skyline with Medical Sciences Building

On Campus 2022/23

Faculty, staff and learners are back on campus across the Temerty Faculty of Medicine. And while the University no longer requires physical distancing or masking to prevent the spread of COVID-19, Temerty Medicine strongly encourages masking in busy indoor spaces.

At this stage, however, these are individual choices. Some may continue to distance and/or mask. Individual departments may choose at their discretion to maintain physical distancing requirements within their workspaces. Please respect the choices of others.

For a suite of resources, including FAQs, related to all aspects of the 2022/23 academic year, please see the University’s UTogether guide.

And for evidence-informed reports from Canada’s COVID-19 Immunity Task Force (CITF), co-chaired by Professor of Medicine and U of T President Emeritus David Naylor, please see the CITF Monthly Review issues below:

September 2022

Get the latest information about masks, courses, facilities and more.

Detailed information and resources relevant to the University of Toronto research & innovation community.

This guideline applies to all work and study areas including research spaces.

Latest Updates

11/17/22 — Important Message on Masks

This message is being sent to the Temerty Medicine staff, faculty, and learners on behalf of the Health Sciences Deans.

Dear health sciences students, staff and faculty members,   

This is an urgent request that we, your health sciences deans, are asking from our communities to help support our partners.    

We work in close partnership with our health care system. The doctors, nurses, and other health professionals across the GTA are also our faculty, our students, and our partners. Thus, we are deeply concerned by the rapid increase in viral illness in our population, the strain that it has put on our healthcare systems, and the recognition that we need to support our partners during this challenging time.    

That is why we strongly urge you to begin wearing a high-quality, tight-fitting mask when indoors in health sciences buildings at the University of Toronto. 

Those who are lecturing or speaking publicly may want to remove their masks while talking. You may want to remove your mask if you are in your office or eating or drinking. But otherwise, please begin masking while you are indoors in our facilities. We thank everyone in advance for taking this step to help our health-system partners.    

The evidence is clear that masks are highly effective in slowing the spread of COVID-19. Masks also help protect against the flu and RSV – two other viral illnesses overwhelming providers who are already facing remarkable challenges.    

During the course of the pandemic, we have been moved by the ways in which our communities have gathered to face so many challenges together. We ask everyone to join together once more by wearing masks and getting all your seasonal shots to help relieve the burden on each other and our partners in care. In order to support this, the University of Toronto is offering vaccination clinics across our campuses during the month of November. Free masks are available on all three U of T campuses for pickup.   

We urge everyone to be kind to yourselves and to each other during this extremely challenging time for our healthcare colleagues.  


Adalsteinn (Steini) Brown   
Dean, Dalla Lana School of Public Health   

Lisa Dolovich  
Dean, Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy   

Linda Johnston  
Dean, Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing  

Gretchen Kerr  
Dean, Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education 

Laura Tam  
Dean, Faculty of Dentistry  

Charmaine Williams  
Interim Dean, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work    

Trevor Young  
Dean, Temerty Faculty of Medicine and Vice-Provost, Relations With Health Care Institutions  

07/28/22 — Monitoring COVID-19 Conditions

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

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 TorontoPeel, 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.

07/25/22 — AWAs and On-Campus Work – Update for September

Dear Temerty Medicine staff:

Since my last message in June, a working group of Faculty-wide administrative leads has examined the landscape and recommended the best course forward for Temerty Medicine staff as the University gears up to welcome an influx of students to our three campuses come September.

This group recognizes – as do I – that staff positions across the Faculty vary in terms of the need for in-person work, and we know that individual unit managers are in the best position to determine day-to-day staffing requirements. We also know that there are benefits to team-building, mentorship and learning when working in-person.

Beginning in September 2022 and for the remainder of the 2022-23 academic year, Temerty Medicine employees who wish to continue in a hybrid work environment, and whose individual roles and the operational needs of the unit permit, will be expected to return to the workplace for at least two days per week. Some units will require more consistent on-site presence of staff for the delivery of services and other operational needs.

