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Spring 2022

What’s the decision for this May?

Dear DLSPH Community,
With rates of COVID-19 infection continuing to fall in Ontario, DLSPH will return to in-person classes in the Summer Term, which begins May 9, 2022.

This decision means that all classes at DLSPH (Public Health Sciences and IHPME) will be conducted fully in person beginning May 9. Remote teaching will end as of that date, but U of T’s COVID safety measures, including vaccination and masking, will remain in place until otherwise indicated. In planning classes and other in-person activities for the Summer Term, we will follow our building’s COVID-19 usage plan, created in conjunction with DLSPH occupational and environmental health experts. This document will be updated as needed, and any changes to our building use, such as capacity limits for our classrooms and study spaces, will be communicated to all faculty, students and staff.

In less than a week, we are taking our first steps to bring back some of our smaller classes to the Health Sciences Building. For those returning on March 1 – and especially those attending in person for the first time – I would like to extend a warm welcome! I’m eager to meet as many students, faculty and staff as possible in person. For those not returning yet, please stay tuned to our social media channels and newsletters, and watch for photos and videos documenting our first day back.

I want to emphasize that the requirements and procedures for coming onto campus remain the same, and apply to our entire community. You must use U of T’s UCheck web portal before coming onto campus each time you intend to visit campus. If any of these requirements change in the coming months, we will continue to keep in close touch with you by email with updates.

Please note that U of T is now offering an app to help students find and book study spaces on campus. As well, we are making study space available in HSB 788, 789 and the 7th floor grad student lounge so that students can shift between in-person and online classes and other activities. If you are looking for housing this Spring, please know that U of T’s Student Life offers resources to help you find temporary or permanent spaces on campus or off campus.

Sincerely,

Adalsteinn (Steini) Brown
Dean

Mental Health Supports

New: U of T has updated Navi, its virtual mental health wayfinder to help connect you with support.

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.

Winter 2022

What’s the decision for this Winter

We will remain online-only until March 1, at which point we will return to a modified version of our original plan to offer some in-person class components.

The physical and mental health of our entire community is paramount in our decision-making. We also strongly considered that our School is a health science faculty with many students and faculty members working in our hospitals and other healthcare settings. At a time of great strain on our health systems, our partner hospitals and other institutions are working through staffing shortages and this means we should support them by remaining online-only until March 1. This should help cope with the increased burden of the current COVID-19 surge.

In December, when we announced our plan to return to some in-person classes and activities, each instructor came up with a plan for an in-person component. These ranged from fully in-person classes to fully online classes with options for in-person office hours or other small gatherings.

For those courses with classes that were to be online only, today’s announcement means that nothing changes. Those classes will remain fully online for the duration of the Winter Term.  Likewise, nothing changes for practicums currently underway.

For those classes whose instructors had planned to offer in-person instruction:

  • We will continue to offer all classes with larger enrolments (over 30 students) in an online format
  • We will work with the course directors for smaller classes to assess whether they can remain in person. In each case, we will encourage instructors to consider the needs of all students so that we help students participate fully in their classes.

Please note that classes held in other faculties will proceed under the rules for those faculties and we will be moving all evaluations online for the duration of the Winter Term.

It is still our goal to create opportunities for in-person gatherings and meetings for the rest of the Winter Term. Please stay tuned for announcements of more in-person academic, social and other events at our School – especially when the weather warms up and we can use outdoor spaces.

We will continue to work to make sure our spaces are as safe as possible. To this end, we will be procuring high-quality masks for students, staff and faculty who need to be on campus, we will ask all visitors to complete the UCheck paper screening form that students, staff and faculty complete online; and we will follow the public health measures laid out in our GAT. We will also be the pilot site for air quality monitoring for the University.

Finally, I know that students and faculty would like to be able to make concrete plans, and I want to assure you that this decision will stand for the rest of the Winter Term. I had looked forward to welcoming many of you back to the Health Sciences and Gage buildings, but we continue to wrestle with a challenging pandemic and we would like all of you to be able to plan for the rest of the term. Please note that it is our intention that the summer term progresses as an entirely in-person term.

Adalsteinn (Steini) Brown, Dean

For the latest version of the GAT (General Services Tool, the blueprint for use of DLSPH buildings during COVID restrictions) and the latest floorplans for our spaces in the Health Sciences Building, please see our COVID-19 Live Updates page. Note that these documents were updated Feb. 17, 2022.

For Staff and Faculty Members

Administration & Operations

This quick instructional video provides guidance to all guests, staff, students and faculty navigating the School this Fall.

If you have any questions about building access, please contact Robin Hurst.

Additional Information

Don’t forget to check our website (here for public health sciences and here for IHPME)  for information about obtaining T-cards and masks, fees, and much more!

Return to In-Person Research
Graduate students and non-employee postdoctoral fellows must fill out this form before returning to in-person research on campus or at an off-campus research site starting in the Winter Term (Jan. 3). Completed forms should be forwarded to your supervisor. More information about research recovery and adaptation at U of T, please refer to the School of Graduate Studies guidelines and FAQs.

Safety
Need a refresher on campus COVID safety? Check out this short video.
Reminder: To ensure the health and safety of all members of the DLSPH community, non-medical face masks or face coverings must be worn indoors in all common-use spaces on University property. You can find the details here. Information on exemptions is here.

Illness
If you need to miss class due to illness, don’t forget to report your absence in Acorn 

Off-Campus Non-Research (including international travel)
Activities include conferences, workshops or meetings. Researchers are asked to complete Face-to-Face Off-Campus Form. For non-research field trips or excursions, complete the Field Trip & Excursion Safety Planning Record for Non-Research Activities. The former covers COVID-19 measures; the ladder covers other hazards in addition to COVID-19 such as remote locations, extreme weather, use of equipment and tools.


Please visit the U of T Coronavirus FAQ: https://www.utoronto.ca/message-from-the-university-regarding-the-coronavirus#faq

Faculty of Medicine’s COVID-19 page: https://medicine.utoronto.ca/node/3544

Faculty of Arts and Science FAQs: https://www.artsci.utoronto.ca/covid19-artsci-student-faqs.