Wuhan novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) update

The health and safety of our campus community is of the utmost importance, which is why we are reaching out to address concerns regarding the Wuhan novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

Durham College (DC) is aware of the coronavirus outbreak in China. With one confirmed and one presumptive case in Toronto, we are monitoring the situation’s potential impact. DC’s healthcare team of the Emergency Management Response Team are working with local, provincial and federal health agencies to stay apprised of updates.

DC participated in a Colleges Ontario teleconference hosted by Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health for Ontario. Dr. Williams provided a verbal update on the emerging issue of Wuhan novel coronavirus and has confirmed that we remain a low risk area and advises citizens to be informed and be consistent in taking precautions.

On campus, DC has implemented increased measures such as an awareness campaign to help the campus community be mindful to precautionary practices; distribution of World Health Organization communication material; additional cleaning protocols in high touch areas; enhanced patient surveillance in our Campus Health Centre in accordance with public health requirements.

The Durham Region Health Department has assessed the risk as low. As such, all classes, operations and college activities will continue as scheduled. Should circumstances change, we will take appropriate action under the direction of public health, and advise the college community promptly.

We encourage you to remain up-to-date about the virus and precautionary measures through the Ontario Ministry of Health, Public Health Ontario and Durham Public Health websites.

As a reminder the following best practices can help to reduce the risk transmitting the flu or other respiratory illnesses:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or hand sanitizer.
  • Cough or sneeze into your sleeve or elbow.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces, especially those that are high-touch areas.
  • Do not share water bottles, straws, eating utensils, toothbrushes, or anything else that has been in contact with saliva, nose or throat secretions.
  • If you or your family members are ill, stay at home.
  • If you are ill and must visit a healthcare provider, call ahead or tell them right away when you arrive that you have a respiratory illness and wear a mask while waiting to be seen.

If you have flu-like or cold symptoms that escalate, please take the following direction:

  • If you are off campus, contact your health-care provider.
  • If you are on campus, stay where you are, and have someone phone the campus health centre at 905.721.3038.
  • After hours [Mon-Thurs after 7 p.m; Friday after 4:30 pm.; Saturday and Sundays] contact Durham Region Public Health line at 905.668.2020 (press 2).