Centennial College facilities are closed until further notice and the College has moved to Teaching at a Distance. Please continue to visit our website for regular updates.

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Coronavirus / Flu Prevention

Coronavirus / Flu Prevention

Help fight the spread of COVID-19

Novel Coronavirus FAQs

 

Update: March 23, 2020, 12:30 PM

Beginning Monday, March 23, through to the regularly scheduled semester end on Friday April 17 (or April 19 for weekend courses), Centennial has moved to a Teaching at a Distance model. All students will receive individualized, program-specific Semester Recovery Plans from their Academic Coordinator or Department Chair by Tuesday, March 24.

Please note that not all programs can be facilitated through alternate, distance models. Students enrolled in programs where labs, placements, or unpaid co-op work make up part of their program requirements can expect that their semester will extend beyond April 17. If this applies to you, it will be identified in your individualized Semester Recovery Plan.

To further help you complete your academic year, you now have access to a wide array of digital and online supports, services, and ways to connect with the College during the Teaching at a Distance period. Please refer to our Student Success Resources for a comprehensive list of College and community services available to help you succeed.


 

Update: March 17, 2020, 9:50 AM

Centennial College Facilities Closing at noon today (Tuesday, March 17)

Dear Centennial College Student Community,

I find that each message I send contains increasingly heavy news and, perhaps, creates more questions than answers.

However, I hope you know that I care deeply for our community’s wellbeing and your academic success – and one of the best ways I know how to accomplish this is to be as communicative as possible and make decisions based on the advice of experts during these troubling times.

Which brings me to the point of this message.

Toronto’s medical officer recommended yesterday that venues that bring people together (e.g., restaurants, bars, clubs, and theatres) close and further statements have been made this morning to that effect. Dr. Eileen de Villa made this recommendation, based on the rise of cases in Ontario and lessons learned from other countries and because of the likelihood of community transmission (meaning COVID-19 is being shared between people who haven’t traveled abroad). For these reasons, social distancing is critical right now.

Because we are experiencing an unprecedented situation and “the time to act is now,” it is with a heavy, yet realistic, heart that I have decided to close all Centennial College facilities (except for the Student Residence and the Safety and Security department) as of Tuesday, March 17 at 12 noon and until further notice. We will reassess the situation on April 3, if not sooner. 

Let me stress, however, that this is not a College closure.

Beginning on Monday, March 23, we will be “teaching at a distance” and underpinning that delivery with virtual services and teleworking operations. This will last (at least) until Sunday, April 5 when we will reassess our situation with regard to our in-class labs, clinical and field placements, and other face-to-face learning.

While learning at a distance will continue until at least the end of the semester, in regards to all other college operations the hope is to resume normal functions on Monday, April 6 to the extent possible, but it will be dependent on the public health context of COVID-19 at the time.

Specifically:

  • All Centennial College campuses and learning sites (including libraries and computer labs – which were initially going to remain open) will be closed for the health and safety of our community and to help “flatten the curve” of COVID-19.
  • “Learning at a distance” (for courses being in transition from classroom-based teaching and also regularly scheduled online courses) will resume as planned, beginning Monday, March 23 for the remainder of the academic term – which is currently Friday, April 17. We are committed to getting you through the Winter semester.
  • Virtual student services, including success advising and student counselling and accessibility services, will also be available as of March 23, and contact information will be communicated by the end of the week.
  • Co-op placements are being determined on an individual basis and very much with student safety in mind.
  • In-class labs, clinical and field placements, and other face-to-face learning will be reassessed by Sunday, April 5 with semester recovery and completion plans being communicated once there is more certainty and clarity.
  • The residence will remain open and residence students will be receiving more information from the Residence Life team in the near future.

More details regarding your academic courses, placements and co-op, a modified laptop borrowing program (we have ordered a large number of new laptops), and contact information for the multitude of services that will be offered virtually (including Success Advisors, Career and Co-op Advisors, International Advisors and Counsellors) will be circulated by the end of the week as teams finalize details. In addition, you can expect more clarity and detailed contact information to address your individual enquiries by the end of the week, as well. Please also review our website for the most current information.

I’m certain you still have many more questions – and I would, too.

Please know that my team and I are working around the clock to provide much more clarity for your needs and planning – but wanted to communicate this important decision for your health and safety quickly.

Thank you for the retweets, likes, and messages of support as I’ve appreciated them more than you know.

In times like these, we need to be kind, understanding and comfortable with uncertainty – you’ve demonstrated these qualities already and, because of that, I’m confident in the power of our community to move through this.

Yours sincerely,
Dr. Craig Stephenson
President and CEO, Centennial College


 

Update: March 16, 2020, 3:15 PM

Facilities at Pickering Learning Site and the Eglinton Learning Site close Tuesday, March 17

The facilities at Centennial’s Pickering Learning Site (1340 Pickering Pkwy #102) and at Eglinton Learning Site (124 Eglinton Avenue West) will be closed effective March 17 until April 5, at which time we will re-evaluate whether we are going to reopen the facilities or continue offering programs online (Teaching at a Distance). Courses offered through the Pickering Learning Site and the Eglinton Learning Site will follow Centennial College’s guidelines of Teaching at a Distance guidelines, which will be finalized this week. Students may access any facilities that are available at Centennial’s five main campuses in Toronto. The College will continue to provide updated information on COVID-19 and changes to our operations on our website, and particularly through our Frequently Asked Questions.


Update: March 16, 2020, 2:00 PM

COVID-19 and Convocation Update

With the COVID-19 outbreak moving quickly, we want to assure you that our team continues to consider the health and safety of our community while we plan our Convocation ceremonies. We know you must have many questions and issues you need to resolve before you can finalize convocation planning for yourself, your family and friends. Rest assured we are working hard to clarify our plans for convocation and will update this webpage with more comprehensive information as decisions are made.

Travel from outside of Canada to Convocation:

Please consider when booking travel to ensure your travel arrangements are refundable should you become ill or we need to adjust or cancel Convocation dates.

In addition, under the March 14, 2020 Travel Health Advisory issued by the government of Canada, all travellers from outside Canada must be prepared to self-isolate for 14 days upon arriving here.

Please check back regularly as we will continue to keep you updated through this webpage and our COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions.


Update: March 16, 2020, 1:25 PM

Centre for Academic English will be online beginning March 23

Beginning March 23, 2020, all tutoring with the Centre for Academic English will be online until further notice. To participate in online tutoring, you will need a laptop or desktop computer with a webcam and a headset. Online tutoring will be available Monday to Friday from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm, Saturday from 10:30 am to 2:30 pm and Sunday from 1:30 pm to 8:30 pm. The schedule will open on Wednesday morning for students to book for the following week.

Book a session now. You will receive an email reminder before your appointment. This email will have the link and instructions to meet your tutor online. Please check your my.centennialcollege.ca email carefully.

If you have any issues or questions please email us at cae@centennialcollege.ca.


Update: March 15, 2020, 7:00 PM

All Clinical and Field (unpaid) Placements Suspended - Effective Monday, March 16

A decision has been made to suspend all clinical and field (unpaid) placements effective Monday, March 16 until at least April 5, at which time we will re-evaluate. Our decision is based on the principles of community safety and to support our partners who may be overburdened during this unprecedented and challenging time.

The College is monitoring this evolving situation and will be reviewing and investigating completion options for field and clinical placements (unpaid). These will be communicated to students once determined. Thank you for your patience and understanding while we work towards determining winter semester end dates.


March 14, 2020, 5:25 PM

Centennial College Student Association (CCSAI) facilities closed, March 16-23

Our CCSAI spaces are popular gathering places for students on campus. To help minimize the risk of spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus we are closing all of our facilities from Monday, March 16 until Monday, March 23. The Union Grill and International News will be closed as a part of the Student Centre closure at Progress Campus. Our Alumni Association and ACCEL offices will be working from alternate locations. 

During this time we will offer as many of our services online as possible, and will be working with our partners to increase our capacity upon return to operation for appointment-based services, such as legal advice and grad photos. We also will be taking this time to thoroughly clean all of our areas.

We understand that this closure may cause some inconvenience, but we want to do all we can to ensure the health of our students, staff and community. If you have any questions during this time you can reach out to us at info@ccsai.ca. Thank you!