Staff who wish to work remotely for some portion of their work week in the 2022-23 academic year must submit an Employee Requested AWA application to their manager, with the exception where managers submit and receive Faculty approval for an Employer Requested AWA. Managers may approve or deny AWA applications, or suggest modifications, based on reasons of departmental operational efficiency, service effectiveness and the University’s AWA guidelines. The AWA templates can be found here (UTORid is required).

Fully remote working arrangements will continue to be allowed only where there has been a formal accommodation request approved by either the University’s Health & Well-Being Services & Programs Office, the Family Care Office. In order to meet the operational requirements of the Faculty, the Chief Administrative Officer may consider working arrangements that involve limited on-site presence on an exception basis.

As you know, masking requirements at U of T were lifted on July 1, but members of our community may choose to continue to wear a mask. It is also worth underscoring that wearing masks can reduce or prevent transmission of coronavirus, and other viruses. We therefore support and strongly encourage the use of masks, particularly in crowded indoors spaces. Please respect each other’s decisions, comfort levels and health needs.

I’m incredibly proud of the work you do to support the research and educational mission of Temerty Medicine, and I know how hard these pandemic years have been for so many in our community. Be kind to yourselves, stay engaged with friends and family – and let’s look out for each other as we prepare for a productive academic year ahead.

Trevor Young, MD PhD FRCPC
Dean, Temerty Faculty of Medicine

06/09/22 — Fall Planning and Mask Requirement

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

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. 


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.


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.

06/03/22 — AWAs and On-Campus Work – Summer Update

FromTrevor Young, MD PhD FRCPC 
Dean, Temerty Faculty of Medicine 

Dear Temerty Medicine staff:

Thank you all for your continued patience and commitment as the University moves forward in its return-to-campus planning for the 2022-23 academic year ahead.

Like me, most of you have been spending some part of your work week back on campus in recent months and – construction headaches aside – I hope you’ve found it to be an overall positive experience. It feels great to be facilitating connections for new team members, enabling onsite learning, networking and having those informal conversations that help spark new ways of thinking and working.

I’ll also share that, for my own mental health, reconnecting in-person with colleagues has really helped rekindle my sense of purpose and initiative after the isolation and weight of these difficult pandemic years.

I know we have to proceed slowly and thoughtfully – everyone’s situation is different – so for the balance of the summer, Temerty Medicine departments and units will have the flexibility to continue with their current Alternate Working Arrangements (AWAs) or make changes based on current circumstances.

Yet I also share the belief with my colleagues that staff and faculty ultimately need to be on-site to ensure that our campus is vibrant, actively supports student life, and is reflective of the University’s standing as an engaging, diverse, inclusive and accessible academic environment.

Therefore, for reasons of fairness and equity, Temerty Medicine expects to set standards for on-site days to be implemented on Sept. 6 after Labour Day. Over the coming weeks, our HR team will be gathering feedback from departments and units, University survey data, HR trends, and public health directives – and we commit to communicating our decision no later than July 25.

For managers, we encourage you to have conversations with your teams about the fall. (Reminder: All hybrid work requirements require a completed AWA, and fully remote working arrangements are only allowed where there has been a formal accommodation request approved by either the University’s Health & Well-Being Services & Programs Office or the Family Care Office.)

I know that change takes time to plan for and I very much hope you’ll join me in looking forward together with optimism and care.

04/06/22 — Continuation of mask requirement and updates to UCheck

FromCheryl Regehr, Vice-President & Provost 
Kelly Hannah-Moffat, Vice-President, People Strategy, Equity & Culture 

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.


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.

03/29/22 — Summer Term – Changing Health Measures

FromCheryl Regehr, Vice-President & Provost  
Kelly Hannah-Moffat, Vice-President, People Strategy, Equity & Culture  

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: 

  • The requirement to complete health screening via UCheck prior to attending University premises 
  • The requirement to be fully vaccinated for in-person activities on University premises 
  • The requirement to be masked in indoor University spaces, unless otherwise required 

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. 

