Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

 Masked student ascending staircase in a U of T St. George campus building
Photo by David Lee

Updated Tuesday, May 3:

The University will continue its requirement to wear masks in certain settings until June 30, 2022. Masks are required in classrooms and in indoor spaces where physical distancing cannot be maintained. U of T recommends the use of medical-grade masks where possible.

In addition, as of May 1, 2022, health screening and contact tracing is no longer available in UCheck.

For more details, visit UTogether.

 


Jump to an FAQ by topic:


    COVID-19 Safety

    How has UTM planned for a safe return to campus?

    Our community’s safety is a responsibility shared by all community members. Each of us is obligated to follow the advice and requirements of the campus, university, public health and government, including vaccines, masking, contact tracing, occupancy limits, handwashing, symptom screening, staying home when experiencing COVID-like symptoms or significant exposures, etc. 

    For a full explanation of what U of T is doing to ensure a safe return to campus, visit the UTogether website.


    Ventilation

    Is the UTM library part of the ventilation testing and upgrade?

    The Hazel McCallion Academic Learning Centre & Library has been upgraded with 2 Air Handling Units with MERV14 filters. 

    In addition, classroom-specific air exchange details can be found on the Classroom Ventilation page.


    Do we have CO2 monitors in our buildings?

    UTM's buildings are equipped with CO2 monitors. In addition, we’ve equipped our classrooms according to public health guidance from Harvard University, which holds six (6) equivalent air changes per hour as ideal: the same standard used in healthcare settings, such as patient examination rooms. All U of T classrooms used in 2021-22 meet this standard — and most of our classrooms exceed it. As part of our commitment to transparency, U of T continues to share detailed information about air quality and ventilation in university spaces, outlined here by campus, building and room. 


    Cleaning Protocols

    Will classrooms be cleaned/sanitized throughout the day?

    High touch areas will be cleaned regularly. As we now know, COVID is airborne and not often transmitted via surfaces, so this is less important than masks and ventilation, but it is indeed still happening.


    Masks 

    Do I need to wear an N95 mask on campus? 

    In general, an N95 is not required. Masks will continue to be required in classrooms and in indoor spaces when two metres of physical distancing cannot be maintained until June 30, 2022—and evidence points to the increased efficacy of medical masks, also known as surgical or procedural masks. Medical masks are recommended for all employees, students, visitors and contractors in common use areas of University buildings. 

    An N95 is not a medical mask. It is a type of respirator that may be required by individuals performing activities that are higher risk in nature such as providing healthcare to a suspected COVID-19 case. EHS training and respirator fit-testing is required for individuals that need to utilize an N95 for higher risk activities – please refer to Ch 6 of the COVID-19 General Workplace Guideline for guidance.


    Will the university provide masks for students?

    Medical masks will be made available for pickup on all three campuses to community members with an active UTORID as supplies allow and for a limited time. You will be required to present your completed UCheck self-assessment with a green result. At UTM, masks are available in:

    • Meeting Place
    • Deerfield Hall (near Bistro)
    • Instructional Building (first floor)
    • MN Grand Hall 
    • Library 
    • Kaneff Rotunda 
    • CCT eating area by IT service desk

    For the most updated information, including details on pick-up locations, visit the Masks page on the UTogether website.


    Are the masks given out by U of T in Fall 2020 fine to use under the new rules?

    The masks given out by U of T in Fall 2020 (University of Toronto-branded blue masks, with a metal nose piece) no longer comply with the latest mask policies. Mask science has changed since 2020, and we now know that COVID is airborne. As a result, we now recommend that you wear a 3-ply medical mask under the previous mask given out in Fall 2020.  


    Are masks required in the Department of Athletics gyms and fitness centre or are members permitted to remove their masks?

    Masks may be removed as per the guideline when engaging in physical activities. If you are in an indoor space other than a classroom, you do not need to wear a mask when you are at least two metres from another person, but should cover your face with a mask if you move within a two-metre radius of another person.


