Keeping the Western community safe and healthy

March 21, 2020 11:55 AM

Since January, Western has been working with federal, provincial and local health authorities to take all the proactive measures necessary to ensure the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff. This remains our number one priority. 

Western has been communicating daily, and sometimes hourly with the Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) to adapt and adjust as this situation has unfolded. We are grateful for the time and professionalism of the staff and doctors at the MLHU.

Classes moved online on March 18. Besides those living in residence, the overwhelming majority of our students have returned home and are no longer on campus. Most university employees are also not on campus, working virtually from home. 

For some of our students, staying in residence is their only option. We continue to support these students who can’t return home due to travel restrictions, health, personal circumstances, or various obligations.

In addition to social distancing measures, consistent with Health Unit requests, Western implemented a series of measures in our residences to ensure the safety of our students and staff, including:

  • Regular handwashing reminders and signage for employees
  • Increased cleaning of touch surfaces within the food preparation and dining facilities
  • A dedicated person stationed at entrances of major eateries with hand sanitizer during peak times, ensuring everyone entering has disinfected their hands
  • All food operations and procedures have been approved by the Middlesex-London Health Unit
  • Seating areas within our residence dining halls are now closed with students taking meals back to their rooms

Western is maintaining a staff of required service providers who continue to support our remaining students and maintain core services.

Employees and students who remain on campus are being encouraged and supported in maintaining proper protocols to ensure the health and safety of our campus community and to prevent the risk and spread of COVID-19. This includes proper social distancing, hand hygiene and disinfecting of frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Our Facilities Management staff continue to work diligently to deep clean the remaining areas of campus still being utilized. The MLHU has assured Western that our cleaning procedures meet all the necessary requirements and our hand sanitizing products are hospital-grade.

The mental health of our community is equally important. Video conferencing software is being utilized broadly to reduce face-to-face interactions, while at the same time maintaining social connection.

Student Health & Wellness continues to operate and provide care for students. Appointments in student health are available in person and remotely through teleconference and video conference. Mental health support is available via telephone counselling. To make an appointment please call 519-661-3030. 

More information to help students manage their academics and well-being can be found at: https://studentexperience.uwo.ca/remote/

Western’s Employee and Family Assistance Program is available 24/7 at 1-844-880-9142

CONTACTS FOR STUDENTS AND EMPLOYEES

Before calling Telehealth Ontario, individuals with health concerns about COVID-19 are being asked to first take this self-assessment to determine if they need to seek further care.

Students with health-related inquiries:

  • Weekdays (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.): Student Health & Wellness at 519-661-3030 or health@uwo.ca
  • Weekends and evenings: Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 (or toll-free TTY: 1-866-797-0007)

Students with non-health-related inquiries:

  • 24 hours/7 days a week: Student Support & Case Management at 519-661-2111 x89152 or sscm@uwo.ca

Employees with health-related inquiries:

  • Contact your family doctor; Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 (toll-free TTY: 1-866-797-0007); or Workplace Health at Western at 519-661-2047 (Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.) 

Employees with non-health-related inquiries:

  • Weekdays: Workplace Health at Western at 519-661-2047 (Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
  • 24 hours/7 days a week: Western's Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) at 1-844-880-9142