Outbreak declared at Western University residence

University Drive bridge in London. (Photo courtesy of Western University)

An outbreak has been declared at a student residence at Western University after eight people tested positive for COVID-19.

The Middlesex-London Health Unit announced that the outbreak had been declared Thursday afternoon in the Saugeen-Maitland Hall residence at the Western campus.

The eight individuals who have tested positive have been contacted by the health unit and are currently self-isolating. The health unit is also following up with any close contacts of those individuals to ensure that they are tested and quarantined.

“Declaring an outbreak is an important step in order to limit further spread of the virus within the student community,” said Dr. Chris Mackie, medical officer of health with the health unit. “This outbreak highlights the need to limit close contact to only those within your dorm room, maintain two metres physical distance from all others, wear a mask in all indoor public spaces and stay in your room or suite if you feel unwell.”

The health unit has not stated if its investigation has uncovered how the outbreak began.

The Middlesex London Health Unit reported 23 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the total number of cases since the start of the pandemic to 1,143. There are currently 124 cases in the region.