St.FX president tests positive for COVID-19, 125 students isolating amid outbreak
The president of St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish has tested positive for COVID-19.
In a statement posted to Facebook Sunday evening, Andy Hakin said over the past few days, three members of the school’s leadership team, including him, have contracted the virus.
“I was notified of my positive status last evening. We are all fully vaccinated and experiencing mild flu-like symptoms,” Hakin said in the statement. “All Public Health protocols are being followed and we are able to work virtually while we isolate. The focus of our team remains on supporting our students and our community.”
St.FX has been at the centre of an outbreak following the school’s X-ring ceremony on Dec. 3.
Hakin said as of Sunday afternoon, there were 125 students isolating, 26 of whom are within residence.
Health officials in Nova Scotia reported 111 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday. Sixty three of the new cases are in the Central zone, 42 are in the Eastern zone, five cases are in the Northern zone, and one is in the Western zone.
In a news release, public health said because of the outbreak at St.FX, the number of positive cases released Sunday are lab results, not Panorama results which reflects the situation on the ground.
Public health said some cases associated with the outbreak are being counted in the Central Zone because of the address on the student's health card. That is why not all of these cases are reflected in the Eastern Zone numbers.
Officials said those infected in the outbreak are experiencing relatively mild symptoms and the cases are mostly young people who are fully vaccinated.
As a result of the spike in testing and positive cases, public health is experiencing some delays in follow up. People whose lab test is positive will continue to have receive an initial contact from public health within 24 hours and they will be provided information on required isolation and testing plus asked to contact their close contacts. Detailed follow-ups are being prioritized and may be delayed. Public health will continue to support contact tracing in schools, long-term care, correctional facilities, shelters and other settings.
Due to this outbreak, all close contacts, including those who are fully vaccinated, now need to isolate until they have a negative result from a lab-based (PCR) test. The lab test should be performed at least 72 hours after the exposure.