In line with provincial regulation and public health guidance, the University of Toronto is requiring anyone coming to one of its three campuses to complete a COVID-19 health screening by conducting a self-assessment each day before they visit.
UCheck, the university’s online self-assessment tool introduced in September, is the easiest and most secure way to complete a self-assessment. UCheck asks users questions such as whether they are experiencing COVID-19-like symptoms, have travelled outside Canada or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
Members of the U of T community who don’t have access to a computer, smartphone or tablet, or choose not to use UCheck, can instead use a paper-based or offline assessment log to track their self-assessments. Offline forms can be downloaded from U of T’s COVID-19 self-assessment website. Employees who can’t download the log should contact their manager or supervisor for a paper version.
“We know that one way we can limit the spread of COVD-19 is to monitor our health and stay home if we have symptoms,” said Cheryl Regehr, U of T’s vice-president and provost. “By taking just a few minutes to complete a self-assessment each time they visit campus, students, faculty and staff can help safeguard their own health while also contributing to the broader goal of curtailing the spread of the virus in the community.”
The new requirement is one of many measures the university has in place to respond the COVID-19 pandemic. While the move applies to all those who come to campus, most of U of T’s faculty, librarians, staff and students continue to work and study remotely.
Individuals who complete a UCheck self-assessment will either receive a green risk status, indicating that they are OK to visit campus, or a red risk status, signalling that must not come to campus. In the event of a red risk status, users are also provided with information about next steps and links to further information. Individual responses to the UCheck self-assessment questions are not accessible by anyone at the university. Those using a paper-based or offline tool will answer the same questions and record a similar green or red status.
Kelly Hannah-Moffat, U of T’s vice-president, human resources and equity, said required self-assessments will make it easier for managers and supervisors to determine next steps in the event that faculty, staff or librarians are deemed to be at risk.
“The vast majority of our faculty, staff and librarians at the University of Toronto are working remotely wherever possible, but some employees have returned to campus to support our students and research activities,” Hannah-Moffat said. “It is imperative that all individuals complete a self-assessment each time they come on-site. This is a simple yet effective way for us to contribute to a healthy working environment on all our campuses.”
The university will continue to work to educate members of the community about UCheck and other ways to complete required self-assessments, as well as other measures being taken to keep people safe and healthy during the pandemic.
UCheck is not a contact tracing or exposure notification app. Members of the U of T community are encouraged to install Canada’s COVID Alert app, which provides potential exposure notifications.
U of T community members who require additional health information are encouraged to call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000, their local health-care practitioner or, for students, their campus health centre at:
• St. George: 416-978-8030
• U of T Scarborough: 416-287-7065
• U of T Mississauga: 905-828-5255
This article was originally published by UofT News on October 26, 2020; reprinted with permission.