UPDATE: Seven Pitman Hall residents test positive for COVID-19, TPH declares outbreak

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By Charlize Alcaraz

This story will be updated with comment from Ryerson University.

Toronto Public Health (TPH) has officially declared an outbreak in Pitman Hall with seven individuals living in Pitman Hall that tested positive for COVID-19 as of April 12, according to an email from Housing and Residence Life.

The outbreak status at Pitman Hall will continue until the end of day on April 24.

In the email obtained by The Eyeopener, Housing and Residence Life confirmed the seven people were in close contact with each other. Some additional close contacts reported mild symptoms and are seeking to get tested. No further information about their last known location was disclosed. 

As advised by TPH, all individuals affected are self-isolating and taking the necessary precautionary measures according to public health guidelines, the email continued.

On April 1, two external contractors that worked at Ryerson’s residence buildings also tested positive for COVID-19. TPH has identified this as a suspected outbreak and indicated that “additional monitoring of the residence was required.” Ryerson’s Environmental Health and Safety Team is following TPH’s direction on investigation and case management, the email reads.

TPH advised that the outbreak in Pitman Hall is unrelated to the suspected outbreak among the two external contractors.

This is the third instance of COVID-19 on campus confirmed by The Eye, with the first involving a student living in the International Living and Learning Centre (ILLC). The university was first notified of this case on Oct. 10. 

“To protect the privacy and confidentiality of the individuals, we are not permitted to disclose any further information of a personal nature,” the email reads. The university has also not received any additional instructions from public health authorities regarding action required for non-close contacts living and working in residence buildings. 

The university advised students living in residence buildings to self-monitor for symptoms as well as follow public health guidelines and the university’s infection prevention and control practices

Students living in Ryerson’s residence buildings who tested positive for COVID-19 or have COVID-19 related concerns should contact Housing and Residence Life at 1-888-960-1191 immediately. 

If they develop any symptoms, they are advised to complete the COVID-19 declaration form.

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