Live Updates on COVID-​19 from DLSPH

March 13, 2020

This page was updated on May 21, 2020

COVID-19 Update – Message from the Dean on Fall 2020 – May 21, 2020

Dear Students,

I hope you are well and staying safe.

By now you have received an update from U of T President Meric Gertler on the University’s thinking, and planning, for Fall 2020. We are engaged in similar discussions for our School. And although the situation is fast changing, I’d like to share what I can about our plans.

Understandably, students are asking what classes will look like this Fall.

We will be in close touch with you over the summer with updates on plans for teaching and learning, which we are developing in consultation with our School’s student associations.  So far, I can say that instructors will be empowered to offer remote classes or a hybrid model that allows for in-person meetings, following all public health guidelines. Instructors are working to redesign courses that retain the student experience and sense of community no matter how they are delivered.

As well, we are building a DLSPH digital help desk which will support students, faculty and staff with their IT and educational technology questions. And the student portal will provide access to archived webinars and trainings on research tools such as NVIVO, ArcGIS and SAS.

We’re working to develop more detailed plans and both the School and the University will be providing more information shortly. Please don’t hesitate to contact the Associate Dean,  Academic Affairs with any questions or concerns as we work through this process together: Adaa.dlsph@utoronto.ca

There will be bumps ahead, but the digital infrastructure we’re now building will help modernize student learning – a goal that many in academia have been seeking. This is a time of uncertainty for all of us, but I am confident that with close communication and understanding among faculty and students, we will meet the challenges ahead.

Sincerely,
Adalsteinn Brown
Professor and Dean, DLSPH

 Frequently Asked Questions, answered by GSU and DLSPH – May 13, 2020

Click here for a FAQ developed by the GSU including information on financial support, Research Day and more.

Click here for a FAQ developed by Professor Dionne Gesink, Associate Dean, Academic Affairs, including information on the summer, fall and winter 2020 sessions and more.

COVID-19 Update – IHPME Student Advisory – April 8, 2020

Sent on behalf of Whitney Berta, IHPME Graduate Coordinator & Arlinda Ruco, ​President IHPME Graduate Students’ Union, University of Toronto

This message is by way of communicating program and policy modifications that have been made over the past few weeks, in preparation for the upcoming Spring and Summer terms, and conveying news related to IHPME events and important program milestones.

COURSEWORK, PLACEMENTS/PRACTICUMS, and EXAMS

Contacts

Professional Programs Contact: Tina Smith tina.smith@utoronto.ca, 416-946-3023

Research Programs Contact: Whitney Berta whit.berta@utoronto.ca, 416-946-5223

As with the Winter term courses that are soon to conclude, IHPME faculty plan to offer all Spring and Summer term courses online in the interests of continuing to mitigate disruptions to your program progress/trajectory in light of the COVID-19 situation.

Course Continuity

Instructors across all IHPME programs will transition their courses online over the upcoming Spring-Summer terms using supportive technology (most instructors have elected to use Zoom).  In a few instances, this transition will necessitate changes to the course assignments generally specified for these courses; in some instances your instructors may pursue a consensus approach to determining which options to pursue.  This approach is in adherence to guidelines developed by the University’s Office of the VP Academic.

We know that a number of you have been particularly impacted by COVID-19-related disruptions, e.g., clinicians who have been asked to increase or resume clinical duties, and those of you who are playing key roles in the administration of health services organizations or pandemic response- or policy-formulation.  In these instances, it may be necessary/advisable to temporarily suspend your coursework or seek an extension for Winter term courses.   Over the past few weeks, a number of you have contacted me to discuss options that will minimize disruption to your progress in your program.  If you are in this situation, please contact me directly (whit.berta@utoronto.ca) and we will determine the best course of action for you.

In some instances, courses that you intended to undertake over the upcoming Spring-Summer term, offered by units outside of IHPME, have been cancelled.  There are other courses offered in IHPME, and some in Public Health Sciences, that you might consider taking in lieu of these cancelled courses.  We encourage you to discuss these with your Supervisor (Research Program Students) and/or contact your Program Director (Professional Program Students and Research Program Students) to discuss these options.

Extended Drop Date for Winter Term Courses

Please note that the drop date for Winter Term courses has been extended to April 25th by Dean Brown, in light of the COVID-19 situation.

Practicums, Placements, Applied Research and Professional Projects & Fellowships

IHPME Program Directors have put in place solutions relating to ongoing practicums, placements, and applied research projects. These have been or will be communicated to you directly by your Program Director.  If you are in doubt as to what to do regarding your practicum, placement or applied research project, contact your Program Director (see https://ihpme.utoronto.ca/community/connect/ ).

For those of you undertaking on-site Fellowships with an industry-sponsor/health care organization (e.g., CIHR Health Services Impact Fellowship), follow the directives of your host organizations and discuss strategies to best manage any impact on your study plan with your Supervisor and/or Thesis Committee.

Exams

Generally, exams for Winter term courses, and exams for Spring-Summer term courses, are to take place as planned using supportive technology, unless otherwise specified by your course instructor.

Convocation

The University has made the difficult decision not to hold Convocation ceremonies in June 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the directives of public health authorities regarding social distancing and against large gatherings, see https://governingcouncil.utoronto.ca/covid-19-and-spring-convocation-faqs. Students who complete their degree requirements will still graduate and receive their degrees and parchments. As you all undoubtedly know, our President has recently announced that a virtual ceremony will take place for all UT graduates, https://www.utoronto.ca/message-from-the-university-regarding-the-coronavirus?utm_source=UofTHome&utm_medium=WebsiteBanner&utm_content=MessageRegardingTheCoronavirusForTheUoFTCommunity

We acknowledge the importance of Convocation to IHPME’s graduates and their families, and to your “academic families” – faculty and staff with whom you have interacted over the course of your programs. We intend to celebrate your accomplishments, in the future when it is safe to do so, through in-person event(s) organized by IHPME Program Directors.

STUDENT RESEARCH

Research Program students and Professional Program students engaged in the collection of primary data that entails direct participant engagement (e.g., face-to-face interviews, focus groups, or facilitated survey data collection) have been advised not to enter organizations or engage in face-to-face data collection of any sort.  We ask that you confer with your supervisors and consider alternative means by which to collect your data (e.g., by telephone or alternative sources of data). In some instances, changes that you make to data collection approaches may necessitate amendments to existing approved ethics protocols relating to your research.

