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U of T residences ask students to delay return to end of January

Students will receive a financial rebate package for delaying their return
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GRACE XU/THE VARSITY
GRACE XU/THE VARSITY

In the wake of rising COVID-19 cases in Toronto and at the university, St. Michael’s College and Victoria College have both asked students to delay their return to residence until the end of January if possible. Both colleges will be offering a financial rebate package to students who delay their return. They will also be implementing additional safety protocols and restrictions until at least the end of the month. 

Students must contact the college if they plan to delay their return to campus. Students at St. Michael’s College will additionally have their key cards deactivated, and they will have to receive a new card from the porter’s desk upon their return.

Students will receive $350 to compensate for their room and meal plan for every full week that they delay their return for, until January 30. As a result, students at St. Michael’s or Victoria College who don’t return for the month of January will receive $1,150 in total. Neither college expects to extend the offer past January, however, that might change based on evolving circumstances. Financial adjustments will be made in February once the colleges can account for every student’s return.

Additionally, the colleges will continue to have dons and run services and programs online. Enhanced protocols to combat COVID-19 will include limiting meal services to take out; closing common rooms, student lounges, and music practice spaces; pausing in-person events; and implementing a “no guest” policy for students outside of the college. 

An isolation period of 10 days will also be mandatory for anyone who tests positive for COVID-19, has been symptomatic, or has been identified as a close contact with someone who has tested positive or been symptomatic. 

Both colleges encouraged students who have already received two doses of the vaccine to get a third dose, and they asked students to take a rapid antigen test as close to their return date as possible. 

They added that students who wish to delay their return but have left essential items at their respective college should contact university officials who will help them retrieve their belongings. 

Editor’s Note (January 24): On January 10, this article was updated to say that St. Michael’s College is capping the rebate offered to students who do not return in January at $700. However, St. Michael’s College is offering a total of $1,150 to students who return between January 30 and February 5.