Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing

Faculty and Staff: COVID-19 FAQ

Last updated Monday March 30, 2020 at 10:03 AM EDT

Click here to return to the main COVID-19 FAQ page.

What is social distancing?
Social distancing is a public health practice that aims to prevent sick people from coming in close contact with healthy people in order to reduce opportunities for disease transmission. It generally includes canceling large group events, closing public spaces, and avoiding crowds.

With COVID-19, the goal of social distancing is to slow down the outbreak of the virus in order to reduce the chance of infection among high-risk populations and to reduce the burden on health care systems and workers.

Can I work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic?
The University of Toronto is encouraging Managers, Chairs, and Department Heads to be as flexible as possible in proactively implementing or granting requests for telecommuting where operationally possible.

Telecommuting requests may be refused if:
● Employees cannot perform the core duties of their work from home
● It is not operationally feasible for an employee to work from home

The COVID-19 Temporary Special Telecommuting Work Arrangements Guideline is available on the HR & Equity website as a resource for employees and managers. Information Technology Services (ITS) has also prepared  technical work-from-home resources to support employees accessing work material while telecommuting.

For the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, employees who are requesting work-from-home arrangements due to being immuno-compromised themselves can work directly with their Manager, Chair, or Department Head. These requests do not need to be reviewed by Environmental Health & Safety, and supervisors should approve these requests wherever possible.

Where can I go for Human Resources information?
If you have HR-related questions about COVID-19, please visit the HR & Equity COVID-19 website.
What about my research?
As of Friday, March 20, 2020, only those research labs that are conducting critical COVID-19 related research and time-sensitive critical projects with exemptions may continue.

For any research projects that have received an exemption to continue, the University is requiring social distancing as a measure to help disrupt the chain of transmission of COVID-19 in an effort to protect vulnerable individuals and to reduce overburden on our healthcare system. All those in research environments should continue to review the information from the University’s homepage, which is continually updated.

All other research should continue as possible remotely. No other on-campus research (i.e., research activities that have not received exemptions from the University) may be conducted.

For all the latest information, please see the University’s Coronavirus page. Please take the time to review our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), the HR & Equity COVID-19 website, and the Research COVID-19 FAQs. 

See Provision for Requesting Delay to Timeline for Academic Review in Response to COVID-19 
Provision for Requesting Delay to Timeline

Any pre-tenure or pre-continuing status faculty member may request a one year delay in their timeline to tenure or continuing status on the grounds of the “serious personal circumstances beyond their control” associated with the current COVID-19 situation. In addition, any pre-permanent status librarian may request a delay in the date of their review for permanent status on the grounds of the impact the current COVID-19 situation. Read more…

Winter 2020 Course Evaluation Data
The University advises all Chairs, Academic Directors and Deans reviewing course evaluation data for the purposes of PTR (Progress Through the Ranks), tenure, continuing status and promotion processes, and for the sessional lecturer advancement process, to consider course evaluation data in the context of significant changes to course structures and delivery format. Read more…
Impact of Temporary Travel Restrictions
The federal government has imposed travel restrictions impacting foreign nationals in Canada and those intending to travel to Canada as part of its efforts to manage the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are considering inviting a foreign national to come to one of our campuses on a work permit, please ensure you first seek advice from the applicable immigration support unit. The government has also issued a series of travel advisories in relation to the management of the COVID-19 situation. All U of T employees are encouraged to review travel advisory information. Read more…
HR Resources
The University of Toronto has resources available for all faculty and staff. Please visit the websites for more information.

Staying Well/Mental Health

The University encourages faculty & staff to be mindful of their own mental health by

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