01/19/22 — Winter Term Update

FromProf. Patricia Houston, Acting Dean and Vice Dean Medical Education
Jean Robertson, Director, Human Resources
Temerty Faculty of Medicine

Today, the Provost’s Office has issued an update on plans for the winter term and the steps the University of Toronto is taking to balance the learning needs of students with the need to minimize the spread of COVID-19, including enhanced safety measures.

The University will increase its in-person teaching and on-campus activities effective Monday, February 7.  The plans for different Faculties will be determined by the Faculties and will depend on local considerations.

Here at Temerty Medicine, we recognize that many members of our community continue to be very busy due to the impact of the omicron surge that is taxing the health and social care sectors across the GTA. It has been exhausting and stressful for so long; we know we cannot burden you with greater demands.

The Faculty will work closely with our TAHSN partners to ensure our winter/spring plans support our learners, faculty and staff while aligning with the need to continue to support the health human resource needs in the hospital environment. The reality is that there will continue to be significant challenges ahead.

Here are the current plans for learners and faculty at Temerty Medicine:

  • The MD program will redesign a phased transition to in-person campus-based learning over February and March that was originally planned for January. We are working with our hospital partners to determine when our hospital-based clinical skills and small groups activities can resume in person.
  • The Basic Sciences will also take a phased approach with priorities set at the departmental level, starting with small classes (<50 students) and aiming for a full return to in-person undergraduate learning by Monday, Feb. 28 after Reading Week.
  • Each of the Rehab Sciences sector programs will communicate with its constituency on its mix of in-person clinical skills training and online learning.
  • The Medical Radiation Sciences Program will continue to offer in-person clinical skills training on-site at the Michener Institute for Year 1 & 2; no onsite classes at U of T. Year 3 students are in clinical placements through graduation in late April.
  • The Physician Assistant Program will hold in-person clinical skills training for Year 2 students on campus from March 21-25. Year 2 students will continue in clinical placements and are expected to graduate on time, completing the program at the end of August. Year 1 students will continue with regular online teaching at this time.

For staff members:

We recognize that your collective skill and dedication have helped keep our learners and faculty so well-supported throughout the pandemic. You’ve been remarkable in adapting to continual change – on top of the many personal challenges of a global health crisis – and we know there will be apprehension for some about returning to work on campus.

Staff will be contacted by their managers to discuss specific return-to-campus plans, including a timeline to implement alternative work arrangements (AWA) that were approved before the holiday break. Employees who have yet to discuss their return-to-work preferences with their managers should do so as soon as possible. Our goal is to ensure a gradual, thoughtful and safe return for staff who have been working off-site for the duration of the pandemic.

Change in itself is stressful and challenging, but it can also offer opportunities to reimagine new approaches to work and learning and reconnection. Please know, your health and wellbeing remain our top priority.  We are committed to ensuring everyone in the Temerty Medicine community is supported and safe throughout the transitions ahead.

01/06/22 — On-Campus Research Update

FromProf. Justin Nodwell, Vice Dean, Research & Health Science Education

Re: On-Campus Research Update: Reduced Lab Capacity and Human Participant Research

Hello Everyone,

Regrettably, as described in the attached briefing note from Lori Ferris, the university has had to resort to a reduction in laboratory capacity as dictated by the Provincial government's response to the omicron outbreak. This is expected to be a temporary measure and we will be revisiting at the end of January.

Note that the key detail is a return to 2m distancing - it is felt that an overall capacity of 65% is the only way we can sustain that. Note as well however, that capacity can be established on the basis of the normal occupancy of each research space rather than on a lab-by-lab basis. So, for example, in laboratories where multiple groups share one space (with extreme examples being the Donnelly and MaRS), capacity is determined by the entire space. Labs that can work entirely from home can share slots with neighbouring labs that are more dependent on laboratory access. 

For research spaces where this sort of sharing is not possible, a return to the old phase 2 scheduling process is recommended. An updated version of the scheduling tool will circulated shortly.

