Coronavirus: Graduate Students Communication Archive
January 27, 2020
Dear Faculty of Medicine Graduate Students:
The University of Toronto and our hospital partners are working closely together to optimize the management of the Coronavirus concerns across our system. As of the morning of January 27, there has been confirmation of two presumptive cases of 2019-nCoV in Toronto.
While health officials note the risk of contracting the virus remains low, we must all be prepared to safely deal with sick and highly infectious patients. We want to ensure that you are kept safe and your patients are kept safe while you are performing your duties.
The expectation of GLSE is that all graduate student learners based in hospitals will uphold their professional obligation to comply with hospital requirements for providers, which includes physicians.
Mask Fit Testing
As a Faculty of Medicine trainee, you must meet hospital requirements including mask fit testing and appropriate training. If, for whatever reason, you have lapsed in your mask fit testing or believe that there has been a change in your fit status (major weight change, for example), then you must not engage in at-risk activities until a new updated fit test is done or you consult with your local hospital infection control personnel or policies to determine how the institution manages individual circumstances.
If you cannot be fit-tested, and there is any potential risk that you will need to be in contact with an infected patient, then you may, where appropriate, be directed by hospital officials and supervisors to be relieved of your duties. If that happens, you may be placed on leave until the outbreak is over or assigned to other educational duties as capacity and risk assessments permit.
I understand there are varying perspectives on the approaches taken to protect providers and patients, however I can assure you that the processes in place have been well thought out and I ask that all learners respect the local expertise that has informed these. Please contact your appropriate hospital research institute personnel if you cannot safely see patients who may have coronavirus, or if you have questions or concerns.
We understand that this is a time of heightened anxiety and concern. We have learned a great deal from previous events and are confident that our processes are optimized to address the current situation.
Information is available at:
Toronto Public Health: https://www.toronto.ca/community-people/health-wellness-care/diseases-medications-vaccines/coronavirus/
For further information and support please contact your local site supervisor, graduate coordinator or appropriate research institute personnel.
Allan S Kaplan MSc MD FRCP(C)