    COVID-19 Testing

    Will rapid antigen tests be provided for those that regularly come to campus?

    Community rapid screening kit distribution is on hold until further notice, due to a lack of supply. We will provide pick-up locations on all three campuses when supply becomes available. Visit the Rapid Screening page on UTogether for more details.


    What happens if I feel unwell or test positive for COVID-19?

    Do not come to campus if you feel unwell.

    • Students: visit the Safety page of the Registrar website for a list of steps to follow
    • Staff/Faculty/Librarians: when you receive a red status from UCheck or after completing the offline or paper-based self-assessment log, they are instructed to stay home and immediately contact their manager, supervisor, Dean, Chair or Academic Director who will instruct them to contact U of T's Occupational Health Nurse (OHN) immediately.

    If you're still exhibiting symptoms even after finishing the required isolation period, you will not be able to come back to campus and will need to contact U of T's Occupational Health Nurse (OHN).

    If an individual tests positive in a class, the instructor will be notified; as well, potentially affected individuals and those with close contact will be identified and provided with information about an isolation period. 

     


    If You've Been Exposed on Campus

    How will we be notified if someone we were in contact with on-campus tests positive?

    Environmental Health & Safety contact tracers will notify any close contacts, so that they can isolate. We also provide a general notice for non-close contacts, which outlines where and when cleaning has occurred and to encourage monitoring of symptoms.  

    COVID-19 Case Updates across the UTM campus are also posted on the UTMTogether website.

    If you have COVID or COVID symptoms, please do NOT come to campus. Declare your absence on ACORN and contact the EHS team at ehs.occhealth@utoronto.ca so they can complete contact tracing and provide advice on isolation orders. Students may then contact their instructors for catch up options.  


    Course and Exam Delivery 

    Which classes are online and which are in-person?

    Beginning February 7, UTM increased in-person teaching and activities for courses.

    Delivery methods are detailed in the UTM timetable, and any course-specific updates will be communicated on Quercus.


    If I catch COVID, how will I be able to keep up with school while I'm self-isolating (if I'm unable to access recordings for in-person lectures)?

    Students who miss an in-person lecture can contact their professor/instructor/TA or another student in the class to get the notes they miss. What each professor elects to make available to the students in their courses is not centrally mandated.

    The content is the intellectual property of the professor/instructor, and if some professors will no longer be sharing recordings, this is their decision and within their academic prerogative to do so. Students with concerns should speak to their professors but they will also need to respect their decisions. 


    How will final examinations be handled?

    In general, courses listed in the timetable as online should hold online exams. Those listed as in-person should hold in-person exams (IF they have an exam). Questions can be directed to the Exams Office in the Office of the Registrar.


    International Students

    Must I quarantine if travelling internationally to Toronto Pearson Airport as a fully vaccinated traveler?

    If you're a fully vaccinated traveler, travelling internationally to Toronto Pearson Airport, you should have a quarantine plan in place for entry (as backup). Whether you are required to quarantine will be determined by the border officer and the results of your COVID-19 test at the airport. Please email the International Education Centre for more details.


      Student Supports

      What will student life on campus be like?

      Although we anticipate that there will still be significant restrictions in place that may change what we would normally be doing if there wasn’t a pandemic, we’re still encouraging and supporting student groups and student governments to offer both on-campus and virtual programs and activities. We’re also supporting safe in-person gatherings that meet public health guidelines, and offering workshops/activities such as virtual summer job fairs and Winter reading week volunteer opportunities.


      Will there be more food options on campus, and will they be open in the early morning and at night?


      Are there accommodations for students with disabilities to learn remotely?

      Accommodations for students with professionally diagnosed and documented disabilities are highly individualized to meet each student’s and course’s needs. Consult UTM Accessibility Services for additional information. 

      For students/staff with disabilities who are concerned about a safe return to campus, the university will accommodate those with disabilities based on AODA guidelines. Every case is unique, but if individuals are at risk because of the pandemic, we will consult with them and provide the appropriate accommodations. 