March 14, 2020, 10:30 AM

Self-Isolation Extends to Everyone Who Travels Outside Canada

On Friday, March 13, Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health announced that anyone in the city who has recently arrived from outside of Canada, including the United States, is asked to please self-isolate for 14 days starting from the date they returned to Canada. On Saturday, March 14, the Government of Canada issued a Level 3 Travel Health Advisory that directs Canadians to avoid all non-essential travel outside the country.

What does self-isolation mean? Stay at home. Do not attend the campus, avoid contact with others, and contact Toronto Public Health at 416-338-7600 for further direction. Please avoid hospital settings, unless you need immediate health care, and limit social interactions with large groups of people, older residents and people with chronic illnesses.


March 13, 2020

Centennial Service and Campus Information During Suspension of Classes

As has been noted, Centennial College is preparing plans to work through the COVID-19 situation while ensuring the health and safety of our community. Further to the previous announcement, please note the following:

  • All employees are expected to work normal hours next week. Further information will be provided next week, including addressing flexibility for family needs as a result of the suspension of K to 12 classes.
  • All weekend classes are suspended this weekend. 
  • Teaching at a Distance is also suspended next week and will resume on Monday, March 23.
  • All athletic facilities, including the Athletic and Wellness Centre, will close as of 2 pm today. Staff at these facilities are expected to continue working for the rest of the day. These facilities will be closed until further notice. We will be proactively cleaning and sanitizing all facilities and will re-open at such time that our students, staff and community members can safely gather. 
  • Campus libraries are closed until Thursday, March 19.
  • We will be suspending food service in The Local and Event Centre at Progress Campus until further notice. We will, however, continue with beverage service in both venues. Aramark will continue limited food service at each campus:
    • Progress Campus: Tim Horton’s – Monday to Friday 8:00 am to 3 pm.
      Closed: All other Aramark outlets, including: Main Cafeteria, Market Express, Tim Hortons Express
      (E-Block), Subway, Smoke’s Poutinerie, Epic Burger, Market Express and Second Cup
    • Ashtonbee Campus: Tim Horton’s – Monday to Friday 8:00 am – 2:00 pm.
      Closed: All other Aramark outlets, including: Main Cafeteria and Tim Hortons Express
    • Morningside Campus: Tim Horton’s – Monday to Friday 8:00 am – 2:00 pm.
      Closed: All other Aramark outlets, including: Main Cafeteria, Tim Hortons Express
    • Story Arts Centre: Closed: Cafeteria
      *Snacks and Beverages will be available at CafeGo and Coke kiosks
    • Downsview Campus: Closed: Cafeteria
      *Snacks and Beverages will be available at CafeGo and Coke kiosks
  • Our Centennial Place Residence at Progress Campus remains open, but all large residence gatherings and events are postponed for the time being.
  • All campus events between now and the end of April will be either cancelled, postponed or provided through online modes. We will provide event-specific details as they become available.

We understand that there is a lot of uncertainty during a situation like this, and people have a lot of questions. We will continue to provide detailed updates as often as possible.


March 13, 2020

Message from The President: Suspension of Classes

As you are all aware, the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak is moving quickly – and I want to assure you that our team has been planning for the health and safety of our community while ensuring continuity of study wherever possible.

We have made some initial decisions, which are as follows:

  • All classes will be suspended from Saturday, March 14 to Sunday, March 22. This is being done so that College faculty and staff can appropriately plan for course delivery, labs, and services. This shutdown will also allow deep cleaning of technical equipment and classrooms to take place next week.
  • From Monday, March 23 to Friday, April 3 all courses will be delivered online and students will not have to attend campus. However, campuses will remain open during this time to allow students who require a computer to engage in online learning to utilize our open computer labs on campus.
  • To be clear, Centennial’s buildings remain open, but student attendance will be minimized, our gyms will be closed and campus services will be reduced.
  • All College-related international and domestic travel by staff is suspended.
  • For the foreseeable future, Child Care Centres will remain open, as will Aramark food services, but with reduced services.
  • Planning will also include how we enable work arrangements for College staff in consideration of any child care needs given the closure in the K to 12 system.
  • Please also note, we are stressing the need for increased social distancing to create a safer work and learning environment. And in addition to the basics of hygiene, we stress that if you are feeling sick do not come to campus.

We know that you have many questions and needs, as there are so many considerations for studying, family and overall College operations. Please know that we’re working hard to provide this clarity, will be engaging with broader College leadership, and will send more comprehensive information in the coming days.

Please keep each other safe and healthy.


March 12, 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus Update

With news that the World Health Organization has declared the COVID-19 coronavirus a pandemic, and with some US colleges closing due to the outbreak, we wish to assure our students and staff that Centennial College is open and fully operational. We are monitoring the situation closely, as our top priority is keeping our College community safe and healthy. There are no presumed or confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Centennial College at this time.

All our classes are continuing as scheduled.

At present, the risk of infection in Ontario remains low as all cases to date are directly related to international travel. Because there are no signs as yet that community transmission is taking place, we will continue to run classes normally until Toronto Public Health says otherwise. Please attend your classes and keep up with the assignments.

However, if you feel ill please stay home.

Stay at home if you feel unwell and call your doctor or health clinic to describe your symptoms and learn the next steps. Information also can be provided by Toronto Public Health (416-338-7600) or Telehealth Ontario (1-800-797-0000) if you think you have flu-like symptoms, such as high fever and chills. Please follow their advice and go where they are prepared to receive you and get diagnosed. Self-isolation for 14 days may be part of the treatment. Once you have your diagnosis, please contact your professor or program department. You will have some academic flexibility during your self-isolation period.

Centennial is cancelling all College-related travel.

With the rapid progression of the COVID-19 outbreak around the globe, the College has decided that the risk posed to our own travellers is too high at this time, and we are cancelling all of our international travel at least until June. This would include our GCELE and FLIP trips involving students and faculty. While we are disappointed, the safety and well being of our community is our top priority. Centennial is also cancelling travel for staff and faculty who may be attending academic conferences in Canada or internationally.

This is a rapidly evolving situation.

Centennial College is taking the necessary steps to prepare should the COVID-19 situation change dramatically or quickly. We have a comprehensive plan to ensure that you can complete the academic term in the event that we are required to reduce face-to-face classroom instruction. We are continually monitoring the situation as local and global health authorities inform our ongoing planning.

Have questions? Check out our FAQs


March 11, 2020

Travellers from Hubei Province and Iran asked to self-Isolate

Toronto Public Health continues to monitor COVID-19 cases in the city, and is actively working with its health partners to plan for the potential of local spread. Rest assured, the novel coronavirus is not circulating locally and the risk here remains low per Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).

New this week, Toronto Public Health asks those who have travelled from Hubei Province (China) or Iran within the past 14 days – or have had close contact with a person ill with COVID-19 – to please self-isolate and contact Toronto Public Health at 416-338-7600 within 24 hours of having arrived in Toronto. Before visiting a health clinic, call ahead to report health and travel history.

Those who have recently travelled from areas under a travel health advisory for COVID-19 (other than Hubei Province or Iran) are asked to watch for signs and symptoms which may develop up to 14 days after an exposure (i.e., last date of travel). If you develop symptoms of COVID-19, you are asked to please self-isolate, contact Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000, your local public health unit or your primary care provider's office. Tell your health care provider about your symptoms and travel history before your visit to allow them to prepare for your visit and protect other patients.

Also new this week, you will notice new posters around the campuses and on screen savers on our monitors focused on COVID-19 and best practices for avoiding the virus. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus, and the simplest way to do that is by washing your hands often for 20 seconds, or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are not readily available. To maintain healthy campuses, the College continues to closely monitor the levels in our soap and hand sanitizer dispensers and has undertaken a rigorous cleaning protocol, washing or misting disinfectant on touch points such as door handles, taps and surfaces in our labs and libraries.

Please refer to the updated Frequently Asked Questions for Staff for answers to any concerns about COVID-19, including areas with health travel advisories, what to do if someone is displaying symptoms of COVID-19, and where to get the most reliable, up-to-date information. Watch for more information and tips on staying healthy.


March 3, 2020

Risk remains low while COVID-19 cases increase in Ontario

The latest total number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Ontario is 20 – with three being completely resolved. Dr. David Williams, Ontario's chief medical officer of health, has stated that the COVID-19 virus does not appear to be spreading locally. With no cases stemming from people who have not traveled to an affected region, Toronto Health Services advises that the risk of being infected remains low.

