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General Novel Coronavirus Frequently Asked Questions

General Novel Coronavirus Frequently Asked Questions

Last updated: March 20, 2020, 1:57 PM


Why are we being asked to not travel outside Canada? *Updated

On March 14, 2020, The Public Health Agency of Canada issued a Level 3 Travel Health Advisory related to COVID-19 that directs Canadians to avoid all non-essential travel outside of Canada. Many countries are reporting community or widespread transmission of COVID-19. Travellers who become ill may not have access to timely and appropriate health care or may face movement restrictions if local authorities impose sudden control measures suddenly. In addition, it is not always possible to get a return flight, and all travellers must self-isolate for 14 days once they return from travel outside the country.


What should I do if I recently returned from an area with a travel health notice and develop flu symptoms?

If you recently returned from a country with Level 3, 2 or 1 travel advisory country for COVID-19 (other than Hubei Province or Iran) and develop respiratory symptoms such as fever, cough and/or difficulty breathing, avoid contact with others and call your health care professional prior to visiting. If you don’t have a health care provider, contact an Ontario Community Health Centre. control measures are used.


What are my chances of getting the coronavirus?

On January 30, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a Global Health Emergency due to the potential global impact that the 2019-nCoV may have on developing countries. However, the risk of contracting the virus in Toronto, or anywhere in Canada, remains low at this time. Toronto Public Health continues to actively monitor the situation in collaboration with provincial and national health agencies, WHO and stakeholders such as local hospitals, airports and community agencies. The virus is not circulating locally in Canada, however given the global circumstances, Toronto Public Health is actively working with the city and health partners to plan for the potential spread of the virus.


How can I best protect myself from getting COVID-19, or any other virus?

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19, or specific treatment. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. Follow the practices outlined on posters around the campus; that is:

  • Wash your hands often, using soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer where soap and water are not readily available
  • Cover your sneeze or cough with a tissue, then place the tissue in the garbage and wash your hands, or cough/sneeze into your bent elbow
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth without first washing your hands
  • Avoid shaking hands
  • Do not share personal items such as toothbrushes, utensils, drinks, towels
  • Keep a safe barrier (3 feet) from anyone displaying flu-like symptoms
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Get a flu shot

Why should I get the flu shot when it doesn’t protect me from the novel coronavirus?

It’s not too late to get your flu shot. You are much more likely to get a flu that is not COVID-19. The 2019-20 flu shot contains a number of antigens that stimulate an immune response to the most commonly expected viruses for the current flu season. If you have flu-like symptoms, the doctor will ask you if you have had this year’s flu shot. This will help them quickly rule out viruses included in the 2019-20 flu shot.


Where can I get the flu shot?

If you have a provincial health card, you can get your free flu shot from a doctor or nurse practitioner, at some local public health units, or at participating pharmacies. International students can get a free flu shot by visiting a local community health centre, including:


There is a lot of information online about COVID-19. How can I know what is and isn’t true?

Avoid reading fake news. The College will continually update its website and provide the College community with the most reliable and current information from official providers including city, provincial and federal health agencies and the World Health Organization. If you want to read more on your own, follow credible online resources only. We suggest: