Here are some campus news highlights for the week.
Reporter and host: Swidda Rassy
Photo and graphics editor: Claudia Latino
Executive producer: Rida Khan
Here are some campus news highlights for the week.
Reporter and host: Swidda Rassy
Photo and graphics editor: Claudia Latino
Executive producer: Rida Khan
On Sept. 25, the Rams men’s soccer team will kick off its season with a game against local rivals, the University of Toronto Varsity Blues at Varsity Stadium. After a lost season in 2020 due to COVID-19, the team will be looking to get off on the right foot.
Captain and fifth-year veteran Abdallah EL-Chanti said this is the biggest derby in Ontario University Athletics (OUA). “The battle of The Six is what we call it. Both teams have been rivals for so long.”
The Varsity Blues ended the Rams season in 2019 during the OUA playoffs, beating them 3-1 and keeping them out of the final four for the first time since 2012. EL-Chanti scored the team’s only goal in the 67th minute.
EL-Chanti said the Rams will try to keep it simple for the first 10 minutes before putting pressure on the Varsity Blues.
“We haven’t played an OUA game in nearly two years,” said EL-Chanti. “So we’ll try to settle in and then take it to them. We always take it to the other team. We’ll attack, we will high-press them and we want to score early.”
As confident as the team is, they haven’t had their normal pre-season. Normally the team would have a week-long training camp retreat before the season begins, travelling within Ontario or even to Montreal. This year they weren’t able to because of the pandemic. Instead they practised at Downsview Park, but even that was hampered by players carrying persistent injuries.
Head coach Filip Prostran said the team is navigating this season with ease despite the differences brought on by COVID-19, and that everyone is happy to have some semblance of an athletic routine.
Despite this, training has been a little tough leading up to the season opener. “As much as you want to be eager and go right away, you have to be mindful that some guys are at different points physically,” said Prostran. “Some guys have trained a lot, some guys not at all. Some haven’t seen a ball in a long time.”
Even with difficulties in the pre-season, the team still has very high expectations. Due to travelling and safety restrictions, the Rams have only 10 regular season games this year, much shorter than previous year’s 14 games. They will play University of Toronto, Nipissing, Algoma, Laurentian and McMaster this season, all twice in a row.
With the exception of their games against Algoma in Sault Ste. Marie, all games will be home and away splits, with each team playing one game on their home soil.
“The season is compounded this year,” Prostran said. “The most important thing is to build on the principles we’ve put forward through the team. In a perfect world we’re growing from game one onwards.”
Fifth-year goalkeeper Praveen Ahilan said the goal for Rams soccer is always winning the OUA and going to nationals. The team is young, having lost two graduating classes since they last played, but they’ve added 11 players over the last two recruiting classes.
A rivalry game will be a tough challenge for the team, but a good preview of the season to come. “We did lose a couple veterans. We’ve been playing exhibition games throughout the summer and pre-season,” says Ahilan. “I think we’re pretty prepared.”
First-year centre-back Thomas Maccarone thinks that squad depth will play a larger role this season. “The intensity is at the right level and it’s just a matter of everyone being able to step up. Injuries will play a big role this season.”
Maccarone is one of five new additions to the team from the 2021 recruiting class. Three of them — including Maccarone — played soccer with the North Toronto Nitros, which won the U18 Ontario Indoor Cup championship last year.
The Rams are coming into the season opener feeling prepared, but this season is set up to be gruelling.
“Over the past decade, we’ve been fortunate enough to be amongst the best teams in the country,” said Prostran. He said their goal is to build on where they left off nearly two years ago.
The Rams women’s soccer team is ready to embark on its 34th season of play after being sidelined for almost two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
During its last season of play in 2019, the team went 5-6-3 in the regular season. The team had a stout defence under the second season of Natalie Bukovec’s coaching, allowing the lowest number of goals in its history, at 18.
After beating the Nippising Lakers in the first round in a thrilling game that came down to penalty kicks, the team lost 5-0 to the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees in the quarterfinals — the furthest the team has ever made it in its history.
Since then, players have been following workout schedules sent to them by the team — although some have taken their own initiative to try to stay in shape and improve. Third-year midfielder Brooke Pearson, for example, went on runs; while second-year forward Shea Jeffery-Novak started doing CrossFit this year for strength training.