You are advised to continue to engage with your committee electronically, via teleconference, and/or using supportive technology.  For information on supportive technology available to IHPME students, consult with your Supervisor and/or Program Director.  To arrange a teleconference line for an upcoming meeting, contact Aman Bhamra at ihpme@utoronto.ca

In instances where your data collection has been particularly impacted by COVID-19-related disruptions, and you and your Supervisor/Committee anticipate that this will impact your intended research and/or research trajectory significantly, please contact me directly (whit.berta@utoronto.ca).  Each individual is challenged by a set of circumstances unique to them; it is important to consider these in order to formulate the best course of action for you.

DEFENSES (Research Programs)

Contacts

CEHCR Contact: Zoe Downie-Ross, clinepi.grad@utoronto.ca , 416-946-3486

HSR Contact: Kerstin Giannini, ihpme.hsr.grad@utoronto.ca , 416-946-4100

HPER Contact: Cheryl Ku, ihpme.hper@utoronto.ca , 416-340-4219

Proposal defenses and Final Oral Examinations are proceeding on schedule, with all relying upon supportive technology.  The School of Graduate Studies has temporarily waived the minimum in-person requirement for Final Oral Examinations (FOEs), and is coordinating technology-supported FOEs over the disruption interval through Zoom and teleconferences.  As usual, your Graduate Assistant will communicate details regarding your upcoming defense to you and your examination committee.

FINANCIAL AID

While IHPME staff and faculty have worked to ensure that courses will continue to be offered with limited disruption by moving to online delivery, we understand that COVID-19-related disruptions might impact other aspects of students’ progress in their programs, e.g. delayed ethics approvals, suspended data collection, limitations to secondary datasets.  In these situations, students may be faced with extending their program trajectories and thereby find that they need financial support. We have summarized the financial aid resources available to you, through the University or specific to IHPME, on our website here: https://ihpme.utoronto.ca/impact/awards/

RESEARCH ASSISTANTS

Research Assistants have been asked to work off-site and rely upon supportive technology to engage with their PIs and research team over the disruption interval.  Research Assistants are asked to continue to submit time sheets electronically to their PIs, and processing of these will occur per usual timelines, remotely, on the part of IHPME’s business office.

FACULTY & GRADUATE OFFICE STAFF SUPPORT

All faculty and graduate office staff have transitioned to online support, and will continue to offer full support to IHPME graduate programs off-site through email, telephone, and supportive technology. All staff have been equipped with VPN access to facilitate their continued support of all of IHPME’s graduate programs and students.

MEETINGS

IHPME has transitioned all meetings and interviews to online or teleconference venues.

Applicant Interviews

Applicants to IHPME Programs are being interviewed using Zoom.

Student-Supervisor-Committee Meetings

All Committee Meetings are taking place via Skype Business or teleconference. Please contact Aman Bhamra (ihpme@utoronto.ca ) if you need to book a teleconference line for an upcoming committee meeting.

Project Team Meetings

All Project Team Meetings are taking place via Skype Business or teleconference.

Standing IHPME Committees & University Committees

All Project Team Meetings are taking place via Skype Business or teleconference on the originally scheduled dates/times unless otherwise communicated by the Committee Chair.

CONFERENCES & EVENTS

IHPME Research Day

The co-chairs and faculty leads are working with panelists and the event’s keynote speaker to specify a “rain date” in October 2020.

IHPME Mental Health Day

The event has currently been cancelled and a “rain date” may be specified at a later time.

IHPME GSU Events

All IHPME GSU events planned for the remainder of the academic term are postponed, or are being offered via technology if feasible. Refer to the GSU website for updates, see http://gsu.ihpme.sa.utoronto.ca/latest-news/ or keep a look out for the weekly IHPME GSU emails. Bi-weekly virtual socials are being organized to keep you connected to your IHPME colleagues, email ihpmegsu@utoronto.ca for details.

Ongoing Seminar Series

The NAO Seminar Series, and HSSPR (HAD7001H & HSR2001H) Seminar Series are continuing.  Sessions will be available exclusively through Zoom and communicated through IHPME Listservs (visit IHPME’s Events Calendar for details and updates https://ihpme.utoronto.ca/events/ )

Conferences Outside of IHPME

A number of conference organizers/associations have announced contingency plans (e.g., to move to virtual delivery only) or cancellations (e.g., CAHSPR). Students are encouraged to make careful decisions about the advisability of any travel to outside conferences (including those held in Toronto) in the future since travel may continue to be disrupted for some time.

IHPME CONTACTS

We appreciate that the possibility of disruption to your progress in your program may contribute to feelings of anxiety and stress.  IHPME faculty and staff, and members of the IHPME GSU, are doing their utmost to plan toward minimizing impacts to your progress in your program that might arise due to the COVID-19 situation.

If you need to talk about your feelings or concerns, do not hesitate to contact your Program Director or IHPME’s Graduate Coordinator.

Program Directors, Graduate Coordinator & Graduate Office Staff contact information is available here: https://ihpme.utoronto.ca/community/connect/

Contact for Urgent Issues: Whitney Berta whit.berta@utoronto.ca, 416-946-5223

The University’s online student health and wellness resources will continue to be available; information on these services via the University’s Student Life information “hub” can be accessed here https://studentlife.utoronto.ca/ .

Of this suite of services, the My Student Support Program (MySSP) – accessible here https://studentlife.utoronto.ca/hwc/mental-health , provides University of Toronto students with no-cost, immediate and/or ongoing confidential, 24-hour support for any school, health, or general life concern.

Additional resources have been compiled by the IHPME GSU, see http://gsu.ihpme.sa.utoronto.ca/2020/03/20/stay-safe-healthy-covid-19-resources/ for further details.

You can also fill out the IHPME GSU Check-In survey if you have any questions or concerns about how COVID-19 may impact your degree progress and we will make sure to have your questions/concerns addressed: https://forms.gle/RaUAAyr5eiAGDLKg8.

GENERAL GUIDELINES regarding COVID-19

Numerous, reliable sources of up-to-date information regarding travel and public health advisories regarding the COVID-19 situation are available, including those maintained by Public Health Ontario (see https://www.publichealthontario.ca/en/diseases-and-conditions/infectious-diseases/respiratory-diseases/novel-coronavirus ), the Government of Canada (https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/being-prepared.html) and the World Health Organization (https://www.who.int/westernpacific/emergencies/covid-19). The University has developed a comprehensive, dynamic resource accessible on the home page, see https://www.utoronto.ca/message-from-the-university-regarding-the-coronavirus. Many of you work in health services organizations, most of which are routinely posting updated information for their staff and trainees. We highly recommend that you also consult with these resources.  It is important to check these advisories as this is an evolving situation. The best way to protect yourself is through prevention.

    • Wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
    • Sneeze and cough into your sleeve
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth
    • Avoid contact with people who are sick
    • Stay home if you are sick (fever, cough, difficulty breathing)

If you are feeling unwell, and are concerned that you may have been exposed to, or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, we advise you to follow the guidelines posted by Public Health Ontario accessible here https://www.publichealthontario.ca/en/diseases-and-conditions/infectious-diseases/respiratory-diseases/novel-coronavirus/public-resources.   

GENERAL GUIDANCE & INFORMATION re: COVID-19 RESPONSE & RESPONSIBILITIES
Travel Advice see Government of Canada Website https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/latest-travel-health-advice.html

Travelers Returning from Restricted Areas see Ontario Ministry of Health Website https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus

Travel Advice, Updates, Q&A see World Health Organization Website https://www.who.int/westernpacific/emergencies/covid-19

Please note that regular updates from the DLSPH that pertain to all IHPME and PHS students are now accessible on IHPME’s main webpage https://ihpme.utoronto.ca/.  For a good source of information on academic continuity under disruptive conditions, see The University’s Policy on Academic Continuity is accessible here: https://governingcouncil.utoronto.ca/secretariat/policies/academic-continuity-university-toronto-policy-january-26-2012

With Best Regards,

Whitney Berta & Arlinda Ruco

COVID-19 Update – TEACHING: Syllabus Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Statement – April 2, 2020

Message sent on behalf of Professor Dionne Gesink, Acting Associate Dean, Academic Affairs

There have been concerns raised about an increased number of harassment complaints. Karima Hashmani, Executive Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion has shared the following language for instructors to consider posting in their course shells (below). If space is limited, the first paragraph is suitable for Quercus course shells, whereas the entire portion can be incorporated into course syllabi.

Recommended Language for Quercus Course Shell and Course Syllabus –

“As we all adjust to online classes and lectures, and increasingly participate in virtual learning environments, students are reminded of the expectation that we all demonstrate respect for one another. As outlined in the Student Code of Conduct, the University of Toronto does not condone discrimination or harassment against any persons or communities especially when based on grounds protected under the Ontario Human Rights Code. The University of Toronto recognizes its commitment to human rights, equity and inclusion and acknowledges the disproportionate impact COVID-19 has on various parts of our community. COVID-19 is not isolated to people of any particular ethnic origin, place of origin or race. Equity, diversity and respect must remain integral as we continue to transition during these challenging times. The institution will monitor and address discriminatory comments or behaviour including on U of T’s online platforms and classrooms

In accordance with the Ontario Human Rights Code, no person shall engage in a course of vexatious conduct that is directed at one or more specific individuals, and that is based on the race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age marital status, family status or disability. This includes:
– Racial slurs or “jokes”
– Insults due to racial identity
– Online posts of cartoons or pictures, in a workplace or school that degrade persons of a particular racial group
– Name-calling due to race, colour, citizenship, place of origin, ancestry, ethnic background or creed
– Pseudonyms or handles that are inappropriate about ancestry, colour, citizenship, ethnicity, place of origin, race, or religion

The University of Toronto’s Equity Offices remain available to students to provide support on equity issues that arise as a result of COVID-19.
Students are encouraged to support one another and the University’s commitment to human rights and our values of diversity, inclusion, and respect in managing any inappropriate comments or disruptive behaviours. If you experience or witness inappropriate comments or behaviours in your classes, you are encouraged to contact your instructor. If you can, take and share a screenshot of the inappropriate content with your instructor so they can follow-up with you and address the conduct.”

COVID-19 Update: Well-being & Support Resources – March 27, 2020

Message sent on behalf of Professor Adalsteinn Brown, Dean, DLSPH

Dear Colleagues,
Our community’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic over the last week and a half has been phenomenal and I am tremendously grateful for everyone’s flexibility, responsiveness and adaptability to maintain business and academic continuity.

As a school of public health, we are intimately aware of how physical distancing, the barrage of anxiety-inducing headlines and working remotely can have a significant impact on our mental health and well-being.

We understand that many faculty and staff are experiencing a heightened level of stress and anxiety. It’s important for everyone to acknowledge that we are not going to be at our most productive under these conditions, which is understandable and to be expected. Keeping this in mind, we’d like to offer some practical suggestions and resources to support our community during this difficult time.

For parents experiencing childcare challenges or difficulty working remotely, we are flexible and supportive of people adjusting their schedules. I encourage folks to consider:

  • Trying to find a work rhythm that can balance competing priorities, even if incrementally over the next little while;

I know our conscientious and industrious faculty will make every effort to stay productive and I appreciate these efforts.

I also encourage faculty and staff to be mindful of their own mental health by:

All of these “Staying Well” resources, as well as all COVID-19-related email and messages, are available on the DLSPH website.

Finally, I encourage anyone having difficulties to reach out to me at any time to have a discussion.

The DLSPH community has come together to maintain academic excellence for our students and learners. Let’s continue to build a community of support to get through this difficult time.

Please stay safe, healthy and reach out if you need help.

Sincerely,
Steini

COVID-19 Update: Academic Continuity – March 26, 2020

Message sent on behalf of Professor Dionne Gesink, Acting Associate Dean, Academic Affairs

Thank you for continuing to adapt to, and with, the sudden changes within our School as we respond to the rapidly evolving COVID19 pandemic. Below, I provide an update on changes that have happened over the past week and resources. Some of you may be feeling overwhelmed, and this is normal. Please ask for help when you need it. I also provide information on mental health and well-being resources for faculty and staff at the end of this message.

Thank you for physical distancing, and for your part in the response to this historic global event,

Dionne

Changes to Methods of Evaluation in Courses:

The University Assessment and Grading Practices Policy (UAGPP) establishes a process for instructors to hold a vote to make changes to the marking scheme when instructors judge this to be necessary.

Credit/no-credit:

At the graduate level, at this time, credit/no-credit must be course-wide, not individually decided by students. The final grades assigned in a graduate course must all be from the same scale. Instructors can work with the Dean’s Office to request a disruption from the Provost to change the course grade scale to CR/NCR for all students in the course.

