A case of COVID-19 was reported at Université Sainte-Anne’s Pointe-de-l’Église campus in Church Point, N.S. on Monday, but the university president says there was low risk of exposure.
The francophone university sent an alert email to its entire student and faculty population Monday afternoon, notifying the community that a student had tested positive for the novel coronavirus and was isolating.
In the wake of the positive case, the school decided to shut down the university campus for two days while all students currently in residence are under lockdown measures.
On Tuesday, provincial health officials stated the student was not properly self-isolating and that contact tracing is now being done.
However, Université Sainte-Anne president Allister Surette said the student was only on-campus for several hours before receiving positive test results.
Surette said the student completed the test before arriving to residence from Halifax, where the student was picked up by a university-organized shuttle.
“The other people on the shuttle had masks, were distancing, and public health says there’s very low risk to them,” said Surette.
He said the case was detected quickly and has been in quarantine since receiving the test results.
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Tuesday afternoon the university said no close contacts were identified by health officials.
Université Sainte-Anne is one of the only universities in the province offering a full in-person courses, with only the first two weeks being exclusively online.
Surette said there are between 30 and 40 students coming from outside the Atlantic bubble and several have already completed their mandatory self-isolation period.
“We have students on-campus and we’re accommodating them as much as we can with food, with proper self-distancing and other measures that have to be in place.”
All post-secondary students entering Nova Scotia from outside the Atlantic Canada bubble are required to self-isolate for 14 days and will be tested for COVID-19 up to three times during that period.
The province also reported two probable cases of COVID-19 at two other Nova Scotia universities, including a student at Dalhousie University in Halifax, and a student at Acadia University in Wolfville.
According to the province both, students arrived from outside the Atlantic bubble and live off-campus and are self-isolating.
Students cannot attend in-person classes until their self-isolation period and testing are complete and they have received negative test results.
The province is setting up additional COVID-19 testing sites where necessary to accommodate the influx of students.