“It’s kind of like taking accountability for your own health. If you want to be a good player, then you have to take accountability for your fitness,” said Jeffery-Novak.
She wasn’t a part of the team, but had begun training with the Rams in February 2020, just before COVID shut everything down. She then trained on her own and was offered a spot.
Before coming to Ryerson, Jeffery-Novak had played for both Western Michigan University and Dalhousie University, where she scored three goals in 10 games with the Tigers. Playing for the Rams, she’s finally back home in Toronto.
She credits the easy adjustment to her teammates and the culture the Rams have created. Fourth-year midfielder Christiana Daniel in particular has been a friend to Jefferey-Novak, saying that they relate to each other on multiple levels outside of soccer.
Since the last Rams game, nine players have graduated from Ryerson. From there, the team has added 12 players, in addition to some who were on the team but didn’t play last season, adding another rookie class to the roster.
Third-year midfielder Brooke Pearson says she has been impressed by what she’s seen out of the new players so far.
“We definitely have lots of good players, either players who are going to develop over time and be good in their senior years, or players who are even ready to go this season,” Pearson said. “It’s always impressive to see people come out of high school and just be able to hop onto the first starting lineup like that.”
Pearson had an impressive second season, leading the team with five goals in 13 games. She was named OUA East Second-Team All-Star that season.
“There’s definitely that pressure to perform equally as good as two years ago and hopefully as a team get to the playoffs,” Pearson said. “I’m trying to absorb that pressure and just go in with a clear head because I know I’m not the same person I was two years ago.”
This season, due to the OUA’s adjusted structures plan as a result of the pandemic, the Rams are moving over to the Central Division in the OUA after competing in the East Division for 14 years.
The schedule has also been shortened, to 10 games this year from 14. Teams will follow a home and away schedule; they’ll play each opponent in a two-game series, taking turns hosting on their home pitch.
To begin their season, the Rams will face the University of Toronto Varsity Blues on Sept. 25 at Varsity Stadium, and then will play their first home game at Downsview Park the following weekend. Ryerson Athletics is permitting fans for that game.
The women’s team has never won a game against the Varsity Blues, losing 22 games over a 14-year stretch. Their last game against them led to a 1-1 tie, one of seven draws they’ve managed against U of T over that time. The Varsity Blues are ranked as the 10th-best women’s soccer team in the country by U SPORTS.
Other opponents on their schedule include familiar foes in the Nipissing Lakers and the Laurentian Voyageurs, as well as the McMaster Marauders and Algoma Thunderbirds. The Rams women’s soccer team has never played Algoma in its history, and has not played McMaster since 2012.
The team’s goal for the game against the Varsity Blues is simple: win.
“Both teams have lost seniors and good players, and both teams have gained good players so we just have to go in with a good mentality and forget that we always lose to them,” said Pearson. She says on-ball aggressiveness will be key.
Jeffery-Novak says that the team needs to set the bar high with this win.
“We’re tired of being embarrassed and just walking in there with this kind of underdog attitude. We’re tired of teams thinking that we’re kind of not great. The expectation is to go out there and just give everything that we have.”
Ryerson has formed a committee of nine medical experts to help plan for its proposed medical school in Brampton.
The goal of the senior medical advisory committee (SMAC) is to provide professional consultation towards the organization of the medical school’s learning environment, research interests and curriculum development.
The Ryerson School of Medicine is still in the beginning stages of development, and aims to advance health care in Ontario by focusing on primary care and expanding medical technology. The institute will also focus on the social determinants of health and providing adequate care to ageing populations and culturally diverse communities.
Dr. Andrew Padmos is the chair of the committee, and is also the chair of the Board of Directors of the Canadian International Health and Education Association (CIHEA) and a professor of medicine at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia. He was also previously the CEO and president of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada for over 10 years.
“The leadership that Dr. Padmos provides as chair of the Senior Medical Advisory Committee will be invaluable to ensuring that our medical school proposal meets the needs of health care in Peel region, while reflecting the current best practices in medical education and aligning with our university’s values,” Ryerson president Mohamed Lachemi said in a press release.
“We are fortunate to have his, and all of the members’ expertise and guidance, as we create our proposal for the future of health care in our province.”
Ryerson’s School of Journalism is allowing students and staff to take the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation off after the provincial government announced last week it will not be making it a statutory holiday in Ontario.
