2019 Novel Coronavirus 

In January 2020, a novel (new) coronavirus was identified as the cause of an outbreak of pneumonia, originating in Wuhan, China. This virus is now known as the 2019 Novel Coronavirus or 2019-nCoV.

The outbreak of this virus has been evolving rapidly, however most cases are in China with a few cases reported in other countries, including: Thailand, Japan, South Korea and the USA. Recently, there were reports of two presumed cases of 2019-nCoV in Ontario. The individuals had travelled to the region of China where this virus originated. Both individuals are in isolation, and therefore the risk to the community remains low.

February 2020 Update

It is important to note that there are no reported cases in Halton Region. At this time, the Public Health Agency of Canada has assessed the public health risk associated with 2019-nCoV as low for Canada.

What is Coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that commonly cause mild to moderate respiratory symptoms in humans. Most people with common human coronavirus illness (i.e. the common cold) will recover on their own.

However, some coronaviruses have been known to cause severe illness. Some human coronaviruses spread easily between people, while others do not. It is not yet fully understood how easily the 2019-nCoV spreads between people, but person-to-person spread has been limited to date.

What Are the Symptoms of 2019-nCoV?

Symptoms of 2019-nCoV infection include: fever, cough, and breathing difficulties.

The risk of severe disease may be higher in the elderly and in people with weakened immune systems.

If you traveled to Wuhan, China recently and have developed these symptoms, you should avoid contact with others and follow-up with your health care professional immediately.

How to Prevent the Spread of Respiratory Viruses Such as 2019-nCoV

Members of the public are advised to take the usual measures to reduce the risk of transmitting the flu and respiratory illness:

  • Get a yearly influenza vaccination
  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
  • If you do not have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve or arm
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces regularly
  • Stay home if you are ill

More Information

Additional information about the 2019-nCoV is available on the following websites:

The health and well-being of our students and staff remains our highest priority. We are in close contact with the Halton Region Health Department, who are working closely with the Ministry of Health, Public Health Ontario and local health care providers to monitor this situation and take actions, as appropriate.