A University of Victoria student has tested positive for COVID-19.
The school was notified of the off-campus student in the late afternoon of March 18, and has been in contact with the student to offer support.
The student says they are in good spirits and still expect to complete their courses, according to a statement released by the university.
Medical officials are tracing the student’s footsteps and are notifying those who may have had close contact with the individual.
After completing a risk assessment, Island Health has “concluded that the risk of transmission was low and restricted to those who may have had contact with the individual at the university in three specific third-year classes on March 12.”
Those students are being advised to monitor themselves for symptoms. Island Health has also issued a bulletin for anyone who may have been exposed in public spaces.
UVic President Jamie Cassels said it was only a matter of time before someone in the community tested positive.
“With a campus population of nearly 30,000 people and as the number of cases in BC continues to grow, it was not unexpected that at some point a member of our community would contract the virus,” said Cassels
While the university cannot release any information about the student, they can confirm this is the first member of the university community with a known positive COVID-19 diagnoses.
“Our goal remains to do our utmost to protect the health and safety of our campus community members and the wider community,” said UVic in a statement.
“UVic has been actively planning for and responding to the COVID-19 situation since the first case in BC was confirmed on Jan. 29, and continues to act on the advice of the provincial health officer.”
While this news is unsettling for some, President Cassels reminds all students and staff to not panic.
“While I understand that this new development may cause heightened concern for some people, our work together and our support for each other will see us through,” said Cassels.
This comes just days after the announcement from UVic telling all dorm residents to go home, in order to comply with health authorities order to limit gatherings to less than 50 people.
The University of Victoria has moved all courses online since March 13th, in an effort to comply with the Provincial Health Officer’s recommendation to maintain a social distance.