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Coming Together on Campus

Alexandra Gillespie standing outside on the UTM campus, surrounded by winter snow
Photo by Nick Iwanyshyn

On 19 January 2022, Dean McEwen and I published a community-wide message to share some news about the winter term. Based on direction from the Chief Medical Officer of Health, Peel Public Health and the Ontario Science Table, along with data from epidemiologists at U of T and beyond, UTM will resume our phased increase of in-person activity on February 7. We look forward to enabling a safe, connected and vibrant experience on campus, supported by focused action in several key areas.  

In-Person Teaching & Learning

We’ll ramp up our levels of in-person teaching shortly, building on our success in continuing select courses in-person safely throughout January. Courses that moved online on January 10—and were originally scheduled for in-person delivery—will return in-person on February 7. Check the UTM Timetable and Quercus regularly for course-specific updates. Stay tuned, too, for announcements on the UTM Together website, including the news that our UTM Library is now open to members of the U of T community.

On-Campus Work

We’ll welcome our employees currently working remotely to return to campus on February 7 as well. Any staff members that plan to work in a hybrid capacity after that date must have an official Alternative Work Arrangement in place. We continue to encourage flexibility for employees with childcare responsibilities resulting from the pandemic’s impact on daycare and the primary and secondary school systems.

And we continue to feel so thankful to our safety, custodial, grounds, residence and facilities teams, who have been here from the start—without a break, in person—on the front lines.

COVID-19 Vaccination

We continue to require all students participating in on-campus activities to provide proof of vaccination, as mandated by the Council of Ontario Medical Officers of Health. All UTM employees need to do the same, whether or not their role requires on-campus activity now.

We also continue to require all community members to complete the UCheck self-screening system—and to receive a green screen—before coming on campus. Stay tuned to the UCheck website on the week of January 31, which will then enable you to voluntarily upload information about booster doses.

We encourage everyone to maximize their vaccination coverage and receive a booster dose as soon as they become eligible. More appointments are added to the provincial portal and local pharmacies daily. And we look forward to welcoming the GO-VAXX Bus to campus intermittently. For students without an Ontario health card, UTM’s HCC will offer some appointments in the weeks ahead.

COVID-19 Measures

We continue to require everyone to wear a mask in all indoor campus spaces—and to promote the evidence on the increased efficacy of medical masks. U of T will make masks available—for a limited time—on all three campuses for pickup to any community member with an active UTORID. Stay tuned to the UTogether website for details on pick-up locations and logistics. We also continue to manage a limited supply of rapid antigen screening kits and to focus their use in priority contexts.

We remain in direct contact with the leadership at Peel Public Health and local hospitals, along with epidemiologists at U of T and beyond. They continue to share the data and advice that drive our decisions. We’re especially grateful to Dr. Lawrence Loh, Peel’s Medical Officer of Health, for his prudence, care and leadership throughout the pandemic and for his strong endorsement of our plan to increase in-person activity on campus on February 7.

These last years have been incredibly challenging: I feel so grateful for the hard work and patience of our students, faculty, staff and librarians. Our community has stepped up, again and again. We look forward to seeing you back on campus soon and to enjoying better days ahead.

Thank you.

Alexandra Gillespie
Vice-President & Principal
University of Toronto Mississauga

January 20, 2022