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Lakeland College provides update on COVID-19 outbreak at Vermilion Campus

Lakeland College is providing the public with more information about a COVID-19 variant outbreak at their Vermilion Campus.

In a letter to the public on April 9th, CEO and President of Lakeland College Dr Alice Wainwright-Stewart says that as of 10 AM that day, AHS has found 56 cases of COVID-19 linked to this outbreak, 45 of which are confirmed to be the B 1.1.7 variant, originally found in the UK.

Of those numbers, 52 have been confirmed to be students, and the other 4 are staff. No students or employees at the Lloydminster campus have been impacted as a result of the outbreak.

The outbreak was previously declared on April 5th, and a contact tracing investigation was opened up. While that investigation remains in the early stages, AHS has shared with Lakeland College that the cases have been spread as the result of off-campus social gatherings, which were not in compliance with Alberta’s public health orders.

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College was found to be taking proper precautions, AHS health inspectors found

In the wake of this outbreak, Wainwright-Stewart says several steps have been taken in efforts to support the safety of everyone on campus.

Alberta Health Inspectors visited the campus this week to review COVID-19 protocols, she notes. Those inspectors found that the school’s measures were more than sufficient for on-campus learning, and no further measures were needed in the greater Vermilion community.

Lakeland has taken more steps in the meantime, Wainright-Stewart explains. Close contacts are being reached out to with further information on isolation requirements, increased sanitation has been started in all residences, and several locations have been closed for the time being, including:

  • Common areas in residence or other parts of campus
  • The Equine Centre
  • The Cafeteria Dining Area
  • Library

In addition to this, it was previously announced that agricultural and science programs would be moved online after Easter Weekend.

The school was also working with AHS to provide voluntary COVID-19 testing on April 9th to any student or staff who went to the campus anytime after March 26th. Both the rapid and standard COVID-19 tests are being completed.

College supporting students needing to self-isolate on campus

Wainwright-Stewart added in her letter that 26 students are currently isolating on campus.

Their residence support staff has been providing students in traditional dorms with meals, supplies and access to medical services where needed.

The President and CEO also says she is thankful for AHS health officials, their health, residence or facilities staffs and the Students Association for their help in navigating this situation. She also thanked people who’ve been acting responsibly and following guidelines and encouraged them to continue doing their part to mitigate the outbreak and wished everyone who is ill a safe and speedy recovery.

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Lakeland College also says they will be providing updates when they’re available, doing it via their website.

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