masks may not be required because physical distancing can be maintained, we ask everyone to always respect the decisions of others, their comfort levels, and health needs. It is vitally important that, even with the easing of provincial measures, we remain vigilant, conscientious, and show kindness to one another.

UCheck

As of May 1, 2022, health screening and contact tracing will become unavailable in UCheck.

These features may be reinstated with little notice in the event that public health guidance or recommendations change.

The proof of vaccination module will continue to be available and can be used to:

  • Upload proof of vaccination (required for new employees)
  • Voluntarily upload proof of booster (additional) doses for all students, faculty, librarians, and staff

While health screening through UCheck is unavailable, individuals can monitor their health using the provincial health screening tool. Completing a health screening before coming to campus is highly recommended, and we continue to ask members of our community to remain at home if they are ill.

We are grateful to all members of the U of T community as they continue to uphold the principles of cooperation, collegiality, and compassion that characterize our campuses.

For additional support and resources, please see the Utogether site.

From: Cheryl Regehr, Vice-President & Provost
Kelly Hannah-Moffat, Vice-President, People Strategy, Equity & Culture

Re: Summer term – Changing health measures

 

Throughout the pandemic, the U of T community has worked diligently to maintain a safe and supportive environment. Thanks to these efforts, we have successfully returned to on-site learning and work in the winter academic term.

We are writing to provide an update on changing health restrictions on our campuses that will take effect for the upcoming summer term, beginning May 1, 2022. These changes are being made in response to the Ontario government’s Roadmap to Reopen and public health guidance in Toronto and Mississauga.

As has been the case over the course of the pandemic, the University’s approach has been informed by changing regulations, legislation and direction from public health authorities.

 U of T will be pausing the following measures effective May 1, 2022:

Some or all of these requirements may be reinstated on short notice should public health conditions or guidance change. In order to minimize disruption, we ask that all members of our community continue to provide up-to-date information on their vaccine status via UCheck.

While physical distancing and masking will no longer be required, we ask everyone to respect the decisions of others regarding these measures, according to their comfort levels and health needs. It is vitally important that, even with the easing of provincial measures, we remain vigilant, conscientious and respectful of one another.

We encourage everyone to visit their campus or division’s website as we near the summer term for up-to-date information about courses, programs and employment requirements.

More information on U of T’s changing health measures can be found here.

From: Cheryl Regehr, Vice-President & Provost Kelly
Hannah-Moffat, Vice-President, People Strategy, Equity & Culture

Re: Winter term update

 

We are writing to update you on plans for the winter term and the steps the University of Toronto is taking to balance the learning needs of our students with the need to minimize the spread of COVID-19. The University shifted to a predominantly remote model for learning and work in December to respond to the emergence of the Omicron variant.

We know that there is uncertainty and apprehension around returning to in-person study and work, and we are relying on expert advice to support our community with enhanced safety measures. We believe that the continuum of education from pre-school through post-secondary is essential to the wellbeing of our society and as the Ontario Science Advisory Table notes, is vital to students’ mental health.  

Our students have told us how important physical presence on campus is to them – both for their academic work and for their mental wellbeing. U of T currently hosts thousands of students in our residences, many of whom have travelled far from home to learn and interact with their professors, classmates and friends. 

For these reasons, in the coming weeks, we will return to more in-person activities on all three U of T campuses.

 

Return to in-person learning 

With all of this in mind, we are sharing with you the following plans: 

Effective Monday, Feb. 7, we will increase in-person teaching and activities across all our campuses and Faculties. Exact plans will vary depending on local factors. For example, some undergraduate Faculties will deliver their winter 2022 courses as originally planned, including many in-person sections. The Health Sciences Faculties will work in consultation with their partners in the health and social care systems to increase in-person teaching in a way that supports the health system at a time of great strain. Programs that include placements in settings such as schools may prioritize in-person placements while continuing remote instruction for other elements of their programs. Campuses, divisions, and departments will be reaching out to students and instructors to confirm arrangements, as needed. Students should refer to the information by campus and Faculty available here.  

