The first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the Peterborough area has been associated with Trent University’s campus in Peterborough, according to its top member.

University president and vice-chancellor Leo Groarke informed students and staff in an email Sunday.

On Sunday evening, Peterborough Public Health confirmed the first case of COVID-19 in its jurisdiction which includes the city, Peterborough County, Hiawatha First Nation and Curve Lake First Nation.

The health unit said a man in his 30s had recently travelled to Spain and Portugal. He visited Peterborough Regional Health Centre on March 12 after showing flu-like symptoms. He was treated and is self-isolating.

The health unit is also retracing the man’s movement and contact with other individuals.

“We understand that this is a stressful time and we are committed to supporting our students, staff and faculty,” stated Groarke. “I have been impressed by the sense of calm and cooperation exhibited by our entire campus community.”

Trent University will be closing most campus buildings in Peterborough and Durham at the end of day Monday.

Classes are moving online and the president is advising residence students who can move back home to do so.

Groarke said essential services, including residential accommodation that supports social distancing and food services, will remain open.

“The university continues to plan for the alternate delivery of courses and exams,” he stated. “Students will hear from their instructors, who will provide further information, by Wednesday.

“All student placements are suspended for the remainder of the term. Graduate students who require access to facilities for their research should speak with their supervisors to arrange access.”

Employees who are able to work from home are to do so beginning Tuesday, Groarke said.

He also advised students and staff to continue to practice good hand hygiene, increase social distancing and self-monitor. Contact Peterborough Public Health if you think you are showing symptoms that might be COVID-19.

“It is important to note that more than 80 per cent of those who contract COVID-19 will have very few or mild symptoms,” he stated.

For more information about Trent University’s response to COVID-19, please visit online.

Concerned about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials say the risk for Canadians is low.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing – very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend social distancing, frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. And if you get sick, stay at home.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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