Woman wearing a mask and working in front of her laptop

Keeping Ourselves and Our Communities Safe

Alexandra Gillespie

It’s a challenging time. Some respiratory viruses—COVID-19, influenza, RSV—are on the rise and the cold weather is moving more of our activities inside. So, as we prepare for final exams, holidays, and travel to see loved ones, I wanted to reach out and reiterate some of the public health steps we can take to help keep ourselves and our communities safe.

Almost three years of pandemic life have taught us the fundamentals: if you're sick, stay home. Students: you can use our online tool to let your instructors know if you’re unwell and will be absent. Employees: do connect with your managers directly, who we're encouraging—as always—to prioritize the well-being of their teams.

I also want to encourage everyone to stay up to date on flu and COVID-19 vaccinations. UTM plans to have the GO-VAXX bus return to campus in the winter term; flu shots can be booked through the Health and Counselling Centre. Information about on- and off-campus vaccine clinics is available on the UTogether website.

We strongly encourage you to wear a high-quality mask in indoor settings when physical distancing isn't possible. UTM will have mask pick-up stations positioned prominently at building entrances to help make it easy to engrain mask-wearing as a core habit.

We've kept up a range of other health measures, too, including our enhanced cleaning protocols and our industry-leading ventilation and building air filtration systems. We've placed hand sanitizer dispensers across campus; we'll keep encouraging everyone to wash their hands regularly.

I know you'll continue to be kind, considerate, and respectful of each other. I'm deeply grateful for your ongoing efforts to protect our community.  

Best wishes.

Alexandra Gillespie
Vice-President & Principal
University of Toronto Mississauga