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Monday, April 28, 2003

  • Latest UW statement on SARS
  • Safety posters and fire drills
  • It's the last week of the year
Chris Redmond

Egyptians outdoors

Latest UW statement on SARS

UW's health services issued an updated bulletin Friday as the national crisis over SARS -- Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome -- continued.

Questions and answers

No new probable cases

Hype blamed for economic impact

There hasn't been a case of SARS touching UW yet, and health services wants to keep it that way, promising that "reasonable measures and precautions" are under way in preparation for the spring term. Said Friday's statement:

"All 1,200 students coming to live in UW's residences for the new academic term will be screened by UW health services professional staff. Their health status will be checked and they will given information about SARS and steps the university is following.

"As has been outlined in previous notices, incoming students arriving from endemic areas of the world (about 20 in total) have been contacted and will be thoroughly screened and asked to reside in Columbia Lake Townhouse accommodations for a 10-day incubation period (from time of departure). The University has taken this decision to reduce the number of household contacts and to provide private or semi-private washroom facilities while Health Services staff monitor students health in the critical time after departure. Once cleared by medical staff, they will go into regular contracted residence places.

"Anyone who has symptoms described by Public Health officials, namely fever and respiratory symptoms combination, will be immediately redirected to medical care. . . .

"People heading to Toronto for academic reasons, business meetings or co-op work terms are being advised to follow basic procedures outlined by health officials there, i.e. don't go to SARS-designated hot spots; follow basic common sense and hygiene practices."

Back on campus, says the statement, "It is generally prudent for people who have symptoms of fever and cough to stay home until the symptoms resolve, to reduce spread to others. Patients should seek further medical assessment if symptoms worsen and lower respiratory symptoms of shortness of breath develop. . . .

"Managers and supervisors are reminded that 'absence from work' medical notes are not normally required unless the employee has been absent for at least five days. Verification of student illness, appropriate for exams or assignments, will be provided by a health services nurse in a telephone conversation rather than in writing in most cases. Students who come down with fever and cough who need this verification should phone health services (888-4567 ext. 3544) rather than coming in person."

And finally: "People who are ill and have links to possible SARS exposure -- including those who have travelled from a SARS endemic area (China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Taiwan, Singapore); contact with a SARS patient; contact with a health care facility closed because of SARS; contact with the Ward Damiani Funeral Home or graveside at Glendale Memorial Gardens on April 19 and 20 -- should phone their physician or emergency department, or UW health services (888-4567 ext. 3544), for advice."

Safety posters and fire drills

Workplace safety is on Canada's mind today, so it's a good day to note recent efforts by the UW safety office to get informational posters onto bulletin boards in all UW's departments. "These posters are required to be posted by Ontario's health and safety legislation and form part of UW's health and safety program," says safety director Kevin Stewart.

[Red poster]

One of several posters that are supposed to be on departmental bulletin boards across campus. Need more copies? Call ext. 3587.

At the national level, today is the National Day of Mourning for those killed or injured in workplace accidents.

Among the posters intended for bulletin boards where staff and faculty members can see them is one from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board summarizing what has to happen, by Ontario law, when a worker is injured. Others deal with first aid, fire and evacuation procedures, and the requirements of the provincial Occupational Health and Safety Act.

The poster about the Act also talks about UW's health and safety policy, which was recently overhauled, and about the Joint Health and Safety Committee on campus. I'll write more about the policy and the JHSC in the Daily Bulletin later this week.

Meanwhile, preparations are being made for an important safety activity tomorrow: the annual fire drills in most campus buildings.

Stewart says drills are scheduled in the morning (between 8:30 and noon) in Optometry, the PAC, the SLC, Modern Languages, Humanities, Environmental Studies I and II, PAS, the new Co-op and Career Services building, Needles Hall, the Dana Porter Library, and the General Services and Commissary complex.

