Information on the coronavirus

Updated 3 p.m., February 27, 2020

With increased media coverage and widespread sharing of misinformation about the new coronavirus (COVID-19), many communities are experiencing a heightened sense of fear, and in some cases, discrimination and harassment towards people of Chinese descent. Our college community is built on diversity and inclusion and we are committed to fostering a respectful environment, free of discrimination and harassment. 

We encourage everyone to treat each other with respect and kindness during this period. 

Risk to Canadians remains low 

Two new cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) were reported in Toronto this week. Both individuals are recovering at home in isolation. The new cases include a woman who recently travelled to Iran, and her husband. He is the first case of human-to-human transmission in Ontario — all other cases had a recent travel history to China or other affected regions.

Health officials continue to inform the public the overall risk to Canadians is low.

What is George Brown College doing? 

We continue to monitor the situation closely and will put into place any precautions or protocols recommended by public health officials.  

  • George Brown’s facilities team has installed 50 new hand sanitizer stations across our three campuses.  

  • We are following Government of Canada travel advisories and suspending all travel on behalf of the college to affected regions identified by health authorities until further notice. Please email the GBC International Global Mobility Team at globalmobility@georgebrown.ca if you have any questions regarding these travel suspension. 

Student learning in a health care setting 

George Brown’s academic leaders are in close communication with the health care facilities in the Greater Toronto Area and we’re prepared to take the necessary steps to protect our students. 

Students who are engaged in a health care facility should follow the directions of the administration of the facility. 

How can I stay healthy? 

Health officials say the risk to Canadians remains low but there are things you can do to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses:

  • regular hand washing or use of alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • refrain from touching your face with your hands and avoid contact with people who are sick
  • use proper cough and sneezing etiquette (use a tissue, or cough or sneeze into the crease of your arm)
  • stay home if you’re sick, particularly if you have symptoms including fever, cough and difficulty breathing. If you experience these symptoms AND you’ve recently travelled internationally, avoid contact with others and call your health care professional or nearest hospital

All students are advised to update their emergency contact information on STU-VIEW

Where can I find more information? 

There have been several rumours on social media and elsewhere about coronavirus, and we encourage you to educate yourself by following reputable, evidence-based sources, including the links below:   

What if I’ve recently travelled or plan to travel? 

While the risk of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) to Toronto residents remains low, the Government of Canada has issued a travel recommendation to avoid non-essential travel to China, and has updated travel advisories for other affected regions

Travellers who have returned from Hubei province, including Wuhan City, in China should: 

  • contact their local public health unit within 24 hours of arriving in Canada 

  • stay at home and avoid close contact with others, including those in their home, for a total of 14 days from the date they left Hubei province 

For students planning to travel to China or other affected areas

Students who are planning to travel outside Canada are encouraged to:

  1. Consult with the Government of Canada Travel Health Notices for the most up-to-date information on travel advisories or restrictions.
  2. Consult with your travel agency or service provider in order to determine if there are any restrictions or limitations. You may also wish to inquire into travel cancellation or re-booking.
  3. Contact the Counselling & Student Well-being Office to advise the college of your proposed travel dates. Please be prepared to provide the following information:
  • Dates of travel
  • Flight information
  • Names of locations and regions to be visited
  • Contact information for the duration of the period of travel
  • International students are encouraged to contact the Manager of International Student Services (tkunga@georgebrown.ca) for guidance related to immigration (permits/visas) and other international-specific matters

Contact information for Counselling & Student Wellbeing

Email: letstalk@georgebrown.ca 

Phone: 416-415-5000 St. James/Ryerson Campus ext. 2017, Casa Loma Campus ext. 4585 and Waterfront Campus ext. 5370  

For students who have recently returned or arrived from China or other affected areas

If a student has travelled to a region affected by the novel coronavirus, such that the recommendation of Toronto Public Health is to self-quarantine or seek medical care, they should contact Counselling & Student Well-being to provide:

  • date of return to Canada
  • whether or not a quarantine or medical care was elective or required (medical documentation may be requested)
  • contact information for the duration of the absence from the college
  • International students are encouraged to contact the Manager of International Student Services (tkunga@georgebrown.ca) for guidance related to immigration (permits/visas) and other international-specific matters 

Counselling & Student Well-being will have a team member contact the student to help access the college’s supports to facilitate appropriate accommodations required for the period of quarantine or medical care.

Contact information for Counselling & Student Wellbeing

Email: letstalk@georgebrown.ca 

Phone: 416-415-5000 St. James/Ryerson Campus ext. 2017, Casa Loma Campus ext. 4585 and Waterfront Campus ext. 5370  

For employees who have recently returned from China or other affected areas

Employees who’ve recently returned from China and other affected regions should contact their senior human resources consultant. You can find their contact information on Insite.