Forty-four students living in McGill University residences have reportedly tested positive for COVID-19, according to a statement issued on behalf of Fabrice Labeau, deputy provost of student life and learning, on January 25.
Thirty-three of the 44 students — or 75% — live in the Royal Victoria College or RVC Residences.
McGill’s guidelines and regulations comply with Quebec law, and failure to abide by them put you at risk of heavy government fines in addition to University discipline.
Fabrice Labeau, Deputy Provost
In his statement, Labeau attributed the rapid increase in cases, in large part, to "successful contact tracing" on campus.
On the week of January 20, Labeau publicly informed the McGill community that several students living at RVC had reported testing positive for COVID-19 or were reporting COVID-19 symptoms.
Labeau said that upon hearing of these initial reports, McGill began to actively trace the affected students' contacts, directing them to get tested and moving medium- to high-risk contacts into self-isolation.
The university has asked all RVC students to get tested for COVID-19, said Labeau, and it set up a mobile testing site in RVC for students and staff over the weekend.
RVC is also delivering all meals to residents' rooms to decrease social interaction.
All McGill students who live in residence and who have reported testing positive for COVID-19 have been immediately moved into self-isolation rooms, according to Labeau.
He added that all spaces they occupied have been cleaned and disinfected and additional security agents are ensuring students comply with self-isolation protocols.
Labeau said the sudden COVID-19 outbreak has not affected any staff members in McGill's residences, and all cases found in students are linked to private gatherings that broke Quebec's COVID-19 public health rules.
McGill has reportedly forced at least 15 students to leave their dorms for a week after being involved in private gatherings on-campus that led to the COVID-19 outbreak.