As the cases of COVID-19 in Ontario continue to rise, the government has cancelled all events that will gather over 50 people and are advising residents to stay home if they can. However, despite the announcement, Ontario universities are now putting out warnings of their own. St. Patrick's Day pre-party festivities have still been going on across the province and now universities are urging students to take social distancing more seriously. Several schools across the province have put out warnings on social media or on their websites advising their students to stay home instead of publicly celebrating the green holiday. The University of Guelph put out a release on Tuesday asking their students to stay home and avoid large gatherings during this time. Other universities quickly did the same. Wilfred Laurier University put out their statement which informs students that, "people and governments across the world are taking unprecedented steps to contain COVID-19 — borders have closed, companies have shut down and entire countries are living under strict quarantine."Surely you can refrain from one day of partying in a crowded space in order to do your part for the greater good? To do otherwise would be appallingly irresponsible." 

McMaster and Brock have also taken similar measures to discourage the regular St. Patrick's Day festivities from continuing, although videos of partying students have been seen online. 

Ezra Street, which is often a popular destination for St. Patrick's Day festivities for Laurier students, is being patrolled by police in an attempt to discourage students from gathering during the pandemic. 

A large sign sits on the usually crowded street reading, "State of emergency declared, public gathering banned."

However, this isn't the first thing universities across the province have done in attempts to keep their students safe. 

Multiple universities have cancelled their in-class courses and moved many classes to online-only. This call came after the cases of COVID-19 continued to rise throughout the province. 

Some schools such as York U have also cancelled all in-person exams to control the spread.

University libraries are also closing at the University of Toronto and Ryerson.