OISE COVID-19 RESPONSE

Keeping the OISE community updated on all the latest COVID-19 information as it relates to the Faculty. Please visit the University’s UTogether website for more updates and resources.

Visit The UTogether Website

OISE Community Updates

September 1, 2021- Message from the Chief Executive Officer: OISE COVID-19 Protocols & Precautions: September 2021 and Beyond

Dear OISE Community,

As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, the University has continued to monitor public health guidance to ensure that measures are up to date and are informed by evidence. Some of the University's key planning elements that guided OISE's preparations for the Fall include:

  • The University's current policy on vaccination and coming to campus;
  • to limit occupancy and help slow the spread of COVID-19, access to University buildings is restricted to members of the U of T community; and:
  • physical distancing requirements remain in place for non-instructional space.

As we prepare to welcome back students, faculty, and staff to OISE for another exciting term, I am pleased to highlight the new protocols in place as of September 7 to support the mobilization of these planning elements (see the detailed plan for the Fall here). The below is subject to change and may be updated as new information becomes available, or directives from the University of Toronto or Public Health agencies evolve. 

  • Physical distancing will remain in place throughout the building, other than in-classroom teaching as outlined by the Ministry;
  • users must continue to wear masks in all indoor spaces, which includes classrooms, shared spaces, etc.;
  • building users will continue to book space online before visiting campus, with an expanded capacity of ten (10) users per half-floor. LSM booking information will be available on the booking site to help community members plan their visits;
  • community members must show their completed green UCheck risk status screen to building security in order to gain access in order to ensure only U of T-affiliated users are accessing the space. Regularly disinfected iPads will be available for those without an internet-enabled device to complete their UCheck self-assessment and to share their risk status with security personnel;
  • directional signs and physical distancing signage have been updated and refreshed. Building users should follow posted instructions to go to different floors;
  • in addition to daily routine cleaning of common-use areas, there has been increased cleaning and disinfection of high-touch surface in common-use areas that have frequent contact with building users. Learn more about the University's COVID-19 Caretaking Strategy here; and
  • HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems and current maintenance practices are routinely assessed against emerging public health evidence and industry guidelines with regard to COVID-19. Access the University's Classroom and Central Ventilation Tables to learn more. 

I encourage you to visit https://www.oise.utoronto.ca/covid-19/protocols-sept2021 to learn more about the protocol in place for the Fall. You can also stay up-to-date on the latest COVID-19 information as it relates to building procedures and policies by regularly visiting the Chief Administrative Officer's community information page at: https://www.oise.utoronto.ca/covid-19.

Accessing the OISE Building
Step 1

In advance of your visit, book space using the Online Building Access Booking Form. Bookings can be made in advance, or on the day of, depending on the available occupancy.

Step 2

On the day of your visit, complete the COVID-19 self-assessment via UCheck. UCheck must be completed prior to coming on-site, and for each day you visit. 

Show your completed, confirmed UCheck risk assessment screen to building security when you arrive on campus.

Step 3

While visiting the OISE building, be sure to wear your mask, follow the posted directional signs, and observe the physical distancing protocols. 

Frequently Asked Questions

These Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) have been compiled by OISE Community members, with questions specific to our operations at OISE. For a more in-depth FAQ on the University of Toronto’s response to the corornavirus pandemic, please refer to UTogether's Frequently Asked Questions page.

Visit UTogether FAQ Website

Building facilities are open on a limited capacity. All washrooms have been designated as single use. Room capacity and furniture placement has been updated as per physical distancing requirements.

Effective September 9, entry to the OISE Building is between the hours of:

Monday through Friday: 8:00am-9:00pm

Saturday and Sunday: 9:00am-6:00pm

Before coming to campus, and every time you come to campus, complete a  quick COVID-19 self-assessment through the UCheck web portal.

Accessible via web browsers on computers, tablets, and smartphones, UCheck will allow you to generate a COVID-19 risk status by completing a quick and thorough self-assessment that is tailored to U of T. Once generated, this risk status will recommend if you should visit campus in person.

UCheck is not a contact tracing or exposure notification app. Your individual responses to the self-assessment questionnaire are kept private and will not be received by the University. UCheck has been developed in partnership with Thrive Health, a leading healthcare technology company with expertise in protecting individuals’ private health information.

The Online Booking Tool will have information on the numbers of LSM classroom users in the building and the number of available spots for the desired timeslot. On the day of your visit, be sure to complete the UCheck health screening prior to your arrival on campus.

Entry to the building is from the doors on the west-side of the building. When you arrive on-site, OISE Security will ask building users to show them their completed UCheck risk assessment and they will be assisting with managing traffic flow into the building. 

The TTC St. George Subway entrance to the concourse level is closed until further notice. TTC users will need to exit the station and enter the building from the West Corridor.

The parking garage is open for use at this time. Users accessing the building will need to use the parking elevators to come to the main floor to sign in with building security.

Classroom environments are being equipped for six (6) equivalent air changes per hour—the same standard used in healthcare settings, such as patient examinations rooms. Public health guidance from Harvard University indicates that six (6) air changes per hour is considered ideal for classrooms. Only classrooms that meet this target will be used this fall. 

The University's Classroom Ventilation Table lists the classrooms where the ventilation has been assessed. Filter the table by building to review the classrooms’ air change rates. You can also search for a specific classroom. 

The University also offers a Central Ventilation Table which provides updates on building HVAC system filters where they have been replaced with enhanced MERV 13 filters or the highest compatible with the existing HVAC infrastructure. These central HVAC system enhancements improve building ventilation, including areas such as offices, entryways, and common spaces.

The University’s policy requiring face masks to be worn in indoor spaces on University property continues, and the community is reminded that mask-wearing is a necessary measure to protect health and safety when attending class or working on campus.

Virtual and/or video conferencing meeting tools should be used for meetings. In the event that a face-to-face meeting is required please contact your department/unit business officer or manager. All face-to-face meetings in the building need to be pre-approved, booked, and coordinated. For more details please refer to the OISE Standard Operating Procedures on Room Bookings.

Elevators can be used, however the maximum occupancy per elevator cab is two (2) occupants. Please give priority to those with mobility or other accessibility needs.

Community members are directed to use the west stairs when accessing the 1st to 4th floors.  

The stairwells can be used to travel between floors, and should be used when possible to travel only a few floors. Signage has been posted at all stairwells to remind users to yield to on-coming traffic in the stairwells (in order to maintain physical distancing) and building users are also reminded to wear a mask or face covering when using the stairwells.

Community members are directed to use the west stairs when accessing the 1st to 4th floors. 

Lab 6 is available for students on reduced occupancy by appointment. 

The University has a preventative maintenance and testing program in place. More information can be found on the Environmental Health & Safety website

Any questions can be directed to oisecao@utoronto.ca. 

Resources

These standard operating procedures are specifically related to modified operating procedures and protocols due to COVID. All visitors to OISE are encouraged to review these SOPs before visiting the building.

The General Assessment Tool (GAT) is a tool for assisting unit leads in applying COVID-19 exposure-reducing controls, strategies and precautions in their operations. GATs document specific details regarding the unit staff who will be onsite, the work they will perform and the facilities to be used.

OISE's General Assessment Tool (GAT) documents are available upon request. Please contact oisecao@utoronto.ca to obtain the relevant GATs. 

Wellness at OISE
OISE Community

The wellbeing of our community is one of OISE's top priorities. This year, be sure to devote time to self-care by participating in some of our wellness events and by accessing some of our resources. Learn more about OISE’s commitment to supporting health and wellbeing in our community.

Wellness, Equity, and Accommodation at UofT

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the University remains dedicated to ensuring accessible equity support and services while still upholding our commitment to confidentiality and privacy. Learn more about how UofT is supporting and building an intentionally inclusive community.