MIDDLESEX CENTRE, ONT. -- Western University is reporting that two more residences - Saugeen-Maitland Hall and Ontario Hall - now have active COVID-19 outbreaks.

These are in addition to an ongoing outbreak declared at the Essex Hall residence on March 2, and a community outbreak declared following a series of off-campus parties the first week of March that eventually grew to roughly 50 cases.

Western officials say there are seven cases at Saugeen-Maitland Hall and four cases at Ontario Hall.

The Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) declared the outbreaks on Friday.

Students who have tested positive and some close contacts have been moved out of their rooms, officials say, and floor lounges and study rooms have been closed as a precaution.

All students in the two residences are being notified, while the MLHU is conducting contact tracing and notifying close contacts.

Western is providing on-site testing to students on affected floors, and providing transportation, meals, access to medical and mental health support and academic accommodations, if needed, to those who have tested positive.

In the fall, Western reduced capacity at its residences to 70 per cent, and barred students from bringing in guests or visiting other residences.

Chris Alleyne, associate vice-president, housing and ancillary services for Western, said in a statement, “We know students are missing each other, and the milder weather makes us all want to spend time with our friends even more...But Ontario is in the third wave of the pandemic, and we can’t let our guard down. We have a responsibility to continue to take care of ourselves, each other and our community.”

This is the second outbreak to be declared at Saugeen Maitland Hall, with the first declared in Nov. 2020.