The details are to be worked out at the departmental level - I encourage you to work with your faculty to find a means of using the space in a manner that is equitable and as efficient as possible. If an emergency chair's meeting would be helpful, please let me know. Otherwise, we can put this on the agenda at the Chairs meeting on January 17th.

Justin R. Nodwell
Professor, Department of Biochemistry
Vice Dean, Research and Health Science Education
Temerty Faculty of Medicine
University of Toronto

01/04/22 — Ontario School Reopening

From: Kelly Hannah-Moffat, Vice-President, People Strategy, Equity & Culture
Heather Boon, Vice-Provost, Faculty & Academic Life 

Re: January 4 Update – Ontario School Reopening

Dear colleagues,

On January 3, 2022, the provincial government announced that Ontario will be temporarily moving to a modified Step Two of the Roadmap to Reopen, effective January 5, 2022 until January 26, 2022.

These measures include requiring all publicly funded and private schools to move to remote learning starting January 5 until at least January 17, subject to public health trends and operational considerations.

In light of this announcement, Managers, Chairs, and Division Heads are once again asked to be as accommodating as possible by permitting requests for flexible hours, vacation time, and/or lieu time (if applicable), and ultimately unpaid leave, if necessary, until the province returns to in-person learning for school age children.

All employees must work remotely until Monday, January 31, 2022, with the exception of those whose job duties require them to work on-site, 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. 

We understand the stress that these rapidly changing circumstances continues to have on members of our community. We particularly appreciate and recognize those who, since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, have continued to be on campus delivering important and necessary services and support to keep our University functioning. We will continue to update you with information to support your current activities and future decisions about winter plans.

12/15/21 — Limiting the Spread of COVID-19 Omicron Variant

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.


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:


  • 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

12/09/21 — Winter Planning Update

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 maskingupgraded 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.


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.


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.



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

10/01/21 — 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.


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

09/09/21 — Requirement to be Vaccinated (Employees)

Further to the Fall Planning – Welcome to the Start of a New Academic Year message sent earlier today, we are writing to provide you with additional details regarding the new Joint Provostial and Human Resources Guideline on Vaccinations and the requirement for our community to be vaccinated. As an employee of the University, you are subject to and bound by the Guideline, and you should carefully review and familiarize yourself with it.

As an employee of the University, you may be required to be able to attend and perform duties on University premises as required, even if some or all of your duties can be performed remotely. Accordingly, you must be fully vaccinated by October 29, 2021 (i.e. final dose no later than October 15, 2021).

Please upload proof of vaccination using the University’s UCheck system. If you have been identified as a participant in a high-risk activity (e.g., music instruction, athletics, etc) and have received instructions on how to upload your proof of vaccination via ServiceNow, please also upload your vaccine documents in UCheck.

Those seeking an exemption to the requirement to be fully vaccinated 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). Please note that approval is not guaranteed. If your exemption is approved, you will be required to participate in the University’s rapid screening program, and must upload results twice per week. If your exemption request is not approved, you will be required to be fully vaccinated in order to work at the University.

As stated in the Guideline:

“…the University will educate the community about the benefits of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Consequences for a violation of this Vaccination Guideline will depend on the individual’s relationship with the University and the relevant circumstances but may include, in the case of:

  • Employees: prohibition from attending University premises and discipline up to and including termination of employment for cause, in accordance with the applicable University policies and procedures, guidelines, employment agreement or memoranda of agreement or collective agreement, if any.”

For more information on COVID-19 vaccines, please visit

09/09/21 – 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

09/03/21 — Fall planning – Update

Dear Temerty Medicine community: 

As we move into the academic year for all students, the Provost’s Office issued a comprehensive weekly update yesterday that I urge you to review, as it includes the latest information on: 

  • Provincial Guidelines on In-Person Instruction 
  • Proof of Vaccination 
  • Requests for Exemption 
  • Rapid Screening Program 

Beginning September 13, to attend University premises for any reason you must: 

  • Provide proof of vaccination 
  • And complete daily health screenings via UCheck; as of Sept. 6, you will be able to upload proof of vaccination. 

