COVID-19 (Coronavirus) information and resources

Health and prevention

What is COVID-19

COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus. The disease — which was first reported in December 2019 — causes mild to severe respiratory illness that can spread from person to person.

Symptoms and treatment

According to the BCCDC, symptoms include:

  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Difficulty breathing (severe cases)

Most people infected with the COVID-19 will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. The World Health Organization indicates that mild COVID-19 case recovery time is two weeks. 

Students, faculty, staff, and UFV visitors should monitor themselves daily for symptoms.

If you are concerned you may have been exposed to, or are experiencing the symptoms of, COVID-19, you should contact your primary care provider, or call 8-1-1 where you will be connected to a health professional.

You can also use BC self-assessment tool to determine if you should be tested for COVID-19.

COVID-19 BC self-assessment tool

Transmission

The COVID-19 commonly spread from an infected person through:

  • respiratory droplets produced when you cough or sneeze
  • close, prolonged personal contact (i.e., touching or shaking hands)
  • touching something with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands

Precautions and prevention

Prevention is the best way to protect yourself and slow down the transmission of COVID-19. We encourage the UFV community to follow the guidelines from Health Canada in order to stay healthy and prevent the spread of the virus:

Follow proper hygiene

  • Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds using soap and water
  • Use 60-90% alcohol-based hand sanitizers to clean your hands if water is not available
  • Do not touch your face/eyes/mouth with unwashed hands
  • When you sneeze or cough, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your elbow and then wash your hands
  • If you are sick, avoid contact with others who may have weakened immune systems

Practice social distancing

Social distancing is one of the most effective ways to reduce the spread of illness during an outbreak. Make changes in your everyday routines to minimize close contact with others, including:

  • avoiding crowded places and non-essential gatherings
  • avoiding common greetings, such as handshakes
  • limiting contact with people at higher risk like older adults and those in poor health
  • keeping a distance of at least 2 arms-length (approximately 2 metres or 6ft) from others 

Health Canada has a descriptive infographic on physical distancing.

Self-isolate if you have been travelling or had close contact with someone who has or is suspected to have COVID-19

Self-isolation means protecting yourself, your family, friends, and colleagues from contracting COVID-19 by staying home and avoiding close contact with people as much as possible.

Self-isolate for 14 days and monitor for symptoms if you:

  • have travelled to B.C. from outside Canada
  • have been or think you could have been in contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19

While self-isolating:

  • Stay in a well-ventilated room, including an open window, if possible. Do not have other people come in the room.
  • Do not attend classes. Limit going in shared spaces. Try to keep a two-meter distance between yourself and others whenever possible.
  • Practice good respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene as described above.
  • If possible, have supplies dropped off outside your door to help avoid direct contact, and limit the number of people helping to take care of you.
  • Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces. Regular household cleaning products are effective against most viruses, and you can also use 1 part bleach to 9 parts water as an effective disinfectant.
  • Use dedicated linen and utensils, which can be washed with soap and water and re-used, and do not need to be disposed of.
  • Dispose of any tissues, wipes, masks, or gloves in a waste container lined with a plastic bag before disposing with other household waste.
  • Wash your clothes in hot water (between 60-90°C), and then thoroughly dry them.

If you are sick and depend on post-secondary housing, food, laundry, hygiene, or other critical services, please let your institution know that you are self-isolating so that they can help support you, including in your current studies.

Staying in isolation can be difficult and lonely. If you are isolated, keep in contact with friends and family through phone or computer.

Campus cleaning protocols

The Janitorial Services department at UFV is taking extra precautions during daily cleaning routines to help promote a healthy and clean environment for members of the university community. Facilities uses disinfectants that provide a 99.99% kill rate of surface bacteria and virus strains.

