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U of T closes gyms, prohibits seating at food services due to new provincial COVID-19 restrictions

Social gathering limits exempt in-person classes, university asking faculties to re-evaluate in-person activities
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Queen’s Park, home of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. HELENA NAJM/THE VARSITY
Queen’s Park, home of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. HELENA NAJM/THE VARSITY

In compliance with new provincial restrictions intended to curb the spread of COVID-19, U of T will close gyms and fitness centres, prohibit seating in dining halls or at food services, and implement the new social gathering limits. The provincial guidelines and U of T’s measures will go into effect tomorrow on October 10. 

Today, on October 9, Ontario reported 939 new cases of COVID-19, the highest daily number yet amid a surge in cases in recent weeks — prompting the provincial government to announce new restrictions.

Though the indoor gathering limits do not apply to schools, indoor social and personal gatherings will be limited to 10 people, and outdoor gatherings will be limited to 25. Although the new restrictions do not apply to in-person classes, the university is asking academic units to “review in-person activities, including instruction” according to a U of T News article.

In an interview with U of T News, Vice-President and Provost Cheryl Regehr said that the university is “asking all faculties and divisions to consider carefully the limited in-person activities that are now taking place on our three campuses to ensure they are essential.” 

Though approximately 90 per cent of classes are online, some classes, labs, and other practical learning experiences that are deemed essential by the university will still be taking place in person. 

The Varsity has reached out to U of T Media Relations for comment.