U of A student tests positive for COVID-19

A University of Alberta student has tested positive for COVID-19, the first in the university’s community, according to a university official.

Alberta Health Services informed the university on Saturday morning that a student from their North Campus had tested positive for the infectious disease, said Andrew Sharman, the university’s VP of Facilities and Operations. He said Alberta Health Services is in direct contact with anyone who might be impacted by this case to provide them with further information and guidance.

The U of A didn’t provide any further details about the student out of respect for individual and privacy laws. The news was first shared with the U of A community through a statement issued online by university president David Turpin.

North Campus at the U of A in Edmonton is home to roughly 35,000 students and around 7,500 faculty and staff. It’s the university’s academic, research and administrative hub.

Turpin added the U of A is extending its best wishes for a full recovery, as the patient is currently recovering in isolation.

On Thursday, the University of Alberta approved measures to abandon a letter grade system during a special meeting of the executive of the U of A’s general faculties council, and “strongly encouraged” professors to cancel final exams this spring due to heightened concerns around the spread of COVID-19.

This came after the U of A moved cancelled in-person classes, moving them online, the week before.

Turpin’s statement also reassured the U of A community that AHS had informed them the community’s risk of catching COVID-19 remains low. The university’s public health response team and emergency management team are working closely with AHS to protect their community’s safety.

Sharman said the student should be praised for their quick action, as they self-isolated immediately upon feeling ill, before later testing positive for COVID-19.

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