Extensions:

Students are stressed out and may not be coping well with competing priorities and constant change. Please be compassionate and accommodating. Two options exist for everyone:

  1. Short coursework extensions – please check with the specific Course Directors re: the coursework and what possibility exists for short extensions.  This is dependent on Course Directors being able to complete the marking and submit the grades in advance of specific deadlines.
  2. Course Extensions into the Summer Term. This will require a formal request for an extension (easily done) and a deferred grade for now (form attached). The grade is changed when the coursework is submitted, and the grade goes through the system by end of the Summer term.  Requests for coursework extensions are required for each individual course, so you’d need to do one for each course in which you wish to hold off on submitting.
    • For student completing the entire program this term, right now, this means graduation will be in November, rather than June.

Course Drop Date:

The course drop date has been reopened and extended to April 25, 2020 to support students who are struggling academically. Please discuss with students their reason(s) for dropping before they drop, to verify that there are no alternatives to successfully completing the course. Please also remind students the following so they can make a fully informed decision:

  • Students will not get a refund on tuition or fees if they drop between now and before April 25
  • Dropping may extend student time to completion and thus graduation and may result in additional tuition and fees if they extend into the 20/21 academic year
  • Students may have to wait until Winter 2021 to take the course they dropped again
  • Students might be able to earn missing credits by completing a Summer 2020 course, but that will depend on the Summer 2020 course offerings
  • Students expecting to graduate in June are encouraged not to drop courses, unless the course under consideration is extra credit, so they can complete on time

Grade Submission Deadline:

The deadline for grade submissions for individual courses has been extended until May 15 with the expectation that tentative degree recommendations will be submitted on the current deadline date of April 17. Students will not be able to receive confirmation of degree letters until their degree requirements are confirmed.

Doctoral Research:

The U of T Health Sciences Research Ethics Board (REB) has suspended all research involving in-person contact with human subjects and all laboratory-based research. Hospitals have suspended non-essential research unless it can be conducted remotely. The RDC is closed. IC/ES is working on remote access to datasets. Depending on the nature and stage of dissertation, these changes will affect some candidates dramatically, slightly, or not at all.

  • Supervisors – Please check on the mental and academic wellbeing of your doctoral students. Students will be asked to discuss the status of their research with their supervisor.
  • Doctoral students/candidates have maximum flexibility to revise dissertation protocols with their Supervisor and Committee to adapt to the changing research environment. Please work together to devise a Plan B as needed.
  • An amendment describing how research activities will be revised to prevent in-person contact with participants can be submitted to the REB to restart previously approved research.

Final Oral Exams for Doctoral Candidates:

SGS has updated guidelines for remote completion and sent a message to faculty and students (attached). In brief, all scheduled Final Oral Exams will be conducted remotely. A candidate wanting an in-person final oral exam will need to postpone their exam until in-person meetings/gatherings resume.

Graduation:

The University has made the difficult decision not to hold Convocation ceremonies in June 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the directives of public health authorities regarding social distancing and against large gatherings. Students who complete their degree requirements will still graduate and receive their degrees and parchments. We are currently exploring possible alternative means of celebrating graduation.

Please visit the Office of Convocation website for further information and updates: https://governingcouncil.utoronto.ca/covid-19-and-spring-convocation-faqs.

Faculty Questions:

Course Support – The Centre for Teaching Support and Innovation has many online resources to help you respond to COVID19 teaching related changes: https://teaching.utoronto.ca/

Technical Teaching Support? Obadiah George (obadiah.george@utoronto.ca).

Program Support – please contact your Program Director:

PHS: http://www.dlsph.utoronto.ca/divisions/division-heads-and-program-leaders/

IHPME:

HSR: Audrey Laporte audrey.laporte@utoronto.ca

Clinical Epidemiology: Rob Fowler rob.fowler@sunnybrook.ca; Jill Tinmouth jill.tinmouth@sunnybrook.ca

MHSc: Tina Smith tina.smith@utoronto.ca

SLI: Abi Sriharan abi.sriharan@utoronto.ca

MHI: Julia Zarb julia.zarb@utoronto.ca

QIPS: Christine Shea christine.shea@utoronto.ca

Mental Health Resources for Faculty & Staff

Appointed faculty and staff have access to the Employee & Family Assistance Program (EFAP), offered through Homewood Health, online and by phone at 1-800-663-1142.

Supporting Others – Mental Health Training for Faculty & Staff

U of T online module in support of student mental health: https://iar.utoronto.ca/main/

How to Support Employee Well-Being While Working Remotely: http://www.hrandequity.utoronto.ca/news/how-to-support%e2%80%afemployee%e2%80%afwell-being-while-working-remotely%e2%80%af%e2%80%af/

COVID-19 Update – Volunteering in active health care environments – March 25, 2020

Message sent on behalf of Dr. Lynn Wilson, Acting Vice-Provost, Relations with Health Care Institutions
Note the following message from U of T’s Acting Vice-Provost, Relations with Health Care Institutions, is important, relevant and timely to all DLSPH students and learners who are considering or engaging in volunteer opportunities in health care settings.

I know many of you are trying to find productive ways to respond to COVID-19. Some are seeking volunteer opportunities in active health care environments (e.g., door-screening at health clinics), with health care professionals who may be at a higher risk of exposure (e.g., providing child care and elder care for researchers and clinicians in our affiliated hospitals), or with potentially affected community members (e.g., assisting isolated and vulnerable seniors).

First, I want to commend you on your commitment to public service and to supporting the broader efforts to combat the COVID-19 virus. It’s a testament to your commitment to addressing the health needs of our local and global communities. We must all make our own decisions about what level of risk we are willing to accept. As future health professionals, I know you’ll make the responsible decisions. And, I know that many of you are also exploring lower-risk volunteer opportunities as well.

The purpose of this email is to give you some general information, should you decide to engage in these activities, so you can make informed decisions and keep yourselves as safe as possible.

Specifically, I want you to know that these volunteer opportunities are independent of academic studies and the University, even if the activities take place on sites that are affiliated with the University (e.g. at major hospitals or with academic appointees requesting volunteers). As a volunteer, the University’s insurance coverage, WSIB coverage through the University (including the coverage applicable during student placements), financial support, or logistical support would not be available to you.

Unless the organization or site at which you are volunteering makes it available to you, as a volunteer, you may only be covered in case of injury or illness in the course of volunteering through OHIP/UHIP and your extended health coverage plan, if you have one.

Please make sure you are protecting yourself, following public health advice, and informing yourself of the potential risks of any volunteer opportunity. We ask that you continue to consult the University’s central webpage for links to public health authorities, travel advisories, and student supports including mental health resources.

Please stay safe and take care of yourself during these difficult times as you try to help others.

