Updated: March 12, 2020, 8:45 a.m.
Conestoga continues to monitor information related to the 2019 Coronavirus (COVID-19). The increase in the number of cases around the world has resulted in the World Heath Organization declaring this situation as a pandemic. This declaration does not indicate an increased risk in our local community, and college classes will continue as usual. We will continue to update our college community as this situation evolves.
Conestoga takes direction from the local Medical Officer of Health and other public health agencies to preserve and protect the academic experience and safety of the college community and workplace environment. The college has recently shifted from planning to action. Please be aware of the following changes:
- All Conestoga campuses are handshake-free environments
- Conestoga study abroad trips have been cancelled
- Large college events are being cancelled based on a case-by-case risk assessment
- As a primary health-care site, the medical clinic at Doon is following all relevant public health directives and continues to see/provide services to students (phone 519-748-5220 ext. 3679 or email firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Additional access to hand sanitizers and disinfectant wipes will be provided for student spaces, classrooms and offices. A shortage of supplies of these items is currently being addressed: supplies will be placed in employee and student areas as they become available.
- International travel by Conestoga employees for business/approved PD is on hold
- Enhanced environment cleaning has been implemented. This includes increased frequency of cleaning with special attention to high-contacted surfaces using a virucide
- Notices have been posted at entry points to instruct employees, students and visitors not to enter the building if they have respiratory symptoms
- Informational posters have been distributed throughout our campuses
Please remain vigilant as conditions are changing daily. The Government of Canada is closely monitoring COVID-19 and frequently provides updates. Please consult the Government of Canada, as well as the websites listed below, for the most accurate and up-to-date information.
Conestoga will continue to follow the advice of the Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services, who are working with the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Ministry of Health, Public Health Ontario and other health-care providers and agencies to monitor the situation and coordinate actions as appropriate. Internally, the college has a provincial expert on Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) advising and updating plans.
As a reminder, Public Health recommends preventative measures to reduce the transmission of, and exposure to, germs and viruses, including influenza, common colds and COVID-19:
- Stay home if you are sick
- Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid close contact with individuals who are sick
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing. Practice cough etiquette (maintain distance, cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissue or clothing and wash hands frequently)
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
- Do not shake hands -- fist or elbow bump instead
Conestoga strongly advises all students and employees to remain apprised of the changing situation. If you have questions about COVID-19, refer to the websites below, or contact your health-care provider or Telehealth Ontario (1-866-797-0000). If you are not feeling well please remain at home, and be diligent in reporting absences through the portal in a timely manner.
- Log into the student portal
- Click on the absence tab
- Complete the information and select "medical reasons" for your absence
Conestoga employees should follow the normal reporting process for absence from work.
If a Conestoga student or employee should become ill with respiratory symptoms while on campus, and has had potential contact with COVID-19, they should contact Security Services at ext. 3357 for assistance in obtaining an assessment and assistance in getting home or to a health-care provider.
Please visit the college's Frequently Asked Questions for more information. If you have questions or suggestions regarding the college’s response to COVID-19 please email COVID19questions@conestogac.on.ca
- Conestoga's Frequently Asked Questions
- Region of Waterloo
- Public Health Ontario
- The World Health Organization
- Public Health Agency of Canada
- Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care Public Information Site
- The Public Health Agency of Canada 24-hour hotline: 1-800-454-8302.
- The Government of Canada’s site to help people prepare personally for emergencies
- The Ontario government website The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)