In an email sent on Sept. 22, the school said it will allow students to take Sept. 30 off and instructors to cancel their classes on that day.
“The leadership of the J-School recognizes that members of our community may still wish to observe this date in a fulsome and holistic way, particularly given the important and impactful conversations happening in our own school and at the university level around reconciliation,” said Michael Turco, the equity and inclusion adviser for the School of Journalism in the email.
Students must let their instructors know at least one day in advance if they are going to be absent, and instructors are encouraged to accommodate those students by moving deadlines to a future date.
“Alternatively, where possible, instructors are encouraged to find a moment during classes held that day to mark the occasion, and/or vary lesson plans to better align with the theme of the day,” Turco said.
On Sept. 17, the Office of the Vice-President of Equity and Community Inclusion responded to questions from On The Record in an email statement regarding how the university will be accommodating students and reconciliation on Sept. 30 despite the provincial government’s decision.
“While we are unaware of ‘days off’ for students, First Nations, Inuit, Métis, Canadian Indigenous students (or those who identify by nation or community) who are impacted can always reach out to Aboriginal Student Services (RASS) for support,” the OVPECI said. “The RASS team has many program services like traditional counselling, tutoring, academic support and referrals, peer support and more.”
The RASS did not respond when asked for comment.
University president Mohamed Lachemi told On The Record that the university is actively working towards reconciliation on an ongoing basis, noting that the renaming of the institution was a step in the right direction.
“The first step is our commitment to our relationships, both as an institution and as individual contributors to Indigenous community members, including students, faculty, and staff,” Lachemi said. “We value and strive to adopt a relationship model based on respecting simplicity, accountability, transparency and mutual respect.”
A new public art installation emerged on campus this week, as part of the university’s efforts to achieve truth and reconciliation with the Indigenous community.
“This is actually the end result of a multi-year project that emerged from the thoughtful and growing work of the Truth and Reconciliation strategy working group, in collaboration with members of the Indigenous community,” he said.
Lachemi also stated that the school will be recognizing Orange Shirt Day on Sept. 29 for the fifth straight year to honour survivors of residential school systems.
This year’s annual event will include a virtual tour of the Shingwauk Residential Schools Centre with a detailed overview of the site and its history, including a glimpse into the day-to-day life of former students.
The library and Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching will also be hosting an event for students and staff on Sept. 30 to share resources that educators can use to help establish better learning opportunities for truth and reconciliation efforts on campus.
A new Indigenous art installation now sits at the northeast corner of Gould Street and Nelson Mandela Walk.
Completed earlier this week, the three-metre tall steel structure known as The Ring can be seen on your morning coffee run to Balzac’s, as it stands prominently on this campus walkway. To walk through The Ring, you must step from east or west. With its opening facing east, the installation represents creation and new beginnings. With its opening facing west, it represents knowledge and wisdom.
The Ring is decorated with graphics formed by perforations into the steel. Among them, you can see the Seven Grandfather teachings along with their animal symbol. In addition, you can see stars, the constellation Pleiades, and lunar moon phases.
The installation has been in the works for over two years, according to Matthew Hickey, Mohawk, and a member of the Wolf clan from the Six Nations of the Grand River. He posted about the project on LinkedIn, outlining how it was created in consultation with the Indigenous community on campus.
Hickey works as an architect at Two Row Architect, located on Six Nations. He’s spent 14 years there, overseeing design and development. He designed the installation with colleague Jacqueline Daniel.
“The Ring is a living monument to the work of Truth and Reconciliation and a daily reminder of our connection with the land and water we live, work, learn, and play upon,” said Hickey.
The Ring encourages you to enter beneath the structure, completing the circle with a human presence, he said, adding that it will serve as a reminder to embrace the community’s respective backgrounds and connect with the earth.
“In our traditional Indigenous teachings, everything is about intent and the right relationship with our world,” Joanne Okimawininew Dallaire, elder (Ke Shay Hayo) and the university’s senior advisor of Indigenous relations and reconciliation, said in its release. “As we continue to navigate the many challenges of the past year, I am grateful that we were able to come together as a community to bring this meaningful vision to life.”
Fans of the Rams will be allowed to watch in person the men’s and women’s soccer home openers against the University of Toronto Varsity Blues at Downsview Park on Oct. 2.
“The community is invited to Downsview Park to cheer them on,” said president Mohamed Lachemi in an interview with On The Record.
