Montreal

Bishop's University shuts classes, monitors residences after COVID-19 reaches campus

Fifteen members of the university community in Sherbrooke, Que., have now tested positive for the coronavirus, pushing the school to conduct its courses online.

15 members of university community have tested positive for COVID-19 since Nov. 11

Bishop's University in Sherbrooke, Que., has decided to suspend the majority of on-campus activities due to a COVID-19 outbreak. (Bertrand Galipeau/Radio-Canada)

Bishop's University has decided to suspend the majority of on-campus activities after a spike in COVID-19 cases.

Fifteen members of the university community in Sherbrooke, Que., have tested positive for the coronavirus. Before Nov. 11, no cases had been detected, according to the university.

At the end of the day on Friday, all in-person university activities were suspended until Wednesday morning, said university spokesperson Olivier Bouffard.

Until Wednesday, all classes will be given remotely. Only essential activities, including certain research projects, will continue.

While other Quebec universities chose to conduct much of the fall semester online, Bouffard said Bishop's has been in "hybrid mode," with some classes online, some in person and some a mix of both.

More than half the university's courses were already being held online prior to Friday's decision, Bouffard said. 

The university intends to assess the risks by Wednesday to determine its plan for the final weeks of the semester.

University monitoring residences

The university intends to closely monitor the situation in its residences, which can accommodate more than 400 students this semester. At least two cases of COVID-19 have been detected in residences, according to the university.

"The majority of people who tested positive have returned to their homes outside of Bishop's. We have also identified spaces for people who have tested positive and who need to isolate," Bouffard said. 

Prevention measures have been put in place in the seven university residences. According to the spokesperson for the establishment, however, it's too early to close them.

The university is urging all at-risk students to be tested for COVID-19, and says taxi vouchers are available for students who need to go to screening centres. 

Based on a report by Radio-Canada

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