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Off-campus events spike COVID-19 cases, push some exams online at B.C. university

Those impacted are business and varsity students, says university
Some University of Victoria students will take their exams online after two off-campus events caused a large uptick in COVID-19 cases. (Black Press Media file photo)

The University of Victoria is moving some exams online after a large number of students contracted COVID-19 following two off-campus gatherings.

In a statement posted to its website Thursday night, the university said it is aware of an increase in cases among students in its business school and varsity programs. It said Island Health has made it aware the spike in cases is connected to two off-campus social gatherings on the weekend of Dec. 4 and 5.

The university said Island Health is conducting contact tracing, and anyone who attended the two events is asked to self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms. Anyone not contacted by Island Health is not considered at risk, the university said.

Because the cases are mainly connected to business and varsity students, UVic said it will be making alternate exam arrangements for them. All other exams will remain in person as scheduled.

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Any students who are unwell and unable to write their exams at the time they are scheduled, can submit a request to defer some or all of them.

UVic said the spike in cases serves as a reminder that all indoor social settings that lack proper COVID-19 safety protocols can lead to transmission, even among vaccinated people.

At the end of October, results from UVic’s self-declaration program showed 97.3 per cent of university employees and 95.3 per cent of students said they were fully vaccinated. Another 3.3 per cent of students and 1.2 per cent of employees said they were partially vaccinated.

As of Dec. 9, south Vancouver Island had 117 active COVID-19 cases.

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