Community Update #55 - York Fall Term Update

Community Update #55 - York Fall Term Update

Since the start of the pandemic, the health and well-being of the York community has been our top priority. We continue to work closely with Toronto Public Health, the Chief Medical Officer of Health and the Ministry of Colleges and Universities to ensure that the University follows the latest guidance from public health. 

At the same time, we have taken a cautious approach to planning for Fall 2021, where we have been working steadily to institute a number of initiatives that together will enable a safe and gradual increase to in-person learning and on-campus activities.  

This week, the Ministry of Colleges and Universities issued a revised framework for post-secondary institutions, that will come into effect on September 7. This new direction allows for flexible capacity limits and requirements for physical distancing in indoor instructional spaces, such as classrooms, libraries and lab spaces, in combination with a vaccination requirement.  

Fall Term Planning 

As announced earlier this week, with some approved exceptions, in-person classes and on-campus activities will stay remote between September 7-12 to afford more time for our community to provide proof of vaccination, or apply for an exemption and schedule a COVID-19 test. In-person activities will commence on September 13. 

We have importantly made the decision to stay the course with our current plans for in-person teaching, as published in the course calendar. We appreciate that faculty and course directors have prepared for these teaching assignments and our students have signed up for courses and made plans based on this information. In general, classes were capped at 50 students with some exceptions of up to 120 students per classroom, and will be kept at these sizes. Classes have been placed in oversized rooms for the most part and students are encouraged to spread out to give peers and instructors their space.  

In collaboration with Faculties, we are continuing to re-open more research facilities in the upcoming term. Beginning on September 13, Faculty approval will no longer be required for on-campus research and scholarly activities, however the relevant Associate Dean of Research must be kept informed, and health and safety guidelines stipulated by the University must be strictly adhered to. Faculties may require additional health and safety measures depending on the nature of research being conducted and further updates will be shared on community-engaged, human participant-based and off-campus field research along with supports for innovation in the coming days. 

A Safe Plan to Return 

Each part of our multifaceted plan works in tandem to safely welcome the community back and includes the following components: 

We anticipate an enriching on-campus experience this fall and look forward to providing you with the latest updates and information on the return to campus plan in the coming weeks. For general supports, please see: 

Thank you for your continued patience and support of our students.  

Lisa Philipps 
Provost & Vice-President Academic 

Amir Asif 
Vice-President, Research & Innovation