Thank you,

Dr. Lynn Wilson MD, CCFP, FCFP
Acting Vice-Provost, Relations with Health Care Institutions
University of Toronto

COVID-19 research funding – March 24, 2020

Message sent on behalf of Professor France Gagnon, Associate Dean of Research, DLSPH

The DLSPH community has a wide range of knowledge, experience and skill sets to contribute to the fight against COVID-19. The DLSPH Office of Research is here with the expertise to support you in your proposal development under these tight turnaround times so that you have more time for thinking and doing science.

Below are new COVID-19 funding resources highly relevant to our research community. The DLSPH and its Office of Research can support you in the following:

  1. Team coordination -g. setting up teleconferencing, finding answers to your logistics questions, eligibility criteria
  2. Collaborators – identification and matchmaking
  3. Budget development
  4. Copy-editing

In addition to the above support, DLSPH has set aside seed funding for COVID-19 research. This seed funding mechanism serves two purposes:

  1. Help core faculty promptly launch or collaborate on near-term COVID-19 research
  2. Provide matching as required for some of the funding opportunities listed below

Please provide a ½ to 1 page proposal of your request.  Priority will be given to proposals from core faculty who will hold their funds at DLSPH. For questions and requests for seed funding, please contact the DLSPH Associate Dean of Research france.gagnon@utoronto.ca.

IMMEDIATE COVID-19 FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES:

  • U of T:  Toronto COVID-19 Action Initiative. 

Application Deadline: Monday, March 30, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. EDT

NOTE: Only U of T Tenure/Tenure Stream Faculty are eligible to apply for this funding.

For program details and access to the guidelines and application form, please see: https://research.utoronto.ca/funding-opportunities/db/toronto-covid-19-action-initiative

We have developed a checklist – Application Checklist

For grant development support, please email: caroline.godbout@utoronto.ca

For all other research-related questions, please email: lee.vernich@utoronto.ca

We will continue to post additional related funding opportunities and other resources to the research section of the DLSPH website: http://www.dlsph.utoronto.ca/research/funding-learning-opportunities/.

We look forward to hearing from you and assisting with any proposals you have planned.

DLSPH COVID-19 Update: Graduate student research – March 18, 2020

Over the coming days, graduate students and graduate supervisors will have to make many decisions about how to adapt to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic. The School of Graduate Studies (SGS) has sent out the message below to all graduate students with an update on how graduate activities are currently being affected by the pandemic and how the University is responding.

We understand the current status of research being conducted within other institutions to:

Toronto Academic Health Science Network (TAHSN) Hospitals: Effective March 16, 2020, all non-essential on-site research activities will be scaled back for an initial period of three weeks until Monday April 6.

Research Data Centre (RDC): Closed

Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (IC/ES): Access with precautions. Moving to enable more students to access their datasets remotely. This will take some time to fully implement, and we will aim to prioritise students who are close to completing their analyses or have specific deadlines

As soon as possible, please check-in with your supervisees about their courses, research, RA/TA positions, etc. Some may be very stressed about their ability to progress. Please work with supervisory committees to come up with creative solutions to adapt to the changing research environment and conditions. There is great academic freedom on what these changes and adaptations can look like. Please remind your students of the mental health resources they have access to through the University, which can be found on the Student Life website: https://www.studentlife.utoronto.ca/feeling-distressed.

Please find the messages below from Joshua Barker, Dean, School of Graduate Studies and Vice-Provost, Graduate Research and Education, to help address questions from supervisees/trainees. 

Principles to Guide Your Decision-Making

In a fluid situation, it is important to have principles to inform our decision-making. In the areas of graduate education and research, decisions should be guided by the principles that:

  • The health and safety of all students, faculty and staff are paramount;
  • Academic requirements remain in place and academic integrity must be maintained;
  • Students should be able to meet their academic requirements to the extent possible;
  • In-person interactions should be minimized and guidance about social distancing followed;
  • Students should not feel compelled by anyone to do something that, under the circumstances, feels unsafe.

Departmental Examinations

We have referred graduate students to seek information about departmental examinations from their graduate program. Given the significant variations in formats of comprehensive exams across divisions, academic continuity and the nature of accommodations provided may also take different forms. With the above principles in mind, here are some ways in which comprehensive exams can be accommodated:

  • In-person oral comprehensive examinations should be moved online;
  • In-person written comprehensive examinations should be moved online;
  • Written examinations that typically take place in-group settings should be replaced with take-home or online examinations;
  • Students who experience a period of impeded preparation due to child-care responsibilities (given school and day-care closures), illness, or quarantine, should be granted an extension to their comprehensive examination.

Placements, Internships and Other Program Requirements

We have referred graduate students to connect with their graduate programs about placements, internships and other program requirements. If you have questions, please contact your Academic Continuity Working Group representative or your Dean for further information.

SGS will extend the deadline for dropping graduate courses and will look to streamline the process required for late withdrawals.

Graduate Research

This is a highly stressful time for many graduate students and they will need highly engaged academic support. The University is advising that all lab-based research operations must be shut down no later than 5 PM, Friday, March 20, other than critical COVID-19 research and time-sensitive critical projects. Shut down of laboratory research operations should be done in a safe and orderly manner according to the guidance provided by the U of T Research Oversight and Compliance Office. Other research settings, including many off-campus sites, are also shutting down. Graduate students should not feel compelled by anyone to do something that, under the circumstances, feels unsafe to them. Students have been advised to contact their graduate Chair immediately to seek a resolution, should they need assistance resolving research-related challenges.

Canadian and Permanent Resident Students in International Locations

SGS has been informed that doctoral students registered with Safety Abroad were contacted on Sunday March 16. They were advised that the University of Toronto is following the Canadian Government’s Advice to return to Canada as commercial options for international travel are becoming more limited. As the safety of our students is the utmost priority, the Safety Abroad Office is working to support students who are returning to Canada and with those who may choose to stay in their location. The University has not required PhD students conducting dissertation research to return, rather we have committed to support the students’ decisions – to return or to stay. All others students, including Master’s students in both research-stream and professional programs on University sponsored activities, have been recalled. If students have not registered with Safety Abroad, please ask them to contact safety.abroad@utoronto.ca as quickly as possible.

Non-Canadians and non-Permanent Residents of Canada

SGS has been informed that given current government declarations, these students will not be able to enter Canada on flights scheduled to arrive after 12:00 p.m., March 18, 2020. SGS will continue to monitor this situation and make every attempt to support these students in these trying times. More information will be made available in the coming days.

