COVID-19 - 2019 Novel Coronavirus

General COVID-19 FAQs

The University takes the COVID-19 pandemic very seriously. The safety of our U of G community is our top priority, and our emergency management team is meeting daily to assess risks and discuss plans.

STUDENTS: Please refer to the COVID-19 – FAQs for Student Wellness Services for information about local and on-campus services available to you.

The Public Health Agency of Canada indicates there is an increased risk of more severe outcomes for Canadians:

  • aged 65 and over
  • with compromised immune systems
  • with underlying medical conditions

The University of Guelph’s Health Services team is working with Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health to monitor the situation and will follow Public Health’s recommendations.


If you think you have symptoms of COVID-19:

  1. Consult the online self assessment tool for COVID-19 from Public Health Ontario
  2. If your symptoms are MILD, please stay home and self-isolate, avoiding contact with other people until 24 hours after symptoms have resolved.
    Public Health Ontario – How to Self Isolate
    Public Health Ontario – Self Isolation: Guide for caregivers, household members and close contacts

If your symptoms are MODERATE with fever, cough or shortness of breath, call Student Health Services (students) at 519-824-4120 Ext. 52131 for phone advice or go to the COVID 19 Assessment Centre (see next FAQ for details).

If your symptoms are SEVERE and it is an emergency, please go to the emergency room or call 911.

If you live near the Guelph campus and need to be assessed for COVID-19, please go to:

COVID-19 Primary Care Clinic
65 Delhi Street, Guelph

The clinic, which is being run by Guelph Family Health Team, is open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days per week, for the foreseeable future.

This clinic is mandated to perform assessments only. They will assess people with symptoms, though no swab or treatment will be provided. Those who need a swab will be sent to the emergency room.

Please note: only the following groups of people will be swab-tested for COVID-19 at this time:

  • people with COVID-19 symptoms who have been in contact with someone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19
  • health care workers with acute respiratory illness or as part of a health care institutional outbreak
  • First Nation community members living on-reserve with acute respiratory illness

Follow your health care provider’s advice. If your symptoms get worse, contact your health care provider (faculty and staff) or call Student Health Services (students). If you develop shortness of breath, contact Guelph General Hospital at 519-837-6440.

How to Self-Isolate With COVID-19 (Public Health Ontario) – PDF

Students: Stay home from campus until your period of self-isolation ends. Do your best to avoid spaces you share with roommates. Ensure you disinfect shared surfaces.

Students living in residence: Students in residence were asked to vacate their residences by March 22. If you must remain in residence, notify your resident assistant (RA) that you have been asked to self isolate. Residence Life Staff will arrange for food and beverages to be delivered to you. Stay away from others, including your roommates until the self-isolation period is up. Check with Public Health before ending your self-isolation period. See our Students in Residence FAQs for more information.

Faculty and Staff: As of Tuesday, March 17, employees are working from home where operationally possible. Employees who are required to perform a critical function and/or whose physical presence is necessary to perform their work as determined by their supervisor will need to continue to come to campus. If you are told to self-isolate, but your job does not allow you to work from home, notify your manager that your health care provider has asked you to self-isolate and stay home until that period is up.

The Public Health Agency of Canada is providing information on self-monitoring, self-isolation and isolation. Visit their website to view an alternative format.

The most important actions community members can take now to reduce the risk of infection and prevent the spread of any respiratory illness, including COVID – 19 are:

  • Practice physical distancing – avoid social gatherings and crowds. If you are around people outside your family, do your best to stay at least two metres away from them, and work from home if you are able. Gatherings of more than five people are currently prohibited by the Ontario government.
  • Avoid travel – especially by air and outside of Canada.
  • Follow usual best practices for hygiene, including:
    • wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the washroom and when preparing food
    • use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available
  • When coughing or sneezing:
    • cough or sneeze into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand
    • dispose of any tissues you have used as soon as possible in a lined waste basket and wash your hands afterwards
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Frequently clean objects and surfaces that many people touch, such as doorknobs, phones and TV remotes, with regular household cleaners or diluted bleach (one part bleach to 9 parts water)
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick

University of Guelph Response

As of March 17, employees are asked to work from home when operationally possible. Employees who are required to perform a critical function or whose physical presence is necessary to perform their work as determined by their supervisor will need to continue to come to campus. Beginning Monday, March 23, all U of G classes will be provided through alternative methods of delivery. No face-to-face classroom instruction will be offered. This follows the guidance provided by the University’s pandemic plan. You can learn more in our Academics FAQs.

All units within the University have their own business continuity plans related to a widespread illness. If you have questions about your unit’s plan, speak with your supervisor.

Temporary changes have been made to the biosecurity protocol for animal and livestock facilities managed by the Office of Research in consideration of COVID-19. The present risk necessitates modifications to our biosecurity protocol to protect staff and ensure continuity of animal welfare and care.

The University of Guelph has enacted its established Pandemic Plan as part of its Emergency Management Plan. You can find both documents on the Campus Community Police website.

The University of Guelph is working with Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health to determine which University supplies can be provided to local organizations to help in the response to COVID-19. Do not independently donate any University supplies.

If you are asked by an outside organization to donate supplies, please respond with the following:

“The University of Guelph is working with Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health to determine the best way to coordinate and donate available University supplies to help with the community response to COVID-19. All donations will be coordinated through Public Health.”


The University recognizes that reports of the impacts of COVID-19 in Canada and around the world can be very troubling, especially for members of our community who are from or have friends and family in more heavily affected areas. If you feel stressed or anxious about COVID-19:

  • contact Counselling Services at 519-824-4120 ext. 53244
  • text “UofG” to 686868 using your text- or SMS-enabled device
  • call Good2Talk 1-866-925-5454
  • employees can call Homewood Health, U of G’s Employee and Family Health Provider at 1-800-663-1142

The University’s Wellness@Work initiative has created an article on How to Stay Connected while Social Distancing that offers useful tips on staying positive and bonding with others while maintaining a physical distance.

Staff and faculty can call 519-824-4120 Ext. 53444 to consult with a counsellor regarding a student of concern.