COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update – February 13, 2020

The director general of the World Health Organization has named the coronavirus, COVID-19. Humber College continues to monitor the situation and the potential impact on our community. Toronto Public Health issued a letter on February 7 with new recommendations to support global containment efforts and limit the spread of the virus, including self-isolation. Read the letter here.

Any students with reason to believe they should be self-isolated will be accommodated, as long as the appropriate notice and documentation is provided. Any student in this situation is asked to contact their Associate Dean.

Faculty members who believe they should be self-isolated should contact their Associate Dean to discuss appropriate next steps.

All other employees with reason to believe they should be self-isolated should contact their manager to discuss appropriate next steps.

Humber is following all respiratory illness protocols and prevention measures already in place. In addition, areas of the College that provide health-related services, including the Health Centres, Dental Centres, the Humber Spa and the Tzu Chi Clinic of Chinese Medicine, have the recommended screening protocols in place.

All classes, campus operations and college activities will continue as scheduled.

Health authorities have stated that there have been seven confirmed cases in Canada to date (February 8). While the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared an international public health emergency, the current risk to Canadians remains low. We maintain ongoing contact with Toronto Public Health and have been advised that there are no additional actions required, and to follow regular respiratory illness protocols and prevention strategies.

As we are in the winter flu season, we ask everyone to:

  • wash your hands as frequently as possible,
  • cough or sneeze into your sleeve rather than hands,
  • and stay home if you’re feeling ill.

Soap and hand sanitizer dispensers across campus will be monitored and filled regularly. Flu shots are still available in the Health Centres.

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

Humber takes the health and wellbeing of our staff and students seriously. Updates and more information will be provided as we continue to monitor the situation closely. If you have any questions, please contact:

As news of the virus continues to dominate headlines, it is understandable that anxiety is heightened in the community, and this can often result in discrimination and racism. As an institution, we are proud of our diversity and the richness it brings to the classrooms, hallways and boardrooms. We see it as one of our greatest strengths. While coronavirus can be traced to a province in China, it is important not to characterize the coronavirus as being transmitted from any one group. As always, we work to ensure that Humber is a safe place for staff, students and visitors. We must now come together as a community to avoid any hint of xenophobia. Thank you for continuing to uphold our foundational values of equity, diversity and inclusion.

An oversight group comprising representatives from the Academic Division, Communications, Human Resources, Legal and Risk Management, Public Safety, Student Success and Engagement, and the University of Guelph-Humber has been established and will provide weekly updates to the community, or as needed.

Other links:
Ontario Ministry of Health Statement
Public Health Agency of Canada
Toronto Public Health 
Toronto Public Health Novel Coronavirus Fact Sheet
Canada Travel Advisory