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.