According to Ryerson Athletics, the capacity of Downsview Park is 500 people, although they anticipate a crowd closer to 200. Admission is free.
Downsview Park is considered a campus building, so Ryerson COVID policy must be followed. This means masks must be worn at all times and proof of vaccination must be submitted, along with a completed mandatory health screening.
Ryerson Athletics says the policy for spectators that aren’t affiliated with the university will be announced later in the week.
There are currently no plans for attendance at home games for other Rams varsity sports, such as men’s and women’s hockey, basketball and volleyball, which will start in early November.
The university has also partnered with the Good Food Centre — a volunteer group that works to reduce food insecurity on campus — and is asking those in attendance to bring non-perishable food items for a food drive.
“This will be our only home game before Thanksgiving (Day), so it’s an opportunity to collect donations and deliver them ahead of that weekend,” Ryerson Athletics said in an email statement.
Kickoff time for the women’s game is set for 6 p.m. The men’s game is expected to get underway at 8 p.m.
In the meantime, the Rams soccer teams will open their seasons against the Varsity Blues at Varsity Stadium on Sept. 25. Kickoff is at noon.
Rams baseball is back for the first time since October 2019, and while new faces dominate the field, the team’s goal remains the same — a championship title.
With a vast number of the previous roster having graduated during the team’s downtime, initial tryouts were held on Sept. 7 — the first organized baseball at the school in almost two years. A second tryout was held on Sept. 12.
Ben Rich, founder and president of Rams baseball, said there’s a lot to look forward to with the mostly fresh roster.
“With COVID, we’ve basically had two graduating classes at once. Of the 29 players on the roster, only eight are returning guys,” Rich said. “There’s a lot of excitement around seeing what the new players can do.”
This year’s team includes an almost all-Ontario team roster, save for one member from B.C.
Fresh faces include third baseman Devon Capitao, who joins the Rams after playing for the elite Toronto Mets in the Canadian Premier Baseball League. Capitao is just one of 21 total players who are freshmen.
Although this season’s team is dominated by freshmen, there are still some returning players — the majority of which are pitchers, like Max Dieks, who played for the team as a freshman in 2019.
Other veterans on the mound include Logan Kerry, Mark Rizzotto, Justin Stonkus and hybrid pitcher and shortstop Matt Tohana.
In the talent as catcher is Sam Turcotte, who returns behind the plate for the Rams in his first appearance since 2019.
This year’s assistant coaches also include some familiar perspectives, with Rams baseball alumni Kevin MacDonald (RTA, 2018) and Mitch Fiacco (TRSM, 2019).
Rich said the addition of MacDonald and Fiacco brings a combination of not only baseball knowledge and proficiency, but also the experience and foundational principles of navigating baseball from the student perspective.
“Each of them certainly brings knowledge and technical expertise, plus established credibility among the players from having been successful at the university level as players,” Rich said. “A combination of dedication, passion and deliberate approach to preparation — these are traits that we’re always looking to instill in our players, and which have been a foundation of our culture as a program since the beginning.”
The Rams are hoping for a better ending than their 2019 season, in which they were stunned 23-13 by the McMaster Marauders in a wild card game. The Rams were 7-7 in the regular season, and 2-2 in the post-season in 2019, ending at 9-9 for an even .500.
Despite their best hopes, however, the team already seems to be repeating history with another even .500 halfway through the season.
The team split both of its series against the Waterloo Warriors and the Laurentian Voyageurs this past weekend, with their win against Laurentian coming in extra innings to keep their record at a balanced two wins and two losses.
First-year pitcher Gus Cousins had his first crack at the mound during the team’s opening game against the Voyageurs. Unfortunately for Cousins, it wasn’t the start he hoped for, as he gave up two walks and hit a batter with a pitch.
“Being removed from the game doesn’t exactly give the coaching staff a good first impression,” said Cousins. “I let them know, ‘Hey, I know that sucked and I looked awful, but I’ll be ready for whenever the next chance is.’”
Cousins says he’ll be ready for their next game this coming weekend at York University Lions. He said watching the game from the bench was a different experience knowing he wasn’t going to come back into the game.
“Watching hit after hit after hit from the offence is incredible. I think everyone’s under the same impression that we just gotta get rolling for the OUA qualifying tournament, and so that’s the goal, and this is a fantastic first step.”