      Will there be any discounts or fees waived for services that students can’t use? 

      Services have generally adapted to support students while complying with public health guidelines, including offering on-line supports for health and counseling, recreation and physical fitness, career counselling, and many others; for the most-part, you don’t need to be physically here to benefit from these services’ offerings. Also, not every student uses every service, in a pandemic or in more normal times; sometimes fees support a service’s availability so that it is available if/when the need arises. 


      For Faculty, Staff and Librarians

      I don’t have an AWA (alternate work arrangement) — and don’t feel comfortable working on campus given the current COVID-19 situation. What should I do?

      If you are interested in exploring an AWA, you can submit a request to your Manager. Faculty members and librarians should contact the Dean, their Chair, Director or Supervisor to discuss their workload assignment if applicable. To learn more about the AWA process, please visit the Alternative Work Arrangement Knowledge Article in the HR Service Centre, under Employee Supports. 

      For additional information, please see the Information for Faculty, Staff & Librarians page.


      Will there be support for employees who need to work remotely temporarily due to child care issues or ill family members?  

      The Family Care Office provides confidential consultation to students, staff, faculty and librarians with family caregiving obligations to review all possible options available that may assist in addressing their current family challenges (childcare/school, elder care resources, caring for ill family member, etc).

      The options discussed includes what may be available through their Collective Agreement, Student or Employee Policies and Guidelines, and external community supports and resources.  The goal is to support the individual in making an informed decision that best suits their family situation.


      When on campus, do we need to maintain a 2 metre distance when meeting with others in our offices?

      Try to book larger spaces where you can maintain distance in non-instructional spaces. Physical distancing and capacity limits are in place, based on provincial regulations, on all three campuses in spaces such as eating areas, recreation facilities, offices, hallways and reception areas.

      For instructional spaces such as classrooms, labs and libraries, the Ministry of Colleges and Universities is allowing for flexible capacity limits and has removed requirements for physical distancing in combination with a mandatory vaccination requirement and other health measures including health screening and the wearing of masks. This decision was made by the province in consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and the provincial Science Advisory Table.


      Can faculty keep office hours online?

      Faculty are able to keep online office hours if they wish; it’s still very convenient for students who may not be on campus that day. This is something that will likely continue post-pandemic.


      Additional Information

      What steps is UTM taking to ensure we're receiving COVID-19 related information in a timely manner?

      The UTM communications team continue to use all our channels—email, websites, social media, Quercus, public discussion forums, group and one-on-one information sessions, and more—to share the latest information with students on a weekly, often daily, basis.  

      Our teams at UTM have been very proactive, communicating our plans for fall 2021 six months in advance and explaining our goals for Winter 2022 even early in the summer of 2021. These teams have remained agile and efficient, quickly synthesizing new policy directives from the governmental and public health agencies in the morning and relaying them to our community later the same day. 

      Throughout the pandemic, our decisions have been driven by science, Ontario and Peel public health guidance, data and policy, with the safety of our community as our priority. We cannot predict the course of a global pandemic, but we have tried to adapt as quickly as possible.  


      Where can I find more information about study spaces and computer labs?

      To view all study spaces on campus (and to see which empty classrooms are available for independent study), visit the Study Spaces website.

      For computer lab details and frequently asked questions, please visit the Student Computer Lab FAQ page.


      Are intercampus shuttle buses running?

      For details on the intercampus shuttle bus service and schedules, visit the Shuttle Bus website.


      Will we still need to book appointments for the gym?

      As per the provincial guidelines, the RAWC will be operating at 50% capacity. Until that changes, we will be booking appointments.


      Where can I get more information regarding the University Health Insurance Plan?

      Visit the Health Insurance webpage or contact us at international.utm@utoronto.ca.


      Do clubs hosting campus events still have to use the Events Assessment Process to apply?

      Clubs hosting campus events still need to use the Event Assessment Process. The Centre for Student Engagement can support you.


      STILL HAVE COVID QUESTIONS? Submit a question here or refer to the following pages for more details: