Dear faculty, students, and staff
In follow up to the announcement from the Provost and the Vice President of People Strategy, Equity, and Culture, we are planning for a gradual return to in-person learning starting Monday, February 7, 2022.
As outlined in the message, each faculty or division will be coordinating these plans based on unique program requirements. Please see below for an update on our plans for the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy.
In the transition back to in-person learning, our goal is to prioritize those activities and skills that are most dependent on in-person instruction. This means:
- Beginning February 7, skills-based lab sessions (i.e. medication therapy management, and physical assessment) will start back in-person.
- All other courses will continue to be delivered online until after Winter Reading Week, at which point we will assess the feasibility of resuming in-person instruction for these courses.
- Experiential rotations will continue in-person.
As one of several health sciences faculties at U of T, we work closely with our pharmacy practice partners in hospital and community care. We know the following weeks will continue to place great strain on our healthcare system and, recognising the demands our clinical faculty will face as they provide frontline care, any efforts to further expand in-person activities will be made in consultation with our partners so that we can continue to support them throughout this time.
Any additional, course-specific information will be provided by the PharmD program in the coming days.
Mid-term exams scheduled up to Reading Week will be held online. In-person midterm exams will begin when in-person classes can resume. At this stage, our goal is to hold all final exams in person. Should the public health situation require we conduct exams online, we will continue to keep students, faculty, and staff informed.
Pharmaceutical Sciences Graduate Program
Graduate courses and seminars should be held online until February 28, 2022, at which point the transition back to in-person learning for these courses can begin. As outlined in today’s announcement from the University, this decision is being made to balance the learning needs of our students with the need to minimize the spread of COVID-19.
Research at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy will continue to operate in STEP 2 of the of the LDFP Guidelines for Research Restart and Recovery. Please refer to the email sent on January 7 as a reminder of the policies and procedures that should continue to be followed.
Faculty and Administrative Staff
To address the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases due to Omicron, in December 2021 the University requested that all faculty and staff work from home unless otherwise required for on-site duties. With a gradual return to in-person learning beginning February 7, it is important that administrative staff also begin to return to onsite work to provide support. As in September, managers will connect with staff to coordinate back-to-campus planning including development of Alternative Work arrangements as required.
Building Hours and Access
Our Faculty building will continue to be restricted from 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday and the building will only be accessible through the main entrance. These restricted building hours will be maintained until February 7, 2022. We will provide additional updates on plans for building hours and access later this month. If you have any questions about building access, please email Tina Harvey-Kane, Director Facilities Management.
As a reminder and further to our communication earlier this month, we ask that students using the study spaces continue to abide by the following rules to maintain safety for all:
- Complete UCheck health screening each day prior to coming on campus. Do not come to campus if you feel unwell or receive a red screen.
- Students must physically distance when using these spaces.
- Complete QR code forms for contact tracing at the main entrance, as well as in designated eating and study spaces, as dictated by building specific requirements.
- Masks must continue to be worn in all areas of the building, except while eating and drinking in designated areas.
- We have designated the Atrium lobby and the Top of the Pod Podium as eating areas. At maximum, only 5 students may eat in these areas at one time. Please abide by this limit. Students can remove masks during the limited time that eating and drinking is taking place but masks must be redonned when finished or when moving around the areas. However, physical distancing (at least two meters) must take place while eating and drinking. These areas are supplied with disinfectant. Please clean all surfaces after eating/drinking.
- Eating and drinking in all other areas other than the Atrium lobby and the Top of the Pod is not permitted under any circumstances.
Provision of masks for students, faculty, and staff
To further enhance safety in our building, we are investigating the procurement of medical grade masks for students, staff, and faculty who are unable to obtain them and who need to be on campus. We will provide further information once the masks are available.
Proof of Vaccination
As a reminder, all students with on-campus activities and all faculty and employees, whether or not they are immediately required on campus, must upload proof of vaccination to UCheck as required by the Council of Ontario Medical Officers of Health. The Discovery Pharmacy is now booking COVID-19 vaccination appointments for all U of T faculty, staff, and students, including for those who may not have an Ontario health card.
Gradual Transition Back to Campus
It is encouraging that we have reached a point where we can again move towards increasing in-person learning activities; however, we must do so cautiously and maintain our commitment to health and safety in all our planning. We also know that in-person learning and connection are vital to a dynamic learning and work environment. With this in mind, we will look for opportunities to gather and connect in-person more regularly after Winter Reading Week. In coordination with our partners in the healthcare system and across U of T, we will continue to remain vigilant about evolving public health conditions and adjust and adapt our plans based on the guidance of our community of experts.
Professor & Dean
Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy
University of Toronto