King’s University College, Western University residences declare COVID-19 outbreaks

King's University College's King’s Commons residence on Richmond Street. Photo from King's University College.

A King’s University College student residence and a seventh dormitory at Western University have confirmed outbreaks of COVID-19.

The Middlesex London Health Unit declared the two outbreaks on Friday.

Dr. David Malloy, the principal of the Western affiliate, said seven students at King’s Commons, an upper-year apartment style residence on Richmond Street, have tested positive for the virus. Those individuals are now in quarantine.

“Now is not the time to socialize with others,” Malloy said in a statement. “The variants of concern are making younger people sick, and are much more transmissible. Please continue to practice health and safety protocols: significantly limit your contacts, physically distance from others, wash your hands and wear three-layer masks.”

On Friday, 80 of the 139 new COVID-19 infections logged by the health unit involved people under the age of 30. The number of active cases has nearly doubled since last week and currently stands at 1,084.

“I cannot stress enough how important it is now for all of us to share the responsibility of fighting the spread of the virus. Please stay within your household as best you can. Please avoid unnecessary excursions or travel,” said Malloy.

He encouraged anyone who believes they may have been exposed to the virus to get tested at Western’s COVID-19 testing centre.

Western added another residence to its growing list of dorms with outbreaks. The latest was confirmed at Perth Hall, although it is unclear how many students living there have contracted the virus. The other six residences with outbreaks at Western are Essex Hall, Delaware Hall, Elgin Hall, Medway-Sydenham Hall, Ontario Hall, and Saugeen-Maitland Hall.

The continued outbreaks led the university last week to urge those living on campus to move back home. The majority of in-person classes and exams have also been moved online.