York University provides an update to the community on the new coronavirus

People walk through Vari Hall, which is located on York U's Keele campus

The following is an important message for York University community members:

Ontario health officials announced that two “presumptive” cases of a new coronavirus have now been discovered in Toronto.

It is important to note, that despite this report, the Public Health Agency of Canada has assessed the public health risk associated with this strain of virus as low for Canada and for Canadian travelers. This public health risk is continually reassessed as new information becomes available.

Common symptoms of the new strain of coronavirus include fever, cough, shortness of breath and trouble breathing.

To help you protect yourself from possible infection, health officials recommend that everyone:

  • Wash your hands frequently and well with soap and water.
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow, or cover your cough or sneeze.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness.
  • Stay home if you are sick and avoid contact with others.

If you are sick, contact a health care provider about your symptoms and inform them of your travel history


For those travelling internationally, please refer to York International’s travel safe website or contact Beth Alaksa, coordinator of international mobility programs, York International, and refer to Government of Canada’s health and travel advisory website.

If students are unable to return to the University as a result of the current travel restrictions, they should contact their department to arrange for accommodations.

Faculty and staff

For those travelling internationally, please refer to the Government of Canada’s health and travel advisory website or contact Vinitha Gengatharan, executive director, York International.

Please note that currently, the advice for China is to avoid non-essential travel to the province of Hubei, China.

York University’s Community Safety Division continues to actively monitor the situation and is in contact with health officials. We will provide updates as required, advising of any impacts on our community and ensure that the appropriate prevention and response measures are taken. Our community is encouraged to visit our website for current and reliable information at https://site.info.yorku.ca/coronavirus-information-and-update/.

If you need support especially during these particularly challenging times in the world, please consider contacting the following support services:

For students in need of support, please contact: Student Counselling and Development office which offers personal counseling services to all York students. They can be reached by calling 416-736-5297 or visit http://counselling.students.yorku.ca/ for more information or contact York International by telephone at: 1-416-736-5177 or email iadvisor@yorku.ca, or drop by 200 York Lanes, Keele Campus.

For faculty and staff in need of support, please call the Employee and Family Assistance Program available toll-free 24 hours a day, seven days a week for immediate, confidential help at 1-800-268-5211; TTY Service is available at 1-800-363-6270.