Risk and Best Practices

On Friday, Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health for Ontario, along with Dr. Chris Mackie, Medical Officer of Health Middlesex-London Health Unit confirmed Ontario’s third case of the 2019 novel coronavirus here in London.
The newly confirmed case, a female in her 20s, arrived asymptomatic in Toronto on January 23, 2020 and was transported to London by way of a private vehicle. On January 24, 2020, the individual started to exhibit symptoms and that same day was assessed and tested at London Health Sciences Centre. She was released with follow up by the Middlesex-London Health Unit. This individual has had limited exposure to other individuals and has otherwise been in isolation since January 24, 2020, with regular contact by the Middlesex-London Health Unit to monitor her condition. She is now recovered and is well.
"I want to re-emphasize that the risk to Ontarians remains low," said Dr. Williams. "It is clear that we are learning more and more about the coronavirus each day, and our testing procedures are evolving and getting more and more precise, which is good news for everyone throughout Ontario and Canada. By working hand-in-hand with our partners across the health care system we are in a very good position to contain the virus and better protect the health and wellbeing of individuals and families across the province."

As we shared earlier this is a good reminder for all of us to follow some best practices for the cold and flu season, such as:
  • washing your hands often
  • avoiding contact with people who are sick
  • practicing proper cough and sneeze etiquette
  • staying home when sick with the flu
Worth sharing is the joint message from Alan Shepherd, President of Western, Bardia Jalayer, President of University Students’ Council and Jina Kum, President of Society of Graduate Students to the Western community.
News announced earlier today that Ontario’s third confirmed case of Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a Western student may be causing students, faculty and staff concern for themselves or their family and friends.
As noted in this afternoon’s joint statement from the University and the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU), the student took great care and responsibility by self-isolating at home and seeking appropriate medical attention and has not been on Western’s campus since returning to London. The MLHU has confirmed that there is very low risk to the campus community.
Western continues to update this website and we encourage you to visit it regularly for updates and contact information.
Frequent hand washing, practicing proper cough and sneezing etiquette, and staying home when you are sick remain the most effective ways to prevent illness. If you are concerned about your health or the health of another member of the campus community, please reach out to the contacts listed at https://uwo.ca/coronavirus.
Sometimes when we feel scared, we look for someone or something to blame in an effort to make sense of the situation. However, posting and sharing unverified information via social media is not helpful and can contribute to the spread of misinformation and fear. As a community, we have to work together to prevent the rise of racism that occurred during the 2003 SARS outbreak. Just as our medical community learned from SARS, our social community must as well.
The best thing each of us can do right now is to remain calm and approach our peers and colleagues with empathy and kindness. We have to look out for each other, particularly now when some may be feeling isolated due to misinformation and assumptions.
Our Western community has a history of support and care for each other, and we are strongest when we stand together.
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” Leo Buscaglia