During the COVID-19 outbreak, Janitorial Services is:

  • Increasing the frequency of cleaning on high touch surfaces (i.e. high traffic doors, handrails, etc.). These are now being cleaned multiple times a day, rather than once a day.
  • Increasing monitoring of hand sanitizing dispensers, including a daily audit to ensure dispensers are full of soap and in good working order.
  • Cleaning door hardware in less commonly used areas daily rather than weekly.
  • Increasing the purchase of consumables including paper towels, toilet paper, hand soap and hand sanitizer fluid to ensure stock levels are adequate.

Is the heated or cooled air in the university’s buildings filtered?

Yes — but not to a degree that would capture bacteria or viruses. UFV is following BCCDC protocol in cleaning to prevent infection.

Can I bring my own cleaning supplies to class/work?

No, it is best not to. UFV Operations must be mindful of using scented products, products that may be an irritant to others, or corrosive/damaging to furniture or equipment.

If I can’t bring my own cleaning products will UFV provide them for me?

Due to limited supply and the risk of using chemical cleaners, all requests will be at the discretion of facilities management

What do I do if a disinfectant, soap or paper dispenser is empty?

Staff inspect dispenser supply and operation multiple times a day. There is often another dispenser in the same location. In the event that you find an empty dispenser please contact Facilities at local 4542 or email facilitiesservicedesk@ufv.ca.

Frequently asked questions

What do I do if I am sick?

If you are impacted by an illness, please stay home and take care of yourself first. If you are concerned you may have been exposed to, or are experiencing the symptoms of COVID-19, you should contact your primary care provider, or call 8-1-1 where you will be connected to a health professional.

Students should contact their instructor as they usually do to make them aware of their health situation.

Please check BCCDC for more information on how to get medical attention if you think you have COVID-19

What should I do if I think I or someone I know has been exposed to COVID-19?

If you require health information on how to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, Health Canada has an excellent chart which details the specific actions required including information on self-monitoring and self-isolation protocol for possible exposure.

The province of BC has created a phone service to provide non-medical information about COVID-19, including the latest information on travel recommendations and social distancing. Information is available in more than 110 languages from 7:30 am – 8 pm by phone or text message at 1-888-COVID19 (1-888-268-4319). BC Centre for Disease Control is also an excellent source of information.

What if I have been told by a health care professional that I need testing for COVID-19?

Please follow self-isolation procedures as instructed by your medical professional or call 8-1-1 if you are uncertain what to do next.

Please also check BCCDC for medical information and details on 14-day self-isolation.

Lastly, please email UFV Risk & Safety office at covid19@ufv.ca and in confidence provide your name, student or employee ID number, and phone number.

What do I do if I need to self-isolate because of possible exposure to COVID-19?

Make sure you know the differences between self-monitoring, self-isolation and isolation and what to do in each case.

Students, faculty, or staff who have been recommended to self-isolate should call 8-1-1 for additional advice and confidentially report possible exposure to their instructors or supervisor and to the UFV Risk and Safety Office at covid19@ufv.ca.

Where do I find out the latest information from UFV?

Check UFV Urgent News for updates.

Sign up to UFV Alert to receive important information in a crisis or emergency situation.

Help and support

As a result of the coronavirus outbreak, you may be worried about the health and safety of yourself or your family and friends. This is a challenging and potentially confusing time. It is not uncommon to experience higher levels of stress and feelings of being overwhelmed. If this is your experience, please seek help and support.

For the UFV community (students, staff, faculty)

UFV Counselling Services

Crisis Centre BC

24-hour crisis line: 1-800-784-2433

For students

Visit our Safe Student Community website for further information and resources.

International students may contact UFV international for help and support.

For staff and faculty

Support for faculty and staff is available through the UFV Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) provider, Homewood Health. Homewood provides immediate, confidential help and may be contacted, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, toll-free at 1-800-663-1142.

Links and resources

UFV encourages you to check factual health sources like Health Canada for information relating to COVID-19 symptoms, self-isolation, and testing.

The province of BC has also set up a dedicated non-medical line COVID-19 line at 1-888-COVID19 (1-888-268-4319). You can also text 604-630-0300 for non-clinical support.

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