Information for DC students and employees regarding novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

Durham College updates

Updated January 28, 2020 at 5:01 p.m.

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.

At this time there have been no presumptive confirmed cases of the virus in Durham Region and 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).

Posted January 23, 2020 at 2:16 p.m.

Durham College (DC), along with other institutions and organizations across Canada, continues to monitor the ongoing situation with Novel Coronavirus and will take direction from federal, provincial and local health authorities. 

The Public Health Agency of Canada has assessed the public health risk associated with 2019-nCoV in Wuhan, China as low for Canada and for Canadian travelers. As such, the college remains open and classes are continuing as normal.

We encourage the DC community to visit Public Health OntarioDurham Public Health or Ontario Ministry of Health  for current information about the virus and precautionary measures.

About the 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.

The virus has been reported in China, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan and Thailand. A case of the virus has also been reported in Washington state.

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

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.

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.

How to protect yourself

From Durham Region Health:

To reduce the spread of germs, including the novel coronavirus and the flu we recommend that you:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or hand sanitizer when hands are not visibly dirty.
  • Cough or sneeze into your sleeve or elbow and encourage others to do the same.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces, especially those that are high-touch areas.
  • Do not share water bottles, straws, eating utensils, cigarettes, toothbrushes, toys or anything else that has been in contact with saliva, nose or throat secretions.
  • If you are ill, stay at home and keep yourself away from others.
  • 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.

What should I do if I have symptoms?

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  at 905.668.2020 (press 2).

What is DC doing?

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.

At this time there have been no presumptive confirmed cases of the virus in Durham Region and 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.

Who should I contact if I have questions?

Contacts for DC students

Health-related inquiries:
Campus Health Centre
905.721.3037
www.durhamcollege.ca/chc

Durham Regional Public Health
905.668.2020 (press 2)

Non-health related inquiries:
Office of Campus Safety
905.721.3107
https://durhamcollege.ca/campussafety

2019-nCoV information line
1.833.784.4397

Contacts for DC employees

Health-related inquiries:
Contact your family doctor or the Campus Health Centre

Durham Regional Public Health
905.668.2020 (press 2)

Non-health related inquiries:
Human Resources
905.721.3073

2019-nCoV information line
1.833.784.4397

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