Students Facing Financial Hardship

Many U of T graduate students work outside the University to help ends meet. While University funding is not currently affected, their work outside the university may be. Please keep this in mind and respond to student needs as they arise. If your department’s circumstances allow it, you may wish to create your own emergency fund to help the students who are most in need through the next weeks.

Thank you for the tremendous work you are doing to help the University respond to this crisis. We will continue to update you as the situation evolves. Please also keep SGS and your divisional graduate leadership apprised as new questions and issues arise.

Sincerely,

Joshua Barker
Dean, School of Graduate Studies and
Vice-Provost, Graduate Research and Education

IHPME COVID-19 Update: Operational Continuity – March 17, 2020

We continue to monitor the development of the COVID-19 pandemic and work in partnership with various centralized offices at the University on a coordinated response for our faculty, staff and students.

IHPME has worked with DLSPH on operational continuity to ensure that our academic and business activities continue, while reducing the risk of transmission by observing social distancing guidelines and moving towards telecommuting where operationally possible. IHPME will be closed except by fob access as of Tuesday March 17 at 1:00 p.m.  Below we have outlined some key areas of operation within IHPME so you are informed of who you may contact for support and/or clarification.

A special thanks to all staff, course instructors, Program Leads, our Graduate Director and the Dean’s Office for their efforts over the last number of days to ensure academic and operational continuity at this challenging time.

IHPME General Inquiries
Aman Bhamra -IHPME Reception (ihpme.utoronto.ca, Tel 416-978-4326)

IHPME Director’s Office
Elizabeth Wulf -Executive Assistant, Tel 416-978-2047

DLSPH Advancement
For the week of March 16-20, 2020, DLSPH Advancement will have a staff person in daily and will then transition to remote operations.  Any advancement-related inquiries should be made to the DLSPH Director of Advancement at annette.paul@utoronto.ca.

DLSPH Communications
DLSPH Communications has transitioned to remote operations. For all matters related to the IHPME website, social media, etc., please contact: communications.dlsph@utoronto.ca

IHPME Program Administrative Support
Program Admin Support will transition to remote operations effective Tuesday March 17, 2020.  Please note the relevant contacts below:

  • Clinical Epidemiology -MSc/PhD

Program Director: Rob Fowler  rob.fowler@sunnybrook.ca
Associate Director: Jill Tinmouth     jill.tinmouth@sunnybrook.ca
Graduate Assistant: Zoe Downie-Ross   clinepi.grad@utoronto.ca, Tel 416-946-3486

  • Health Professions Education Research -PhD

Program Director: Maria Mylopoulos    maria.mylopoulos@utoronto.ca
Graduate/Program Assistant: Cheryl Ku     ihpme.hper@utoronto.ca, Tel 416-340-4219

  • Health Services Research – MSc/PhD

Program Director: Audrey Laporte   audrey.laporte@utoronto.ca, Tel 416-946-7386
Graduate Assistant: Kerstin Giannini      ihpme.hsr.grad@utoronto.ca, Tel 416-946-4100

  • Quality Improvement and Patient Safety- MSc

Program Director: Christine Shea        christine.shea@utoronto.ca
Graduate Assistant: Christina Lopez      ihpme.qips.grad@utoronto.ca,  Tel 416-978-1108

  • System Leadership & Innovation – MSc

Program Director: Abi Sriharan     abi.sriharan@utoronto.ca
Graduate Assistant: Christina Lopez      ihpme.sli.grad@utoronto.ca, Tel 416-978-1108

  • Health Administration – MHSc

Program Director: Tina Smith        tina.smith@utoronto.ca
Graduate Assistant: Kerstin Giannini       ihpme.mhsc.grad@utoronto.ca, Tel 416-946-4100

  • Health Informatics- MHI

Program Director: Julia Zarb      julia.zarb@utoronto.ca
Graduate Assistant: Zoe Downie-Ross    ihpme.mhi.grad@utoronto.ca, Tel  416-946-3486

IHPME HR/Finance

The staff within the IHPME HR/Finance office will transition to remote operations effective Tuesday, March 17 at 1:00 p.m.  Please note: during this time, the University is accepting email signatures and scanned copies/pictures of receipts, with the original signature and receipts to be collected at a later time.  During this time, you may contact the following staff:

Maggie Yi (maggie.yi@utoronto.ca, Tel 416-978-8378

  • Casual Hires
  • Invoices / Accounts payables
  • Research Grant queries (awarded & administered at UofT)
  • Expense reimbursement policies
  • Deposits (cheques)

Anne-Louise Pontigon (ihpme.appointments@utoronto.ca, Tel 416-978-8384

  • Post-Doc Hires
  • Sessional Hires
  • Status only and Adjunct faculty appointments

Aman Bhamra (ihpme.utoronto.ca)

  • Expense reimbursements

Pierre Lee (pierre.lee@utoronto.ca) as interim support until the full time IHPME Business Manager commences on April 6 (contact info to follow).

  • Appointed Staff
  • Service Contracts

IHPME Graduate Office Contacts

Final Oral Exams (FOE)

Kerstin Giannini – HSR

 

Zoe Downie-Ross – CEHCR

ihpme.hsr.grad@utoronto.ca

clinepi.grad@utoronto.ca

Registration, Fees, Funding Package

Kerstin Giannini – HSR, MHSc

 

Zoe Downie-Ross – CEHCR, MHI

Christina Lopez – SLI, QIPS

Ihpme.hsr.grad@utoronto.ca

 

Clinepi.grad@utoronto.ca

ihpme.sli.grad@utoronto.ca

Fall 2020 Admissions  As Above, by Program  As Above, by Program
Winter 2020 Course Evaluations Anne Louise Pontingon – All Programs

Ihpme.appointments@utoronto.ca

 

Winter 2020 Grade Submission

Anita Morehouse – HSR, MHSc

Aileen O’Dowd – MHI, CEHCR

Devrim Sen – SLI, QIPS

Ihpme.hsr.program@utoronto.ca

Ihpme.mhi.program@utoronto.ca

Ihpme.sli.program@utoronto.ca

Awards (OGS, Bursaries, School Prizes) Zoe Downie-Ross – All Program  Clinepi.grad@utoronto.ca
Summer 2020 Timetable and Course Enrolment

Anita Morehouse – HSR, MHSc

Aileen O’Dowd – MHI, CEHCR

Devrim Sen – SLI, QIPS

Ihpme.hsr.program@utoronto.ca

Ihpme.mhi.program@utoronto.ca

Ihpme.sli.program@utoronto.ca

June Convocation Aman Bharma  ihpme.utoronto.ca
General inquiries Whitney Berta – All Programs  Whit.berta@utoronto.ca

IHPME IT Office
For on-line course delivery, via Blackboard Collaborate or Zoom, please contact the following:

For user log-in issues, UofT VPN inquiries, remote desktop connections, access to shared drives, listserv queries, one drive support, user management for generic emails, etc., please contact Mr. Sumeet Sheoran at sumeet.sheoran@utoronto.ca or 416-978-1538.

