Large cluster of COVID cases leads to outbreak

Thursday, March 18, 2021

This message was originally sent to the UWaterloo community by Kate Windsor, Director, Safety Office.


  • We are managing a COVID-19 outbreak of two cases in Claudette Millar Hall.
  • Public health officials have identified that the cases may be linked to a large cluster of COVID cases in the community.

  • If you do not hear from public health officials, you should continue to self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 and seek testing if needed. We all need to avoid social gatherings to stop the spread of COVID-19.

On Wednesday, March 17, 2021, Region of Waterloo public health declared an outbreak of COVID-19 at Claudette Millar Hall. Two individuals have tested positive in recent days and public health officials believe transmission occurred in the residence.

Of concern, public health officials believe these two cases may be related to a large cluster of confirmed cases related to multiple social gatherings held indoors between March 4 and 7 at three private residences. One of the initial cases in the cluster has screened positive for a variant of concern.

Public health officials are investigating and are informing all high-risk contacts. If you do not hear from public health officials, you should continue to self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 and seek testing if needed.

Avoid social gatherings with people you don’t live with

The large cluster of cases that have sparked the outbreak on our campus includes students from both universities in Waterloo, many of whom live in private residences and who haven’t visited the campus.

Now is not the time to let your guard down. Whether you are a student living on campus, in private accommodation or even if you are an employee – please continue to avoid gathering with people you don’t live with.

Public health advises everyone in Waterloo region to:

  • Avoid all social gatherings with anyone not in your immediate household
  • Limit non-essential trips outside your home (e.g. work, school, getting food)
  • Practice physical distancing
  • Wear a face covering
  • Wash your hands often
  • Avoid enclosed, poorly ventilated spaces and crowded places
  • Stay home when you are sick and seek testing

It is up to everyone to follow public health guidance and to respect each other as we share the space on our campus.

COVID-19 testing is available for University students, employees, postdocs and family members living in the same household. To book a test, please use the online registration form.

We take the privacy of individuals extremely seriously. In reporting on positive cases, the University will protect the private health information of individuals. You should check our disclosure protocol for what to do if someone reveals to you that they have tested positive for COVID-19.

You can keep track of COVID-19 positive cases amongst students and employees who attended one of our campuses using our dashboard.