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U of T community members must be fully vaccinated by October 15

Ontario government omits physical distancing and capacity limits if there are “stringent” mask, vaccine requirements
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U of T could play an integral role in confronting the vaccine inequity that threatens to prolong an already deadly pandemic. JOHN FITZPATRICK/THE VARSITY
U of T could play an integral role in confronting the vaccine inequity that threatens to prolong an already deadly pandemic. JOHN FITZPATRICK/THE VARSITY

U of T has recently released guidelines for returning to campus, including the expectation that those returning will need to receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by September 13 and be fully vaccinated by October 15. 

In response to the Ontario government’s decision to implement a vaccine passport system by September 22, a U of T spokesperson added that U of T is currently reviewing the Ontario government’s plans with regards to vaccine passports. 

“Once we have more information about the passports, we will announce what the relationship will be between them and [UCheck],” the spokesperson wrote. 

Vaccination and rapid screening

Beginning September 6, community members will be able to upload their proof of vaccination using UCheck, U of T’s self-assessment portal, which they must do in order to return to campus. Vaccine receipts will be accepted as a form of documentation and will be verified and held by U of T’s Occupational Health and Safety staff in accordance with privacy standards. 

Those seeking an exemption due to medical reasons or other grounds protected under the Ontario Human Rights Code may make a request through the university’s Enterprise Service Centre. Exempt community members and those who are not fully vaccinated before October 15 will have to participate in the university’s rapid screening program.

Anyone participating in the rapid screening program will receive an at-home screening kit which can be picked up at no cost on any campus, and they will have to upload their test results to UCheck twice a week. The university has provided further details on how to pick up the kits on the UTogether website

A negative result will be required to return to any on-campus sites. Those who are neither vaccinated nor enrolled in the rapid screening program before September 13 will not be allowed on campus. 

Anyone participating in higher risk activities, such as sports or music, and who have already uploaded proof of vaccination to platforms like StarRez or ServiceNow will also be required to upload their documentation to UCheck. 

Additional measures

In addition to U of T’s updated vaccination policy, the university has also reiterated other safety measures it will be implementing. This includes requiring face masks to be worn in all indoor facilities, updating ventilation and air filtration systems, and working to reduce congestion with regards to traffic and queue lines. 

In line with guidance from Ontario’s Ministry of Colleges and Universities, in-person classes will take place with stringent rules regarding masking and vaccination but without physical distancing or capacity limits. Physical distancing and capacity limits may, however, be applied to non-instructional spaces.

However, U of T’s 12-step plan for reopening includes the measures of physical distancing and capacity limits. 

— With files from Lauren Alexander

Editor’s Note (September 3): This article has been updated with comment from a U of T spokesperson.