Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing

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COVID-19 Information Updates

Last updated: August 3, 2022

Update: Masking requirements

The University’s current mask requirement will be lifted as of July 1, 2022, subject to any changes in public health guidance.

Masks will still be required during certain times and in certain areas of the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing. Given the sim lab, and related learning activities are designed to model a clinical environment, students will continue to be required to wear a medical-grade mask during any sim lab-based instructional activities in the Fall. This requirement may change due to public health guidance.  Students will be provided with masks if they do not have their own

The majority of placement providers will continue to require students to wear medical masks while on placement and practice physical distancing. Students should follow the policy at their placement.

Vaccinations

We strongly encourage everyone to remain up-to-date on vaccinations and to upload your vaccination documents to U of T’s UCheck platform. Maintaining updated information on the vaccination status of our community will help inform future health and safety planning. It will also minimize disruption should conditions requiring vaccine requirements be reimposed. Vaccination documents can be uploaded to UCheck here. Please click on the button reading “Report your Vaccination Booster Status” to upload additional documents.

Students living in residences this fall will be required to have a primary series of a COVID-19 vaccine and at least one booster dose before moving in. More information on this measure is available in the Vaccines FAQs on our UTogether website.

The University is encouraging all members of its community to get a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as they become eligible. New appointments are added daily to the provincial booking system and at local pharmacies.

Click here for more vaccine clinic information.

Note: Bloomberg Nursing Students are required to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination (primary series of two doses).  Students are strongly encouraged to receive a third vaccination (booster). The Province has mandated third doses for all students completing clinical placements in Long Term Care (LTC) settings and we anticipate expansion of this requirement to all placement settings. 

Stay informed about COVID-19 updates at the University of Toronto by visiting the Utogether web page and FAQ.


Recording Vaccination Status for Practicums

Students should upload proof of receipt of their 3rd dose in Synergy as soon as possible. This will enable the Clinical Education Office to accurately report on 3rd doses to our placement partners. 

Students should also upload their 3rd dose into UCheck if not already completed.  Please note that the SYNERGY system and the UCheck system are not connected and do not share information. This health-related information, including COVID-19 vaccination information, is required before a nursing student is confirmed in a practicum at a hospital or other health care placement site. Clinical agency partners require COVID-19 vaccination for all staff, medical personnel, students, and contractors. 

Recording of COVID-19 vaccination status in Synergy is provided free of charge by Synergy with no cost to you.  Students are required to upload proof of each dose of the COVID-19 vaccination.  

Instructions – How to Upload COVID-19 vaccination information in Synergy – [PDF]

Note: do NOT book an ESPC appointment for COVID-19 vaccination updates or you will be charged by Synergy. 

For questions, please contact Elena Luk, Director, Clinical Education, at elena.luk@utoronto.ca.

 

Travel

For the most up-to-date information regarding Canadian entry and testing requirements, please refer to the Government of Canada website on travel, testing, and borders. Note that testing, isolation, and quarantine may be required upon (re)entry to Canada. If you are planning to travel, please review this site for information related to travel advisories.

All students should carefully consider the risks of international travel and take every precaution to protect themselves, their loved ones, and colleagues. It is the student’s responsibility to research the risk associated with the country to which they are travelling. This includes travel advisories/bans, entry requirements, current COVID-19 cases, vaccination rates and current public health measures in place to prevent COVID-19 infection and plan accordingly.

A reminder that this is an evolving situation, and that guidelines regarding travel and/or quarantine could change without advance notice either by the Government of Canada or any of our hospital partners. The entire University community is focused on maintaining a safe and healthy learning environment and preserving your educational experience.


Research

Principles

  • Abide by Policy of Site Where Student/Postdoc is Located – All graduate students are expected to comply with the local health and safety policies of the institution(s) where they are conducting studies or research. This applies to all students associated with the University of Toronto, including those on short research visits as required for collaborative work and graduate student rotations. Graduate students who attend the University of Toronto campus must follow UCheck protocols (see below).
  • Existing Processes Will Be Leveraged – Where possible, the University of Toronto and its partners aim to incorporate the tracking of COVID-19 vaccination status into existing processes that monitor similar information. Where partnership agreements exist, processes must be compliant with those agreements.
  • Be Prepared – Please be aware that during the period of time students and postdocs are awaiting approved vaccine dosages, they will generally not be permitted to attend at the Hospital and potentially other third-party sites. Also, there will likely be scenarios where students will be required to demonstrate proof of vaccination more than once. We ask for their patience and readiness to do so in order to continue to provide the safest environments possible.

Hospitals

Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows are expected to provide proof of vaccination or proof of exemption to the institution outlined beside their category below.  Please note that hospitals generally reserve the right to determine whether they can accommodate any students that are not vaccinated but have received an exemption from their academic institution.  Any exemptions accepted by affiliated hospitals will generally require regular serological testing conducted by the applicable site.

Summary of Approaches Across Categories of Students and Postdoctoral Fellows:

Categories of students Approach to Tracking Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination or Medical Exemption
Clinical Learners
(graduate and undergraduate)
  • As per current practice, the University may request information related to eligibility for clinical placements, and will coordinate with its hospital partners to confirm learners meet all requirements for placement.
  • Clinical learners’ COVID-19 vaccination validation will be managed via UCheck unless the clinical/research site requires independent validation.
  • Divisions/Faculties will be responsible for holding lists of their students in clinical placements and corresponding with partner hospitals as needed.
  • Divisions/Faculties will be responsible for corresponding with the University’s office of Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) to validate the vaccination status of students on their list. For information, contact ehs.occhealth@utoronto.ca.

Graduate Research Students

Postdoctoral Fellows

International Visiting Graduate Students (IVGS) 

  • Generally, the local institution where student is onboarded is responsible for collecting relevant information to confirm compliance with local policy (e.g. in many cases required vaccinations may be requested and will be verified by the local organization’s Occupational Health and Safety office).

Other Third-Party Sites

Vaccination validation protocols for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows at other third-party sites are expected to follow the principles outlined above. Generally, the local institution where the student/postdoc is located is responsible for collecting relevant information to confirm compliance with local policy.

However, where a partnership agreement between the University and the local institution is in effect, the approach must be compliant with this agreement. If you have questions about the terms of a partnership agreement, please contact the placement coordinator. 

A set of FAQs for students and postdoctoral fellows on this topic is available on the SGS website here.

 

The University of Toronto Mental Health Resource an online portal is open and available for students.

Health and Wellness is open and providing health services to students virtually. 

ECHO Coping with COVID is designed for Healthcare Providers (including Nursing students) responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants are invited to join ECHO sessions virtually through multi-point videoconference technology to share and learn about ways to build resilience and overall wellness through didactic lectures and case-based discussions.

 

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