Coronavirus: PT Students, Faculty, Clinical Faculty and Staff

January 28, 2020

Dear PT Students, Faculty, Clinical Faculty and Staff:

The University of Toronto and our hospital partners are working closely together to optimize the management of the Coronavirus concerns across our system. As of the morning of January 27, there has been confirmation of two presumptive cases of 2019-nCoV in Toronto, both from the same family unit.

While health officials note the risk of contracting the virus remains low, we must all be prepared to safely deal with sick and highly infectious patients. We want to ensure that you are kept safe and your patients are kept safe while you are performing your duties.

At the current time, it is the expectation of the Department of Physical Therapy that all Physical Therapy (PT) learners will uphold their professional obligation to comply with hospital/clinic requirements for providers, which includes physical therapists.

Given that many of our PT learners are in hospital settings, or are in community-based clinical settings, there may be a time when different processes are needed for various learners – we will develop plans as needed, for individual learners. We will be communicating with you regularly as the situation evolves, both as a group, and individually.

The Faculty of Medicine here at the University of Toronto is ensuring that all of our Health Sciences Programs are receiving frequent updated information – at this time, there is no indication that this outbreak will impact our clinical education programs. Your well-being is our first concern, and as always, we will support you, and your safety throughout this situation.

Mask Fit Testing

All of our PT learners should have current mask fit testing compliance. If, for whatever reason, you have lapsed in your mask fit testing or believe that there has been a change in your fit status (major weight change, for example), then you must notify the PT program immediately and you must not engage in at-risk activities until a new updated fit test is done.

We understand that this is a time of heightened anxiety and concern. We have learned a great deal from previous events and are confident that our processes are optimized to address the current situation.

Information is available at:

Toronto Public Health: 
Public Health Ontario:
Public Health Agency of Canada:
World Health Organization:

PT students can access further supports by reaching out to the Graduate Coordinator: Jaimie Coleman, the Director of Clinical Education: Brenda Mori or Martine Quesnel, if you have further questions at this time.

Take care of yourselves, each other, and your patients, as the excellent PT learners that you are,

Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions.

Sharon Switzer-McIntyre, B.P.E., B.Sc.P.T., M.Ed., Ph.D.
Associate Professor, MScPT Program Director, Department of Physical Therapy