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Statement and Protocols: Novel Coronavirus

Jon Munn, Director, Marketing & Communications
Jan 31 2020

Dear Members of the Huron Community,

This afternoon, the Ontario Ministry of Health announced the Province’s third confirmed case of Novel Coronavirus. This individual is a Western student. Since returning to London, Ont. from Wuhan, China on Jan 23, and before showing any symptoms, the student took great care and responsibility by self-isolating at home and seeking appropriate medical attention. The student has not been on campus since returning to London, and Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) officials have confirmed there is very low risk to the campus community. MLHU officials are monitoring the student, who is now in good health.

Please remember:

  • Wash your hands
  • Cough in your sleeve
  • Stay home if you have a fever or you feel ill
  • Call public health if you have a fever and have been somewhere that #coronavirusis spreading.

Again, if you are showing symptoms of illness, whether you are a student, faculty or staff member, please to not attend class or come to work. You will be accommodated.

Huron takes health-related direction and shares information from federal, provincial and local health authorities. The Public Health Agency of Canada has assessed the public health risk associated with 2019-nCoV in China as still low for Canada and for Canadian travelers. Public health risk is continually reassessed as new information becomes available. Latest information from the Public Health Agency of Canada can be found here.

This website on the Western’s home page will have the most current information and any updates regarding the entire University community will be posted there.

The Middlesex-London Health Unit issued the following instructions late last week for those showing any symptoms related to the coronavirus:

Individuals should stay home and contact the Health Unit at 519-663-5317 if they have a fever (38° Celsius or higher) and are sick with symptoms such as coughing, difficulty breathing, congestion, aches, pains AND any of the following:

  • Travel to Wuhan, China within 14 days of becoming ill; OR
  • Close contact with a person who is sick and has been to Wuhan, China within 14 days of becoming ill; OR
  • Close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with Novel Coronavirus 2019

If you have any of the conditions above, stay home and do not go to work, school or other public areas until you are no longer sick. If it is necessary to go out while you are ill (for example, to attend a medical appointment), please wear a surgical mask over your nose and mouth, and use a private vehicle for any necessary travel.

If you experience severe symptoms such as chest pains or shortness of breath, call 9-1-1 immediately or visit your nearest hospital emergency department.

If you do not have a fever or are not sick, but you traveled to Wuhan, China recently, there is no need to visit a doctor at this time. However, if you develop fever, cough, or difficulty breathing in the next 14 days, call the Health Unit at 519-663-5317 and tell them you were traveling in Wuhan, China.

To reduce exposure to and transmission of a range of illnesses, including coronaviruses, you should follow usual health precautions such as:

  • washing your hands often;
  • avoiding contact with people who are sick;
  • practicing proper cough and sneeze etiquette;

For the most up-to-date information regarding the coronavirus, we encourage you to visit the Ontario Ministry of Health website.
Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions.