Vancouver university shuts doors after student tests presumptive positive for COVID 19

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Vancouver: A private university in downtown Vancouver has closed its doors for three days after two of its students may have been exposed to the new coronavirus.

University Canada West said Thursday the school was informed of a presumptive case of COVID-19 a day earlier and it is taking precautionary steps by keeping the campus closed.

The Visual College of Art and Design, which shares the building, is also closed.

The student with a presumptive case of the novel coronavirus was visited by the person’s father, who tested positive for COVID-19 after an overseas trip, the university said.

The second student who is in isolation is a roommate, it said in a news release.

“We have identified students and staff who may have been in close contact with the affected students and they have been contacted with information and advice,” it says.

“We will continue to support them remotely.”

The university said it is taking advice from the federal government and working closely with B.C. health authorities.

The archdiocese of Vancouver, meanwhile, issued a letter Thursday to all parishes to have congregants bow instead of shaking hands at the sign of peace during church services to reduce any risk of passing on COVID-19.

Until now, individual priests could decide on their own whether to suggest an alternative to handshakes.

“These changes come following the most recent advice of the provincial health officer and minister of health,” spokeswoman Melissa Goubout said in a statement.

She said parishioners are also being advised to follow the general advice around the novel coronavirus by staying home if they are not feeling well, washing their hands thoroughly, avoiding touching their face, as well as coughing and sneezing into their elbows.

The Canadian Press