Everyone just wanted to hang out, says UWindsor student about party that led to COVID outbreak
5 students have tested positive for the virus after 18 students gathered for Halloween
A University of Windsor student says he and his peers feel no resentment toward each other after they attended a recent Halloween party at their residence that led to a number of them contracting COVID-19.
"I don't feel bad getting it, I feel bad about spreading it. I think everybody can agree that's probably the most terrifying thing," said Jack Meadows, a first year student, in an interview with CBC News. He is one of those isolating in the aftermath of the party.
The university said in a news release Tuesday that a party involving 18 students was "unauthorized," and has led to what is now being declared as an outbreak.
The university did not confirm which residence building the party took place in, but Meadows said he and others were in Alumni Hall, which usually houses over 300 students.
"There was some drinking, and what ended up happening was everyone just wanted to hangout together," he said while describing the gathering.
Meadows said during the party he tried to stick close to his "cohort" of ten friends, and went back to his dorm room when others entered hallways and common areas in the building.
"There really isn't much that you can do to stop that when you have close to 200 first years in a building, in like three floors right...so it happened," he said.
As of Wednesday, five students have tested positive for COVID-19 following the party. One of the five had visited a region outside of Windsor-Essex before going to the party. Health experts now believe that is where the person contracted COVID-19.
Meadows said despite COVID-19 protocols put in place in residence, he's surprised an outbreak like this one took this long to happen.
"I was not shocked at all…of course this is happening. I mean I'm surprised it didn't happen sooner really. It took until after reading week which is super impressive," he said, adding that he doesn't blame anyone for the outbreak.
"It was just the way it happened...There was no one to blame at all, right. So, I didn't feel too badly about it, I also don't feel any resentment, I don't think anybody feels any resentment," he said.
WATCH: UWindsor student talks about what the party was like
In a news release Tuesday, the university said it has "implemented extensive additional cleaning protocols." It also said the affected students have been moved out of their residence and into a different building at an undisclosed location.
Meadows said he has since gone home to quarantine, citing it would be better for his mental well being.
Once the isolation period is over Meadows said he plans on returning to campus to continue his studies, but added he'll be taking more COVID-19 safety precautions.
He said new restrictions have also been put in place at the residence as a result of the outbreak.