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 masking, upgraded 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.

Travel

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.

Vaccination

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.

Resources

Wellness

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