As news of the Coronavirus spreads, prevention at the University of Guelph Humber is something that the school “is taking very seriously,” according to the university’s manager of communications and public relations, Ken Turriff.
Turriff says that the school is closely monitoring what public health authorities are saying about the Coronavirus. He says that it’s important that the school stays updated with Toronto Public Health and the Ontario Ministry of Health to avoid any misinformation about the virus.
Pamela Homiak, a health and safety specialist at Humber College says “the college has a committee focused on the coronavirus and several departments, including health and safety, are participating on that committee.”
“We’re all ears to the ground,” Turriff says. “When there is something to communicate out, students can be rest assured that we’ll be doing so.”
On Jan. 27, 2020, the University of Guelph Humber sent out an email regarding the Coronavirus to all students, instructors, and staff to remind them to stay home if they are feeling sick, alongside tips for prevention of any viruses.
Jamie Margarette Vergara, a communications and public relations assistant at the University of Guelph Humber says “students should be receiving emails, should there be any major updates that affect campus.”
Despite students receiving emails, Turriff says that the school wants to make sure that they don’t over communicate. “When we do come out with a message that students need to take note of, it’s concise messaging,” he says.
According to Vergara, that means students will be updated through emails, social media, and the University of Guelph Humber’s official website in order to “make sure that the word has been put out to every channel and so that it’s accessible to everyone.”
“As the Ministry of Health and Toronto Public Health have been saying, there’s a very low risk at this point in time. That’s one message that we want to perpetuate,” says Turriff.
Kevin Lebar, a fourth year kinesiology student at the University of Guelph Humber says that he’s already seen some students being cautious. “Some students I’ve seen taking precautions by wearing a mask,” he says.
Lebar says, “If something were to happen in school, I feel like the school would actually take more steps to prevent further development of it.”
“I’m not gonna be worried in case it starts actually spreading,” Lebar says.
Another fourth year kinesiology student, Avery Rodriguez says that he’s “not super worried” about the virus.
“There’s a lot of fear in the media,” says Rodriguez. “There’s cases of Coronavirus here, but I don’t think a lot of people are dying here from what I’ve heard.”
Yakov Mikhlin is a fourth year toxicology student at the University of Toronto who says he often discusses the Coronavirus with professors and students alike.
Miklhin says that he works in a laboratory at the University of Toronto with professors and graduate students. “Many of the professors have done extensive research, and after conversations with them, it seems that for the most part, we shouldn’t be too worried. However it’s something to definitely be aware of and maintain practices to keep cleanliness around the facility,” he says.
Mikhlin’s suggestions for Coronavirus prevention echoes those in Guelph Humber’s email to students on Jan. 27. “People just need to make sure to wash their hands more often, reduce physical contact with others, and stay home if you’re feeling sick,” he says.
Vergara says that all updates regarding the Coronavirus will be provided at guelphhumber.ca/updates.