Tuesday, September 8, 2020

he University of Toronto is launching an online self-assessment web tool to help students, staff, faculty and librarians make informed decisions about coming to campus during COVID-19.

The tool, called UCheck, guides people through a COVID-19 symptom assessment. Questions include whether you are experiencing COVID-19-like symptoms, have travelled outside of the country or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

UCheck is being launched Sept. 8 and will be available for the duration of the pandemic. It only takes a few minutes to fill out and can be accessed via smartphone, tablet or computer.

“As the province reopens and we gradually return to campus, we need to remain vigilant and remember that we have a shared responsibility to keep each other and the community safe,” says Kelly Hannah-Moffat, U of T’s vice-president, human resources and equity.

“UCheck is one of several new initiatives the university has implemented in recent months to limit the spread of the coronavirus.”

Other preventative measures implemented by U of T include offering a remote option for more than 90 per cent of undergraduate courses, enhanced cleaning, reduced occupancy in buildings, disinfecting public spaces and making changes to the physical environment across the three campuses to promote distancing. U of T’s mask policy, meanwhile, calls for non-medical masks or other face coverings to be worn in all indoor public areas. To help facilitate compliance, U of T is providing students, staff, faculty and librarians with two non-medical masks each.

As for UCheck, users can log in using a UTORid. The U of T community is strongly encouraged to complete a self-assessment on a regular basis, even though it is not mandatory. For most students, staff, faculty and librarians, that means completing the self-assessment every time you visit the campus. Students living in residence and others who regularly work on campus should complete the self-assessment daily. Regardless of whether you use UCheck, it is critical that you don’t come to campus if you have any symptoms related to COVID-19.

It’s recommended that you check your status once every five days, even if you are not visiting the campus.

Upon completing a UCheck form, users will either receive a green notifier, signaling that they are OK to visit campus, or a red notifier, meaning that before coming to campus they should immediately contact a manager, supervisor or academic administrator to determine next steps.

Students who receive a red notifier should not come to campus. Students who live in residence should not leave their residence rooms and are asked to contact residence staff.

Anyone who has symptoms is also advised to refer to the Ontario Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 page for further direction and to find a local assessment centre.

Students should also complete the illness self-declaration form on ACORN. Students may also contact their registrar to request academic accommodation.

Anyone that requires additional health information is encouraged to reach out to: Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000, their local health-care practitioner or, for students, their campus health centre:

  • St. George: 416-978-8030
  • U of T Scarborough: 416-287-7065 
  • U of T Mississauga: 905-828-5255

All self-assessment responses will be kept confidential and will not be received by the university. The data collected through the platform is encrypted and stored within Canada. The web portal was developed in partnership with Thrive Health, a B.C.-based health-care technology company with experience handling sensitive data. The company exceeds data security and privacy standards for handling health information safely and are the developers of the Canada COVID-19 app, which they built in partnership with Health Canada.

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.  

Sandy Welsh, U of T’s vice-provost, students, says UCheck is one of the many ways the university aims to support students this fall.

“It’s important that we each do our part to slow the spread of COVID-19,” she says. “We’re all in this together.”

Access the UCheck self-screening tool here

Republished from U of T News