Toronto relaxes COVID-19 rink rules as winter activities move ‘toward normal’
The University of Toronto and Ryerson University have updated the COVID-19 rules for its ice rinks, allowing them to reopen at an accelerated pace.
The school opened its gymnasium at the University of Toronto this week after a six-week hiatus, which had been part of a phased return to normal life, including classes.
The facility reopened on Wednesday, May 28.
The school was allowed to open its five rinks on May 28, May 31, June 1, June 4 and June 11, instead of the required three days.
The move was made in order to help students avoid public exposure, as well as to help the city’s health care system reduce its need for hospital rooms.
But university officials are now concerned that by allowing the rinks to open sooner, students may be more likely to interact with people who may have COVID-19, which is a serious, potentially fatal respiratory infection.
The school’s hockey team, the Toronto Marlies, has also been permitted to open on a later date.
The ice rinks have now both reopened. However, there is no change in the school’s policy on any students who are suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19.
University president Meric Gertler said the decision to reopen the rinks was made by the provost.
Gertler said in a news release that students will still be isolated from other students in class during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The change to the school’s new COVID-19 guidelines follows the recommendation by Toronto Public Health, which decided in late April that there was no need to continue to cancel classes, but rather to allow students to be back in their classes. (RELATED: Ontario government will be monitoring classes, including University of Toronto’s, but student activities to remain as they are)
“The change to our COVID-19 guidelines was guided by the advice received from Public Health and our school-led COVID-19 response plan,” said Gertler.
The school will also be monitoring if students have COVID-19 symptoms in order to provide additional health services and resources.
The school had expected that