Facts from the Middlesex-London Health Unit

January 31, 2020 10:00 AM

Western continues to monitor the ongoing situation with Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

The University takes its direction and shares information from federal, provincial and local health authorities.

At this time, 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 University remains open and classes are continuing as normal.

For the most up-to-date information in Ontario, community members are encouraged to visit the Ontario Ministry of Health website.

Important facts from the Middlesex-London Health Unit

On January 24, the University received the following directive from the  Middlesex-London Health Unit
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 travelled 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 travelling in Wuhan, China. 

How to protect yourself

From the  Ontario Ministry of Health:

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
  • practising proper cough and sneeze etiquette

Travel safety

Canadian travel advisory for China - January 30, 2020

The Canadian government has issued a new advisory to avoid all non-essential travel to China, and to avoid all travel to Hubei province.

This new "Level 3" advisory triggers   Western’s Safety Abroad Policy and subsequently cancels all university-sanctioned travel for Western students to China until further notice. This includes exchange, research placements, field courses, conference travel, or any other travel that has been approved, authorized or supported by a Western University unit, department, staff or faculty member.

Western’s Safety Abroad Policy does not govern faculty and staff travel. However, we strongly encourage all members of the campus community to follow the   Government of Canada travel advisories and closely monitor the situation. Additional information and resources are available on Western’s Safety Abroad website.