Three individuals from Seager Wheeler Hall tested positive for COVID-19.
The hall is one of four high-rise student resident buildings located in McEown Park, south of the main campus. On Jan. 12, the Government of Saskatchewan declared an outbreak of the virus in Seager Wheeler.
“The University of Saskatchewan is aware that three individuals in residences have undergone COVID-19 testing,” said chief communications officer Gord Hunchak in a statement emailed to the Sheaf. “The individuals, who all lived in the same residence unit, are self-isolating and a contact investigation began immediately to identify close contacts.”
“Advice and next steps have been provided to the individuals as well as all close contacts by the Saskatchewan Health Authority.”
For this outbreak, the U of S will be following the same procedures established for campus members who test positive. The University of Saskatchewan’s Crisis Operations Team will lead the next steps, depending on the situation, before reopening the affected areas.
People identified as close contacts will get tested through the SHA. The workstations visited by the individual who tested positive will be closed if on campus and their supervisor will contact Safety Resources if they are not aware of the situation yet. The individuals’ colleges and units and the university’s Crisis Operation Team will prepare a contingency plan together before reopening the affected areas.
The residences also have their own rules and regulations aside from the university’s. These include that residents are not allowed to have guests in their rooms from outside of the building, they are required to wear masks when leaving their apartments, and must inform the residence if they’re experiencing symptoms.
Those who fail to follow these rules will be fined $250 or evicted, depending on the situation. Currently, all residences are functioning at reduced capacity for the health and safety of the students and the campus community.
According to the provincial government’s website, outbreaks will remain listed until announced over by the SHA.
This is a developing story. The university website usask.ca/updates will have the most up-to-date information. Questions about the university’s response to the pandemic can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that this was the first COVID-19 outbreak at the U of S. There was a previous outbreak declared in October, 2020 in the College of Medicine. We apologize for this error. If you spot any errors in our articles, please send us a message.
J.C. Balicanta Narag | Editor-in-Chief
Photo: Nicholas Saretzky | Contributing Photojournalist