Here’s how Ontario’s new restrictions affect Ryerson

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By Alexandra Holyk

Ryerson community members are asked to continue refraining from coming to campus unless it’s necessary, after Premier Doug Ford unveiled new restrictions on Jan. 12, in addition to Ontario’s ongoing lockdown.

The province’s new restrictions include a stay-at-home order, similar to that seen during the first wave of the pandemic. Ontario residents are required to stay home except for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, attending medical appointments and exercise. Employees who aren’t able to work from home can go to work, as well. 

In a statement published on Ryerson Today on Jan. 13, university president Mohamed Lachemi urged community members to stay home and adhere to the province’s guidelines. He also advised that students who previously had in-person classes and/or activities check with their supervisors ahead of coming to campus. 

“While Ryerson University is already compliant with much of the direction outlined in the stay-at-home order, there may be changes to your access to campus as well as requirements for the use of masks,” Lachemi stated.

Faculty members who were previously approved to work on campus for teaching or administrative purposes must go through the review process conducted by their respective supervisors again. Approvals will be granted only in exceptional circumstances, according to Ryerson’s website.

Staff members are also advised to stay home unless their duties are deemed essential. This includes those working in the campus store; Scholarly, Research and Creative (SRC) activities; residence buildings; the Medical Centre; the OneCard office; and Facilities and Management Development (FMD), with custodial staff coming to campus on a daily basis.

In an email to The Eyeopener, the university said FMD staff continue to come to campus every day because they’re required to maintain infrastructure and clean areas in which ongoing research and teaching activities are taking place under the provincial guidelines.

Campus buildings are solely accessible via OneCard, and only individuals who have appointments or classes are permitted to enter, according to the university. 

In an email to Ryerson Students’ Union’s (RSU) student groups, course unions and affiliate groups, executive director Reanna Maharaj said she and financial controller Priya Paul will be able to access the RSU offices for emergencies only. This means that the reimbursement period for groups will be delayed, however, Maharaj encourages students to submit their cheque requisition forms as per usual. 

“At this point in time, I cannot confirm how long the delay will be, but I will provide updates as they become available,” Maharaj wrote.

The email from the university also states that students returning after travelling out-of-province are required to self-isolate for 14 days. Ryerson’s Housing & Residence Life team is supporting these students, as well as those experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, by providing them with the necessary accommodations, including food services delivered to their dorm room.

For community members who are coming to campus for essential reasons, Lachemi’s statement outlines the following guidelines: individuals are required to adhere to Ryerson’s mask use guidelines; faculty and staff are required to complete and pass the health screening form daily before coming to campus; students coming for in-person instruction must complete a self-assessment before arriving; and should a Ryerson community member approved to be on campus come down with COVID-19, they must fill out a self-declaration form.

“Please, whenever possible, stay home,” Lachemi said in the statement. “We all need to continue to do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our city and our province.”

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