In an email to staff today the university announced that all University of Toronto libraries will be closed after 6:00 pm this evening. The closure follows an announcement by Doug Ford notifying the province that non-essential businesses must close by Tuesday at midnight. 

The email notes that U of T is still in the process of determining which employees fall under the essential category of Ford’s announcement and will be notifying those employees who will be physically required on campus. 

Though the libraries will be closed, the email stressed that residences and research labs conducting COVID-19 research will remain open. 

“We continue to provide a welcoming home for international students, students whose family members are in self-isolation, and out-of-province students who need more time to make travel arrangements,” the email read. 

For labs that have received the go-ahead to continue, the university is requiring researchers to take social distancing measures in order to disrupt possible transmission of COVID-19. 

It is also acknowledged in the email that some students may struggle to access course work without library services. These students are directed to go to the university’s COVID-19 webpage and click the Contact us button for more information. 

The mandatory closure of all non-essential businesses by the provincial government is set to last for 14 days, with the possibility of an extension as the situation evolves. 

Ontario has released a list of all essential services, including food services; telecommunication and information technology services; transportation; construction; financial activities; the justice sector; newspapers, radio, and TV broadcasting; research; health care and social services for seniors; pet stores; maintenance; manufacturing and production; and environmental services.