Yesterday, the Ontario government declared a third Provincial State of Emergency, issuing a stay-at-home order and additional public health restrictions to limit the spread of COVID-19, effective Thursday, April 8 at 12:01 a.m. Under these orders, everyone will be required to remain at home with the exception of essential trips, such as for groceries or medications, or for essential work. These restrictions are expected to remain in place for the next four weeks.
From the start of the pandemic, York has been committed to the safety and wellbeing of our staff, faculty, instructors and students. We support all efforts to mitigate risk and strongly encourage everyone not to come to campus unless it is absolutely necessary. In order to protect the health and safety of the community, discretionary attendance on campus is discouraged during this phase of the pandemic, as it is very important to limit in-person contact with those residing outside of our households.
As a result of the precautions we have already taken, these latest changes do not impact current on-campus operations, including on-campus classes that have been planned for the Winter or Summer 2021 terms. However, please be advised of the following:
- If you do need to come to campus, you must request access through the Campus Access system or have pre-existing approval to access campus spaces. Completion of daily screening is also part of this process and guidance is available here.
- In-person research continues to be suspended at this time and while researchers with approved access can continue on-campus research, everyone is advised to consider whether their activities on campus are essential. If there is an opportunity to not come to campus, please stay home.
- If you do come to campus, you are required to comply with all public health requirements, maintaining a 2-metre physical distance from others, following mask/face covering requirements and must practice frequent hand washing.
- Libraries will remain open for contactless curb-side pickup and students with exceptional needs requiring access to book lockers, research appointments, digitization services, photocopiers and computers can contact email@example.com assistance.
This is a very challenging time for the York community. School closures have added more responsibilities to those who are trying to balance work with childcare or other caregiving roles. We would like to remind everyone to please speak with your manager if you need some flexibility in scheduling and timelines for work requests to be completed. We encourage leaving between 12-1pm unscheduled and free of meetings to both support general wellbeing and to help those who need to care for others, including young children. A gentle reminder to staff, instructors, faculty and researchers that resources and support are available at this time, and you may also wish to access the Employee and Family Assistance Program.
We are currently in active conversations with the City of Toronto on how we can help them in their vaccination efforts around the Keele Campus and will update the community as we have more information. That said, we are pleased to confirm that new direction from the province indicates that students living in residence are now eligible to book a vaccination date here, as residents of group living settings. Information on how to book vaccine appointments for those not in residence but living in hot spot neighbourhoods as identified by the province, will be provided by the government in the near future.
The University does not deliver vaccines or decide on priority groups for vaccination. We are in the process of confirming with Toronto Public Health if those who are working on York’s Keele campus are also eligible in this new rollout plan and will update staff members as soon as more is known. In the meantime, please continue to monitor the FAQs on YU Better Together for information on vaccines and YU Better Together for ongoing updates.
Provost & Vice-President Academic
Vice-President, Research & Innovation