All students in SMU's Rice building told to self-isolate until negative test result

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Saint Mary's University is requiring everyone in Rice Residence to self-isolate after confirmed two unrelated cases of the virus in the building. (Robert Short/CBC - image credit)
Saint Mary's University is requiring everyone in Rice Residence to self-isolate after confirmed two unrelated cases of the virus in the building. (Robert Short/CBC - image credit)

Everyone who lives in the Rice building on the Saint Mary's University campus is being told to immediately self-isolate until they receive a negative COVID-19 test result.

The decision is being made by Public Health out of an abundance of caution, after two unrelated cases of the virus were confirmed in the residence, according to a news release from the university.

Residents of nearby Loyola Residence who spent any "extended time" in the Rice building between April 26 and May 3 are also being told to self-isolate until they receive a negative test result.

Testing is available on campus.

In an email to CBC News, SMU spokesperson Cale Loney did not say how the self-isolation requirements would be enforced, only that Rice residents are bound by the same laws as all Nova Scotians and are legally required to self-isolate as directed by Public Health.

According to the university's website, Rice residence can house about 310 students in a regular year, with up to 20 people on each floor, though residences are operating at a reduced capacity during the pandemic.

About 80 people are impacted by the self-isolation requirements, Loney said in an email.

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