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COVID-19: Outbreak declared at Trent University’s Gzowski College, 15 new cases for Peterborough

A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared at Gzowski College student residence at Trent University. Gzowski College/Twitter

Peterborough Public Health reports 15 new cases of COVID-19 and a new outbreak at Trent University on Friday.

The outbreak at Trent University’s Gzowski College is now the third student residence with an outbreak in the city, joining the ongoing outbreaks at the privately owned Severn Court Student Residence (declared Feb. 20) and at Trent’s Champlain College (declared March 4). Case details for Gzowski College on the east bank of the Otonabee River were not made available.

“PPH has confirmed this outbreak does not appear to be linked to the outbreak at the west bank’s Champlain College residence, which remains in effect but is considered to be under control,” the university stated.

A Section 22 order has been issued for the residence. Gzowski College residents may only leave their rooms to pick up food exclusively at the Otonabee College dining hall over the weekend, which will be closed to all other students and others on campus, the university said. Starting Monday the Gzowski College dining hall will be open seven days a week for exclusive use by Gzowski residents.

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Read more: Criminal charges possible in Severn Court Student Residence COVID-19 outbreak in Peterborough

Eight more presumed variant of concerns were added to the health unit’s COVID tracker to bring the total to 144. The first confirmed variant of concern was reported on Feb. 23. The majority of the variants are associated with the Severn Court outbreak — 59 cases and a student death as of Thursday, according to the health unit.

As of Thursday, there were four active cases at Severn Court and one at Champlain College.

A presumed variant is defined as having tested positive for a mutation, but it requires further genomic sequencing to determine its specific strain, the health unit notes. Testing at the Public Health Ontario labs generally takes seven to 14 days. Once a strain is identified, it is then placed on the tracker’s “confirmed” case list.

As of Friday there are now 63 active cases of COVID-19, up from 56 reported on Thursday. Of the 808 cases, 736 are now declared resolved — approximately 91 per cent.

Late Friday afternoon, the province announced Peterborough Public Health will remain in the “red — control” zone in its provinicial COVID-19 response framework. The Peterborough area entered the red designation on March 8.

COVID-19 case data for March 19, 2021. Peterborough Public Health

Other active outbreaks:

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  • Brock Mission men’s emergency shelter: Declared Tuesday with one positive case

On Friday, Fleming College reported no cases related to its Sutherland Campus in the city. The college resumed most in-person classes on Monday after being cancelled for two weeks starting March 1 due to the Severn Court outbreak.

Trent University again reported two active student cases  — a student living on residence and one off campus. Last week the case total peaked at nine, although the university notes not all of the cases are connected to the Champlain College outbreak.

Read more: Why is COVID-19 hitting more young people? Doctor answers your coronavirus questions

Other case data for Friday:

  • Close contacts: 154 (138 were reported on Thursday).
  • Peterborough Regional Health Centre: “Less than 5” COVID-19 patients — unchanged since Tuesday. There have been 20 patient transfers from other area, unchanged since Thursday.
  • Hospitalized cases: 27 since the pandemic was declared (three required the intensive care unit)
  • Death toll: 10 since the pandemic was declared, one with the Severn Court Student Residence outbreak; three associated with a November 2020 outbreak at Fairhaven long-term care in Peterborough.
  • More than 45,400 people have been tested for the novel coronavirus. To get tested for COVID-19, book an online appointment. Testing for those without symptoms or with mild symptoms is held at the Northcrest Arena in Peterborough.

School cases within the health unit’s jurisdiction:

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  • St. Catherine Catholic Elementary School in Peterborough: four cases, up from two initially reported March 10 by the Peterborough, Victoria, Northumberland Catholic District School Board; school remains open.
  • St. John Catholic Elementary School in Peterborough: one case reported on March 10.
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