Supplies and equipment are being collected and counted in a single room on Humber College's North campus. It is the current headquarters of an institution-wide COVID-19 support effort.
As supplies such as masks, gloves and ventilators are dwindling across the city, Humber's faculties and departments have mobilized to identify people and provisions that can aid in the fight against the pandemic.
“Humber College has supported students as they attend remote classes and focus on academics at home. While student safety and success is a top priority, so is our commitment to the community,” said Laurie Rancourt, Senior VP Academic. “We have a wealth of resources and expertise that we are ready to share to help our province fight COVID-19 and keep frontline workers safe.”
Humber’s greatest resource is its people. Several departments – and their students – are finding innovative ways to deliver services. Faculty of Business students are offering an online mediation service and campus dispute resolution clinic. Students from the Faculty of Social and Community Services are continuing their support of community agencies. Some work placements are continuing remotely as students deliver a range of social services. Community Outreach and Workforce Development will continue to provide online employment support and services in four Toronto West and one Brampton community.
The use of the Queen’s Plate parking lot has been provided to the William Osler Health System to enable a temporary drive through COVID-19 assessment centre.
The Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellness has prepared boxes to send to William Osler and York Region paramedics. They contain gloves, masks, gowns, hospital wipes, goggles and thermometers.
Humber’s food service partner Chartwells donated perishable food items to a local food bank as soon as campus closed. With the support of the college, Chartwells and the on-site food service management team donated additional food including milk and produce.
Where we can help
Earlier this week Prime Minister Justin Trudeau urged post-secondary institutions across Canada to respond to the urgent need for expertise and resources amid the COVID-19 crisis. Although Humber campuses are closed until further notice, its facilities have the potential to be used in the fight against the virus.
The federal government has made a specific request to institutions to provide access to 3D printers. The technology can be used to produce supplies and devices including ventilation components. The Faculty of Applied Sciences and Technology (FAST) is ready to mobilize technicians, work-study students and project coordinators to help with printing and assembly needs. In addition to helping with 3D model design, the Faculty of Health Sciences and Wellness' biotech labs could be converted to support testing. Students are able to analyze data for testing hot spots. The Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences and Innovative Learning has lab space and equipment available if needed, including workstations, Bunsen burners and fume hoods.
The College also has high-powered computers which may be required for complex computational work.
The need for masks, gloves, and other personal protective equipment (PPE) is urgent in Ontario as the number of suspected and confirmed cases of COVID-19 rises. The Student Wellness and Accessibility Centre and residence are sending all their masks, gowns, and other PPE to nearby healthcare facilities. The University of Guelph Humber, Faculty of Media and Creative Arts, and FAST are donating additional masks, gloves and sanitizer wipes.
In addition to supplies, services, and facilities, Humber will call on its experts to fill requests for knowledge and support. Staff, faculty and students are committed to fostering the spirit of collaboration and innovation every day – even in challenging and uncertain times. For the latest information about Humber and COVID-19, visit www.humber.ca/updates