One confirmed case at Douglas
By Atiba Nelson, Staff Reporter
On March 13, a Douglas student infectious with COVID-19 attended classes on the New Westminster campus and was at the New Westminster library for three hours between 10 am and 1 pm.
Fraser Health, the Health Authority responsible for public health and health provision in both cities Douglas operates, informed the college of a case of the coronavirus.
Douglas posted the notification given by Fraser Health on the “COVID-19 information and resources” webpage on March 24 at 8:10 am—the day they were informed by Fraser Health.
The Health Authority, with the cooperation from the student who tested positive for COVID-19, had contacted the classmates of the positive student. According to the Fraser Health website, classmates—considered contacts—of a confirmed COVID-19 case should self-isolate for 14 days since the date of exposure. This means that any Douglas student that interacted with the student diagnosed with COVID-19 should have self-isolated until March 26.
Additionally, the COVID-19 positive student spent time at the library.
As recommended by the Health Authority, Douglas is advising students to monitor their health for symptoms of illness such as fever, cough, sneezing, or a sore throat. Also, Fraser Health recommends students avoid confined public spaces—these warnings are echoed by Public Health officials throughout Canada.
According to the press release, the college was compelled to notify students by Fraser Health “out of an abundance of caution,” and reiterated that “if [a student does] not have symptoms, there is little risk.”
Fraser Health authority disclosed the name of the student to the college, who stated that they had contacted the individual to offer support.
Douglas reports that the student who tested positive for COVID-19 is “doing well.”
“Due to privacy legislation, Douglas College is unable to release personal information about its students or employees. This is the only member of the college community with a known positive COVID-19 diagnosis,” stated the notification.
The administration at Douglas College took the time in the press release to reinforce that the college is actively planning and responding to the COVID-19 situation in BC and also reaffirmed its commitment to protecting the health and safety of Douglas’ community members.
If students are concerned about COVID-19 and need help determining whether further assessment or testing for COVID-19 is needed, the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) has an online BC COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool available to the public at their website.