The Ministry of Colleges and Universities has confirmed that for post-secondary institutions, there are no restrictions on in-person instruction on our campuses, and no distancing or capacity limits for instructional spaces due to the array of public health measures we have successfully implemented on our campuses, including the very high level of compliance with our vaccination mandate.  

We want to acknowledge those staff members who have been working in-person on our campuses throughout the pandemic, including caretakers, lab technicians, library and residence staff, grounds and maintenance staff and campus safety services. Employees currently working remotely should be ready to return to campus as of Monday, Feb. 7 to support increased in-person teaching and learning and related activities. Staff will be contacted by their managers to discuss specific return-to-campus plans. Alternative work arrangements will need to be in place beyond Feb. 7 for staff roles that have approval to work in any hybrid capacity - i.e., employees with approval to work any portion of the work week remotely. Faculty members and librarians should contact their dean, chair, director or supervisor to discuss their workload assignment if applicable.

All employees are expected to be within commuting distance of their workplace, unless approval is obtained in advance to work outside of Ontario. We continue to encourage flexibility and support for employees with childcare responsibilities resulting from potential cancellations of in-person classes for school-age children or day care closures. 

 

Enhanced safety measures 

The University of Toronto is closely monitoring the latest public health guidance and continues to update the 12 ways to ensure our campuses provide a safe place in which members of the U of T community can study, learn and work. 

Everyone must wear masks in indoor spaces at the University. Evidence points to the increased efficacy of medical masks. The University is working to make the appropriate masks available, as supplies allow, to U of T community members who are unable to obtain them due to cost or supply chain issues. More information will be available in the coming days at the UTogether site

The University has a limited supply of rapid screening kits at this time and we are prioritizing their use for higher-risk situations. We encourage those community members who are registered in U of T’s rapid screening program to continue uploading their results into UCheck.

All students with on-campus activities and all employees, whether or not they are immediately required on campus, must upload proof of vaccination to UCheck as required by the Council of Ontario Medical Officers of Health. Almost 110,000 people have uploaded their vaccine information into UCheck. We are pleased that 99 per cent of our community members are fully vaccinated, with the majority of those remaining on their way to full vaccination. Members of the community continue to be required to complete the UCheck self-screening and have a green screen before coming to any U of T location.

In addition, UCheck is being updated the week of Jan. 31 to allow you to voluntarily upload documentation related to additional (booster) doses. We encourage everyone to receive an additional vaccination (booster) dose as they become eligible. More appointments are added to the provincial portal and local pharmacies daily. For those without an Ontario health card, appointments are available at the Discovery Pharmacy in the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy.

Divisions will make non-classroom spaces available to students to support studying and eating between classes in a distanced fashion. Robarts and Gerstein Libraries on the St. George campus are open to members of the U of T community, as are the UTM Library and UTSC Library. Other campus libraries are open as well, and information can be found here. Operations staff on each campus will be working with divisions to find ways to address this need. 

As we plan for an increasingly vibrant in-person experience for our students, we want to reiterate our commitment to doing all we can to provide safe conditions for working and studying at our campuses. We remain vigilant about evolving public health conditions and continue to adjust and adapt our plans based on the guidance of our community of experts. We look forward to seeing you soon.   

 

Wellness  

We appreciate the stress that these rapidly changing circumstances may have on members of our community. We encourage anyone who needs support to please reach out for assistance. 

U of T’s My Student Support Program (My SSP) provides students with real-time and/or appointment-based confidential, 24-hour support for any school, health, or general life concern at no cost. 

The Employee & Family Assistance Program (EFAP) is available to employees of the University of Toronto. This program is provided at no cost 24/7 and 365 days a year. Call toll free 1-800-663-1142.  

 

Questions? 

