COVID-19: Travel information and staying healthy
McMaster continues to monitor developments around COVID-19. The University’s preparations and response are coordinated by its Crisis Management Team which began meeting on the coronavirus in January.
The University looks to Global Affairs Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada along with public health agencies in Ontario to guide its decisions in working to maintain the health and safety of campus.
The risk of contracting COVID-19 in Canada is still considered to be low.
McMaster classes and activities continue to run as normal.
Warnings and advisors for travellers are updated regularly on the Global Affairs Canada website. Current warnings include:
- Northern Italy – avoid non-essential travel
- Iran – avoid non-essential travel
- China – avoid non-essential travel
These Level 3 warnings trigger McMaster’s Risk Management Policy (RMM #801) regarding student travel. The policy restricts undergraduate student exchanges, placements and official trips to the country. Such trips will no longer be permitted until the risk level is lowered by the federal government.
Graduate students who wish to travel to China, Iran or northern Italy for academic purposes will be considered on a case-by-case basis and will require the approval of either the provost or the vice-provost, International.
If you are entering Canada from countries where COVID-19 has spread, you should monitor yourself for symptoms for 14 days after leaving the affected area.
If your university travel plans have been cancelled
Some international conferences are being cancelled changing travel plans for McMaster faculty and staff.
When booking travel the university recommends buying economy flex tickets, or travel insurance, for cancellation or exchange purposes.
Costs due to travel cancellations associated with the COVID-19 will be a reimbursable expense from the department or research account.
Help for putting business continuity plans in place
Business continuity planning is an important part of the university’s risk management program. It allows departments and programs to plan ahead for disruptions. If your area has not yet developed a business continuity plan please refer to McMaster’s Business Planning Workbook which is highlighted on the Health, Safety and Risk Management website. It contains tips and worksheets to help ensure that you are prepared if a number of employees are unable to come to work, if supply chains are disrupted, or if you are unable to access your files and information in the usual way.
Help prevent the spread of illness
- Wash your hands often
- Wash for at least 20 seconds with soap and hot water
- Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available
- Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
What to do if you feel sick
As with any virus, here’s what to do if you feel ill:
- Stay home and do your best to avoid close contact with others
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands
- If you don’t have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your elbow
- Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces