New COVID-19 hotline and updated process for disclosures

Friday, November 13, 2020

This message was originally sent to employees by the president and vice-chancellor Feridun Hamdullahpur.


  • Students who test positive for COVID-19 can call the University’s new COVID hotline, 1-833-UW-COV19 (1-833-892-6819) for information and support.
  • If a student discloses to you that they have tested positive for COVID-19, you can now direct them to this phone number. You no longer need to directly inform the University medical director or associate provost, students.
  • Employees can call the COVID hotline, but the first point of contact should still be Occupational Health for reporting employee cases of COVID-19.

I’m pleased to announce the latest measure in our COVID-19 response which will help the campus community quickly access accurate health information and support. 

Beginning November 16, students and employees can call a new COVID hotline, 1-833-UW-COV19 (1-833-892-6819), for information and support if they test positive for COVID-19, have concerns about COVID-19 symptoms, or have questions about self-quarantine or testing. The phone line will be managed by dedicated nursing staff who will be available to answer questions and guide callers through any necessary next steps.

If a student discloses to you that they have COVID-19

The COVID hotline will also act as a central point of contact to coordinate the University’s management of suspected and confirmed student cases of COVID-19. 

This means that if a student discloses to you that they have or suspect they have COVID-19:

  • You can now direct the student to this hotline, and the nursing staff managing the line will coordinate the next steps for tracking the case and initiating Public Health contact tracing.
  • You no longer need to contact the University’s medical director or associate provost, students with the student’s information.

If you have COVID-19 or an employee discloses a positive case to you

If you are an employee and test positive for COVID-19, or if an employee discloses to you that they have or suspect they have COVID-19, the process has not changed. Occupational Health should still be the first point of contact for employee disclosures.

For more details, view the COVID-19 disclosure protocols.

Can employees also call the COVID hotline?

Employees can call the COVID hotline with questions, but the first point of contact should still be Occupational Health for tracking employee cases of COVID-19. 

For non-health related and other COVID-19 questions, you can continue to email coronavirus@uwaterloo.ca

What are the operating hours of the hotline?

Beginning Monday November 16, Health Services staff will be available at the hotline number from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. from Monday to Friday.

Outside of these hours, including weekends, you can submit your questions through a web form, which will be available on the Health Services website. You can expect to hear back within 24 hours. 

If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or your local emergency services.

Are there alternatives to phoning this number?

You can also direct COVID-19 disclosures and related health questions to Health Services through this web form (available November 16).

You can learn more about our COVID-19 safety measures, protocols and tips on the university’s COVID-19 website, which I hope you’re all familiar with by now.

As we continue into the fall, thank you for your continued work and your help maintaining safety both on and off campus.