Members of the University of Toronto community who visit campus in the fall semester will notice new safety measures the moment they set foot in a building, including guidance to wear masks.
At U of T Mississauga, for example, people entering Maanjiwe nendamowinan will immediately see signs directing the flow of foot traffic, posters advising them to wear a mask and hand sanitizer stations by every elevator. Upon entering the building’s lecture halls or classrooms, students will be greeted by shrink-wrapped desks and chairs that indicate where they can – or, more accurately, can’t – sit in order to maintain a safe distance of two metres from each other and the instructor.
These are just some of the many changes being implemented by U of T as it prepares for a safe, gradual return to campus life this fall. The delivery of many courses has changed substantially to support a safe return, too. More than 90 per cent of undergraduate courses will have an online delivery option and roughly one third will offer an in-person option.
The university is planning for a range of scenarios and mapping classroom capacity to ensure physical distancing is observed. Regardless of a room’s capacity, government limits on gatherings at any given time will determine how many people can be in a classroom.
U of T also recently introduced new measures that call for the wearing of non-medical masks or face coverings in building spaces that are usually accessible to the public – a measure the university will be extending to classrooms. Work is underway to provide more guidance on the wearing of masks in classrooms and other settings on campus in the coming weeks.
(By Rahul Kalvapalle)