Why isn't Western University reporting COVID-19 cases when other schools do?
Many other universities, including University of Toronto and Queen's, are publicly tracking numbers
Although Western University is notifying affected students when there is a COVID-19 case in one of their classes, it is not making that information public, even though other post-secondary institutions maintain sites to track incidents of the virus.
When CBC London learned about a positive case in a first-year biology class and asked for confirmation, Matt Mills, the southwestern Ontario university's director of health, safety and wellness, said, "At this time, the university has not been notified of any cases of transmission within a classroom."
It took a followup email to Mills to confirm there was indeed a positive case in a first-year biology class with an enrolment of more than 700 students.
He has since told CBC London the health unit has identified six cases total at the university, but there has not be any on-campus transmission.
"We follow the guidance of the MLHU," Mills wrote. "When there is a case identified in a classroom, we directly and immediately inform students and instructors (in the case of a class) and employees (in the case of a unit)."
Many other universities run COVID-19 tracking sites, including the University of Waterloo.
We put this case tracker in place as a measure of information and transparency.- Chris Wilson-Smith, University of Waterloo
"We put this case tracker in place as a measure of information and transparency," said Chris Wilson-Smith, who speaks on behalf of the University of Waterloo.
"We think it's important that our students and wider community have as much information as possible as we all work to stop the spread of COVID-19."
Queen's University in Kingston and the University of Toronto also run COVID-19 tracking websites. Queen's updates its site daily from Monday to Friday, while the U of T website is updated twice a week on Monday and Thursday.
Mills said if there is an on-campus outbreak or the broader community is at risk, Western will issue notifications by email, social media and on the website.
Western has a mandatory vaccine policy and the school says the vaccination rate is currently in the high 90 percentile.