Coronavirus Information

Commonly Asked Questions about Coronavirus | Coronavirus Academic FAQs

The University has received questions regarding the Coronavirus from students, staff and faculty. We are actively monitoring the situation in conjunction with Manitoba Health and the Public Health Agency of Canada and will provide additional information when available.
At the present time, Manitoba Health advises that persons may be at risk if they have travelled to Wuhan, China within 14 days prior to onset of illness, and currently have signs/symptoms suggestive of coronavirus:

  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Weakness
  • Headache

Manitoba Health advises that persons may also be at risk if they have:

  • Come into contact with someone who has or is suspected of having infection with coronavirus from Wuhan, China, OR
  • Come into contact with someone with flu-like symptoms (cough, sneezing, runny nose, fever) who has been to Wuhan, China within 14 days prior to their illness onset, OR
  • Been exposed to laboratory specimens of persons who may have been infected with coronavirus from Wuhan, China

If you suspect that you may have been exposed to the coronavirus, please contact:

Health Links/Info Sante at 204-788-8200 or toll-free 1-888-315-9257
wrha.mb.ca/healthinfo/healthlinks

If you are planning to see a health care provider about suspected coronavirus, please inform your health care provider either when calling for an appointment or when presenting to make an appointment so that appropriate protective measures can be taken.
In terms of prevention, you are encouraged to:

  • Wash your hands frequently and use hand sanitizer when needed
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow
  • If you have a severe cold or the flu, stay home

For additional information on how to protect yourself, symptoms, and current travel advice, please refer to the following sites:


Commonly Asked Questions about Coronavirus

gov.mb.ca/health/publichealth/diseases/coronavirus.html

What is a coronavirus?

First identified in the 1960s, coronaviruses (CoV) typically cause illness in animals. Sometimes, a typical animal coronavirus can infect humans. Only a handful of coronaviruses have been found to spread person-to-person, and most are associated with mild illnesses similar to the common cold. However, some coronaviruses have caused more severe illnesses.

Why is this coronavirus different?

In early January 2020, a novel (new) coronavirus (2019-nCoV) was detected in Wuhan, China. As the situation evolves, international health authorities, including the World Health Organization and the Public Health Agency of Canada, continue to monitor the situation and assess the risk of serious illness.

What are the symptoms of the novel coronavirus?

Common coronaviruses produce symptoms associated with the common cold. These may include:

  • fever
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • runny nose
  • shortness of breath
  • breathing difficulties

Depending on the coronavirus in question, more severe symptoms such as pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and death can occur. The risk of severe disease may be higher if you have a weakened immune system. Individuals with weakened immune systems tend to be older or have underlying chronic diseases (for example diabetes, cancer, heart, renal or chronic lung diseases).

How can I protect myself from an infection?

Good hand hygiene provides significant protection from viral respiratory illnesses.

People are encouraged to take common prevention measures, including regular hand washing with soap and water or an alcohol based hand cleanser. It is important to wash your hands:

  • after coughing or sneezing
  • when caring for a sick person
  • before, during and after you prepare food
  • before eating
  • after toilet use
  • when hands are visibly dirty

Additional measures include covering your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of a respiratory illness, such as coughing or sneezing.

Should I wear a mask to protect myself?

It is not clear there is any significant benefit to wearing masks to prevent influenza or influenza-like illnesses (including the novel coronavirus) in the community setting.  However, good hand hygiene is known to provide significant protection from viral respiratory illnesses.

Is there a vaccine for the novel coronavirus?

No vaccine is yet available for the coronavirus. However, practicing good hand hygiene can provide significant protection from viral respiratory illnesses.

Is the annual flu shot any protection against the coronavirus?

No. Influenza and the new coronavirus are different types of viruses. No vaccine is yet available for the coronavirus. The flu shot protects against four strains of the flu during flu season (generally, October to April). The 2019 vaccine is a good match for the strains that are circulating.

Where should I go if I think I have a coronavirus infection?

If you are ill and have recently travelled to Hubei Province, including Wuhan, China, or if you are ill and have been in contact with an ill person connected to the outbreak in Hubei Province, including Wuhan, China you should call your health care provider’s office or Health Links-Info Sante.

How do health care providers identify a coronavirus infection?

Health care providers can diagnose coronavirus infections based on symptoms and laboratory tests. A detailed travel history may be required, particularly in the case of a novel coronavirus.

What treatment is available for a coronavirus infection?

There are no specific treatments for illnesses resulting from coronaviruses. Most people with common coronavirus illness will recover on their own. For individuals who develop severe illness, the treatment will depend on the type of illness.

What is being done in Manitoba to prevent the spread of the coronavirus?

Manitoba public health officials have provided guidance to health care providers about what should be done if they suspect someone has the coronavirus. In addition, they are working with the Public Health Agency of Canada and other provinces and territories to monitor the situation going forward.

Where can I find information about the coronavirus?

Health Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada and Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living all have websites that have accurate information about many public health issues, including the novel coronavirus. They are also providing information on their social media accounts.

  • Make sure you check the date of the information. Health information is constantly changing, and the most current information is best.
  • If you are concerned, you can also speak to your health care provider or call Health Links-Info Santé for current information about your own health and what steps you might need to take.

Communicable Disease Control
Public Health
Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living
4th Floor - 300 Carlton St.
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3B 3M9


Coronavirus Academic FAQs

What happens if I miss class because I am worried about catching coronavirus?

Students who miss classes must communicate directly with their course instructors. If alternative arrangements are requested, approval is at the discretion of the instructor.  Any missed work is the student’s responsibility.

What happens if I voluntarily quarantine myself because I think I may have coronavirus?

If you think you may have been exposed to coronavirus, you should contact Health Links/Info Sante at 204-788-8200 or toll-free 1-888-315-9257 for advice on accessing health care services. Based on your travel history and symptoms you may or may not be advised by a health care provider to quarantine yourself. You also may or may not be advised of the need to seek medical care for your symptoms.

What happens if I am absent because I am ill or advised to quarantine myself?

The University has rules that apply to absences for medical reasons. A medical certificate or other appropriate documentation may be required. You should contact your academic advising office for advice on what documentation may be necessary in your case. You may also wish to contact your instructors to discuss how to make up for any missed classes, assignments, or tests.

What happens if I miss a final exam because I am ill or advised to quarantine myself?

If you miss a final examination for medical reasons, you may be granted a deferred examination. Applications for a deferred examination after the examination has been missed must be filed within 48 hours of the date of the missed examination. The application for a deferred examination must be submitted to your academic advising office. A medical certificate or other appropriate documentation may be required.

What if I am participating in a student exchange or have a trip planned to China? 

The University follows Government of Canada travel advisories at all times, which could mean that some trips abroad will be cancelled or postponed if travelling to the destination is unsafe. Please contact your program office or the faculty member responsible for the program to determine the current status. For students who are traveling abroad, the University’s Travel Crisis Team has compiled a comprehensive list of resources for students who are traveling internationally. The University also has a list of travel risk resources for staff and faculty members who are responsible for organizing or supervising international student travel.

 

Last updated: January 30, 2020