COVID-19/Respiratory Illness: Sample communication template for symptomatic or confirmed cases

Updated September 11, 2023

The templated communication is not required to be used for every case, but may be distributed based on the particulars of the situation. For example, if there are several cases within a unit you may send the message broadly as a reminder and for general guidance.  You do not need to disseminate a message for individual cases but you may do so if applicable or appropriate (i.e. the individual was in close contact with many others at a large divisional event/reception just prior to the diagnosis). If you require further assistance, please contact Occupational Health (


This email is to notify you that we have recently received reports from [# students or faculty/librarian or staff (e.g. 2 students) do not put names or other personal identifiers] indicating they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and/or have tested positive for COVID-19.  Whether an individual reports a confirmed case or tells us they have COVID-19 related symptoms without a confirmation, we follow all Public Health directives.

[If applicable, add: These individuals attended off-campus events that took place _______________.]

If you do not have symptoms or have not tested positive, you do not need to self-isolate.  Please self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms for 10 days.

According to the latest Public Health guidance, if you have symptoms you must isolate until there is no fever and symptoms are improving for 24 hours (48 hours for gastro-intestinal symptoms), regardless of testing results or no testing. Continue to wear a mask for 10 days from symptom onset, and avoid non-essential visits to vulnerable individuals and highest risk settings* for 10 days. Avoid non-essential activities where you need to take off your mask (for example, playing a wind instrument in music class or removing your mask for sports or dining out). Please also refer to: If you are symptomatic or tests positive for COVID-19.

All community members are reminded to practice good hygiene and adhere to University and Public Health directives including: 

  • It is highly recommended that individuals complete the provincial health screening tool prior to coming to campus Daily, consistent screening has proven to be an effective strategy for limiting the spread of COVID-19. 
  • Remain home if sick or experiencing symptoms per the provincial health screening. 
  • Public health recommends wearing a well-fitted mask in all public settings.  
  • Do not visit individuals who may be at higher risk of illness (i.e. seniors or immunocompromised) for 10 days after your last exposure. 

[For students, add: We understand that this may be a stressful time and as a reminder, MySSP provides U of T students with immediate and ongoing confidential, 24-hour support at no cost to you. You can call or chat with a counsellor directly from your phone whenever, wherever you are.]  

[For faculty/librarian/staff, add: The Employee & Family Assistance Program (EFAP) is available to employees of the University of Toronto. This program is provided at no cost 24/7 and 365 days a year. Call toll free 1-800-663-1142.]

For all the latest information, please see the University’s UTogether page. For UofT Covid-19 Protocols, please follow instructions outlined in Procedures in the Event of Symptoms/Confirmed Case to COVID-19 or Other Respiratory Illness, including isolation requirements (if applicable).

Thank you for your cooperation. Please feel free to contact us if you have any concerns.

*Highest risk setting such as hospitals (including complex continuing care facilities and paramedic services), home and community care workers and congregate living settings with medically and socially vulnerable individuals, including, but not limited to, Long-Term Care, retirement homes, First Nation elder care lodges, group homes, shelters, hospices, correctional institutions, Provincial Demonstration Schools and hospital schools.