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A Safe Return to Campus

Ryerson’s COVID-19 Health & Safety on Campus webpage contains information that is relevant to all Ryerson University community members.

As of May 1, 2022, the university will no longer require daily health screening for those coming to campus. However, community members should continue to monitor their health for any COVID-19 symptoms and not come to campus if they are feeling unwell.

Physical distancing requirements in indoor instruction spaces

According to the most recent guidance released from the Ministry of Colleges and Universities, as well as amendments to the applicable emergency regulations, physical distancing requirements have been removed for indoor instructional spaces at post-secondary institutions. 

2 metre physical distancing required in all other spaces

For non-instructional spaces on campus, such as common areas, hallways, stairwells and elevators, two-metre physical distancing is still required and will remain in place until further notice. Individuals will be responsible for respecting social-distancing regulations, however the university recognizes that a certain amount of patience will be required during peak periods to follow these requirements; the additional time that will be allocated at the end of each class for air flushing will help to accommodate the anticipated delays.

You will need your OneCard to gain entry to campus buildings. During the spring/summer 2022 semesters, exterior entrances to campus buildings will be locked and only accessible by tapping your OneCard against the card reader to gain entry. If you do not already have a OneCard or need a replacement, please visit the OneCard website for more information.

For more information about services available and their operating status, please refer to Ryerson’s COVID-19 Campus Status webpage.

Effective September 1, 2021, the university will no longer be providing reimbursement of parking costs for those required to be on campus. Employees driving to campus can either park in one of the public parking lots near campus or obtain a parking permit from Parking Services. 

More information about on-campus parking permits and parking arrangements can be found on Ryerson’s Business Services webpage.

Vaccinations

As announced by the university on March 28, the vaccination policy is suspended as of May 1, 2022.

While COVID-19 vaccination is no longer required in order to access campus, community members are asked to keep their vaccination status in the RyersonSafe app up to date. 

Faculty are encouraged to remain up-to-date with current COVID-19 vaccinations in the event that the policy is reinstated and non-compliance measures are applied. Should this happen, the university will consider exemption requests based on protected grounds under Ontario’s Human Rights Code. 

Keeping track of the vaccination status of all of our community members will allow the university to shift back to requiring vaccination to attend campus quickly and easily, should it become necessary.  Please note that your ability to continue to teach, work and participate in other activities at the university may be impacted if the requirement for mandatory vaccination against COVID-19 is reintroduced, based on the updated information you provide about your vaccination status.

Should a student ask about your vaccination status, you are not required to disclose this information and faculty/contract lecturers are not permitted to ask students about their vaccination status.

Masks and PPE

On March 28, the university announced its decision to suspend its vaccination and mask policies starting May 1, 2022. After monitoring the continued impact of COVID-19 in the city and province, on April 21 the university announed it has determined that the face mask policy will remain in place until further notice. This decision is based on guidance from the province’s Chief Medical Officer of Health who has strongly recommended the continued use of masks.

Please refer to Ryeron’s face mask policy and procedure, as well as Ryerson’s COVID-19 webpage dedicated to masks and PPE, for more information.

Yes, Ryerson’s mask policy requires that a well-fitted mask or face covering must be worn by every person at all times while indoors in a manner that covers their mouth, nose and chin, unless a policy exemption applies.

For more information on guidelines and exemptions, visit the Masks and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) page.

Faculty and contract lecturers are required to wear a mask or face covering while teaching unless a policy exemption applies.

Faculty, contract lecturers, and staff may also remove their masks or face coverings while they are working in areas not open to the public provided they are able to maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other person.

As per university policy, a mask must be worn during teaching in a classroom. If a face shield is to be worn, it must be worn along with a mask. Face shields are generally considered eye protection as opposed to respiratory protection.

On March 21, 2022 provincial masking requirements were lifted in many indoor public settings; however, as announced on April 22, 2022, Ryerson University is extending it’s masking policy until further notice.

Ryerson will manage compliance and enforcement of this Policy in accordance with existing processes in place: students are subject to the Student Code of Non-Academic Conduct; faculty and unionized staff are subject to collective agreements and Human Resources processes; non-unionized staff are subject to Human Resources processes; contractors are subject to their contracts; and visitors are subject to the authority of the senior university administrator host.

While we all have a role to play in keeping our community safe and limiting the spread of COVID-19, we are all adjusting to the new normal of COVID-19 safety guidelines. If one of your TA/GA/RAs has temporarily removed their mask, or they’ve forgotten to wear it, lead with a gentle and helpful reminder to put it back on.

If the TA/GA/RA does not identify that they qualify for an exemption and non-compliance is a recurring issue, contact your HR Partner for assistance.

Students, faculty, contract lecturers and staff are required to wear a mask or face covering in classrooms unless a policy exemption applies.

Faculty and contract lecturers may gently remind a student to wear a mask, and to confirm if an exemption applies. Please remember that proof of exemption is not required.

If someone does not indicate an exemption, faculty/contract lecturers are asked to handle it as a course management issue. If the circumstances are significantly disruptive or pose significant safety concerns, you may request assistance from Community Safety and Security, or any other unit in the university implicated by the conduct and policies, procedures, rules, regulations and practices at play.

While we all have a role to play in keeping our community safe and limiting the spread of COVID-19, we are all adjusting to the new normal of COVID-19 safety guidelines. It is likely that students will ask you why you are not wearing a mask. Should this occur, and you have an exemption, you are not required to disclose proof of your exemption to the student.

As outlined in the Mask Use Guidelines website, while academic staff members are not responsible for ensuring compliance of the mask policy, they do play a key role in making sure students understand the requirement. To help with this, faculty and contract lecturers should:

  • Remind students of the need to wear a mask within classrooms. 
  • Remind students that some students may be exempt.
  • Remind students that they may seek academic accommodations or alternative learning arrangements if they are concerned about sharing a space with someone exempt from wearing a mask.

Colleagues may gently remind a student and any visitors to the classroom to wear a mask, and to confirm if an exemption applies. Please remember that proof of exemption is not required.

If someone does not indicate an exemption, colleagues are asked to handle it as a course management issue. If the circumstances are significantly disruptive or pose significant health and safety concerns, you may request assistance from Community Safety and Security. Where there are repeated incidents involving the same student or where there is a significant disruption, faculty and contract lecturers may also contact Student Care for advice on addressing the situation.

The recommended response to incidents in your classroom will vary depending on the seriousness of the disruption.

Other than medical advice issues as addressed above, faculty and contract lecturers should, where possible, take an educational approach to resolving issues related to COVID-19 measures.

If the circumstances are significantly disruptive or pose significant health and safety concerns, you may request assistance from Community Safety and Security, or any other unit in the University implicated by the conduct and policies, procedures, rules, regulations and practices at play.

Where there are repeated incidents involving the same student or where there is a significant disruption, faculty and contract lecturers may also contact Student Care for advice on addressing the situation.

The university will continue to make masks available. Please visit the Masks and Personal Protective Equipment site for more information on obtaining a mask from the university.

The province does not require N95 masks for non-medical personnel and the university does not require that N95 masks be worn.

However, as an added layer of protection, for the Spring/Summer 2022 semesters, the university is providing medical grade or fitted masks, such as N95s available for university members who:

  • Due to the nature of their activity on campus they are unable to maintain a 2 meter physical distance. 
  • Individuals who are otherwise at higher risk for COVID-19. 

Please visit the Masks and Personal Protective Equipment site for more information on obtaining an N95 mask from the university.

Cleaning procedures

To clean and maintain spaces during COVID-19, Facilities Management and Development has implemented enhanced cleaning protocols and technology, such as electrostatic disinfection sprays and sanitizing agents, to support the prevention of viral transmission through disinfection. Additionally, we have installed cleaning wipe dispensers in offices and in classrooms.

Deep-cleaning and disinfection is taking place nightly in all common-use and high-traffic facilities, such as classrooms, labs, study spaces and computer rooms. Cleaning in these spaces is concentrated on floors and high-touch surfaces. 

For more information about Ryerson’s cleaning procedures, visit How Ryerson Cleans Spaces on the COVID-19 webpage.

Deep-cleaning and disinfection is taking place nightly in all common-use and high-traffic facilities, such as classrooms, labs, study spaces and computer rooms. Cleaning in these spaces is concentrated on floors and high-touch surfaces. For more information about Ryerson’s cleaning procedures, visit How Ryerson Cleans Spaces on the COVID-19 webpage.

For the Spring/Summer 2022 term there will be 10 minutes between classes. For classes that are two hours or longer, faculty and contract lecturers should end their classes 10 minutes early. This would allow for 20 minutes in total for air flushing.

For more information on air flushing, visit Ventilation and Air Purification on the COVID-19 web page.

Students will be asked to leave the classroom, but are not obligated to leave the building.

Ryerson has given considerable time and attention to air quality on campus, the use of HEPA filters and air flushing practices during high-use periods. There is no need to request a classroom with particular ventilation qualities, as all Ryerson classrooms meet the appropriate standards, and an additional 10 minutes will be allocated at the end of each 2+ hour class for air flushing.

The university is measuring airflow rates in classrooms, studios, teaching labs, workshops, study spaces, shared work areas of 10+ people and additional identified spaces to set safe capacity limits. Approximately 500 spaces have been tested to date, and if the air quality was found to be less than ideal, portable air purification units were installed.

Currently, 95 per cent of buildings on campus have MERV 13 filters, which are recommended by top health officials and ASHRAE, external link. In buildings where MERV 13 filters are not installed, the air quality has been enhanced with portable air purifiers. 

