SHANNA HUNTER/THE VARSITY

In an email to university faculty, librarians, and staff, the university announced that it will be limiting library hours, closing gyms, and suspending its child care services beginning throughout the week as part of its response to COVID-19. The Canadian government has also announced that any decisions to move courses online will not affect international students’ eligibility for the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program.

This U of T email comes one day after the university announced it would be cancelling all in-person undergraduate and research-stream graduate classes until April 3, although campus would remain open.

Cheryl Regehr, Vice-President and Provost, and Vivek Goel, Vice-President Research and Innovation, and Strategic Initiatives, announced that beginning March 15 at 12:01 am all athletic, recreational, and physical activity facilities will close until April 3.

Selected libraries will remain open with limited hours and “social distancing measures” and will be restricted to only U of T users — more specific information will come Monday, wrote Regehr and Goel.

The university will also be suspending its child care services from March 15 to April 6.

For employees of the university who are unable to secure child care, the university has asked managers, chairs, and department heads to approve requests to work from home, use personal days, access overtime banks, or request to use vacation days with certain limits waived. 

The university also outlined its commitment to ensuring that all faculty, librarians, and staff be compensated in the event of any event cancellations, programming reductions, government-required shutdowns, or any other operational closures for the next three-week period, communicating the specifics to managers and impacted employees in the coming days.

U of T also directed all members of the community and visitors to self-isolate for 14 days after travel outside of Canada, and to contact Telehealth Ontario or their primary care provider’s office if experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, which include a fever, dry cough, or difficulty breathing.

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