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

On campus, you will see construction is in high gear on the King’s College Circle Landmark Project, as well as other important maintenance upgrades underway.  We are putting into place plans to ensure safe access into our buildings and throughout our spaces. 

Medical Sciences Building 

  • FOB access is available only at the north entrance to MSB; east side (Queen’s Park) entrance is closed due to construction. 
  • Stanchions and signage will direct students attending MSB classroom lectures to enter through three stairwell entries.  
  • Starbucks and the cafeteria will be open for takeout only. 
  • Facilities and Space Planning will have two staff onsite in the building to monitor the flow of pedestrian traffic and troubleshoot any issues arising. 

The Donnelly Centre, MaRS, Naylor Building and 500 University will continue to be FOB access only. 

Please know that all of us at Temerty Medicine are committed to a healthy and productive academic year ahead for our community of learners, faculty and staff. 

Thank you all for everything you’ve been doing throughout this pandemic. I hope you have a safe and relaxing long weekend. We will stay in touch as needed. 

Patricia Houston 
Acting Dean and Vice Dean, Medical Education 
Temerty Faculty of Medicine 

09/02/21 — 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.  

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


Trevor Young, Acting Vice-President & Provost 

Kelly Hannah-Moffat, Vice-President, People Strategy, Equity & Culture 

08/27/21 — Update on Temerty Medicine Fall Planning

This message is being sent to the Chairs’ and Business Officers’ listservs on behalf of Dr. Patricia Houston, Acting Dean and Vice Dean, Medical Education, Temerty Faculty of Medicine.

For information and for action — please share with all faculty, staff and learners.

Dear Colleagues,

Yesterday, the University issued a COVID Fall Planning Update.

I strongly encourage you to read this important update for information about the University’s new policy on mandated proof of vaccination via UCheck for all members of the University community coming to campus, and on the rapid screening programfor people awaiting a final vaccine dose or who have received a University-approved exemption. Please note that the ability to upload your proof of vaccination will not be available until early September.

The update also provides information on a revised mask policy and related safety measures, including the University’s 12-step plan for a safe return to campus.

I am confident these new measures will further ensure a safe fall term for those coming to campus, including many of our research and teaching faculty as well as staff who provide essential and student services. I would like to remind managers of staff coming to campus that you need to complete the General Assessment Tool (GAT), but that a new form is not necessary unless changes are significant.

For those planning to use classrooms, you can review the University’s approach to ensuring adequate ventilation in specific classrooms by reviewing the information provided on the classroom ventilation page. If the room has not been tested, we recommend use in conjunction with current public health requirements for physical distancing and capacity.

Many of our Faculty’s staff will continue to work remotely this fall. The Faculty has determined that departments should have the flexibility to allow staff to continue with current work arrangements throughout the fall term. Staff who are not on-site five days a week and hope to continue this into 2022 will need to propose and receive approval for a documented Alternative Work Arrangement by the end of 2021.

I will continue to provide updates in the next few weeks, as the pandemic evolves and we receive further guidance from public health, the province and the University. Thank you for your attention to the many changes the pandemic continues to bring, and your dedication to ensuring a safe return to campus this fall. 

You can find more information and resources on the University’s ongoing response to COVID-19 here:

Find the latest Temerty Medicine updates on fall term planning here:

If you have questions about fall planning in our Faculty that are not covered in these links, please contact myself or Lynn Wilson, Vice Dean Clinical and Faculty Affairs at

Thank you,

Patricia Houston
Acting Dean and Vice Dean, Medical Education
Temerty Faculty of Medicine

08/26/21 — COVID-19 Fall Planning Update: U of T

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

08/19/21 — Update on Vaccination and Rapid Screening for Fall 2021

Earlier this week, Ontario announced another development in the fight against COVID-19. The Province released a new vaccination policyfor activities in higher-risk settings, including universities. While we wait for details, the University is finalizing our own strategy.

