Outbreak measures where students and other Londoners converge
LONDON, ONT. -- Anxiety is rising, and business is declining, at take-outs commonly frequented by Western University students.
This week a COVID-19 outbreak was declared among students, and the number of cases in London grew rapidly.
“We’re all living in the community. We’re all afraid of this virus, that we might get infected,” says Ferhad Omarzadek, owner of King Richie’s Pizzeria.
Just steps from campus, King Richie’s is a popular choice for Western students, so the COVID-19 outbreak has staff taking every precaution.
Their cleaning and service protocols are a first line of defence for the wider community in London.
Omarzadek says student customers have been very respectful of the new rules.
“Even though there’s sometimes a huge amount of them coming in, they all have masks, they listen to our instructions.” he adds.
Two doors down, at Omzzy’s Shawarma, the flow of student customers slowed to a trickle overnight.
“Since yesterday it dropped down and not too many people walked in,” explains owner Bakhtear Omarzadeh.
Lane Buchanan says the onus is on his fellow students to follow COVID-19 rules and contain the outbreak.
“It’s worrying seeing the increasing case numbers, and I think as students there’s a lot we need to do to mitigate the risk,” Buchanan explains.
But there remain places where students must continue to share enclosed spaces with other Londoners, including LTC buses that shuttle students to and from campus.
CTV News observed numerous buses travelling up and down Western Road with sufficient space for masked passengers.
But other even with those procedures in place, the risk has Buchanan sticking to the sidewalks.
“I think the buses have put measures in place to limit that sort of thing, but I personally don’t do it.”
Many of those CTV News spoke with said they’ll be closely watching the number of COVID-19 cases before determining what their next steps are.