COVID-19 Information

For the latest information about U of T’s COVID-19 response, please see the UTogether2020 page and the University’s Coronavirus page. Please take the time to review our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and the Human Resources & Equity page on COVID-19 (e.g. Return to Work Processes during COVID-19 Response document). If you or members of your unit have a question that is not covered, please consider using the Contact Us button located at the top of the FAQ section to submit your question.

 

UofT resources about COVID-19

 

For Researchers (General)

 

For Researchers Working with SARS-CoV-2

This biosafety guideline is intended to assist laboratories in planning and implementing their research with SARS-CoV-2 (the causative viral agent of COVID-19) or related biological materials at the University of Toronto. This guideline is based on currently available scientific evidence, the Biosafety Advisory issued by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and is subject to review and change as new information becomes available.

A short online course has been launched to assist those working with the coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, or related biological materials. This course outlines some of the principles and practices that need to be addressed while working with SARS-CoV-2. This course is mandatory for anyone working with SARS-CoV-2; this includes, but is not limited to, the virus itself, cDNA, RNA, fixed tissue, infected or likely infected cells or tissue.

 

UofT posters for COVID-19

For any of the signs above, units can print the posters or order them through order the Advancement Brand website.

 

Public Health Resources

Public Health Posters

Procedures in the Event of a Confirmed or Probable COVID-19 Case

Any faculty member, librarian, staff or student who tests positive for COVID-19 should immediately take the following actions:

  1. Report this result directly to U of T’s Occupational Health Nurse by email at ehs.occhealth@utoronto.ca.
  2. Report their sickness to their manager in accordance with departmental processes.
  3. Complete the self-declaration form (student/employee).

Note: Faculty members, librarians or staff who become aware of a probable/confirmed COVID-19 case amongst students, contractors or visitors should also contact the U of T Occupational Health Nurse.

The Occupational Health & Safety team at EHS will work with the appropriate offices to do our best to inform those who have had contact with the individual in U of T workplaces, in keeping with public health directives. Public health authorities may also contact exposed persons as is their usual practice. Please note: ALL CONTACT TRACING for the University MUST be conducted by the Occupational Health Nurse.


Please note that the University must respect the privacy of individuals who are being tested or who have tested positive for COVID-19 and ensure that this information is kept confidential. Managers, Academic Administrators including Deans and Chairs, and Unit Heads should not send any messaging directly to faculty members, librarians, staff, students or others about suspected or confirmed cases. If you have questions regarding appropriate messaging about COVID-19, please contact gina.trubiani@utoronto.ca.


Once a risk assessment is completed, instructions on cleaning and disinfection of work areas will be provided by EHS to Caretaking. Caretaking on each of the three campuses have procedures in place to close off the affected areas. Cleaning and disinfection will be completed in compliance with public health guidelines.

 

COVID-19 Testing Information

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve and laboratory testing capacity has increased, on May 29,2020, Protecting Ontarians Through Enhanced Testing is released, expanding the testing criteria to include individuals who are:

  1. Symptomatic – even mild symptoms
  2. Asymptomatic – concerns of COVID-19 exposure or essential workers

If you would like to get tested, it’s important to note:

  1. no OHIP card required, it’s a free servic
  2. check updated self-assessment tool to determine if you should seek further care, including the ability to sign up for a follow-up call about their result from a medical student voluntee
  3. check the 130 assessment centers information first prior to visit (call ahead to schedule an appointment to help the assessment centres coordinate patients and maintain physical distancing at their locations
  4. no requirement to self-isolate if asymptomatic and no concerns of Covid-19 exposure.  (however, you should self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days regardless of your test result. If you begin to develop symptoms, self-isolate and contact your local public health unit for further advice.)
  5. bring OHIP card to have ability to check COVID-19 lab results

Stay informed and visit Ontario’s website.  Local information is also available from your local public health unit.