Community Update #21 COVID-19 - Essential Services Provincial Announcement has no Impact on University Operations

On Monday March 23, 2020 the Ontario government announced mandatory closure of all non-essential workplaces, except for a list of essential services, effective midnight March 24th.

The government indicated that all businesses that can continue working remotely or online should continue to do so. This includes universities continuing to deliver courses online and remotely.

No Impact to York University’s Required Services Model

After carefully reviewing the government’s announcement, we have determined that York University’s required services model plan is in alignment with the announcement, and no changes are required to our current approach at this time. As a result, the University will continue to operate remotely/online as previously communicated, with designated required services continuing to operate on campus.

Services explicitly listed by the province as exempted from the mandatory closure, will continue to operate, for example: security, food services, support to student residences, maintenance, fire prevention, grounds, custodial, energy management, mail delivery, research, human resources, finance, advancement, and information technology support will continue. Some of the functions associated with these services cannot be performed remotely and therefore some of the staff supporting such functions will need to continue to come to our campuses to work.  All necessary safety precautions will be taken and continuously assessed.

Student Residences and Services

 Residences will remain open for those students who have identified that they are not able to return home at this time. Residence staff will continue to support those students living on our campuses.

Academic Continuity

Since March 16, 2020, all face-to-face instruction has been cancelled and moved to remote/online formats.  Also, all in-person exams during York University’s formal exam period of April 7-25, 2020, were transitioned to alternative methods to help stop the community-based spread of COVID-19 and to prevent large gatherings.


 As of Friday, March 20, 2020, only those research labs that are conducting critical COVID-19 related research and time-sensitive critical projects with exemptions are continuing. For any research projects that have received an exemption to continue, the University is requiring social distancing as a measure to help disrupt the chain of transmission of COVID-19 in an effort to protect vulnerable individuals and to reduce overburden on our healthcare system.

For all the latest information, please visit the dedicated COVID-19 website.

These are extraordinary challenging times and we want to thank each of you for your flexibility, perseverance and commitment to the safety of York community members that you continue to show each day.

Samina Sami

Executive Director

Community Safety