Many hospitals including those within the Toronto Academic Health Sciences Network (TAHSN) have adopted an influenza vaccination-or-mask policy. In the event of an outbreak, some organizations may request additional preventative medication (e.g. Tamiflu) before permitting students on a unit. The impact on students’ practicum placements will vary depending on the organization and the duration of the outbreak. Students are encouraged to be mindful that flu vaccines are typically available starting in October. Please note that if students are in the Greater Toronto Area and anticipate having a fall/winter winter placement at one of the TAHSN hospitals, it is recommended that they obtain the flu vaccine at one of the listed TAHSN hospitals and subsequently receive signed documentation as proof of vaccination. A Flu Vaccine Memo was sent to students in the fall term. For further influenza information, visit the websites for Flu Facts Ontario and Influenza surveillance. Also please read information on Toronto flu clinics.
Information on Coronavirus
As of January 25, 2020, Ontario Health officials have confirmed one presumptive case of Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Toronto. For further information, learners can view University updates. As well, status of cases can be found on the Ministry of Health website.
Information on Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)
On August 8, 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern for the outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in West Africa. The Canadian Government continues to monitor the Ebola outbreak and has published information on prevention of spread of Ebola to Canada. It is recommended that faculty, staff and students follow the Faculty of Medicine’s self-screening algorithm if they are aware of any changes to their health, especially for those who have recently travelled to West Africa or have had close contact with someone who has. The Faculty of Nursing’s Policy on Student Engagement with Patients Suspected or Confirmed with EVD was issued on November 11, 2014. The University of Toronto and the Faculty of Nursing in consultation with Toronto Public Health as well as the Toronto Academic Health Science Network (TAHSN) hospitals will advise faculty, staff and students of any further updates. For additional Ebola information, the College of Nurses of Ontario has posted Ebola resources for nurses.
Screening for Acute Respiratory Infection
In 2013-2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported cases of Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). Through experience gained during the impact of previous respiratory infection occurrences on our educational community, the University has protocols in place to help address the appearance of rapidly spreading illnesses that can affect the protection of our learners, staff, faculty and the public. Posted below is a Screening Algorithm developed by the University to be used by students and faculty to determine the appropriate course of action should the individual develop symptoms of acute respiratory infection. The document is provided for your information – please familiarize yourself with it. Any questions regarding the algorithm should be directed to your Clinical Course Coordinator (Undergraduate Students), or Course Instructor (Graduate Students). Please note that an update to the MERS information was posted in June 2015. It is recommended students review the Screening Algorithm for Acute Respiratory Infection including MERS Nursing revised June 2015 as well as the MERS Memo South Korea for further guidance.