The University of Victoria has confirmed its first case of COVID-19. Island Health says the risk of community transmission is low. (Facebook/University of Victoria)

UVic confirms COVID-19 diagnosis of student living off-campus

Risk of community transmission low, says Island Health

The University of Victoria has confirmed its first case of COVID-19.

An upper-level student, who lives off-campus notified the school of their diagnosis on March 18. The university noted senior staff are now working closely with local medical officials who are finding and notifying people who may have been exposed.

The university added the individual is recovering at home with good care and family support.

READ ALSO: Possible COVID-19 exposure at University of Victoria, Saanich Commonwealth Place

In a statement, UVic president Jamie Cassels thanked the community for its support during “unprecedented and quickly evolving circumstances.”

“With a campus population of nearly 30,000 people and as the number of cases in B.C. continues to grow, it was not unexpected that at some point a member of our community would contract the virus,” he said. “Together, we are doing everything we can to prevent or slow the transmission of this virus.”

Island Health said a medical officer completed a risk assessment of the student and found the risk of transmission was low and restricted to people who might have had contact with the individual in three specific third-year classes on March 12.

The health authority issued a bulletin for those who may have been exposed to the individual in public spaces.

UVic has implemented a number of measures to prevent and slow the transmission of COVID-19, including the transition of in-person student services and classes to alternate forms of communication and encouraging students in residence to return home. All of the university’s events and gatherings of 50 people or more have been cancelled.

As of March 19 at 3 p.m., there are 271 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in B.C. including 22 in the Island Health region. Eight British Columbians have died from the novel coronavirus.

READ ALSO: More than 2,000 UVic students asked to leave dorms in response to COVID-19



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

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