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Update on Building Access

October 14/2021

Dear DLSPH Community,

I would like to share our plans for safely navigating DLSPH buildings during the Fall 2021 Term.

As a school of public health, we must be exemplary in our own COVID safety protocols. As such, our newly revised protocols (see attached), developed in consultation with DLSPH’s occupational and environmental health experts, exceed the University’s requirements for distancing and other safety measures in non-instructional spaces.

Our in-person return plan aligns with the University’s protocols for a safe return and the province’s three-step process. We are currently in step 3, which allows for limited opportunities for individual faculty and staff to access their individual offices and cubicles, and some in-person interactions and activities for students in meeting rooms and assigned student spaces.

For the rest of the Fall Term, courses offered remotely continue to be online. Staff members will, in most cases, continue to work remotely, with some opportunities to come into the office. Faculty will have the option of continuing to work remotely or in their individual offices.  Student study space is available through the libraries, and we will gradually work  to make individual and group study space available in the Health Sciences Building in the next few weeks.

All U of T community members — students, staff, faculty, librarians — must receive their second shot by tomorrow, Friday, Oct. 15, and provide proof of being fully vaccinated in UCheck by October 29 in order to come to campus. A green screen on UCheck indicates  that you have complied with the vaccination guidelines. You may be asked to show your green screen, so please note the requirements below for each time you wish to come onto campus.

University 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 the University’s Frequently Asked Questions.

If you visit the Health Sciences Building or the Gage Building or other parts of campus, you are required to:

  • be fully vaccinated and upload proof of vaccination on the University’s UCheck
  • wear a mask;
  • maintain physical distancing of two metres indoors;
  • follow all posted guidelines;
  • daily when planning to be on-campus, complete the symptom screening in the UCheck system prior to coming onto campus.

We seek to engage our community in a manner that reminds, redirects and educates regarding expectations and policy. However, failure to adhere to the above requirements will result in significant disciplinary actions for students, staff and faculty members.

Please view this short video demonstrating how to move safely through the Health Sciences Building.

Please note:

  • Only one person is allowed in small rooms such as single-person offices, photocopy rooms, and storage spaces.
  • Two people at a time are allowed in each elevator.
  • Maximum occupancy limits are noted on the attached floor plans and occupancy limit signs are posted for meeting rooms, kitchens and our graduate student lounge on the 7th Where our occupational and environmental experts have determined the ventilation is expected to be “excellent”, maintaining two metres of physical distancing and wearing a mask (non-medical) will reduce risk of person to person transmission. In rooms that are not expected to have “excellent” ventilation, occupancy limits are reduced further to minimize transmission with the available ventilation. Please carefully follow the noted limits on the floor plans and posted signage.
  • The large DLSPH student lounge on the 7th floor of the Health Sciences Building has been rated as having “excellent” ventilation and will therefore be available with the posted occupancy limit sign as long as occupants maintain two metres of physical distancing between people and are wearing a mask.
  • The Gage Building will continue to be locked 24/7 and access will be restricted to those approved to have a fob, or those who have scheduled laboratory sessions or essential in-person meetings booked
  • Faculty (including PIs and trainees) do NOT require formal approval from the Dean in advance to access assigned spaces in HSB or Gage (a change in policy reflecting our move to step 3). But they should consider whether research can be conducted remotely, and should be prepared to provide the rationale for the necessity of researchers’ physical presence at DLSPH. PIs are responsible for overseeing scheduling of research staff based on occupancy limits and distancing requirements in an Outlook shared calendar which may be requested by the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO).
  • In our buildings, please follow the one-way floor direction arrows for hallways, or where feasible, two-way arrows indicating to pass on the right.
  • Hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipe dispensers are available throughout DLSPH spaces.
  • You may eat (and remove your mask) only in kitchens while complying with posted occupancy limits or in private offices with the door closed.No eating or drinking is permitted in classrooms or open concept cubicles/offices, as masks must remain on at all times in these spaces.
  • Note that water coolers are not available.

I would like to thank Profs. Paul Bozek and Victoria Arrandale, along with CAO Robin Hurst for their hard work and expertise in allowing our community to access our buildings safely during the Fall Term. Please watch for updates about the Winter Term, when we are expecting a further loosening of restrictions based on Ontario’s progress in curbing the pandemic.


Adalsteinn (Steini) Brown