Coronavirus | What You Need to Know

Last updated: Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020. 10:03am.

The university has received a number of questions about the novel coronavirus (originally known as 2019-nCoV, now widely referred to as COVID-19) from community members.

As of this writing, the risk to British Columbians remains low. The risk to Canadians and Canadian travellers likewise remains low, according to both federal and provincial health authorities.

Current Recommendations

While many of the characteristics of the COVID-19 are still unknown, early evidence shows that this virus can cause a range of mild to severe symptoms, and some people may not recognize symptoms that are mild. During this time, people can reduce the chance of spread by limiting contact with others.

Symptoms reported to date are similar to other respiratory illnesses, including the flu and common cold. They include cough, sneezing, fever, sore throat and difficulty breathing.

BC’s Public Health Officer recommends that anyone who is concerned they may have been exposed to, or are experiencing symptoms of the coronavirus to contact their primary-care provider, local public health office or to call 811.

Recommendations for Travellers

  • If you have spent time in Hubei Province in the previous 14 days, federal and provincial authorities ask that you self-isolate for 14 days, meaning stay at home and limit contact with others. They should monitor themselves daily for symptoms (fever, cough, muscle aches, difficulty breathing).
  • People that have been in other parts of China (outside Hubei Province) should monitor themselves daily for symptoms like fever or cough for 14 days. They do not need to self-isolate. Those who develop symptoms should stay home and call their health-care provider or 811 to discuss any need for testing and follow up.
    If self-isolating as a precaution: avoid situations where you could infect other people such as social gatherings, work, school/university, public transportation and public spaces. It is OK for friends, family or others to drop off items you may need, but limit your contact with people as much as possible.
    Monitor yourself and your children closely for symptoms similar to the flu or common cold such as coughing, sneezing, sore throat, fever or difficulty breathing. If any symptoms arise, connect with your primary care provider, local public health office or call 811 and tell them of your recent travel. (811 is available in the language in which people feel most comfortable, through a request for translation services, including Mandarin and Cantonese.)

Canadians travelling abroad are encouraged to consult regularly as recommendations may change over the course of your travel as new information becomes available.

Emily Carr University is monitoring the situation closely and will follow all recommendations made by the BCCDC (British Columbia Centre for Disease Control) and the Public Health Agency of Canada. Updates will be made to this page as necessary.

The safety of the ECU community is our top priority, and the university is reviewing its protocols to ensure our campus is prepared and able to respond if necessary.

Click on this link to read the Provincial Health Officer's 'Recommendations to Post-Secondary Students, Faculty and Staff Regarding Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)' in its entirety.

Keep In Mind

It is important to note that we are currently in flu season, so it’s not unusual to get sick at this time.

As per recommendations from both federal and provincial public health authorities, everyday preventative hygiene can help prevent the spread of any illness. These include:

  • Washing your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow if a tissue is unavailable

Please read our FAQ below, which should answer the majority of any questions you may have at this time. Direct any further questions to

The BCCDC has also posted a helpful Twitter thread, correcting a number of common misconceptions about how coronavirus is transmitted.

More information on 2019-nCoV is available from the BCCDC here, from the Public Health Agency of Canada here, and from the World Health Organization here. You can also get the latest updates on COVID-19 from the BCCDC on Twitter: @CDCofBC.

Important Contact Numbers:

  • New Coronavirus Information line: 1-833-784-4397
  • Healthlink BC: 811 (Healthlink BC is a free-of-charge provincial health information and advice phone line. An introductory video is available here, in English, Punjabi, Cantonese or Mandarin)


What is a coronavirus?
What is the risk here in BC?
How is this coronavirus transmitted?
What are the symptoms of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)?
Will this year’s flu vaccine protect me from this virus?
What can I do to protect myself?
I’m not feeling well. What should I do?
Should students, staff or faculty with flu-like symptoms attend class/work?
Should students, staff or faculty with flu-like symptoms be required to stay home?
Should anyone with a travel history to an affected region be told to stay home?
What does self-isolation mean?
Who should self-isolate?
Will classes be cancelled?
Should campus events be cancelled?
Should I wear a mask?
I am planning to travel in the coming days. What should I do?