A Message for our Campus Community

January 31, 2020

News announced earlier today that Ontario’s third confirmed case of Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a Western student may be causing students, faculty and staff concern for themselves or their family and friends.

As noted in this afternoon’s joint statement from the University and the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU), the student took great care and responsibility by self-isolating at home and seeking appropriate medical attention and has not been on Western’s campus since returning to London. The MLHU has confirmed that there is very low risk to the campus community.

Western continues to update this website and we encourage you to visit it regularly for updates and contact information.

Frequent hand washing, practicing proper cough and sneezing etiquette, and staying home when you are sick remain the most effective ways to prevent illness. If you are concerned about your health or the health of another member of the campus community, please reach out to the contacts listed at https://uwo.ca/coronavirus.

Sometimes when we feel scared, we look for someone or something to blame in an effort to make sense of the situation. However, posting and sharing unverified information via social media is not helpful and can contribute to the spread of misinformation and fear. As a community, we have to work together to prevent the rise of racism that occurred during the 2003 SARS outbreak. Just as our medical community learned from SARS, our social community must as well.

The best thing each of us can do right now is to remain calm and approach our peers and colleagues with empathy and kindness. We have to look out for each other, particularly now when some may be feeling isolated due to misinformation and assumptions.

Our Western community has a history of support and care for each other, and we are strongest when we stand together.

Bardia Jalayer, President
University Students’ Council

Jina Kum, President
Society of Graduate Students

Alan Shepard, President
Western University