This September, all members of the University community—including students, staff, faculty, and librarians—will be required to provide proof of full vaccination or register in the University’s rapid screening program, where results will need to be uploaded regularly.This program also offers educational opportunities and access to vaccination clinics. 

Some individuals have already been informed of the need to provide proof of vaccination (i.e., students living in residence; and students, faculty, and staff involved in varsity athletics and music performance in the Faculty of Music). They will follow the process communicated directly to them.

We understand that coping with the evolving COVID situation is not easy for many in the University community, and requires ongoing flexibility. We appreciate your hard work and commitment to the University of Toronto. We will share more details with you on the UTogethersite soon.

Trevor Young, Acting Vice-President & Provost

Kelly Hannah-Moffat, Vice-President, People Strategy, Equity & Culture

08/11/21 — Letter from President Gertler to faculty, librarians and staff 

Dear colleagues, 

With the fall term just a few weeks away, I want to reassure you all that the health and safety of our faculty, librarians, staff, and students remains our top priority. 

The University of Toronto will require that all those intending to be present on our campuses be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations. This is a key part of the University’s carefully developed and extensive COVID-19 protocols, which include the mandatory wearing of masks indoors and other safety measures. 

Our plans are consistent with those of our peer institutions in Ontario. In fact, we are pleased to see others now adopting the standards we have established in planning for a safe return to in-person activities. 

I appreciate that the public health situation remains concerning. Let me reassure you again that the University will remain vigilant in protecting the health and safety of all members of our community, and we will take additional measures if conditions change in the fall and winter ahead. Let me also take this opportunity to thank you all for your patience and adaptability as we continue moving forward together. 


Meric S. Gertler 


07/30/21 — Vaccination and Our Community

For the past several months, the University has been working hard to prepare for a safe return to our campuses in September. Improving ventilation within our buildings, enhancing cleaning protocols, requiring indoor mask use on University property, and promoting vaccination are among our key strategies. We are introducing several new strategies this fall.

As you know, all students, staff, faculty, and librarians are expected to complete a UCheck screening before visiting our campuses. This fall, the UCheck platform will include a new section about your vaccination status. The answer you provide about your vaccine status through UCheck will not be connected to your individual employee record. At an aggregated, anonymous level, attestations will inform the University’s continuous improvement of the measures in place to reduce the risk of COVID-19. Attestations will not be used for any other purposes.

Community members who are not fully vaccinated or who choose not to share their vaccine status via UCheck are expected to participate in a rapid screening program using a University-supplied, at-home testing kit. More details about participation in the program will be provided to the University community in the coming weeks. We encourage you to read these FAQs on the University’s UTogether page to learn about the rapid screening program and the enhanced UCheck platform.  

Beginning in the fall term, U of T will also require full vaccination for students, staff, faculty, and librarians engaged in certain activities. These activities include varsity sports, music instruction, and some educational placements. Further information on this requirement, and which areas and roles it will apply to, will be shared in the coming weeks. The list of activities that require vaccination may change or be updated, and individuals can apply for an exemption. We will continue to follow the vaccination requirements currently in place for students living in our residences this fall. 

We have made these changes in consultation with local public health units and experts in the field, including the University Health Network (UHN), who cite the proven efficacy of vaccinations in preventing the spread and mitigating the effects of COVID-19. With these new measures, we aim to protect everyone in the U of T community—and by extension, to protect our families, friends, and neighbours.

We also remain committed to an inclusive and accessible return to in-person operations, and have developed the resource Returning to Campus: Keeping Accessibility in Mind to provide a starting point for reimagining our campuses and how we all use them.

We will see an end to this pandemic. In the meantime, we can move forward as a community by showing respect and compassion for each other, and by doing whatever we can to keep each other safe. 


