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[COVID-19 Update] March 12, 2020

By March 12, 2020 March 17th, 2020 No Comments

COVID-19 Update #8

Thursday March 12, 2020

To: All CIC Students, Parents and Partners,

Re: Two COVID-19 cases diagnosed in Hamilton, Ontario.

Yesterday, a 32-year old Burlington woman physician who is a Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) radiation oncologist has reportedly tested positive COVID-19 after returning from a personal trip to Hawaii, USA.

This has no direct impact on operations or the health of Columbia International College. Hamilton Public Health states that the risk of infection remains low.  Both students and staff of CIC remain safe and focused on teaching and learning.

Please refer the news report by CBC:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/covid19-first-case-doctor-hamilton-health-sciences-1.5493530

Today, the second case has also been reported in the news. Details to follow.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/covid-19-hamilton-1.5495161

The World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General has now declared COVID-19 as Pandemic. We are taking this development very seriously – we are taking all necessary precautions to protect our students and school community.  Columbia International College has been working to ensure that the school is in a state of readiness as we continue to monitor COVID-19. To this end, we have:

  1. PREVENTION
  • Made available flu vaccination to all our students and staff
  • Medical grade facial masks are provided, free of charge, to students who are sick.
  • According to Health Canada, “if you are a healthy individual, the use of a mask is not recommended for preventing the spread of COVID-19”.However, students are permitted to wear their own medical mask in residences, school and in classes.
  • Fabric or cotton masks are not allowed anywhere.
  • https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/prevention-risks.html

BETTER CLEANING

  • Provided personal bottles of hand sanitizer to all students and staff and encouraged its effective use
  • Increased the number of hand sanitizer stations throughout the school and residences
  • Mandatory hand sanitizing before entering the school buildings and cafeterias
  • Increased cleaning and disinfecting of common contact points, including elevator buttons, handrails, water-filling stations and door handles

LIMITATION TO VISITORS

  • Deny entrance to all visitors to our residence buildings except repair contractors
  • Contractors have been informed to refrain from sending anyone who is sick or exhibiting any symptoms of flu or those who have travelled outside of Canada in the past 14 days
  • Allow visitors to our school buildings only if they demonstrated they have been in Canada for at least 14 days
  • Permitted visitors, except repair contractors, are to meet our staff only at the Visitors’ Lounge in order to contain potential spreading of risk

PRECAUTION WITH NEW STUDENTS

  • All new students are required to arrive earlier and go through 14 days of quarantine

STAFF TRAVEL ADVISORY

  • Prior to travel, any employee or household member planning to travel are required to inform our Human Resources Department and may be subject to quarantine depending on the destinations

CANCEL MARCH BREAK STUDENT OVER-NIGHT SIGN OUT

  • Cancelled all but essential sign-outs from residence for March Break.
  • Students required to be quarantined upon return to residence when
    • signing out from residence for overnight stay outside
    • travelled internationally
    • meeting parents who arrived in Canada in less than 14 days

PLANNING YOUR STUDIES IN THE SUMMER

  • Parents have been asking what CIC can offer in case their children would like to extend their stay in Canada after the current semester ends on Mid-May. We would like to inform you that we are planning to offer more courses at various grade levels in the summer semester (mid-May to end of June) and after (July to August).
  1. We are offering an increased number of robust activities during March Break for our students in order to encourage them to stay within the school’s facilities for better care and lower risk. We modified the venues for our students and eliminated places with large crowds.
  2. Provided on-going education on healthy habits and hygiene for students to combat all respiratory diseases. This education has included:
  3. Washing hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds
  4. Covering one’s mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
  5. If tissue is not available, sneeze or cough into the sleeve or arm
  6. Reporting to the medical clinic immediately if feeling ill
  7. Looking out for friends who need medical attention
  8. We continue to work collaboratively with the City of Hamilton Public Health to ensure local alignment.

As COVID-19 continues to dominate the news and misinformation about the virus continues to circulate on social media, many communities are experiencing a heightened sense of fear, and in some cases, discrimination. Columbia International College is a community built on respect, diversity and inclusion. We do not tolerate discrimination and harassment and encourage everyone to treat each other with respect and kindness during this time.

We encourage you to stay up to date with trusted sources of information:

I want to thank all of our students and parents for your commitment to our school and our Total Care Education.  Our students’ safety remains our top priority and we have been proactive in taking actions to protect your children’s health and safety.  We are doing more than the baseline requirement in terms of prevention and containment of the onset of the coronavirus.  Do not hesitate to contact me should you have any concerns or questions.

My email address is: bironside@cic-TotalCare.com

Yours in education,

Bill Ironside

Principal

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