Nursing students at St. Clair College and U of W test positive for COVID-19

BlackburnNews.com file photo of Windsor Regional Hospital's Metropolitan Campus, July 16, 2015. (Photo by Jason Viau)

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) has confirmed multiple cases of COVID-19 were identified in nursing students at both of Windsor’s post-secondary school campuses.

One nursing student attending the main campus at St. Clair College has tested positive for the virus over the weekend. On Sunday, health officials determined the student attended a lab on campus last week, and they also participated in a school placement at the Windsor Regional Hospital (WRH). Staff and students who were in the affected area of the college have been notified, and St. Clair said it’s working with the health unit to enforce any necessary regulations and restrictions.

Elsewhere, the University of Windsor was notified that four nursing students, who were completing clinical placements at the WRH, have tested positive for COVID-19.  The WECHU is investigating an unauthorized gathering of students that occurred on Halloween that the nursing students may have attended.

Due to all the added risk factors, the university is urging students to restrict social gatherings and practice social distancing whenever possible.

In both cases, the hospital has confirmed that all the infected students involved contracted the virus from the community, and not the hospital. Three of the U of W students were on the 7 West and 6 East units at the Ouellette campus on November 3 and 6. The fourth student was on the 8 North unit at the Metropolitan campus on November 3.

The St. Clair College student was on the 6 North unit at the Metropolitan campus on November 2. The hospital added that all student placements have stopped until further notice. Except for end-of-life and palliative patients, the hospital has also suspended visitation to the affected floors until the issue is cleared. Other information regarding steps the hospital is taking can be found on its website.

Both the university and the college have implemented remote learning models for many classes this year. Students attending campus for classes and labs are required to wear masks and urged to practice good hygiene. Only those contacted by public health are considered to be at risk and will be advised to seek testing and self-isolate for two-weeks.

Those with questions or concerns regarding testing and contact tracing methods should call the WECHU at 519-258-2146 ext. 1420.