Ryerson’s Facilities Management and Development team inspects and replaces the air filters in all air handling units that are responsible for removing particles in the air such as dust, smoke, allergens, airborne bacteria and other pathogens, regularly. Additional information about how the university is managing ventilation and air purification across campus is available within the Health & Safety section of our COVID-19 website.

The university is providing wireless headset microphones for use by academic staff who request them. Colleagues will be able to borrow a mic for the Spring/Summer terms and then return it to Media Services. To book, use the following form: Media Equipment Booking Request.

For more information, please contact: Media Services at avhelp@ryerson.ca or ext. 554444 to arrange pickup.

Ryerson has implemented a layered approach to COVID-19 health and safety measures that is supported by public and workplace health and safety guidelines. As part of this, a risk-based approach was used to identify which spaces would be measured for airflow, and classrooms and other instructional spaces were selected due to the number of individuals using them and the type of activities that are expected to take place there. 

Lower-risk areas, such as individual offices, open-work and study spaces, and common areas and hallways were not assessed, as individuals using these spaces are expected to be alone (i.e. in the case of private offices), to be able to physically distance easily, to be travelling through them (versus remaining there for long periods of time), and/or to be wearing a mask. Extended breaks between classes will also help reduce excessive crowding in these spaces, and all of the university’s HVAC systems undergo regular maintenance to ensure that they are operating effectively.

The university has measured airflow rates in classrooms, studios and teaching labs, study spaces, and additional identified spaces. This work is also ongoing as required. We have tested more than 500 spaces consisting of classrooms, special rooms such as studios (dance, recording, etc.), workshops, shared work areas (10+ people), library study areas, RAC, SLC. To enhance the air quality in light of American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) standards, portable air purification units have been installed in certain spaces.

For more information please visit the ventilation and air purification web page

Lower risk areas, such as individual offices, open work and study spaces and common areas were not assessed as individuals using these spaces are alone, or physically distanced and wearing masks. 

We understand, however, that different people have different comfort levels returning to campus. When a department requests air purifiers for offices etc. on campus, they are directed to contacts with whom the university has preferred pricing. 

Please contact your Dean’s office for more information.

Air purifiers are not a PERF eligible expense.

COVID-19 case management

If you have tested positive for COVID-19, please refer to Ryerson’s Faculty, Staff and Visitor COVID-19 Reporting webpage.

Paid sick leave is available to members of the Ryerson Faculty Association based on the provisions of the Collective Agreement. CUPE 3904 members who are sick as a result of COVID-19 will continue to be paid during their contract for the duration of their illness provided they have already begun work.

RFA and CUPE 3904 members who are required to self-isolate should continue to work from home where possible. CUPE 3904 members will continue to be paid during the period of self-isolation.

We are aware that contracting COVID-19 or any other illness, could inevitably cause a disruption in curriculum delivery and we encourage all faculty and contract lecturers to contact their Chairs/Directors as per normal procedures regarding any need for replacement teaching.

Please contact your Senior HR Partner or OVPFA for assistance with any of these requests.

Please have a plan to alert students via email, D2L, and during class about your illness contingency plan and follow normal protocols for reporting.

If someone you live with is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, please follow the directions provided by Toronto Public Health, external link

Please contact your supervisor (Dean for faculty, Chair/Director for contract lecturers, Program Director for Chang contract lecturers) to make arrangements with respect to teaching and other duties.

Colleagues may have agency to pivot to remote teaching temporarily instead of canceling their classes. They should, however, speak to their Deans/Chairs/Directors of any situation that would necessitate a change, even a temporary one to their mode of delivery.

Students should be prepared for the possibility of an occasional class delivered remotely if a faculty member/contract lecturer or teaching assistant cannot attend campus but is able to teach remotely. 

Students should be reminded to check their emails regularly in the event the delivery format changes or if a class must be cancelled. 

Please speak to your Department/School for assistance in managing  any required absences from your scheduled teaching.

If a student has tested positive for COVID-19 through a PCR test or a Rapid Antigen test, please refer to Ryerson’s Faculty, Staff and Visitor COVID-19 Reporting webpage for guidance and advise them to follow public health guidance, external link.

Students who are unwell should not be attending campus, and advised to go home and refer to public health guidance, external link.

If the faculty member/contract lecturer feels as though there is potential that their class was exposed to this student, they may have the agency to pivot to remote teaching on a temporary basis instead of canceling their class. They should, however, speak to their Deans/Chairs/Directors of any situation that would necessitate a change.

Please note that it is a breach of privacy to reveal information about a particular student to their peers with respect to contraction of COVID-19.

Students exhibiting symptoms should not be attending campus and can be advised to refer to public health guidance, external link

Health and safety is a collective responsibility of all members of the Ryerson community. The university is complying with applicable law, as well as the requirements, advice and guidance of public health and governmental officials. However, should a specific health and safety issue arise, the university will respond and extend support and resources as may be appropriate under the circumstances.