The University of Toronto Mississauga Students’ Union (UTMSU) reported two positive COVID-19 cases at the Student Centre on September 18. The union released a membership advisory through their social media platforms that detailed the health and safety measures it will be taking in response to the recent development.

According to the report, people known to have been in close contact with the two individuals who tested positive have been informed and advised to get tested and isolate themselves. The UTMSU has also decided to shut down all in-person services for 14 days.

As detailed in the advisory, “the UTMSU Health and Safety Committee has made the decision to close the UTMSU Offices, the Info Booth, the Blind Duck Pub, and the Duck Stop immediately for the next two weeks. Additionally, U-Pass distribution is suspended until further notice.”

The U-Pass Coordinator has since contacted students who have been impacted by the suspension. However, an alternative solution to the distribution of the pre-paid transit passes is yet to be established. In the meantime, the union is arranging a thorough sanitization of their offices and directing students to consult their website for virtual services.

While an exact return date for their services has not been confirmed by the UTMSU, they have stated that they are working with regional health services to ensure public safety.

In a past interview with The Medium, VP University Affairs Anushka Sokhi emphasized the preventative safety measures the UTMSU had set for the fall semester.

“We have ensured that our staff and volunteers are trained on proper codes of conduct and practices if they’re working in the office,” stated Sokhi. “We have also worked with our Health and Safety Committee to establish and maintain a safe environment in the UTM Student Centre for our members.”

Considering the recent developments, and despite the union’s earlier confidence in the safety of their services, anyone who has been to the Student Centre and is beginning to show signs of illness is encouraged to complete COVID-19 self-assessments and follow the Peel Public Health guidelines.

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