New Provincial and Local Measures to Limit the Spread of COVID-19 (PDAD&C #28)

From: Cheryl Regehr, Vice-President and Provost  
Kelly Hannah-Moffat, Vice-President, Human Resources & Equity 
Date:  November 21, 2020  
Re: New Provincial and Local Measures to Limit the Spread of COVID-19 (PDAD&C #28) 

Dear Colleagues,  

We are writing to provide additional details related to yesterday’s provincial announcement that Toronto and Peel Region will enter the Grey Zone (Lockdown) effective 12:01AM Monday, November 23, 2020 for a minimum of 28 days, under the provincial COVID-19 Response Framework in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community.    

As has been the case since the pandemic began, the University remains committed to playing our part in ensuring the health and wellbeing of our community.  Equally important is our commitment to three core activities:  

  • ensuring that our students can complete their term and have access to the necessary supports, 
  • providing a place to live for those students in residence, and 
  • supporting the critical research endeavors of our world-class scholars. 

The new measures announced yesterday include ones that affect the University community and will apply to all three of our campuses.  

Effective Monday, November 23, 2020, the following will take effect: 

  • all indoor and outdoor sport and recreation facilities, including pools and arena, will be closed; Virtual programming will continue;  
  • library service continues with pick-up services and access to IT services for those who need it;  
  • research continues but researchers should limit on-campus activity to that which is required and all other work is to be done remotely;   
  • no indoor organized public events or social gatherings except with members of the same household; and 
  • outdoor organized public events or social gatherings limited to a maximum of 10 people. 

With these new measures in place, the University’s focus remains on teaching, research and supporting our students as they complete their fall term. The following activities continue: 

  • classes and exams will take place virtually with exceptions only for essential in-person teaching.  Essential instruction includes lab-based course instruction, music and practical instruction, learning that requires hands-on activity, and practical training for health professions.   
  • on-campus work required to deliver virtual instruction and programming; 
  • residences will continue to operate with safety precautions in place; 
  • food service is pick-up only; 
  • employees will work remotely where possible; and 
  • University buildings will only be accessible to members of the University community and essential visitors.   

There may be further details to come stemming from the new provincial measures and the shift of Toronto and Peel Region into the Grey Zone (Lockdown).  We will continue to review any additional guidance and update you as more details become available that require action.    

We remind you of the need for continued precautions including the requirement to complete a symptom assessment prior to coming to campus (and staying home if there are any symptoms), maintaining physical distancing, practicing regular hand hygiene, and the use of masks where required. There are two ways that individuals can complete the required COVID-19 self-assessment and generate a risk status each time they come to U of T: by using UCheck, or by completing a paper-based or offline self-assessment log. 

The new measures also include substantial limitations on personal and social activities, and we remind members of the community of the need to stay aware of the local requirements for their region, recognizing that many individuals live outside of Peel and Toronto.   

Thank you all for the dedication and resourcefulness you continue to show as we adapt to an ever-changing situation and work in new ways.    

For all the latest information to the University’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit the UTogether2020 website.  Please also take time to review the Frequently asked Questions (FAQs), the HR&E COVID-19 website, and the Research COVID-19 FAQs.  For additional questions and inquiries, please email us via the COVID-19 contact page