DLSPH Research Office
The DLSPH Office of Research has transitioned to remote operations and are available to help the DLSPH community with their ongoing research needs.  Please reach out to us with questions. We ask for advance notice of deadlines in order to manage priorities.

Emergency Contacts
Audrey Laporte audrey.laporte@utoronto.ca; 416-946-7386 (direct)
Whitney Berta whit.berta@utoronto.ca

Please ensure that if you have been issued a fob and/or key(s) to the HSB; keep these with you at all times to ensure that you can gain access to IHPME faculty, staff, and students areas and the building.

Audrey Laporte
Professor and Director
Institute of Health Policy, Management & Evaluation
Dalla Lana School of Public Health

Robin Hurst
Chief Administrative Officer
Dalla Lana School of Public Health

Instructor Update: Course Changes Needing a Vote: March 16, 2020

As you implement your academic continuity plan, please note that some actions/changes require a class vote. A comprehensive table defining which changes can be made by the instructor only vs class vote vs declaring academic disruption is available on the Provost website: https://memos.provost.utoronto.ca/covid-19-planning-for-completing-courses-this-term-pdadc-50/.

Most relevant for some of you is if you reweight the method(s) of evaluation for your course. From the Grading Practices Policy (https://governingcouncil.utoronto.ca/secretariat/policies/grading-practices-policy-university-assessment-and-january-26-2012):

“1.3. Changes to the method of evaluation
For both undergraduate and graduate courses, after the methods of evaluation have been made known, the instructor may not change them or their relative weight without the consent of a simple majority of students attending the class, provided the vote is announced no later than in the previous class. Any changes must be reported to the division or the department, or in the case of graduate courses, the graduate unit. The only exception to this is in the case of the declaration of a disruption.”

The easiest way to hold an online vote is:

  1. a) announce the vote (course website and email)
  2. b) open Quercus survey or quiz worth 0 points
  3. c) put proposed change to the assessment
  4. d) open vote
  5. e) end for vote by next class meeting date had the class be in-person. Once vote is closed, it is the majority of students who have voted who determine the outcome of the vote. Then inform students vote has taken place and the result.

Also note the following rules that are being relaxed:

  • Instructors can consider evaluation other than online exam; we are encouraging turning these to take home exams. You can also:
    • Change weighting of assessment through vote
    • Change exam to assignment (or other assessment) due the date of the exam
  • Deans with undergraduate programs have changed/extended drop dates; our Dean is also allowed to make this change for graduate programs. This extension of the drop date may be important for students struggling in courses who may want to drop if the assessments are reweighted
  • The limit on the number of Credit/No-credit courses a student has on their transcript has been lifted. This means you can change your course from letter grading to credit/no credit (following the process to make that happen)

For more information, please contact: Dionne Gesink or consult your program contact:

HSR: Audrey Laporte audrey.laporte@utoronto.ca

Clinical Epidemiology: Rob Fowler rob.fowler@sunnybrook.ca; Jill Tinmouth jill.tinmouth@sunnybrook.ca

MHSc: Tina Smith tina.smith@utoronto.ca

SLI: Abi Sriharan abi.sriharan@utoronto.ca

MHI: Julia Zarb julia.zarb@utoronto.ca

QIPS: Christine Shea christine.shea@utoronto.ca

Academic Update by Professor Dionne Gesink, Acting, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs: March 16, 2020

Your course instructors have been working to ensure your academic continuity by developing new plans for course delivery now that in-person classes have been cancelled. They will communicate the new plan to you, if they have not already.

International Students:

We understand that many international DLSPH graduate students are faced with difficult decisions regarding whether to return home, given the increasing challenges with international travel. We have decided that DLSPH graduate students will not be required to return to the St. George campus for the remainder of the Winter 2020 session. Course Instructors will provide more information regarding completion of term work and exams.

Accessibility Services:

Students registered with Accessibility Services should continue to contact Accessibility Services to receive accommodations and supports.

Current Practicum Placements:

We are working on a practicum placement plan for the current term. As we sort this out, please also talk with your practicum supervisor about a work continuity plan, including at what point in-person work will no longer be possible and whether the practicum can continue remotely.

The VPs of Education at the TAHSN hospitals decided to pause all practicum placements in their hospitals for three weeks – until April 6, 2020. Please confirm with your practicum supervisor regarding host institution’s procedure and planning and keep your practicum placement coordinator at DLSPH up-to-date on your situation.

Click here for information for DLSPH graduate students with activities in hospital-based research facilities.

Spring/Summer Practicum Placements:

We are working on a practicum placement plan for the spring/summer term. All International placements schedule for the spring/summer have been cancelled. If you already have a practicum in place for the spring/summer, please talk with your practicum supervisor about work continuity, including the host institution’s procedure and planning. Again, please keep your practicum placement coordinator at DLSPH up-to-date on your situation.

Spring/Summer Courses:

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, summer session classes may be delivered via a method other than in-person instruction (including online platforms) for part or all of the term. A final determination of delivery mode will be made by April 20 for spring and summer courses, and by June 13 for summer-only courses. Decisions regarding courses that cannot be accommodated online or that are to be cancelled will be communicated to students who have registered in those courses.

Mental Health:

We know this is a complicated and stressful time. Please know that supports continue to be available to you, including through My Student Support Program (My SSP) and Good2Talk Student Helpline (1-866-925-5454). Please consider bookmarking the UofT StudentLife website that provides links to other resources.

 For more information please consult your program contact:

HSR: Audrey Laporte audrey.laporte@utoronto.ca

Clinical Epidemiology: Rob Fowler rob.fowler@sunnybrook.ca; Jill Tinmouth jill.tinmouth@sunnybrook.ca

MHSc: Tina Smith tina.smith@utoronto.ca

SLI: Abi Sriharan abi.sriharan@utoronto.ca

MHI: Julia Zarb julia.zarb@utoronto.ca

QIPS: Christine Shea christine.shea@utoronto.ca

Faculty & Staff update Telecommuniting at DLSPH: March 14, 2020

As per the Provost’s memo, we are encouraging faculty and staff to telecommute and ask managers and supervisors to be as flexible as possible in proactively implementing or granting requests for telecommuting where operationally possible. Employees should report to work as normal unless they have notified their managers or have already received approval for working on a rotational basis at present.

