March 3, 2021

Cases in Essex Hall and London Moving to Orange Zone

March 3, 2021

As we welcome back our residence community to campus, we wanted to provide you with a few updates.  

The Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) declared a COVID-19 outbreak in Essex Hall residence yesterday, where seven positive cases were confirmed.  

All students living in Essex Hall have been notified of the outbreak and are being supported. All positive cases were moved immediately outside of residence for isolation. The MLHU takes the lead on contact tracing and reaches out to those they identify as close contacts of positive cases, with further instructions. 

The outbreak declaration underscores the need to remain vigilant in our health & safety efforts. Students have returned to residence from all corners of the province and country – as recently as this past weekend – from areas with varying rates of COVID-19 prevalence. As we rebuild the health of our residence community, we need to remain cautious, especially with the unknown impact and increasing threat of variants.  

What does this mean for you?

Residences remain open, and dining halls and front desks are operational. Students are reminded that residence-to-residence access continues to be suspended, except for Alumni House students accessing Elgin Hall, and London Hall students accessing Essex Hall, for dining hall purposes only.

You may have read that the MLHU has been moved into the Orange Zone, within the province’s COVID-19 response framework. This morning, residence dining halls reopened its seating to accommodate up to 50 people, with chairs physically distanced. Some larger lounges will be available for structured and monitored programs organized by University staff, with a 10-person capacity.

Please check this webpage for the updated health and safety protocols in your residence building:  

Please continue to follow all health and safety guidelines: Keep your close contacts to your roommates/suitemates, wear a mask, practice good hand hygiene, physically distance, and remember that we have to collectively work in tandem to protect our community. Students have been doing an admirable job in the sacrifices they have made so far this year to protect each other, and this situation reminds us how unrelenting this virus can be. 

As always, continue to self-monitor, and should you start experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, please stay in your room and contact the Housing Leader on Call at 519-495-3980. Additional COVID-19 resources for the campus community can be found on Western’s COVID-19 website and on the MLHU’s website.     

Now is the time to redouble our efforts, and not get complacent with our health and safety. Thank you for continuing to do your part to take care of yourself, each other and our community.