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Fleming College closing student residences amid concerns over coronavirus pandemic

Fleming College is temporarily closing its student residences amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
Fleming College is temporarily closing its student residences amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Steve Guthrie/Global News Peterborough

Fleming College has told students who are staying in residence to go home amid growing concern over the novel coronavirus pandemic.

All students are required to move out by March 20 at 3 p.m., the school says, adding that alternate arrangements have been made for international students and others who are in exceptional circumstances.

Students have been advised not to come to the school’s campuses until further notice.

READ MORE: On-site classes suspended for the rest of winter semester — Fleming College

All campuses in Peterborough, Lindsay, Norwood and Haliburton are closed to the public, with restricted access on a very limited basis.

Those who need access to the buildings are being screened through a small number of access points and must sign in and out.

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Access to those buildings will be slowly phased out throughout the week, according to the school.

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The school’s Cobourg campus is closed, with no access to the classrooms or offices.  Access to staff is limited to phone, web or email.

Services delivered through the college’s employment offices in Peterborough and Haliburton are also available by phone, web and email only.

READ MORE: Coronavirus — Peterborough health unit reports no new cases, shortage of swabs for testing

College officials are continuing to discuss other alternatives and scenarios, including the status of the school’s spring semester, which is scheduled to begin on May 4; the financial impact of the global pandemic on students (OSAP, payments and deposits); and the impact the novel coronavirus on convocation ceremonies later this spring.

Students can keep track of the situation by going to flemingcollege.ca/COVID19.

All questions can be emailed to COVID19@flemingcollege.ca.

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials say the risk is low for Canadians but warn this could change quickly. They caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are asked to self-isolate for 14 days in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others.

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Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. And if you get sick, stay at home.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.