Local public health units are responsible for declaring an outbreak within their jurisdictions. Guelph and surrounding area are covered by the Wellington Dufferin Guelph public health unit. Our Ridgetown Campus and the University of Guelph-Humber are covered by the Chatham-Kent and Toronto public health units, respectively.

The definition of an outbreak varies depending on the degree of community spread and the prevalence of the disease in the community. Given the current prevalence of COVID-19 in the community, the threshold for declaring an outbreak has increased.

How will U of G manage COVID-19 positive cases and outbreaks?

With widespread community transmission and limited access to testing, U of G will continue to have close and ongoing communication with local Public Health about COVID-19 prevalence on campus to ensure the successful management and containment of COVID-19.

Student Wellness, the COVID-19 Call Centre and Occupational Health and Wellness (OHW) manage and respond to individual cases of COVID-19 at U of G locations. Recognizing the constantly changing epidemiology of COVID-19 and the changes to the province’s response to the management of cases and outbreaks, the declaration of an outbreak and the University’s response may be unique.

How the University will communicate about an outbreak?

If an outbreak is declared, U of G will provide information:


During a declared outbreak, collaboration will be required between many departments across campus.

Individuals who contract COVID-19

Student Wellness

  • help implement control measures recommended by Public Health
  • complete student and employee risk assessments (Call Centre) to determine high-risk contacts and identify those required to self-isolate
  • confirm the risk to the University community and any further control measures needed
  • inform University leadership of clusters of positive cases and significant exposures on campus
  • ensure students who may be at high risk for complications go for a treatment assessment
  • provide students with information on self-isolation, to seek an assessment for worsening symptoms and/or treatment
  • ensure students have access to care and support for their mental health

Occupational Health and Wellness

  • facilitate access to rapid testing (RAT) for employees with symptoms
  • direct those who test positive to report a positive test and/or symptoms to the COVID Call Centre and to complete the employee self-declaration form
  • direct employees to resources in support of their mental health as needed

Student housing (for cases involving students living in residence or family housing)

  • work with COVID-19 Call Centre to determine roommates who require isolation and isolation supports
  • advise students of steps the student must take
  • arrange for meals and other essentials to be delivered
  • ensure positive cases and high-risk individuals remain isolated
  • arrange for additional cleaning as needed
  • monitor health and well-being of those in isolation
  • communicate with those in student housing about need for increased vigilance in hygiene measures

Communications and Public Affairs

  • inform the University community of an outbreak and its resolution
  • provide additional communications support as needed, including with external stakeholders, parents/guardians, media, etc.

Important Contacts

COVID-19 Call Centre

Occupational Health and Wellness

Student Health Services (Guelph Campus)

Student Housing (Guelph Campus)


Information for Managers: Communicating Positive Cases

If you are informed that an employee on your team has tested positive for COVID-19, please ask the employee to report their positive status to the COVID-19 Call Centre and complete the Employee Self Declaration Form. The COVID-19 Call Centre will notify Occupational Health and Wellness.

To maintain privacy, do not share any personal details about the individual who has COVID-19 beyond what has been provided by OHW. Employees are not required to disclose a diagnosis to their managers.

If you are worried about what a positive test means for you or your team, contact the COVID-19 Call Centre at 519-824-4120 Ext. 53906 or Occupational Health and Wellness at ohw@uoguelph.ca.

U of G’s employee and family health program provider – Homewood Health – offers counselling and support 24/7. Call 1-800-663-1142 or visit the Homewood Health website.