COVID-19 outbreak at University of Waterloo swells to include all residences

A University of Waterloo sign. Ahmad Fareed Khan / Global News

The COVID-19 outbreak at the University of Waterloo has now spread to all of the school’s residences.

“On Monday, March 29, 2021, Region of Waterloo public health informed us that ten people who live on or have visited our campus tested positive for COVID-19,” the school said in a statement.

The additional cases lift the total number of cases connected to the outbreak at the school to 21.

“The outbreak in residences means that we will be implementing changes to our operations in shared dining spaces and shared study spaces,” the university said.

“We are urging students to remain in their own accommodation except to attend classes, exercise or get food.”

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The outbreak stems from a “cluster” of COVID-19 cases connected to series of gatherings attended by students from both the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier from March 4 through March 7.

The outbreak at the University of Waterloo was first reported on March 18, when Waterloo Public Health first announced the existence of the “cluster.”

There is also an outbreak involving three students in a residence at Laurier but that is not all.

“There are now a total of 56 confirmed cases and two probable cases connected to both the original cluster and secondary spread from the original cluster,” Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang, the region’s medical officer of health, said Friday.

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On Tuesday night, a Waterloo Public Health spokesperson told Global News that there are now 85 confirmed COVID-19 cases and two probable cases linked to the initial cluster and secondary exposure.

In addition, there are also 75 high-risk contacts.

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