Community Update #11 COVID-19- Activity Update

The purpose of this communication is to provide the community with an update on the various activities the University is currently undertaking or initiating, to help mitigate and manage COVID-19 on our campuses.

York Campuses: While the University is moving courses online effective Monday, campuses remain open.

What’s open: libraries; study areas; residences; food services

What’s closed: athletic facilities (Tait McKenzie Centre and Glendon Athletic Club)


Following an earlier message announcing the cancellation or postponement of all non-essential events the University is now cancelling or postponing all on-campus events with over 250 attendees to align with new directions from Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer.


The Government of Canada recently issued an updated global travel advisory advising everyone to avoid if possible all non-essential travel outside of Canada until further notice.

In response, the University is strongly recommending that faculty and contract faculty, staff and students follow this advisory. In addition, the University has cancelled all international travel for all University sanctioned programs and activities, as well as all other University business travel, until June 1, 2020.

Childcare Arrangements:

This coming week is March Break. We understand that with the recent announcement of many daycare closures and other holiday programming closures such as day camps or the need to change travel plans, may be posing a number of childcare challenges for faculty and staff.

The University is committed to being as flexible as possible in responding to these needs. This includes accommodating the need to be at home by readily granting accrued vacation time, where possible, and other options, including allowing employees to work from home in order to help manage these child-care circumstances. Please contact your Manager to discuss challenges you may be facing and the options that may be available to you.

Please be aware that York University is unable to accommodate children being at work with their parents or primary care givers on our campuses.

York’s Employee and Family Assistance Program can provide helpful information including childcare resources. or 1-800-268-5211. TTY service is available at 1-800-363-6270.

Working from Home:

As noted in President Lenton’s March 13 update, York is providing managers with the flexibility to determine whether employees might be able to work from home during this challenging time. Please speak with your Manager to discuss further.

Medical Notes:

Staff and faculty are expected to stay home when ill and follow government advice regarding self isolation. If you are:

  • Unwell: Stay home. Use sick time if available, or other forms of paid or unpaid leave to recover and follow public health and advice in seeking health care as needed;
  • Required to self-isolate: use your sick time or request work from home, if feasible; please speak with your manager to discuss.

In order to prevent overburdening the health system, the University is also suspending the usual requirement for medical notes. For staff/faculty absences of under fifteen days no physician’s note is required.

The current notification process for medical leaves and the submission of required medical documentation for absences of over fifteen days remain in place in order to support absence, accommodation and clearance to return to work.

As the situation changes, we will continue to keep the York community informed. Please visit our dedicated website for the latest information.

Be well. Be safe and look out for one another.

Samina Sami
Executive Director
Community Safety