University continues to refrain from posting updated COVID-19 case counts
The Ryerson Faculty Association (RFA) has been made aware of 17 COVID-19 cases to date, an increase of 11 since the Ryersonian’s last update in October.
The most recent of the 17 cases was reported on Jan. 6 and references a person who tested positive for COVID-19 being on campus on Dec. 23, 2020, said RFA president Ian Sakinofsky via email.
“The RFA is not informed of COVID-19 positive persons having been on campus,” Sakinofsky said. “When we do learn that Ryerson’s Health and Safety Team has provided an advisory notification we do inform our membership.”
CUPE Local 3094, the contract academics union, is not aware of any COVID-19 cases involving its members, according to president John Girardo. The association has been in contact with the RFA, he said, and supports the position that the university needs to be more transparent when reporting COVID-19 cases on campus.
“As part of the Campus Coalition of Ryerson’s labour and student unions, we have asked the university for more information about the specific locations on campus where known cases have been detected,” Girardo said via email to the Ryersonian. “We will continue to ask management to communicate more transparently with us in order to better inform and serve our members.”
When asked why regular press releases or announcements from the university have not been made in regards to these new COVID-19 cases, a Ryerson spokesperson said the university’s main priority is contacting and supporting community members who may have been in contact with the virus and ensuring their privacy.
“This allows the university to slow the spread of COVID-19 within our immediate community and supports impacted individuals in assessing their own individual risk,” the spokesperson said. “The privacy and confidentiality of our community members is of utmost importance for Ryerson. With so few people on our campus it’s important that we ensure their health information remains confidential.”
In light of the new provincial stay-at-home order, remote work continues wherever possible. Employee scheduling, maintaining physical distancing and a face mask policy remain the main strategies the university is utilizing to protect people on campus.