  • For general questions regarding the University’s COVID-19 response, please visit the University’s UTogether site
  • Students – please contact your registrar’s office regarding your courses and academic programs 
  • Faculty and librarians – please contact your dean, chair, director, or supervisor 
  • Staff – please contact your manager and/or divisional HR office 

From: Trevor Young, Acting Vice-President & Provost
Kelly Hannah-Moffat, Vice-President, People Strategy, Equity & Culture

Re: Limiting the spread of COVID-19 Omicron variant: immediate steps

 

As many of you are aware, the federal and provincial governments have made a series of announcements regarding efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in light of the new Omicron variant of concern. All Ontarians are being asked to assist with limiting spread by reducing the number of social gatherings, obtaining their third dose when eligible and allowing employees to work from home where possible. As we have learned throughout the pandemic, we all have a role to play as individuals and as a University community to support public health in our communities. It is equally important to remember that we have experienced much uncertainty in the recent past and we have relied on expert advice, flexibility and innovation to continue delivering on our academic mission.

As a result of recent government announcements, we are implementing some changes beginning tomorrow.

 

Classes and exams

Effective tomorrow, Dec. 16, 2021, in-person exams will not be proceeding.

Online tests and exams will proceed as planned. Campuses and divisions will be reaching out to students and instructors to confirm arrangements for each course that had planned in-person tests and exams. Exams may be modified to another delivery mode or cancelled.

Most classes will resume on Monday, Jan. 10, 2022 (with some beginning earlier). However, in-person learning for all courses – graduate and undergraduate – will be delayed until Monday, Jan. 31, 2022 (with the exception of some in-person practica, as well as courses in the health sciences, which will resume as planned). Again, campuses, divisions and departments will be reaching out to students and instructors to confirm arrangements.

All members of the U of T community must still upload proof of vaccination to UCheck if attending campus for any reason in the winter term.

 

Working remotely

With the latest provincial announcement, all employees should work remotely until Monday, Jan. 31, 2022, with the exception of those who must work on campus, such as employees who support operations, construction and ancillary services, who provide in-person student support, or who are needed for specific in-person research activities.

Alternative work arrangements will need to be in place beyond Jan. 31 for staff roles in any hybrid capacity - i.e., employees planning to work any portion of the work week remotely.

Regardless of whether roles are required on campus or can work remotely, all employees must upload proof of vaccination to UCheck. All employees are expected to be working near their campus, unless approval is obtained in advance to work outside of Ontario.

 

Outbound travel

The federal government has issued a global travel advisory advising Canadians to avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada. Individuals who may be required to travel for work-related reasons should confirm existing travel restrictions including travel advisories, flight availability and local border restrictions which may prohibit entry to the destination country. In addition, travellers must be fully vaccinated by completing a COVID-19 vaccine series in Canada at least 14 days before travelling.

Travellers are encouraged to review resources available to the University community through International SOS as part of their pre-departure processes. We will be in touch as needed with students engaged in learning abroad in January 2022.

 

Inbound travel

Inbound travel is also subject to additional restrictions, including preventing entry to foreign nationals who have been in specific countries for 14 days prior to entry. Canadian citizens and permanent residents who have been to these countries will be subject to enhanced testing, screening and quarantine measures upon re-entry to Canada.

Until Jan. 14, 2022, those travelling to Canada who are not fully vaccinated with a Health Canada or WHO vaccine may be permitted to enter but will be required to quarantine for 14 days.

Effective Jan. 15, 2022, all foreign nationals must be fully vaccinated in order to enter Canada. This includes international students over the age of 18 and temporary foreign workers with valid work permits. Foreign nationals who are not fully vaccinated will be prohibited from entering Canada unless they fall under one of the limited exemptions including some children under the age of 18, new permanent residents and agricultural workers. Exempt unvaccinated travellers will continue to be subject to testing, quarantine and other entry requirements.

 

Residences, sports and recreation

Residences currently scheduled to be open over the winter break will remain open. All residences will be open as scheduled in January.  Students that choose to leave campus, should take, at minimum, essential items to continue their education, including laptops, textbooks and important papers.

For details regarding on-campus student services, including sports and recreation, please visit the websites of U of T Sport & Recreation, Hart House, St. George Student Life, UTM Student Services and UTSC Student Services.

Some libraries will remain open with limited hours over the holiday break to ensure students have access to the internet and computers as well as access to print research collections. For details on operating hours, please visit the University of Toronto Libraries website.

We appreciate the stress that these rapidly changing circumstances may have on members of our community. We will continue to update you with information to support your current activities and decisions about winter plans.



