Curious about the coronavirus? (COVID-19)
January 27, 2020

Do you have questions about the coronavirus? The province has launched a dedicated website where you can learn how the Ministry of Health is preparing for the novel coronavirus in Ontario, and how you can protect yourself.

Additional community resources

You can also review these illness prevention tips from Georgian’s Campus Safety Services.

Illness prevention: Tips from Campus Safety Services

Here are some basics to help you protect yourself and your family from getting sick this winter.

Hand hygiene

Your hands play a major role in the spread of bacteria and viruses that can cause illness.

Handwashing or using a hand sanitizer is the best way to prevent illness. It’s not new, but it works because it removes or kills germs before they can find their way into our bodies. As more bacteria become resistant to antibiotics, proper hand hygiene is essential in protecting your health.

Proper handwashing

illustration showing proper hand washing technique

To make sure you’re washing your hands properly, use soap and water. Wet your hands. Add soap and rub your hands vigorously together for 15 seconds. Rinse hands and dry with a clean towel, then turn off the tap with the towel.

It’s the soap combined with the scrubbing action that helps free and remove germs. Also remember to keep nails short and clean, wash wrists and remove watches and jewellery when you wash your hands.

Proper hand sanitizing

illustration demonstrating proper hand sanitizing technique

Alcohol-based sanitizers and gels (minimum 60 per cent alcohol) are also an option, but should only be used when your hands are not visibly soiled or dirty. This is because they do not remove visible dirt. You can find them in most supermarkets and drugstores.

When using a gel or sanitizer, rub it on all surfaces of your hands until they’re dry. The gel doesn’t need water to work; the alcohol in the gel kills non-visible germs that cause colds and the flu.

What you can do to stop the spread of germs

illustration of a female blowing her nose
illustration of a hand with a cleaner bottle spraying a door knob

Clean shared surfaces often. Cleaning with soap or detergent physically removes surface dirt and large numbers of germs. Don’t forget to clean commonly touched items like doorknobs, light switches and faucets. Regularly clean your desk and keyboard and avoid eating at your desk.

illustration of a male in bed with a thermometer

When you’re sick, you can spread your illness to those you come in contact with. Stay home from work if you’re sick and keep your children home from school or child care when they have cold or flu symptoms such as fever, runny nose, dry cough, tiredness and muscle aches.

Everyday actions to prevent the spread of germs that cause illness

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth with your hands.
  • Get plenty of sleep and manage your stress levels. Lack of sleep and high levels of stress can reduce immune functioning, thus lowering the body’s ability to fend off colds and flu.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol and caffeine, which can be dehydrating.
  • Use a lotion or moisturizing cream to prevent cracks in the skin that can provide an entry point for germs.
  • Be physically active by maintaining a moderate exercise program three to four times a week. It will strengthen the immune system and increase the body’s natural ability to fight infection.
  • Eat healthy, nutritious food; five to nine servings per day of fruits and vegetables is recommended.

By following these simple actions, you can maintain your immunity and prevent the spread of many types of illness.