Protect yourself this cold and flu season

Wearing a mask, frequent hand washing, and staying up-to-date on vaccinations are all ways to stay safe this cold and flu season.

According to Canada’s Health Infobase, Ontario recorded 3,215 COVID-19 cases in the last week of September and the province is now at level three of COVID-19 Activity Levels.

COVID-19 cases have increased in the Middlesex-London region in recent weeks. From Oct. 1 to Oct. 10 the Middlesex-London Health Unit reported 156 instances of COVID- 19, of which 139 occurred in London.

That’s why Fanshawe College is encouraging employees and students to wear masks or face shields indoors, especially in crowded environments and spaces. Face masks are available at most main campus entrances.

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In a statement, Fanshawe recommended that all campus community members should wear a face mask or face shield in public for at least 10 days after the onset of symptoms to reduce the transmission of respiratory viruses. The college added that it is essential to be considerate of others and not make assumptions about or comment on someone’s beliefs or health status regarding mask-wearing choices.

Accommodation will also be granted to students who are unable to attend class due to illness.

Moreover, Fanshawe said it will maintain the following protocols at all campuses and locations:

  • Nightly cleaning and disinfection
  • Ventilation operation with 100 per cent fresh air during respiratory illness season, with purges before and after hours of operation
  • Provision of hand sanitizer in hallways, lobbies, and public restrooms
  • Passive screening signage on doors
Fanshawe College reminded staff and students that protecting themselves and others from respiratory viruses in many ways is possible. Even small daily actions can be effective in reducing transmission, such as frequent hand washing.

In an effort to strengthen the country’s defense against the virus during this season, Health Canada approved the long-awaited fall COVID-19 booster vaccine on Sept. 12. Flu shots have also arrived in Ontario and are being administered to high-risk groups first.

The updated Moderna vaccine is available to residents and staff of congregate living settings, pregnant individuals, individuals 65 years of age and older, all children six months to four years of age (influenza risk), individuals who are from a First Nation, Inuit or Métis community, or who self-identify as First Nation, Inuit, or Métis and their household members, individuals six months of age and older with underlying health conditions per National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI), members of racialized and other equity-deserving communities, healthcare workers, and first responders.

The booster will become available to the general population on Oct. 30.

Appointments for a vaccination through The Middlesex-London Health Unit clinic at the Western Fair District can be booked online at or by phone at 226-289-3560. The clinic is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Fanshawe said it is closely monitoring respiratory infections in the area, including seasonal influenza and other highly contagious preventable diseases, in collaboration with local public health officials.