The most reported cases of COVID-19 remain in China, with northern Italy and Iran also reporting significant numbers. Japan and South Korea experience the next largest outbreaks, followed by Hong Kong and Singapore.

Who should be vigilant?

Health authorities advise those who have recently returned from international travel and become ill with respiratory or flu-like symptoms to isolate themselves at home and contact Toronto Public Health by telephone at 416-338-7600 before visiting any healthcare centre. Call ahead to report your health and travel history before visiting a clinic. Please refer to our updated Frequently Asked Questions for answers to any concerns about COVID-19.

Challenging intolerance

Viruses do not discriminate. We are a diverse, inclusive community that values compassion, respect and care for each other. We need to challenge the intolerance, harassment and bullying directed at Asian members of our community precipitated by this health scare.

Help fight the spread of COVID-19

As always, you can protect yourself during flu season – please remember regular influenza can be life-threatening, too – by following these simple, universal steps:

  • Get the flu shot
  • Cover your cough
  • Wash your hands
  • Sick? Stay home!

Health authorities also recommend frequent cleaning and disinfecting of common surfaces such as countertops, light switches, doorknobs and taps. We’ve got it covered! Since the first cases of COVID-19 appeared in Canada, the College has increased the cleaning of these vital touch points, and placed more hand sanitizer throughout our campuses.

Avoid fake news!

To make sure you only receive accurate information, we keep the College community updated with broadcast emails and content on our web and social media pages using facts confirmed by officials at Toronto Public Health, Ontario Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization.

We understand that some people will find news about the coronavirus to be stressful, and may even have family overseas who are affected. It can help to speak with someone to ease your mind. Students can reach out to one of the College’s counsellors working in Centre for Accessible Learning and Counselling Services (CALCS);

Protect yourself by taking precautions to avoid illness this winter. Be well!


February 21, 2020

Coronavirus COVID-19 Update

Good news: the first person in Canada to test positive for the coronavirus COVID-19 has now been cleared of the virus. Ontario health officials say the man in his 50s has had two negative tests 24 hours apart. His spouse, who had travelled to China with him, also fell ill but with less severe symptoms and remains in self-isolation at home. The woman is expected to be cleared soon – which means Ontario will be entirely free of COVID-19 cases.

At the same time, a number of Canadians from Wuhan, China, as well as passengers from the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan are now in quarantine in Trenton and Cornwall. One planeload of earlier arrivals from Wuhan were released from Canadian quarantine and the second wave will be released next week. None have shown any sign of the virus.

Thanks to the robust screening and quarantine processes, Toronto Public Health maintains there is low risk in Ontario. Quite simply, the public health precautions and procedures have been functioning as intended.

New FAQ Information

We have updated our FAQs page with new information pertaining to staff and students asking for accommodations if they choose to self-isolate for any reason. Please familiarize yourself with the information. We would like to thank you all for continuing to support a healthy and safe college community during this time. We understand that events that garner international attention and alarming headlines can cause anxiousness. However, maintaining a sensible and factual approach allows us to manage an appropriate response to any incident or matter that may cause our community concern.

Centennial's incident management team continually communicates with Toronto Public Health officials for updates and guidance. We take the health and wellbeing of our community very seriously and remain committed to this practice. As always, we urge the Centennial College community to follow good hand hygiene practices, like washing and sanitizing, and avoiding contact with others when sick. It's vitally important that all members of the Centennial’s community feel respected, welcome and supported.

Centennial College will continue to update the community as the situation unfolds through the usual communication channels, including social media. Another frequently asked questions page about the coronavirus explains the risks, symptoms and what to do if you experience flu-like symptoms offers practical information. Those who experience symptoms and have travelled to or been exposed to anyone from an affected region are advised to contact Toronto Public Health Hotline, a health-care professional or their nearest hospital.

Questions?

If you have specific questions not addressed in any of our material, please feel free to reach out to our Incident Management manager, Marc Buzzeo, at the coordinates below. Thank you once again for supporting a resilient Centennial and ensuring a safe place to learn, work and grow.

College Information Resources

Public Health Information


February 13, 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus cases resolving in Ontario

Ontario's third and latest confirmed case of coronavirus has been resolved when the patient in London tested negative for the virus twice in 24 hours and is no longer considered infectious. The first two patients are doing well enough to remain out of hospital. Despite the large number of cases in China, our health authorities remind everyone that the infection risk is low in Ontario and in Canada.

