London’s health unit said Western is only linked to around 10 to 20 per cent of cases in the city, a stark decline from a month ago when student cases were the main driver of transmission.
“This time last month Western University was really driving the majority of cases in the area … but it’s much less of a factor right now,” said Dr. Chris Mackie, chief medical officer of the Middlesex-London Health Unit.
The health unit continues to see cases among Western students but, according to Dr. Mackie, “nothing at this point is indicating outbreak-levels of activity.”
At least 76 Western students have tested positive for the coronavirus since the start of fall classes, though that number is likely higher since the MLHU stopped reporting student-specific data late last month. The university has been linked to three community outbreaks, one of which is currently active in the university’s London Hall residence.
No new cases have been associated with the London Hall outbreak in recent days. At least five students have been affected by the outbreak so far, though the MLHU said in Monday’s media briefing that number is likely higher.
While Western student cases are no longer the primary cause of transmission in the city, both London and Ontario are seeing “continued high rates of spread” — with London rising back into double digits with 11 new confirmed cases Thursday and 10 on Friday.
“We still have a lot of spread among young people in their twenties in particular,” said Dr. Mackie.