Ontario Government Protecting Students from Emerging Issue of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus

Published on January 29, 2020

On January 28th, 2020, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, and Ross Romano, Minister of Colleges and Universities issued the following joint statement on the province's ongoing response to the emerging issue of the 2019 novel coronavirus:

"The health and well-being of Ontarians, including our postsecondary students and faculty from Canada and abroad, is our number one priority. Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health, and Dr. Barbara Yaffe, Associate Chief Medical Officer of Health, are in regular contact with leaders in the education field informing them of the province's extensive protocols to monitor, detect and contain any cases of the 2019 novel coronavirus. Most recently, Dr. Williams and Dr. Yaffe led briefings this week with leaders from Ontario's colleges and universities to provide the most up-to-date information.

Ontario is working closely with the Public Health Agency of Canada and local public health units to continue to actively monitor and respond to this emerging situation.

Existing protocols have been strengthened surrounding the identification and control of the 2019 novel coronavirus in Ontario. Everyone should take comfort in knowing that our skilled health care providers are bringing their considerable experience to effectively monitor and respond to any reported cases, including the two confirmed cases in Toronto.

To students who may be concerned about false information circulating online, the province has put in place new and trusted resources for you to stay informed, including a dedicated web page on the 2019 novel coronavirus.

We want to assure everyone that the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Colleges and Universities are working in cooperation with our partners in both the health care and postsecondary sectors to ensure the continued safety and well-being of our college and university communities."

To help educate Ontarians about the 2019 novel coronavirus, how they can protect themselves and what to do if they suspect they may be at risk, the province has launched a dedicated web page. There will also be regular updates provided to the media and key stakeholders to ensure the public is fully informed.