President Craig Stephenson took to WeChat – China's popular social media platform – with a supportive message for Chinese students concerned about the outbreak. He shared some advice promoted by health authorities and reiterated the College's policy about maintaining a respectful and compassionate campus community, as well as reminded students to use our confidential counselling service if they're feeling anxious. Grateful students responded in kind, expressing their heartfelt appreciation for his empathy and support.

Viruses do not discriminate. We are a diverse, inclusive community that values compassion, respect and care for each other. We need to challenge the intolerance, harassment and bullying directed at Chinese and Asian members of our community.

Who should be vigilant? Experts advise those who have recently returned from international travel and become ill with respiratory or flu-like symptoms to isolate themselves at home and report their health and travel history to any healthcare provider or Toronto Public Health by phone. Please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions for answers to your concerns about the COVID-19.

As always, you can protect yourself during flu season – please remember regular influenza can be life-threatening – by following these simple steps:

  • Get the flu shot
  • Cover your cough
  • Wash your hands
  • Sick? Stay home!

The coronavirus has unfortunately led to the distribution of false news stories and reports. We continue to keep the College community updated with broadcast emails and content on our web and social media pages using facts confirmed by officials at Toronto Public Health, Ontario Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization.

We understand that some people will find continual news about the coronavirus to be stressful. It may help to speak with someone to ease your mind. Students can reach out to one of the College’s counsellors working in Centre for Accessible Learning and Counselling Services (CALCS);

Protect yourself by taking precautions to avoid illness this winter. Be well!


February 6, 2020

The risk of contracting the coronavirus remains very low

While the World Health Organization has declared a global health emergency, the number of persons with the novel coronavirus outside of China amounts to 230 cases. There are currently only five cases in Canada, of which three are in Ontario. All patients here are recovering well.

Local health authorities continue to deem the situation as low risk. For those who have family members in China, it's important to note that while the coronavirus seems to spread with relative ease, it does not appear to strike down healthy individuals. Risk of severe illness may be higher if the patient is elderly, has a chronic disease or weakened immune system.

There's no reason to panic, nor should people be engaged in xenophobic or mean-spirited social media posts or outbursts. Viruses do not discriminate. We are a diverse, inclusive community that values compassion, respect and support for each other. We need to challenge the intolerance, harassment and bullying directed at Chinese and Asian members of our community.

Who should be vigilant? Experts advise those who have recently returned from international travel and become ill with respiratory or flu-like symptoms to isolate themselves at home and report their health and travel history to any healthcare provider or Toronto Public Health by phone. Please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions on the college website.

Centennial College continues to monitor the situation and promote healthy habits to curtail the spread of the flu – advice that applies equally well to the coronavirus. In addition to increasing the cleaning of touchpoints on campus, i.e., door handles and taps, the College is diligently monitoring the levels in the hand-sanitizer dispensers and is adding new dispensers at all campus locations. You will also see sanitizer stations set up at building entrances in the coming days. Please use them.

As always, you can protect yourself during flu season by following these simple steps:

  • Get the flu shot
  • Cover your cough
  • Wash your hands
  • Sick? Stay home!

It is not necessary to wear a surgical mask unless you have cough or cold symptoms, in which case you should remain at home. According to medical practitioners, unfitted surgical masks do not protect you from contracting viruses; they only help keep you from passing germs onto others.

The coronavirus has unfortunately led to the distribution of false news stories and reports. We will keep the College community updated with broadcast emails and content on our web and social media pages using facts confirmed by officials at Toronto Public Health, Ontario Ministry of Health, the Public Health Agency of Canada and the World Health Organization.

We understand that some people will find continual news about the coronavirus to be stressful. It may help to speak with someone to ease your mind:

Remember: the seasonal flu shot is helpful

The flu shot is available at doctors' offices, pharmacies, walk-in medical clinics and community health centres at no cost to you. Doctors strongly recommend getting immunized, particularly if you’re in contact with vulnerable persons, such as the elderly or very young, or those with compromised immune systems.

Protect yourself by taking precautions to avoid illness this winter. Be well!


January 31, 2020

Anxious about the coronavirus?

Ontario public health officials say that while there are 27 people being tested for the coronavirus, 38 people have already been cleared. There are still only two confirmed cases, a husband and wife, in Ontario.

The good news is, local officials continue to deem the situation as low risk here – despite the fact that the World Health Organization (WHO) has now declared a global health emergency.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams believes the system set up to deal with such outbreaks is working. “Individuals of concern have self-reported… and we haven’t seen anyone come out of the blue show up already quite ill,” he said in a press conference.

Who should be vigilant? Experts advise those who feel the onset of flu-like symptoms and they’ve just returned from China should isolate themselves at home. Early evidence suggests that many infected young people who are otherwise healthy are able to "fend it off pretty quickly," according to Dr. Williams.

Centennial College continues to monitor the situation and promote healthy habits to curtail the spread of the flu – advice that applies equally well to the coronavirus. In addition to increasing the cleaning of touchpoints on campus, i.e., door handles and taps, the College is diligently monitoring the levels in the hand sanitizer dispensers throughout our campuses. As always, you can protect yourself during flu season by following these simple steps:

  1. Get the flu shot
  2. Cover your cough
  3. Wash your hands
  4. Sick? Stay home!

It is not necessary to wear a surgical mask unless you have cough or cold symptoms, in which case you should remain home. According to medical practitioners, surgical masks do not protect you from contracting viruses; they only help keep you from passing germs on to others.

The coronavirus has unfortunately led to the distribution of false news stories and reports. We will keep the College community updated with broadcast emails and content on our web and social media pages using facts confirmed by officials at Toronto Public Health, Ontario Ministry of Health, the Public Health Agency of Canada and the World Health Organization.

We understand that some people will find continual news about the coronavirus to be stressful. Remember, it can help to speak with someone to ease your mind:

Be respectful of others

As news of the coronavirus continues to dominate, it is understandable to feel some anxiety. Nonetheless, we expect everyone in the College community to be treated with dignity and respect. Even unconscious bias can result in comments that are hurtful and exclusionary. We must work together to ensure our campuses remain a safe place to work, teach and study.

Remember: the seasonal flu shot is helpful! It is available at doctors' offices, pharmacies, walk-in medical clinics and community health centres at no cost to you. Doctors strongly recommend getting immunized, particularly if you’re in contact with vulnerable persons, such as the elderly or very young.

Protect yourself by taking precautions to avoid illness this winter. Stay well!


January 30, 2020

Preventing the Flu

As you have heard, a never-before-seen virus detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan has infected hundreds of people with a pneumonia-like illness in China and now in several other countries. Medical researchers have linked the disease to a novel coronavirus, part of the same virus family responsible for the SARS pandemic in 2003.

While there have been no reports of infections in Canada and public health officials have stressed that there is low risk to the general population, we should all practice care and vigilance. Centennial College is taking steps to curtail the transmission of flu-like viruses so that the College community can stay healthy, including:

  • more frequent cleaning of campus “touch points” such as door handles and washrooms;
  • more hand sanitizer dispensers to encourage frequent use;
  • more posters and other communications to remind everyone about the importance of good hand-washing, hand-sanitizing and coughing hygiene habits.

Centennial has activated its Pandemic Planning Committee, which has already met and will continue to monitor the situation and provide timely updates.

Here's what you can do to help curb the spread of the flu virus:

  • cough and sneeze into a tissue or use your sleeve or arm rather than your hands to cover your mouth and nose;
  • wash your hands frequently using soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer;
  • avoid touching your eyes, mouth and face to prevent infection;
  • get the free flu shot as a way to protect yourself from infection;
  • stay home when you feel ill.

The seasonal flu shot is available at doctors' offices, pharmacies and walk-in medical clinics at no cost to you. Doctors strongly recommend getting it, particularly if you’re in contact with vulnerable persons, such as the elderly or very young.

If you feel the onset of flu-like symptoms, you are encouraged to consult your family physician or call Telehealth Ontario anytime at 1-866-797-0000 and you will be connected to a Registered Nurse who can assess your condition and the need for further action. Toronto Public Health also has a consultation line available at 416-338-7600 (weekdays 8:30 am to 4:30 pm). For more information:

Protect yourself by taking precautions to avoid illness this winter. Stay well!