DoM Response to COVID-19

Mar 13, 2020
Gillian Hawker

Dear Colleagues,

There is no doubt that this has been an unprecedented and difficult week for everyone. Together with the Faculty of Medicine, the University of Toronto and our hospital partners, we are working to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of our learners, faculty, staff, and, of course, our patients.

I am so proud of all of you who have stepped in to serve in this time of need. I know there are many initiatives underway in the Department and Faculty of Medicine, and across the University that will change the course of this pandemic, from groundbreaking research already yielding results, to impressive QI efforts coordinated across the Faculty by our own Dr. Brian Wong, and the incredible work done by our colleagues in Infectious Diseases. 

Health officials note that the risk of contracting the virus remains low. In the spirit of preparedness and ensuring the health of our staff, faculty and learners in the Department of Medicine, many in-person departmental and divisional events have been cancelled or postponed until further notice. While we are hopeful that some of our Department-hosted events in the coming months will be able to go forward, we are monitoring the situation closely and will provide updates as they become available.

I also wanted to provide you with additional updates from our Department:

  • For any in-person meetings, we are encouraging staff and faculty in the Department to use online meeting software to conduct meetings remotely wherever possible.
  • Under the current evolving situation, the Department has offered staff the opportunity to work from home on a temporary basis. We are asking staff to coordinate work from home days with their faculty and colleagues to ensure seamless business continuity. There may be occasions or times where staff must be on-site to achieve deliverables. We expect staff will discuss and plan with their faculty leads, DDDs and PDs for those days where staff are needed in person.
  • All learners are instructed to follow procedures from PGME, and all faculty are instructed to follow their respective hospital or clinic procedures as they relate to COVID-19 preparedness.  

We will continue to monitor this situation and follow the advice of the University of Toronto and the Faculty of Medicine. For the most up-to-date information from the Faculty of Medicine and the University of Toronto, please visit:

We thank you all for your understanding, and your hard and tireless work on the front-lines of this pandemic.

If you have any questions, please contact me at or

Dr. Gillian Hawker

Sir John and Lady Eaton Professor and Chair of Medicine

Updated March 16, 2020