Frsaer Valley – In a statement dated March 12, UFV is closely monitoring the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the quickly evolving health situation in BC and around the world.
UFV is not aware of any students, faculty, or staff diagnosed with the virus.
In the event of a presumptive or confirmed case at UFV, information will be provided quickly to the community by the University and by the relevant health agencies, including Fraser Health, consistent with protocols and commitments with those agencies.
As of now, the Public Health Agency of Canada has assessed the public health risk associated with COVID-19 as low for the general population in Canada, but this could change rapidly.
What is UFV doing?
UFV understands there is a heightened awareness of COVID-19. The university is committed to the health and wellness of our community and in mid-February UFV convened a group of stakeholders to monitor, plan, and coordinate actions as new information emerges. This group is in communication with Fraser Health and other relevant health authorities.
The Janitorial Services department at UFV is taking extra precautions during daily cleaning routines to help promote a healthy and clean environment for staff, students, and faculty and other members of the university community.
Janitorial Services is:
- Increasing the frequency of cleaning on high touch surfaces (i.e. high traffic doors, handrails, etc.). These are now being cleaned twice a day, rather than once a day.
- Increasing monitoring of hand sanitizing dispensers, including a daily audit to ensure dispensers are full of soap and in good working order.
- Cleaning door hardware in in less commonly used areas daily rather than weekly.
- Increasing the purchase of consumables including paper towels, toilet paper, hand soap and hand sanitizer fluid to ensure stock levels are adequate.
The Office of the Public Health Officer and BC CDC have indicated it is not necessary to cancel classes, school events, outings or field trips to public locations. The Public Health Agency of Canada has a robust list of measures you can take to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Here are some UFV FAQ’s that may help alleviate some of the questions you have concerning: attending or teaching classes, working, being sick, trying to prevent the spread of disease during this stage of the COVID-19 health situation. As the COVID-19 situation evolves so will the FAQ`s. In the days ahead we will have more web resources available with more answers.
Precautions and Prevention
While the risk is cited by health authorities as low, precautionary measures to avoid transmission of coronavirus are similar to measures to prevent colds and the `flu.
- Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds using soap and water
- 60-90% alcohol-based hand sanitizers can be used to clean hands if water is not available
- Do not touch your face/eyes/mouth with unwashed hands
- When you sneeze or cough, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your elbow and then wash your hands
- Stay home when you are sick – here is some information on self-isolation
- If you are sick, avoid contact with others who may have weakened immune systems
If you are concerned you may have been exposed to, or are experiencing the symptoms of, COVID-19, you should contact your primary care provider, or call 8-1-1 where you will be connected to a health professional.
Travel to/from China, Iran, Northern Italy, Japan and other countries:
The Government of Canada has several travel advisories in place for countries affected by the coronavirus. If travel to these countries cannot be avoided, BCCDC has a number of suggestions regarding precautions that can be taken to avoid spreading the virus. For complete instructions please read the UFV Urgent News blog post here:
Information on self-isolation
The following advice is for people who are self-isolating based on travel or contact with someone who has COVID-19. Students, faculty, or staff who have been recommended to self-isolate should call 8-1-1 for additional advice. While self-isolating:
- Stay in a well-ventilated room, including an open window, if possible. Do not have other people come in the room.
- Do not attend classes. Limit going in shared spaces. Try to keep a two-meter distance between yourself and others whenever possible.
- Practice good respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene as described above.
- If possible, have supplies dropped off outside your door to help avoid direct contact, and limit the number of people helping to take care of you.
- Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces. Regular household cleaning products are effective against most viruses, and you can also use 1 part bleach to 9 parts water as an effective disinfectant.
- Use dedicated linen and utensils, which can be washed with soap and water and re-used, and do not need to be disposed of.
- Dispose of any tissues, wipes, masks, or gloves in a waste container lined with a plastic bag before disposing with other household waste.
- Wash your clothes in hot water (between 60-90 °C), and then thoroughly dry them.
If you are sick and depend on post-secondary housing, food, laundry, hygiene, or other critical services, please let your institution know that you are self-isolating so that they can help support you, including in your current studies.
Staying in isolation can be difficult and lonely. If you are isolated, keep contact with friends and family through phone or computer.
UFV encourages you to check factual health sources for information relating to COVID-19. BCCDC has an excellent Frequently Asked Question guide to correct some of the misconceptions around COVID-19.
UFV encourages you to avoid making assumptions about the risk of infection to students, faculty or staff that may based on ethnicity or travel history. UFV is inclusive, welcoming, embraces diversity,and supports cross-cultural exchange. No person should be targeted in any way or subjected to discrimination resulting from a perception they may be a carrier of a communicable disease. Any discrimination or harassment of this nature will not be tolerated.