Several students attending placements at Windsor Regional Hospital test positive for COVID-19

The University of Windsor and St. Clair College reported new cases of COVID-19 in students on the weekend, all of whom were attending placements at Windsor Regional Hospital. 

Four nursing students from the university and one from the college are positive

Windsor Regional Hospital says a handful of its nursing placement students from local postsecondary institutions have tested positive for COVID-19 Sunday. As a result it has suspended most placements at this time. (Tom Addison/CBC)

The University of Windsor and St. Clair College reported new cases of COVID-19 in students on the weekend, all of whom were attending placements at Windsor Regional Hospital. 

In news releases Sunday, the university said four Faculty of Nursing students tested positive for the disease, while St. Clair College said it was notified of one student who tested positive.

All of the students were attending placements at Windsor Regional Hospital, though the hospital confirmed in its own news release that the disease was not contracted in its facilities. Rather, it said these people contracted COVID-19 from the community. 

According to the hospital, three of the four university students were on the 7West and 6East units at the Ouellette campus on Nov. 3 and Nov. 6, and the fourth was on the 8North unit at Met Campus on Nov. 3. Meanwhile, the college student was located at the 6North unit at Met Campus on Nov. 2. 

Since the hospital found out about the cases, it has taken a number of measures to prevent any possible spread of the disease, including: 

  • Notifying possible staff contacts. 
  • Offering all staff in the affected units, or who have worked in the units in the past week, the opportunity to get tested as soon as possible. 
  • Identifying patient contacts.  
  • Temporarily stopping any movement of patients from the affected floors, except in cases they need to be discharged home. 
  • Stopping all nursing student placements from the University of Windsor and St. Clair College on any unit at the hospital until further notice. 
  • All clinical student placements from the University of Windsor, except Schulich clinical placements, and St. Clair College on 7W and 6E at Ouellette campus and 6N and 8N at Met campus, have been stopped until the issue is cleared. 
  • Starting deep cleaning of affected units. 
  • Visitation to the affected floors/units has been suspended until the issue is cleared, except for end-of-life and palliative patients. 

"Since these are student placements, contacts with patients are limited," the hospital's statement reads. However, it says any patients and visitors from the affected areas are offered the opportunity to get a COVID-19 test.

St. Clair College said one of its students has tested positive for COVID-19. The student also attended a lab in person last week. Windsor Regional Hospital said it was a nursing student. (Sanjay Maru/CBC)

In a news release, St. Clair College said its student also attended a lab last week. Though they were wearing full personal protective equipment, staff in the affected area have been notified and students who had any contact will hear from the school or local health unit. 

'Unauthorized Halloween gathering' under investigation

Along with the four positive student cases, the University of Windsor said in a news release that it is also investigating an "unauthorized Halloween gathering," after being advised to do so by the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU). 

It said the university is closely working with WECHU and will provide details as they become available. 

These cases at the university are in addition to two others reported last week, on Nov. 3 and Nov. 5. Both were part of the campus community, according to the university. 

Following this series of events, the university said it is reminding the campus community to "restrict social gatherings and strictly adhere to COVID-19 prevention protocols." 

The university said the local health unit has also advised an investigation of a Halloween gathering. (Jennifer La Grassa/CBC)

"This is a strong reminder to our student community that we cannot become complacent with our protocols and guidelines during this pandemic. There is simply too much at stake, and we need to be stringent now more than ever," University of Windsor president and vice-chancellor Rob Gordon said in a news release. 

"We all need to be responsible and consider how our behaviour today may affect our friends, family, and members of the larger community tomorrow." 


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