Ontario universities and colleges need to prepare for a normal fall – with backup plans – .

Ontario universities and colleges need to prepare for a normal fall – with backup plans – .

Ontario colleges and universities should prepare for all classes and in-person activities to resume this fall with no capacity limits or physical distancing requirements, according to the government.
However, the Ministry of Colleges and Universities has told institutions to have plans for how learning will continue in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak.

“While we need to remain vigilant and responsive to the trajectory of COVID-19, I am optimistic that the (post-secondary) sector will pick up on many of the cherished in-person experiences that have been on hold for so long,” said the deputy minister. Shelley Tapp wrote in a recent note to institutions.

Tapp said it was “expected” that all in-person instruction and campus activities would be permitted again this fall, after more than a year since their hiatus due to the pandemic.

Universities and colleges will still need to follow all public health and workplace safety rules, including requiring masks indoors, Tapp said.

Schools will always have the option of offering education in a variety of ways that best meet their needs, Tapp wrote, including virtual and hybrid models.

In the event of a COVID-19 outbreak, facilities should have an “education continuity” plan ready by September, including information on emergency health protocols and how to teaching will continue if in-person learning is disrupted.

Specific ministry guidelines on measures such as masks, screening and cleaning are expected to be released in early August.

The ministry is encouraging schools to use rapid antigen tests for routine screening of asymptomatic people, as well as monitoring wastewater for levels of COVID-19.


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