This update is provided for archival purposes only.

Public Health guidance and University of Waterloo operations may have changed. For the most up-to-date information, please visit our COVID-19 frequently asked questions.

Coronavirus update – traveller and academic guidance

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

This message was originally sent to the University of Waterloo community by Sandra Banks, vice-president, University Relations.

A team of stakeholders from across our campus continue to follow updates on the global situation related to the 2019 novel coronavirus. We are following plans and protocols already in place to prevent the spread of infectious disease on our campus.

You can find the most up-to-date information on the Coronavirus Update website, dedicated to providing campus with a range of information related to the outbreak.

At a glance – what’s changed since our last update

  • Public health guidance has changed:
    • if you have recently come to Canada from Hubei province you should contact Public Health immediately, stay home and avoid close contact with others for 14 days;
    • if you have recently been to China, you should monitor yourself for symptoms of the coronavirus for 14 days after leaving China;
    • the risk to people in Canada remains low.
  • We have issued guidance for people who believe they need academic accommodation as a result of the coronavirus outbreak – our normal rules have not changed.
  • Help is available for anyone feeling overwhelmed or anxious – contact our Campus Wellness team or the Employee and Family Assistance Program.

Public health information

According to Public Health, the risk of the 2019 novel coronavirus as low for Canada and Canadian travellers abroad, though the risk to travellers in China is assessed as high.

Health authorities have recommended that people who have travelled to Hubei province in China should contact Region of Waterloo Public Health within 24 hours of arriving in Canada. Students can also contact Health Services on 519-888-4096, employees should contact Occupational Health. These travellers should 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. 

Travellers arriving to Canada from other parts of mainland China are advised to monitor themselves for symptoms of the 2019 novel coronavirus for 14 days after leaving China and to contact Region of Waterloo Public Health or Health Services on 519-888-4096 if they feel unwell. 

If you feel unwell, please contact your family doctor or attend Health Services or call on 519-888-4096 to book an appointment.

Academic information

We have not received any advice from public health authorities advising us to change our class schedule, how courses are delivered, or how we consider academic accommodation. As such, these areas currently remain unchanged.

Details on normal academic regulations and accommodations can be found on the University’s academic calendar.

Supporting our community

At Waterloo, we value each other as individuals. We all belong here. Fostering our spirit of genuine care and concern is so important at a time when many people are feeling scared or nervous about the coronavirus outbreak. We must show empathy and concern for people in our community who are directly affected by the virus and work together to stand against racism of any kind. 

We understand that many of our University community members have family in Wuhan and China who may be affected by the coronavirus. If you feel overwhelmed or anxious and need to talk to somebody, please don’t hesitate to contact the University’s Campus Wellness services, or Employee and Family Assistance Program on 1-888-663-1142.