Wellness

U of T’s My Student Support Program (My SSP) provides students with real-time and/or appointment-based confidential, 24-hour support for any school, health, or general life concern at no cost.

The Employee & Family Assistance Program (EFAP) is available to employees of the University of Toronto. This program is provided at no cost 24/7 and 365 days a year. Call toll free 1-800-663-1142. Employees can access the following resources through the EFAP:

 

Questions?

  • Students – please contact your registrar’s office regarding your courses and academic programs
  • Faculty and librarians – please contact your dean, chair, director, or supervisor
  • Staff – please contact your manager and/or divisional HR office

From: Trevor Young, Acting Vice-President and Provost
Kelly Hannah-Moffat, Vice-President, People Strategy, Equity & Culture

Re: Winter term – heading into the new year

 

As we approach the holiday break, we want to take this opportunity to update you on plans for the winter term and provide you with links to guidance and resources.

Thanks to the efforts of the entire University community, we have been able to experience a successful return to on-site activities this fall term. We have received much positive feedback about the many benefits of in-person interaction, learning and research from students, faculty, librarians and staff.

The comprehensive steps that we have taken to protect our community, such as mandatory vaccination, indoor masking, upgraded ventilation within our buildings and daily health screening through UCheck have been effective. As a result of your support through this term, we can confirm that there have been no COVID-19 outbreaks on any of our campuses this fall.

As we have learned since the beginning of the pandemic, the situation is always evolving. In the coming months, we will monitor COVID-19 developments and follow public health and provincial guidelines. As we have done from the beginning of the pandemic, we will adapt to any changes and implement best practices.

 

Winter term

We continue to plan for a more robust on-campus presence for students, staff, faculty and librarians in the winter term. We encourage students to visit their Division’s website for up-to-date information about their classes and programs.

With more students on our campuses, we look forward to seeing more faculty, librarians and staff supporting students’ on-campus experience and delivering services in person.

 

Travel

Most of you will know that the World Health Organization (WHO) has identified a new COVID–19 variant of concern (Omicron). While much about the variant remains unknown, its emergence has led to new border measures to enter Canada and for travel to other countries around the world.

In the face of this development, we know that many of you may be struggling with difficult decisions about whether to travel in the coming weeks. For the most up-to-date information regarding Canadian entry and testing requirements, please refer to the Government of Canada website on travel, testing and borders. Note that testing, isolation and quarantine may be required upon (re)entry to Canada. Community members with plans to travel are encouraged to review this site for information related to travel advisories. Students should also review the frequently asked questions regarding travel to and from Canada.

 

Vaccination

The University’s vaccine requirement will remain in place in the winter term. This is separate and distinct from the provincial vaccination passport rules. The vaccine guideline is the result of a directive of the Council of Medical Officers of Health (COMOH) as well as regulations set out by the Ministry of Colleges and Universities (MCU) and the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

As a reminder, proof of full vaccination must be uploaded to UCheck. At this time, those with Health Canada approved vaccines do not need to upload proof of their additional (booster) dose. We encourage students, faculty, librarians and staff to obtain additional vaccine doses as they become eligible.

If you have specific questions about uploading proof of vaccination and the University’s COVID-19 response, please visit our frequently asked questions.

 

Our thanks

As ever, we are incredibly grateful to our remarkable U of T community. We owe the success of our return to campus this fall and the continued success of the University’s mission to your hard work, adaptability and dedication. We acknowledge that many in our community have been feeling the strain of managing work, study and life in the face of the uncertainty that the pandemic brings, and we hope that the coming holiday break provides the opportunity to rest and recharge. We look forward to a new year and winter term when more of us can gather and see each other in-person.

 

Resources

Wellness

Although the holiday season is often a period of restoration and celebration, we know that for many, it can also be a challenging time. We hope that everyone can stay physically safe, mentally well and socially connected.

U of T’s My Student Support Program (My SSP) provides students with real-time and/or appointment-based confidential, 24-hour support for any school, health or general life concern at no cost.

