UTM has announced that classes in fall 2021 are anticipated to be a combination of in-person and online options as the vaccination effort continues to grow in Ontario and at the THP (Trillium Health Partners) UTM RAWC (Recreation, Athletics & Wellness Centre) clinic.
For all U of T students, U of T President Meric Gertler has announced an intention to return to in-person learning in the fall, though he has not made a commitment to continue offering remote options.
Course delivery and commuting
In a letter addressed to the UTM community, Vice-President & Principal Alexandra Gillespie wrote that UTM plans to teach students “wherever they are” this fall. UTM is considering multiple scenarios and will prepare to offer a combination of in-person and remote course delivery in September.
“The health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, librarians and local communities remains our top priority,” wrote Gillespie in an email to The Varsity. She also said the campus will continue to work closely with Peel Public Health and local health care providers on a “collaborative and scientifically informed response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
For fall 2021, Gillespie wrote that UTM will continue implementing measures for campus safety, including improvements in classroom ventilation and comprehensive protocols for cleaning and sanitation. The campus will also continue mask-wearing policies and will implement “innovative strategies for physical distancing.”
For students looking at the prospect of commuting to in-person classes in the fall, Dean of Student Affairs Mark Overton wrote in an email to The Varsity that the return of shuttle bus services will likely be determined in June, alongside the release of the fall 2021 course schedule. “Most students who come to campus will likely continue to opt to do so by public transit or private vehicle,” he wrote.
Vaccination efforts at UTM
Gillespie also wrote in her letter that she is “encouraged by Ontario’s progress with vaccinations.” She continued, “I hope that we can gather together in September for in-person teaching, learning and research on UTM’s beautiful campus.”
As of April 1, UTM reached the milestone of delivering 20,000 vaccinations through the clinic on campus.
The THP UTM RAWC clinic’s capacity is anticipated to reach 4,000 COVID-19 vaccinations per day in subsequent phases depending on vaccine supply, and is currently booking appointments for people aged 60 years and up in accordance with provincial guidelines. The clinic plans to administer over 500,000 vaccine doses in total.