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Important Safety Information – Fall 2020 Practicums

Date:  July 15, 2020

Dear colleagues –

As a valued member of the FIFSW educational teams, we are writing to provide an update as we re-start in-person practicums safely.

As you inform us of your practicum offer, we are also asking whether it is virtual, in-person or a hybrid.  We will also be confirming with sites requiring in-person practicums that public health guidelines are observed, and that students will not knowingly have contact with a client who is, or is presumed to be, COVID-positive.

Below is a list of some of the ways we are preparing students:

  • FIFSW students will complete a mandatory COVID-19 Curriculum before they can begin a practicum.  The Practicum Office will monitor administration and compliance.
  • FIFSW students participating in an on-site placement must complete all safety orientation and training from the site and adhere to the site’s health and safety processes, procedures, policies, and directives.
  • FIFSW students may not knowingly have in-person interactions with COVID-19 positive or presumed positive patients.
  • Students may not attend in-person at a placement site if they develop any COVID-19 symptoms indicated by Public Health Ontario
  • In addition to program reporting procedures, students must notify U of T’s Occupational Health Nurse immediately by email at occhealth@utoronto.ca if they test positive for COVID-19, and may not visit the University or placement site until they receive clearance to do so from U of T’s Occupational Health Nurse.
  • Students will be informed, via the mandatory training, of the following best practices:
    • Wash hands and/or use hand sanitizer frequently and after touching common surfaces
    • Avoid touching their face
    • Avoid congregating in groups, even during breaks
    • Maintain physical distancing as much as possible
    • Wear a mask and/or other PPE when social distancing is not possible or when required by the placement site
    • Wipe computer and work station with disinfectant at the start and end of each work day.
  • Students should inform their Placement Supervisor and the Practicum Office if they experience any workplace illness/injury or if they become aware of placement circumstances which are unsafe. Students have the right to refuse unsafe work immediately.
  • COVID-19 may pose unique challenges for students and the University is committed to providing as much flexibility as possible in the circumstances. Please note that Accessibility Services remains available to students experiencing disability-related barriers.

Thank you for your support of our students during this important period.