Please consult the memo below for more information.

For managers and supervisors, contact the DLSPH Dean’s Office with any questions.

We will continue to inform you as the situation evolves and we thank you for your cooperation.

Telecommuting

We are 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.

Those Affected by Child Care and School Closures

We understand that many parents and caregivers are experiencing anxiety around childcare considering the many March Break camp cancellations and the closure of many schools and daycare centres across the province.

If employees are unable to secure childcare, they may utilize the following options:

  • Request to work from home and telecommute (if the duties of their job and their childcare responsibilities allow).
  • Use personal / flex days in accordance with their employment policy or collective agreement.
  • Access overtime banks.
  • Request to use vacation days. Any limits on using yet-to-be-accrued vacation are waived at this time.

We ask Managers, Chairs, and Department Heads to approve these requests wherever possible.

Sick Leave Policy

At this time, public health authorities recommend that at-risk individuals, or individuals who have travelled internationally, undergo self-isolation for a period of up to fourteen (14) days. Many of our employees have sick leave provisions in their respective collective agreement or employment policies that sufficiently address such absences. The University has, on an exceptional basis, agreed to temporarily modify and/or improve upon existing provisions for absences specifically related to COVID-19.

 Guidelines on Employee Absences Due to COVID-19, including processing instructions for HR professionals and business / payroll officers, will be distributed next week.

Continuity of Pay

The University is committed to ensuring that all faculty, librarians, and staff will continue to be compensated in the event of any event cancellations, programming reductions, government required shutdowns, or any other operational closures for the next three-week period. More details on how this will be operationalized will be shared by the Division of Human Resources & Equity with managers and impacted employees in the coming days.

If you are planning operational changes or need to close due to operational reasons, please advise your Unit or Division Head and contact your Divisional HR Office.

Coping with Stress

We know this is a difficult time. Please know that supports continue to be available to you, including the University’s Employee & Family Assistance Program. The Division of HR & Equity has compiled a list of other resources available to the community on their website; this list will be updated frequently. As a reminder, students have access to My SSP and other resources.

If you have broader questions relating to COVID-19 and the University’s planning, we encourage you to visit the University’s COVID-19 website. If you have HR-related questions about COVID-19, please visit the HR & Equity COVID-19 website.

A Letter From Senior Leadership: March 16, 2020

Dear Students, Faculty & Staff,

We continue to monitor the development of the COVID-19 pandemic and are working in partnership with the Provost’s Office on a coordinated response for students, faculty and staff.

To balance the continuity of our academic and business activities while reducing the risk of transmission by observing social distancing guidelines, please note the following procedures:

Classes, Practica & Exams

The University announced on March 13 that it is cancelling in-person undergraduate and research-stream Masters and Doctoral classes across its three campuses. The decision on professional graduate classes is being left up to each faculty.

After careful consideration, the DLSPH (including both PHS and IHPME) will be cancelling all in-person classes and Instructors will implement their academic continuity plan by March 16. Instructors will communicate that plan to their classes directly. In-person classes are cancelled until April 3 at which time we will re-evaluate how to continue forward.

We are working with IT resources within the School to ensure we can support all required classes and seminars online so students can complete their classes this academic year. Additional IT human resources will be available to support faculty both in-person and online.

Instructions on how PHS faculty can access support for preparing online lectures will be shared later today. For questions, please contact Obadiah George.

IHPME faculty seeking IT support to prepare online lectures should contact:

The University will stay open during this time so that students can continue to access libraries, study space, residences, and cafeterias. This may be particularly helpful for students who need access to reliable internet.

Faculty and instructors with students and speakers travelling to Toronto for classes should contact these individuals immediately to let them know about the change in class format.

Practicum placements are still going forward for as long as possible. All practica placement leads across the School are working in partnership with the University to develop appropriate recommendations based on each practica environment. Students should discuss a work continuity plan with their practicum supervisor:

We will follow recommendations from the University’s Academic Continuity Committee on issues related to academic completeness, including: exams, unfinished practica, changes to existing grading schemes, and student funding.

Events

All discretionary events  — including public lectures, alumni events, receptions, panels, etc. — will be moved online, postponed or cancelled until June 1, 2020. This includes all faculty, alumni, and student-run events, regardless of who is organizing the event. If you are hosting an event, please communicate with your attendees about cancellation, rescheduling, or a change in format to online delivery.

Please check the status of off-campus events and activities with the event organizer.

Meetings

Since many of our faculty members are based in health-care settings, it’s important for the School to conduct faculty and other regularly scheduled large meetings via teleconference.

I encourage all meeting organizers to offer an online/phone option and ask folks to exercise judgment and caution when attending in-person meetings.

Travel

As per Canada’s travel advisories, Canadians should not do any non-essential travel outside of Canada.

Anyone coming in or returning from specific list of countries should go into 14 days of self-isolation, this may be broadened over time to anyone coming into the country.

All work-related travel before June 1, 2020 should be cancelled, including both domestic and international. Please discuss exceptional circumstances with Steini Brown.

All Global Health placements will be cancelled until June 1, 2020.

We all need to practice basic protective measures against COVID-19. Please consider the following tips from Toronto Public Health.

We will share additional updates at regular intervals so please check email throughout this evolving situation. As is the nature of pandemics, we expect the situation to change quickly so we ask everyone to remain flexible and responsive.

Please contact the DLSPH Dean’s Office with any questions related to COVID-19 and consult the following links for more information:


Teaching support: https://memos.provost.utoronto.ca/covid-19-planning-for-completing-courses-this-term-pdadc-50/

Status on COVID-19 Measures at U of T: https://www.utoronto.ca/message-from-the-university-regarding-the-coronavirus#response

U of T FAQ about COVID-19: https://www.utoronto.ca/message-from-the-university-regarding-the-coronavirus/faqs


I know that some of the changes we will need to make will be a bit bumpy for all involved but please bear with us. I know that we will be able to work through this challenging time and maintain academic continuity.

Sincerely,

Adalsteinn Brown
Professor and Dean
Dalla Lana School of Public Health

France Gagnon
Professor and Associate Dean, Research (Acting Dean)
Dalla Lana School of Public Health

For more information, please visit the DLSPH website