The Employee & Family Assistance Program (EFAP) is available to employees of the University of Toronto. This program is provided at no cost 24/7 and 365 days a year. Call toll free 1-800-663-1142. Employees can access the following resources through the EFAP:

Additional resources

From: Trevor Young, Acting Vice-President and Provost
Kelly Hannah-Moffat, Vice-President, People Strategy, Equity, and Culture

Re: Fall Planning – Progress to date

 

Thanks to the collective effort of our community members, many of us have been able to safely return to onsite activities this fall. An in-person experience is critical for effective learning and for students’ mental health and well-being. It has been so gratifying to see students interacting in classrooms and throughout our campuses, and to have the opportunity to reconnect with each other after communicating virtually for more than a year and a half.

While this is an exciting time, we know that it is also a period of transition and we want to update you on the University’s progress so far and remind you of the measures we are taking to keep our community safe.

 

Vaccinations

As of September 27th, 76,000 students, faculty, librarians, and staff have declared their vaccination status via UCheck. Of those individuals, 99% have indicated that they are vaccinated (94% have provided proof they are fully vaccinated; and another 5% have indicated they are on their way to being fully vaccinated). We are verifying all vaccination documents that are uploaded. 

The public health evidence is clear: vaccination matters. Those who are vaccinated are much less likely to catch or transmit COVID-19, so vaccination and other measures such as mask-wearing significantly increase the safety of our campus communities. 

All members of the University community must provide proof of being fully vaccinated in UCheck by October 29 (two weeks following the October 15 deadline to receive a final shot). Employees must upload proof of vaccination in UCheck, even if they are currently working remotely. 

If you have specific questions about uploading proof of vaccination and the University’s COVID response, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions

 

Show Your Green 

A green screen on UCheck shows that you have complied with the vaccination guideline and have passed the daily health screening. Students, faculty, librarians, staff, and other community members may be asked to show their green screen, particularly in areas on campus such as libraries and athletic facilities. Instructors may also ask their students to show green screens to enter their classes.  

All community members must use UCheck to demonstrate their compliance with the vaccine guideline, and those who are not compliant are not permitted to come onsite for any reason. 

 

Enhanced Safety Measures 

In addition to a mandatory vaccine requirement, the University’s return to campus plan includes other layers of safety measures such as industry-leading ventilation and an updated indoor mask mandate. Acknowledging the importance of in person instruction, the Ministry of Colleges and Universities, in consultation with the Chief Medical Officers of Health and the Ontario Science Table, have modified Step 3 requirements for capacity limits and physical distancing in indoor instructional spaces such as classrooms and libraries in Postsecondary institutions. These modifications were put in place in light of the mandatory vaccination requirement.    

 
The University continues to track and report COVID-19 on our campuses and there have been no reported outbreaks at U of T since we started the fall term and implemented the Joint Provostial and Human Resources Guideline on Vaccination. This is in large part due to our extremely high vaccination rate, the collective efforts of our community, and other measures the University has taken to prepare for a safe return to campus.  

We deeply appreciate your continued commitment to a safe and supportive environment. We continue to listen to your feedback, and we will keep updating you throughout the fall as public health guidance evolves. 

 

Further and New Resources

From: Trevor Young, Acting Vice-President and Provost
Kelly Hannah-Moffat, Vice-President, People Strategy, Equity, and Culture

Re: Fall Planning – Welcome to the Start of a New Academic Year

 

Dear University of Toronto community,

We are delighted to welcome you back to our three campuses for a new academic year.

We believe that an increased presence on our campuses allows us to better fulfill our academic mission by providing a rich learning environment for our students and supporting critical research and innovation.  A large part of what makes a U of T education great is the in-person environment of our three campuses, which are full of formal and informal learning experiences.

The health and safety of our community is at the forefront of our planning, with public health and provincial guidance setting the framework for our direction as an institution.

 

Vaccination Requirements

As stated in our previous memo, in order to attend University premises for any reason you must:

  1. Be fully vaccinated and have provided the University with proof of vaccination
  2. Complete daily health screenings via UCheck

We expect all members of the community to have their first vaccine dose by September 13, and to have received their second dose by October 15 (i.e., full vaccination by October 29).  Those awaiting the conclusion of the 14-day period after their second vaccination or who have a University-approved exemption must participate in the University’s rapid screening program and may be subject to additional safety measures.

You can now upload your proof of vaccination in UCheck. Only the vaccine receipt(s) that provides proof that you are fully vaccinated is required.  For example, if you have a Government of Ontario vaccine receipt that documents the second of two doses, upload only this document.

Those vaccinated in Ontario can generate and download their vaccine receipts here.

Vaccination continues to be the best way to protect ourselves and our community against the spread of COVID-19. This week, over 34,245 people have already uploaded their proof of vaccination through UCheck, with 94% fully vaccinated.

 

Vaccination Guideline

We encourage all members of our community to familiarize themselves with our Joint Provostial and Human Resources Guideline on Vaccination. This document details the guiding principles and requirements of our vaccination mandate.

 

Learning and Working On Our Campuses

We are committed to providing enhanced on-campus learning experiences for our students across all three campuses. U of T campuses and divisions are making the best decisions for their communities with available information. Ontario universities remain in step 3 of the provincial reopening framework with some allowed exemptions for essential activities such as teaching in indoor instructional spaces (including classrooms, teaching laboratories, instructional spaces in libraries, in-person experiential learning, etc.). Outside of this context, the University remains subject to physical distancing, capacity limits, and other measures.

Please remember that you must wear a face mask indoors with limited exceptions and follow posted directional signage.

 

We Are Here to Help

We recognize that while the transition back to in-person learning, teaching, and working is exciting, it will also be a period of adjustment and may be stressful for some. The well-being of our students, faculty and librarians, and staff is the University’s highest priority, and we encourage anyone who may need assistance to please access the wellness supports listed below:

If you have specific questions about uploading proof of vaccination and the University’s COVID response, please visit our recently-updated FAQs for answers to these and other key questions. You can also reach out via the Enterprise Service Centre to submit a query. Our support team is available 7 days a week to help answer your questions (Monday – Sunday from 8:30am to 9pm).

We deeply appreciate all that you have done in preparation for this academic year, and thank you for everything you will continue to do to maintain a safe and supportive environment for our community.

 

Further and New Resources

From: Trevor Young, Acting Vice-President and Provost
Kelly Hannah-Moffat, Vice-President, People Strategy, Equity, and Culture

Re: Fall planning – Welcome Back

 

Dear University of Toronto community,

As we welcome our community to a new academic year, we have planned for a fall term with expanded in-person experience and have put in place measures that protect and promote safety in our working and learning environment.

Further to last week’s COVID-19 fall planning update, we are providing you with additional details on the latest announcement from the Ministry of Colleges and Universities, proof of vaccination, and the UCheck platform.

 

Provincial Guidance on in-Person Instruction

New guidance from the Ontario Ministry of Colleges and Universities released August 31 provides Ontario universities with the ability to deliver in person teaching without physical distancing and capacity limits as long as there are stringent public health measures in place that include a vaccine mandate and indoor masking. 

All other requirements at Step 3 of the province’s reopening plan continue, including physical distancing requirements and capacity limits in non-instructional spaces.

Faculties and Divisions will apply this guidance based on local conditions and their unique instructional needs in consultation with Divisional leadership and their teaching staff. We will continue to adjust plans as public health conditions evolve.

Students should check their Faculty/Divisional websites for more information on their courses.

 

Proof of Vaccination

As stated in our previous memo, beginning September 13, in order to attend University premises for any reason you must:

  1. Provide proof of vaccination.
  2. Complete daily health screenings via UCheck.

Those awaiting their final vaccine dose (required by October 15) or who have a University-approved exemption must submit negative rapid screening results through UCheck.

Starting September 6, you will be able to upload proof of vaccination in UCheck. Only the vaccine receipt(s) that provide(s) proof that you are fully vaccinated is/are required to be uploaded. For example, if you have a Government of Ontario vaccine receipt showing the second of two doses, upload only this document.

Instructions on how to upload documents are available on the UCheck website.

The provincial government will be launching a vaccine passport program effective September 22 that will provide a way to verify vaccination status for those without UCheck access. We will provide additional details as they become available.