Momentum from their last game, which ended in extra innings, may be a factor when the Rams return this weekend for the start of a four-game series against the York Lions at Vaughan Sports Village.
Afterwards, the Rams finish their regular season with a four-game series against the University of Toronto Varsity Blues, beginning on Oct. 2. Two of those games will take place at Stan Wadlow Park, the Rams’ home pitch.
Once those games are finished, the Rams will begin the pursuit of their first OUA title in the post-season.
“We’re still chasing that OUA championship and that will always be a top priority,” said Rich. “We’ve grown to become very competitive and in the mix for it each year.”
Although winning the championship is undeniably on everyone’s mind, being a part of the team is much more than sport. For Rich, who’s been by the Rams baseball team’s side since its inaugural 2013 season, it goes far beyond the diamond and the dugout.
“When graduating players say that Rams Baseball was the best part of their university experience, that they can’t imagine their time at the institution without it — the memories and the friendships; when we see the impact we have on the players personally, and that they leave our program as better people — that’s ultimately what we set out to achieve when establishing this program.”
Union head says Ryerson’s reopening plan ‘not supported by any science’
The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 3904 president criticized Ryerson’s plan to remove all restrictions and capacity limits for the winter term at a Sept. 9 virtual town hall.
“[Ryerson’s] administration indicates that they intend to remove all restrictions and capacity limits in instructional spaces for the winter term. At this point, this decision is not supported by any science,” said Laurie Jacklin, in a recorded statement played at the town hall.
The university has released an outline of its return to campus plan for the fall semester, but hasn’t yet released details about what on-campus activities will be permitted starting in January 2022.
CUPE Local 3904 represents contract academics at Ryerson University, including contract lecturers, continuing education contract lecturers and graduate and teaching assistants.
The event, “Is it safe enough to return to campus? What do public health scientists say,” was hosted by the Toronto Inter-University Coalition on Zoom.
The coalition consists of four faculty associations and unions that represent faculty, librarians, counsellors, academic and non-academic staff across four Toronto universities: Ryerson, OCAD University, University of Toronto and York University.
The town hall also featured statements from OCAD Faculty Association, CUPE 3902 and CUPE 3903, as well as a seven-member panel of infectious disease and occupational health experts from the Dalla Lana School of Public Health. The panellists spoke about the insufficient protections for staff and students on campuses as restrictions are lifted.
University presidents persuaded the Ontario government to give universities an exemption from Step 3 restrictions, despite the advice from the Ontario Science Table, said Terezia Zorić, the panel’s moderator and president of the University of Toronto Faculty Association.
According to Zorić, this led to some Toronto universities increasing indoor capacity, abandoning physical distancing, increasing the number of large gatherings and increasing the frequency of contact.
In an open letter, Zorić called on University of Toronto president Meric Gertler to denounce his support of the Council of Ontario Universities lobbying the provincial government to exempt universities from the indoor occupancy limits that protect against overcrowding and mitigate the risk of COVID. A decision which she said in the letter, has “no good scientific rationale for this political move.”
“I don’t know any scientists who endorse the approach of relaxing these kinds of guidelines, particularly in en masse scenarios,” said Arjumand Siddiqi, a social epidemiologist at the Dalla Lana school. “We’re in classrooms for hours and I haven’t heard anyone say that this seems like a reasonable approach. I think there is a lot of concern about the fact that if we were to [ease restrictions], the motivations are decoupled from the goal of maintaining some control of the pandemic.”
According to its website, Ryerson has already begun to ease physical distancing and capacity limits for in-person extracurricular activities and on-campus support and services.
“One of the most startling realizations during ongoing discussions is the extent to which our employer focuses on restarting the organizational machinery rather than concentrating on the safest environment possible for every person,” said Jacklin. “We constantly encounter a bureaucracy that considers COVID as an operational [in]convenience, rather than a large-scale public health and safety hazard.”
Despite the early optimism of the vaccine, a lingering unvaccinated population and the highly contagious Delta variant can allow for overwhelming COVID transmission if other measures aren’t in place, said Dr. Ashleigh Tuite, an infectious disease epidemiologist at Dalla Lana.
Tuite warned that the highly transmissible Delta variant within indoor spaces is a cause for concern. According to her, reducing time spent indoors, maintaining physical distancing, ventilation, properly fitted masks, testing and contact tracing were some of the measures needed in addition to vaccinations to mitigate spread of the Delta variant.
