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Health Alert – Update to Students RE: Coronavirus

Written by Mandie Brooks in School News on February 5, 2020

Dear Students of Alexander College,

There has been a second presumptive confirmed case of the novel coronavirus (named 2019- nCoV) reported in the Vancouver region as of yesterday, Tuesday February 4, 2020. The virus was first identified in Wuhan, China.  Alexander College is closely monitoring reports of the infection and following the direction of the Fraser Health Authority and Vancouver Coastal Health Authority.

Avoid going to class or work when you are sick. If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early. Tell your health care provider if you have traveled in an area in China where 2019-nCoV has been reported, or if you have been in close contact with someone with who has traveled from China and has respiratory symptoms.

As of February 4, 2020, the Public Health Agency of Canada has implemented new recommendations for newly arrived travellers returning from Hubei province (including Wuhan city), China. Newly arrived travellers are now advised to closely monitor themselves for symptoms and to avoid contact with others for 14 days after leaving Hubei province. This includes remaining home from school, work and avoiding crowded public places. This recommendation was made out of an abundance of caution as the number of reported cases of infection in Hubei province has increased.

 

Call 8-1-1 if you develop symptoms of flu (fever, coughing, shortness of breath).

8-1-1 is a free-of-charge provincial health information and advice phone line available in British Columbia. The 8-1-1 phone line is operated by HealthLink BC, which is part of the Ministry of Health. By calling 8-1-1, you can speak to a health service navigator, who can help you find health information and services; or connect you directly with a registered nurse, or health professional.
https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/services-and-resources/about-8-1-1

Travellers are encouraged to consult the Travel Health Notice for China on travel.gc.ca regularly as recommendations may change over the course of your travel as new information becomes available.

 

The following preventative measures are advised by Health Authorities:

  1. Wash your hands frequently for a minimum of 20 seconds with soap and water. Why? Washing your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water kills the virus if it is on your hands.
  2. Practice respiratory hygiene. When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – discard tissue immediately into a closed bin and clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water. Why? Covering your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing prevent the spread of germs and viruses. If you sneeze or cough into your hands, you may contaminate objects or people that you touch.
  3. Maintain social distancing. Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and other people, particularly those who are coughing, sneezing and have a fever.Why? When someone who is infected with a respiratory disease, like 2019-nCoV, coughs or sneezes they project small droplets containing the virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the virus.
  4. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with your unwashed hands. Why? Hands touch many surfaces which can be contaminated with the virus. If you touch your eyes, nose or mouth with your contaminated hands, you can transfer the virus from the surface to yourself.

 

For the Vancouver Coastal Health Statement on coronavirus:
http://www.vch.ca/about-us/news/vancouver-coastal-health-statement-on-coronavirus

For more information on cold and flu symptoms, see https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/diseases-conditions/cold-flu-know-difference-fact-sheet.html

For more information on Coronavirus, see https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus.html

 

Sincerely,

Alexander College Administration


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