Others concerned about COVID-19 cases confirmed in WLU students
KITCHENER -- Some students at Wilfrid Laurier University are on edge after the school confirmed this past weekend that four people had tested positive for COVID-19.
The students said they're concerned about where the cases came from and whether or not they're at risk.
Most of the campus is closed and students are learning online, but there are students who live nearby in student housing both on- and off-campus.
One student, Liliana, went to a local testing site Tuesday because she's been around someone who tested positive for the disease.
"Since I have been exposed to other people, I'd like to take the time to take that test just to reassure that I don't have it," she said.
Liliana and others are concerned that the cases at WLU could be linked to the outbreak at Western University, where 28 students tested positive last week.
Region of Waterloo Public Health officials said there's no known connection at this point.
"We have not discovered a contact with Western," Medical Officer of Health Dr. Hsiu Li Wang said.
Dr. Wang said a case in a university student may not be reported to the region's health unit if their home address is elsewhere.
"Then what usually happens is that if a neighbouring health unit gets the case and there's potential implications here, then they'll share that information," she said.
University officials said it's ultimately up to the public health unit managing the case, and the student, to disclose the information.
"Wilfrid Laurier University is committed to keeping our community safe," a statement from the university said in part. "We are working to provide accurate and timely information to our community when we are notified about confirmed COVID cases, either by an individual or by public health."
This year's Homecoming weekend has moved online.
The city passed a nuisance bylaw to address large unsanctioned public events at a meeting on Monday night. It gives bylaw officers an added tool to help deter and dispel large crowds.
Waterloo regional police Chief Bryan Larkin said anyone who throws a party could face charges.
"Can result up to a fine up to $10,000," Larkin said. "But those who attend can be fined up to $750."
Liliana said she's avoiding Homecoming and wants to visit her parents this weekend. But, that plan might need to change.
"If I do have it, and I'm asymptomatic right now, at least I can stay here and be quarantined here and not expose my family to anything," she said.
WLU officials are only aware of the four students who have tested positive. Two of those cases are managed by Region of Waterloo Public Health and the other two managed by Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health.