If you are participating in an activity that is identified as higher risk (e.g., athletics, living in residence, and music instruction) and have received instructions on how to upload your proof of vaccination via Star Rez or ServiceNow, you will also be required to upload your vaccine documents in UCheck.

The University of Toronto is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for its faculty and librarians, staff, students, volunteers, visitors, and other community members. We will continue to refine our comprehensive plan as new information becomes available, including updated public health recommendations.

We look forward to a safe and exciting fall term back on our campuses together.

 

Requests for Exemption

Those seeking an exemption for medical or other protected human rights grounds can make a request through the University’s Vaccination Exemption Request Portal via the Enterprise Service Centre (ServiceNow). Forms are now available and completed requests can be uploaded for review beginning today. Please note that approval is not guaranteed.

If you have already applied for an exemption through another process (i.e., living in residence) continue to follow that process.

 

Rapid Screening Program

U of T’s Rapid Antigen screening program is now open.

Rapid screening is mandatory for those with an approved vaccination exemption or those in the process of becoming fully vaccinated if they are coming to University premises or live in residence. Results must be uploaded through UCheck twice a week. 

The Council of Ontario Medical Officers of Health has advised that rapid screening cannot be used as an alternative to vaccination.

 

Vaccination Clinics

Pop-up vaccination clinics will be available on our campuses this fall in addition to other vaccination clinics. More information is available on the UTogether vaccine page.

Thank you for your hard work, patience, and understanding as new protocols are established. We appreciate our community’s dedication to keeping each other safe. A further update will be provided next week.

 

Further and New Resources

From: Trevor Young, Acting Vice-President and Provost
Kelly Hannah-Moffat, Vice-President, People Strategy, Equity, and Culture

 

Dear University of Toronto community,

We look forward to welcoming our community to our campuses and we are writing to provide you with additional information about fall planning. We have been working diligently with the U of T community, public health experts and others for a safe return. As has been evident through the course of the pandemic, the situation evolves, often rapidly. Given the changing public health landscape, you will be receiving weekly updates on return-to-campus plans.

We are awaiting further guidance from the Ministry of Colleges and Universities about physical distancing and capacity limits, and we will continue to follow local public health guidance.

 

Vaccination and rapid screening

All members of our community who come onto our campuses in the fall must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and will be required to upload proof of vaccination via UCheck. We expect all members of the community to have their first dose by Sept. 13, and to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 15. This requirement aligns with the recent recommendations of the Council of Ontario Medical Officers of Health for post-secondary institutions in the province and the sector’s response.

Individuals seeking a permitted exemption for medical reasons or other protected grounds under the Ontario Human Rights Code will be able to make a request through the University’s Enterprise Service Centre (ServiceNow). More information about requesting an exemption will be available next week. Students who have already applied for an exemption (i.e., living in residence) will continue that process.

Individuals who are awaiting their final vaccine dose or who have received a University-approved exemption must participate in the University’s rapid screening program and may be subject to additional safety measures. At-home screening kits will be provided to these individuals and available for pick-up at no cost, along with an instructional video. Results must be uploaded in UCheck at least twice weekly (subject to change depending on public health conditions), and a negative result will be required before coming to University-owned or operated premises. Individuals who are neither fully vaccinated nor enrolled in the rapid screening program by Sept. 13 cannot come to any University premises. Rapid screening cannot be used as an alternative to vaccination without an approved exemption.

Visitors to U of T premises will also be required to be fully vaccinated. More details about the process for visitors - including vendors, events attendees, gym members and others - is coming soon.

 

Updated mask policy and other safety measures

The University has a 12-step plan for a safe return to campus for our entire community. This plan includes many layers of safety measures such as:

We developed these strategies based on scientific evidence and with advice from leading public health experts within and outside of the University. In addition, the University has protocols and supports for students who need to quarantine following travel to Canada.

The University of Toronto is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for its faculty and librarians, staff, students, volunteers, visitors, and other community members. We will continue to refine our comprehensive plan as new information becomes available, including updated public health recommendations.

We look forward to a safe and exciting fall term back on our campuses together.

 

Further Resources