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Students at several Ontario colleges and universities asked to vacate dorms over COVID-19

Students at several post-secondary institutions are being asked or told to move out of their dorms in response to COVID-19.

Other universities and colleges say they are asking, but not requiring, students to move out

On Tuesday, McMaster University requested all students living on campus to move out by Saturday. Toronto's Ryerson University has issued a similar directive. (Submitted by McMaster University)

Students at several post-secondary institutions are being asked or told to move out of their dorms in response to COVID-19.

The University of Ottawa is requiring all students aside from international ones or those with "exceptional circumstances" to fully vacate their rooms by Sunday afternoon. The university says the move represents a "critical step" in reducing the spread and impact of the virus.

Toronto's Ryerson University has issued a similar directive, but says students have until Monday to leave. It says students who are unable to go home due to travel restrictions or need extra time to arrange an out-of-province move can apply for an exception.

On Monday, McMaster University requested all students living on campus move out as more coronavirus cases appear in Hamilton and across the country. 

Emails from the school to students on Tuesday morning say they must move out by 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 21.

WATCH | Students told to move out of residence at University of Ottawa:

The University of Ottawa has asked students to move out of residence buildings by March 22 amid the coronavirus pandemic. Students and parents spoke to CBC News about how the situation is affecting them. 0:58

Similarly, Wilfrid Laurier University has given students until Wednesday to move out of school-owned residences, while the University of Waterloo has told students to be out by Friday and Guelph is asking students to move out as soon as possible.

Other universities and colleges, including Algonquin College, say they are asking, but not requiring, students to move out of campus residences.

A spokeswoman for Algonquin says the school expects 50 to 75 per cent of students will voluntarily vacate its Ottawa dorm, which has 1,040 beds. 

With files from CBC News

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