Sixth Western University residence declares COVID outbreak

Western University in London, Ontario. (Photo by Ken Lund from Wikipedia)

Continued COVID-19 spread among Western University students living on campus has led to an outbreak being declared at a sixth residence.

The Middlesex London Health Unit confirmed the outbreak at Essex Hall on Monday. It was formally declared a day earlier and involves fewer than five new infections, according to public health officials.

The declaration of an outbreak at Essex comes less than a week after another outbreak at the same residence was deemed over. The original outbreak was active for 29 days before being classified as resolved last Tuesday.

There are five other residences on campus dealing with outbreaks including Delaware Hall, Elgin Hall, Medway-Sydenham Hall, Ontario Hall, and Saugeen-Maitland Hall.

Outbreaks are declared when there is evidence of virus transmission within a single facility.

Dr. Chris Mackie, the region’s medical officer of health, plans to update the public on the ongoing outbreaks Tuesday afternoon.

Last Thursday, the post secondary institution announced it was moving the majority of its in-person classes and exams online and encouraged students who live in residence to move out early. The university’s president stated at the time the move is aimed at stopping the spread of the virus.

Students who are able to move out of residence by April 11 are being offered refunds.