First UVic student tests positive for COVID-19

Campus Local National News

Students in Psych 300B, Psych 351B, and Biol 367 are advised to self-monitor

Graphic by Darian Lee

Nearly a week after face-to-face instruction at UVic was suspended, the first UVic student has tested positive for COVID-19. According to Island Health, students who attended Psych 300B, Psych 351 B, and Biol 367 on March 12 may have been exposed to COVID-19, and have been advised to self-isolate for two weeks and monitor for symptoms like coughing, sneezing, fever, sore throat, and difficulty breathing.

“This individual is an upper-level student who lives off campus and is recovering at home with good care, and is well supported by their family,” said UVic’s president Jamie Cassels in a statement this afternoon. “I know you join me in wishing them a speedy return to good health.”

In addition to the three UVic classes, Island Health warned that anyone who attended the swimming pool at Saanich Commonwealth Place on March 12 between 5 and 7 p.m. and anyone who attended a kickboxing class on March 15 at 8:15 a.m. may have been exposed to the virus. 

All incidents of potential exposure occurred before the UVic classes and city recreation facilities were cancelled.

Anyone experiencing the symptoms of COVID-19 is advised to self isolate for 14 days. B.C. has launched an online self-assessment tool for those experiencing symptoms that may need testing or further medical attention. 

This follows news from the Provincial Health Officer, Bonnie Henry, that case in British Columbia increased by 40 on March 19. Of all B.C. cases, 17 are in the hospital and nine are in intensive care.

At the time of writing, B.C. has reported 271 cases, 5 recoveries, and 8 deaths from COVID-19. The province is now in a state of emergency. 

In a press conference today, Henry advised people to stay home and continue social distancing measures. At this time, Henry says socialization should be kept to one to two people or family. 

“There are things you can do, even if we are doing social distancing,” Henry said. “Maintain your distance from others when you’re outside as well.”

At time of writing, Canada has reported 865 cases of COVID-19, with 11 recoveries and 12 deaths, according to the Globe and Mail. 

Health officials are encouraging people to wash their hands and practice social distancing, and for anyone exhibiting symptoms to stay home. For more information, please visit the B.C. Centre for Disease Control website.