COVID-19 Update: March 13, 2020 | 3:30 pm

To all Engineering students, staff and faculty

I know the last few weeks, and especially the past few days, have been really hectic, unpredictable, and frankly confusing.

The COVID-19 situation is moving really quickly and I know that this has affected each and every one of us, both academically and personally.  

I want to be really open and clear in sharing what is going on, because it is such a quickly evolving situation.

Since my note this earlier morning, I’d like to answer questions that many of you have raised — and in particular to thank you for being frank in your comments.

  • Physical lab spaces — including computing (ECF) labs and undergraduate teaching labs and makerspaces (Myhal Light Fabrication Facility) where people gather — will be closed. Research laboratories overseen by faculty members will remain open.
  • At this time, students are encouraged to stay home or in residence and access course content online. We may all still be back on campus for exams after April 9 — I’ll let everyone know what is happening around final exams as I find out more from the University.
  • I’m asking managers and chairs to be flexible in accommodating staff requests to work from home where it’s feasible for them to do so. For faculty and staff — info on how to set yourself up to work remotely are here:

I will also be sending out a separate email directly to faculty, instructors and TAs outlining some ideas and options for alternative ways to deliver your course content.

Students, please keep checking Quercus for updates on your courses.

Everyone at the University is trying to make decisions that protect our health and wellness, and that uphold continuity as best we can. This is really a complex and unprecedented situation — and we know that we’re not going to get every single thing right.

We are trying to be flexible and make good calls — adaptability is key.

I’ll provide updates as soon as I get them and keep everyone in the loop.

I thank everyone for all your efforts in helping us manage through this very weird situation.


Christopher Yip
Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering
University of Toronto