“We need to think of other ways that we can reduce opportunities for transmission to happen, particularly in indoor settings, because we know indoors is where transmission happens the easiest,” Tuite said.
Classrooms are not the only area of concern on campus. Enclosed spaces with high traffic, such as bathrooms, can be an area of multiple pathway transmission for infectious disease, according to University of Toronto civil engineering professor and air filtration specialist, Jeffrey Siegel.
“I’m very grateful to all the university faculty associations continuing to push because you need the whole package, you can’t just pick and choose [which restrictions you follow],” said Dr. David Fisman, an infectious disease expert at Dalla Lana.
Fisman spoke about how preventive measures and restrictions need to be used together to be effective.
“When you use these things, they actually really do protect people in a [compounding] manner. So you do need all the different layers to keep people safe,” he said.
“You can’t reason with the virus and say, ‘We’re prepared to do the masks and the vaccines, but we really can’t limit class sizes.’ The virus doesn’t care.”
Ryerson’s president, Mohamed Lachemi, was not able to provide a response by press time to multiple requests for comment made by On The Record.
In a statement released in an Aug. 13 email and press release, Lachemi said that Ryerson will work to include vaccination requirements as part of the anticipated return to campus in January.
Lachemi also stated that Ryerson University continues to promote vaccination efforts, adherence to its mask policy and procedures and will maintain the safety protocols the university has put in place on campus in order to make the campus as safe and welcoming as possible for everyone.
Both TTC and Go Transit are increasing services; masking and other protocols remain in place
Some Ryerson University students who commute by transit will begin getting into their daily routine as they opt for in-person classes this week.
Classes that are running in-person or in a hybrid model will resume on Sept. 13, after all university courses were mandated online for the first week of the semester.
Syed Zaidi, a second-year business management student at Ryerson, and commuter, said he has opted to go to his classes in-person after completing the first year of his degree online. Zaidi said he feels like he learns better in a classroom setting.
“It’s hard to learn online, especially with interactive discussions and certain assignments, projects, or tests,” he said.
Many classes at the university are offering in-person and hybrid lessons. More information on what each faculty is offering can be found on Ryerson’s COVID-19 Information and Update page.
“In-person, you would have way more resources available to you versus if you were learning strictly from online,” Zaidi said.
While it’s not known how many students will opt for in-person learning, Zaidi is probably not alone in his decision to commute by transit this school year. Before the pandemic, 77 per cent of Ryerson students relied heavily on some form of local or regional transit to get to campus, according to the 2019 StudentMoveTO study.
As a commuter student from Mississauga, Zaidi takes both the TTC and GO Transit to and from the class, which takes around 45 minutes.
Although Zaidi follows the public health guidelines that are in place, the risk of taking public transit still concerns him.
“If you’re on the subway or something, there are so many people, so you can’t even tell who is vaccinated and who is not […] The variant could be anywhere,” Zaidi adds.
Tim Sly, an epidemiologist and professor emeritus in the School of Public Health at Ryerson, calls public transit a “pinch point” where things come together and transmission can occur.
To optimize safety on public transit, Sly recommends double masking when possible, wearing some form of eye protection such as a hat or glasses and remembering proper hand hygiene.
“The more layers you’ve got, the more of a tighter weave you’ve got to protect yourself and others from infection,” said Sly.
Metrolinx has increased its service with the expected return of transit riders this fall, said its spokesperson, Nitish Bissonauth.
Metrolinx has focused on ensuring the safety of staff and passengers since the start of the pandemic through increased cleaning measures, requiring masks and improving ventilation on transit, said Bissonauth in an emailed statement.
The TTC is adding 25 per cent more subway trains on Line 1 and Line 2 at peak times during the week to reduce crowding, according to a news release from the TTC on Aug. 30.
The TTC also requires riders to wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth, even if they are fully vaccinated. Disposable masks are available upon request from a collector or customer service agent. Riders should stay home if they are feeling sick, according to the TTC website.
“We ask that students continue to follow COVID safety guidelines, including wearing a mask while on transit,” said TTC chair Jaye Robinson in the update for the back-to-school season.In addition, the TTC said they have been increasing the cleaning and disinfection protocols on all modes of public transit with a focus on high-traffic touchpoints.