After lunch (between 1:00 and 4:00) fire drills will take place in Engineering II and III, the Doug Wright building, Carl Pollock Hall, South Campus Hall, ESC, Biology I and II, Chemistry II, Physics, Math and Computer, the Davis Centre, and 195 Columbia Street (BFG).

East Campus Hall won't get its drill until Wednesday morning, and a drill in Matthews Hall is scheduled for May 21.

Along with seeing that people know how to get out of the building smartly when the fire alarm sounds, the Waterloo fire department will be checking on access to buildings for its ever-wider fire trucks, Stewart said.

He added that to make sure there's a six-metre (20-foot) clear width on all the access roads, some changes are coming about where temporary and service parking is allowed. Details are being worked out by the parking office, UW police, the safety office, plant operations, health services and the disabilities office, he said, "to minimize the disruption to the campus community".

Bookstore preparing for 'busiest term'

A note from Chris Read, manager of the UW bookstore:

"While we are busy preparing for the start of the spring term (if you're teaching this term and we don't have your order, it's not too late!), we're also busy getting ready for the fall. Believe it or not, we're working on several new initiatives to improve our services for our busiest term ever.

"We have distributed order forms to departments for fall textbook adoptions, and would love to have them back as soon as you've decided on your teaching materials. The publishers expect high textbook demand in Ontario due to higher enrollments across the board, and so we'd like to process orders as early as possible this summer.

"We expect our new fixture layout and doubling of cash registers for the fall to make a big difference for our students, and we hope you can help by getting your adoptions in as soon as possible!"

It's the last week of the year

UW's fiscal year starts each May 1, which means that the year-end is upon us. With the sophistication of electronic accounting systems, things happen gradually: "Wednesday, May 14, will be the final day for journal entries and budget transfers for the 2002-03 year," the finance office has announced. "Requests must be received in Finance or Office of Research by that date."

With students about to arrive on campus for the spring term, today is the deadline for fee payments if they're made by cheque or money order. Payments can be made as late as Thursday, May 1, by bank transfer.

The retirees' association will hold a luncheon today, starting at 12:00, in the Festival Room, South Campus Hall. The speaker is UW historian Ken McLaughlin, whose announced topic is "Waterloo at 50: Building Ontario's Most Successful New University".

The second annual "Business Start-up Boot Camp", organized by UW Innovate, is starting today at the St. Jerome's Conference Centre. The camp, which seeks to provide about 30 budding entrepreneurs with key tools to launch business, continues through Thursday. An opening reception is scheduled for 4:00 at St. Jerome's.

Tonight, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario presents a major research award to local researchers at the Volunteer and Researcher Celebration, which starts at 7 p.m. at the University Club. The event features some of the Foundation's top researchers, including Jim Rush and Eric Roy of the kinesiology department.

The Waterloo Advisory Council will hold its spring meeting tonight and tomorrow. The Council was established "to bring advice from Canadian industry, business and government to the University of Waterloo in the continuing development of its education, research, and administrative programs and in particular co-operative education. The membership represents employers of students and alumni consistent with faculties served." Christian Sylvain, director of government and public affairs for the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, will be the keynote speaker at tonight's dinner meeting, being held in the new Co-op and Career Services building.

Unsold books from the Canadian Federation of University Women used book sale over the weekend should have arrived in the Student Life Centre by now. They'll be for sale on the lower level, 24 hours a day, at 25 cents a volume, for about the next week.

Coming later this week:

Finally, a memo has gone to departments from the student awards office, announcing details of this year's work placement program, which provides full-time student work on campus. "Funding for this program has been allocated by department," says the memo, "up to $2,000 per month per student." Joanne Wade, director of student awards and student financial aid, can provide more information; she's at ext. 6039.


Communications and Public Affairs, University of Waterloo
200 University Avenue West, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1
(519) 888-4567 ext. 3004
www.bulletin.uwaterloo.ca | Friday's Bulletin
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