2019 Novel Coronavirus: FAQs, General Info and Best Practices

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Health care professionals are providing advice regarding the 2019 novel coronavirus.

Coronaviruses typically affect the upper respiratory tract and can cause the common cold and pneumonia. In some cases, the virus can cause more severe symptoms.

More information on the new coronavirus and its symptoms are available from the Government of Canada.

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

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Should students, staff or faculty with flu-like symptoms attend class/work?

In general, if you have flu-like symptoms, including a fever, stay at home or in your residence room until you’re better. If you need medical assistance contact your health care provider (faculty and staff) or Student Health Services (students).

If you have these symptoms and have recently travelled to areas where the novel coronavirus is prevalent, contact your health care provider (faculty and staff) or Student Health Services (students). Please call in advance to notify staff and for directions. Student Health Services can be reached at 519-824-4120 Ext. 52131.

Q: I live in residence and I have flu-like symptoms. What should I do?

If you experience flu-like symptoms with a fever while living in residence, call your residence advisor and contact Student Health Services or your local family doctor. Student Health Services can be reached at 519-824-4120 Ext. 52131. Please call in advance to notify staff and for directions.

During any cold and flu season, it’s a good idea to stock up on supplies in case you need to stay in for a few days, like cold and flu meds, a thermometer, hand sanitizer and tissues.

Q: Should students, staff or faculty with flu-like symptoms be excluded from class/work?

Any time you’re feeling sick and have a fever, you should stay home. Currently, the risk of contracting the 2019 novel coronavirus is low. No one should be excluded or banned from attending classes or work, but please be considerate of others when making your decision to come to campus.

Q: Should anyone who has recently travelled to an affected region be excluded from class/work?

No one should be excluded or banned from attending classes or work. If you have flu-like symptoms with a fever and have recently travelled to a region with a higher prevalence of the 2019 novel coronavirus, contact your health care provider (faculty and staff) or Student Health Services (students). Student Health Services can be reached at 519-824-4120 Ext. 52131. During any flu season, it’s best practice to stay home if you don’t feel well. At this time, the risk of contracting the 2019 novel coronavirus is low.

Q: Will classes be cancelled?

At this time, there is no significant risk of community transmission of the 2019 novel coronavirus in Canada, so there is no need to cancel classes. Whenever classes are cancelled or changed for any reason, students will be notified through CourseLink and their GryphMail.

Q: Should we be canceling events?

At this time, there is no significant risk of community transmission of the 2019 novel coronavirus in Canada, so the University is not cancelling events.

Q: I am affected by travel restrictions and cannot return to Canada. What should I do?

If you are in an area affected by travel restrictions and you wish to return to Canada, you can request assistance from the Government of Canada online or by email to sos@international.gc.ca.

Q: I am planning to travel in the near future. What should I do?

Anyone planning international travel should follow advice on the Government of Canada’s travel advisory website. As of January 30, 2020, the advice for China is to avoid all non-essential travel and avoid all travel to the province of Hubei.

Anyone with upcoming plans to travel for University-related research should contact the Centre for International Programs (cip@uoguelph.ca).

Q: If I feel unsafe, should I still come to class/work?

At this time, there is no significant risk of community transmission of the 2019 novel coronavirus in Canada. If you are feeling stressed or anxious about the coronavirus:

  • 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 most accurate sources of information about the 2019 novel coronavirus are:

What to do if you feel sick

As during any flu season, if you feel sick, follow the usual best practices:

  • Stay home
  • Avoid close contact with others
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and then throw the tissue away and wash your hands, or cough/sneeze into your elbow
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water

If your symptoms escalate, contact your health care provider or Student Health Services.

Prevention

There are steps you can take to prevent the spread of viruses.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid sharing personal items
  • Clean hard surfaces in shared spaces with disinfectant
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick

The University will continue to monitor the 2019 novel coronavirus situation and provide updates if needed.