Trevor Young, Acting Vice-President & Provost

Kelly Hannah-Moffat, Vice President, People Strategy, Equity & Culter

07/23/21 — Fall Planning: Staff Survey Results – and September

Dear Temerty Medicine full-time staff:

Our sincere thanks to all who took part in our June employee survey around your work during the pandemic and work in the future. This email is to share the survey results and update you on next steps regarding plans for the fall.

As pandemic restrictions lift, we know everyone is keen to know when, how and how often they will be working on campus in the fall. While some staff who have been working remotely will be required to return to their offices for at least part of the work week, we expect most will experience a gradual return in the months ahead. There will also be opportunities for staff to formally request alternative work arrangements involving hybrid-remote work settings or differentiation in work hours.

Plans are actively being worked on by a fall restart committee chaired by Vice Dean Lynn Wilson – working in concert with the University – with the goal of preparing for a gradual return-to-work in the fall 2021, subject to Province of Ontario reopening regulations and University of Toronto guidelines.

Within those guidelines, each University division will retain a degree of local decision-making to suit their needs. We expect business officers and managers will be connecting with their staff in the coming weeks regarding work arrangements during the 2021-22 academic year.

And please bookmark the Return to Campus 2021 page, which includes the core principles guiding Fall 2021 decisions and will be the home for future updates. For managers with staff who do not use email regularly in their work, please ensure your team members have access to this information in print.

Regarding the employee survey, more than 600 people responded, which represents 76 per cent of our total full-time staff. Of the respondents, 89% have worked remotely during the pandemic, while the remainder have come onto campus for work one or more days per week.

On the last 15 months:

  • Nearly half of all respondents (47%) said their connectedness to the people they normally associate with at the university has not changed since they started working remotely.
  • Close to half of those who worked both remotely and on university premises (45%), however, said their connectedness has gotten worse over the past 15 months.
  • Length of time in current position had little impact on sense of connectedness.
  • Staff commented on several aspects of connectedness:
    • Social / mental health
    • Positive (n=61) – maintained strength of connection with colleagues, there was an active effort to maintain connectedness, some strengthened their relationships, and their mental health improved
    • Negative (n=67) – felt loss of connection, missed social benefits of informal encounters, ‘not the same’, missing co-workers, felt isolated, less connected to larger community
    • Communication
    • Positive (n=35) - improved access/ease/frequency of communication, easier to coordinate meetings and engage, more efficient communication
    • Negative (n=25) - missed work benefits of informal encounters, less efficient/effective communication, more difficult to access people, worsened relationships
    • Productivity
    • Positive (n=47) – limited impact/sufficient adaptations, productivity increases, improved meeting attendance, fewer distractions/interruptions
    • Negative (n=10) – onboarding virtually is more difficult, reduced productivity, collaboration is harder, too connected/ always on work

On the future of work:

  • Half of staff members (53%) believe that most, if not all, of their work can be completed remotely; of those who have been working on university premises only, 41% responded that work could be completed remotely on 1-2 days/week.
  • Staff in areas such as Finance, IT, Advancement, Student/Learner Services and HR reported the highest proportion of their work that could be completed remotely. Facilities, Research and Technical staff, not surprisingly, reported the lowest.
  • The majority of all respondents (68%) prefer to work remotely most of the week; 25% preferred 1-2 days remote; and 7% preferred no remote work.
  • Main factors for wanting to work remotely: not commuting, improved work-life balance, fewer interruptions; flexibility in hours.
  • What staff look forward to about returning to their regular workplace: seeing friends and colleagues; keeping work and personal life separate; easier collaboration with clients and colleagues; access to better physical resources.
  • The majority of staff members (73%) plan some return to pre-COVID activities but are still wary of some activities, such as crowded elevators and transit.

Thank you again for your participation in the survey. Your insights will be an important factor in decision-making ahead. If you have any questions about the survey or Temerty Medicine’s fall restart committee, you can contact me at

Kind regards,

Jean Robertson
Human Resources Director
Temerty Faculty of Medicine & Dalla Lana School of Public Health