University of Guelph COVID-19 outbreak grows to 31 cases

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The number of cases connected to a COVID-19 outbreak at the University of Guelph that was announced last week has spiked over the weekend.

The university reported seven positive coronavirus tests on Thursday but as of Sunday, there were 31 cases connected to the outbreak.

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University president Charlotte Yates called it a “serious situation” on campus.

“Unfortunately, the numbers may rise as more test results are returned,” Yates said in a statement. “We are working with Public Health in monitoring, assessing and responding to this critical situation.”

The outbreak was declared following unsanctioned social gatherings held in the East Village Townhouses residences on Jan. 15 and 16.

The university is urging anyone who attended the gatherings to isolate immediately, get tested and monitor for symptoms.

Yates said they are taking the situation very seriously and while they have a “robust outbreak response plan,” she added that new prevention measures will be implemented.

“We will be keeping a close eye on compliance and will consider implementing a curfew if necessary to help ensure the health and safety of our campus and wider Guelph community,” Yates said.

The university said it has also increased cleaning and disinfecting in its residences.

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It’s unclear if the students who hosted or attended the gatherings will face any punishment, but Yates said any violations of government and public health orders will be taken seriously.

“We will investigate any complaints and concerns and will work to take appropriate disciplinary action, including issuing of fines or other measures,” Yates said.

“Currently, we are focused on ensuring that students are isolating, getting tested and receiving support, and following guidelines.”

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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