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Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

Communicable Disease Prevention

TRU is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for our community. A high-level summary of TRU’s Communicable Disease Plan below outlines the preventative measures that everyone needs to follow to reduce the risk of transmitting communicable diseases within our community.

Full Plan for Employees on onetru

In summary

Communicable disease prevention focuses on simple mitigation strategies that reduce the risk of workplace transmission. The fundamental components include both ongoing controls and supplemental controls that are implemented in times of elevated risk, as advised by the public health office (provincially or locally).

Ongoing mitigation controls

Support employees and students to stay home when sick
  • If ill, stay home.
  • Rapid take-home test kits for COVID-19 are available at community pharmacies for people aged 18+.
Promote hand washing and hygiene practices
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Utilize any of the many sanitizer stations located across campus.
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow or tissue and clean hands after.
Adjust ventilation to meet communicable disease prevention best practices
  • Additional high-efficiency filters have been added to building ventilation systems.
  • Old filters have been replaced with fresh new filters.
  • Air exchanges have been increased (i.e., how many times the air is changed out in a space per hour)
  • Fresh air purge cycles have been increased and re-circulation of internal air has been reduced.
Support vaccination

When it’s your time to get vaccinated or boosted for COVID-19 or any communicable disease, you are entitled to up to three hours paid leave to receive the vaccine and booster doses. International and out-of-province students have access to BC’s vaccination program by registering by phone. Call 1-833-838-2323. Translators available. » Learn more

Monkeypox immunization is not required or recommended for the general public and infection is being closely monitored and traced through Public Health. If you think you may have been exposed or if you think you may be in the risk group for infection, you can find more information on immunization in Kamloops on Interior Health’s website.

Plan for responding to elevated risk

TRU, led by the Office of Safety and Emergency Management, regularly monitors and reviews communicable disease information and trends provincially through the Provincial Health Office and locally through Interior Health. If community risk elevates and communicable disease transmission increases in our region, TRU will update our campus communities of any changes that could impact university activities based off advice/direction from Provincial Health/Interior Health.

Potential changes
  • Masks may move from personal choice to required
  • Enhanced cleaning protocols — increased cleaning across campus and or in targeted spaces
  • Re-implementation of industry specific guidelines — i.e., reduced indoor dining or reduced event occupancy
  • Re-implementation of physical distancing/reduced occupancy — i.e., restricting social gatherings, maintaining 6 ft distance from others
  • Re-implementation of barrier usage in high-risk areas — i.e., service counters, retail sale counters, dining check outs, reception desks etc.
  • Re-implementation of remote working/learning — transitioning to working from home or to online learning

Common communicable diseases

The following table provides an overview of common communicable diseases. To learn more about any of these diseases, links have been provided to the BC Centre for Disease Control.

Disease Vaccine Common symptoms Transmission
COVID-19 Yes Fever, cough, shortness of breath/difficulty breathing, headache, sore throat, loss of taste/smell, fatigue, muscle/joint pain, sometimes diarrhea and vomiting Person to person via droplets, airborne, coughing, sneezing, or talking, touching contaminated objects and not washing hands before touching face
Influenza Yes Fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or joint pain, headache, fatigue, and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea Person to person through droplets
Measles Yes High fever, cough, runny nose, rash, red/watery eyes and tiny white spots in mouth (Koplik) Airborne particles and stay suspended in the air for up to two hours
Meningitis Yes Bacterial: fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea, vomiting, confusion, sensitivity to light Virial: fever, headache, nausea, sensitivity to light, difficulty waking up or sleepiness, irritability, vomiting, lack of appetite, lethargy Spread from person to person, depends on type of bacteria Caused by other viruses such as influenza, mumps, measles.
Monkeypox Yes Fever, chills, intense headache, swollen lymph nodes, back and/or muscle pain, fatigue or exhaustion Close, personal and often skin-to-skin contact.
Mumps Yes Fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, loss of appetite and swollen /tender salivary glands approx. 16-18 days after infection Air borne; coughing, sneezing or talking, touching contaminated objects and or sharing items
Norovirus No Diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, stomach pain Contaminated food/drink, touching contaminated surfaces and not washing hands before putting them in mouth, direct contact with an infected person
Rubella Yes Rash (red), swollen lymph nodes, fever, fore throat, fatigue Airborne; coughing, sneezing, talking.
Varicella (Chicken Pox) Yes Fever, itchy, fluid filled blisters, tiredness, loss of appetite, headache Touching or breathing in the virus particles that come from the blisters
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