University Canada West is closing its doors for three days because of a possible new case of COVID-19 in Vancouver. The institution, based in downtown Vancouver, says two of its students are in isolation. One has a “presumptive case” of COVID-19, and the other is their roommate.

The university said in a statement that it is taking “proactive and precautionary steps” by closing the campus and its premises from Thursday, March 5, to Saturday, March 7.

The student with a presumptive case had apparently been visited by their father, who has been positively tested for the disease after visiting from overseas.

In addition to putting the affected student’s roommate in isolation, University Canada West — which is headquartered in the heart of downtown Vancouver on West Pender Street — listed a number of other precautionary measures it is taking.

It is suspending on-campus classes until a “full disinfection” has taken place.

This will include a “deep-clean of all public and back-office areas,” it said.

The university said that other students and staff who have been in contact with the affected individuals have been identified, contacted and given information and advice.

“Owing to these immediate actions taken by the university, the risk to students, staff and faculty remains low,” the statement said.

Students at the university will still be able to take classes, which will be delivered online for the rest of this week.

UCW said that all of its campuses are expected to re-open on Monday, March 9, adding that it would keep students updated in online posts.

On its Facebook page, the university has provided students with extra information about COVID-19. 

UCW also says on Facebook that its president, Brock Dykeman, is working with Vancouver Coast Health Authority to verify the presumptive case. 

The university will be providing further updates at a press conference at 2 p.m. on Thursday, March 5.

The B.C. government has yet to comment on the new presumptive case.

On Wednesday, March 4, in their latest update, B.C. health officials announced the 13th case of COVID-19 in the province. 

B.C.’s Centre for Disease Control announced last Thursday, February 27, that 1,012 people had so far been tested for the disease. 

Across the U.S. border in Washington, there have been several coronavirus-related deaths. 

Fears over the disease have led to reports of stockpiling in Vancouver and across the rest of Canada.

Announcing the new presumptive case on Wednesday, officials said that four B.C. patients have now fully recovered from COVID-19.

The other individuals with confirmed cases are in isolation at their homes “with support and monitoring from public health teams.”

In the statement, minister of health Adrian Dix and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, said, “While the risk of spread of COVID-19 within British Columbia remains low at this time, we continue widespread testing by screening British Columbians and travellers with symptoms, along with their close contacts, to identify cases of COVID-19 early.”

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