Officials in London, Ontario, are warning university students to avoid a large street party that’s expected to be held on Saturday afternoon.
Western University’s homecoming is today, which is usually marked by what officials described as a “large, unsanctioned” street party off campus on Broughdale Avenue.
“During a time when the threat of a fourth wave of COVID-19 is not only real, but present and when we have seen escalating incidents of violence, out of concern for everyone’s safety and well-being, I am imploring students to avoid Broughdale,” said Mayor Ed Holder.
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Middlesex-London Health Unit issued a class order earlier this week that reinforces the provincial gathering limits of 25 people indoors and 100 outdoors.
Under the order, anyone who attends a gathering that exceeds the limits will receive an initial fine of $750, although it could be as high as $5,000. Hosts will be fined $10,000.
Officials also warned students that serious off-campus incidents can lead to expulsion, per Western’s Code of Student Conduct.
London Police Chief Steve Williams said that officers will have a “strong, visible” presence over the weekend.
“Unsanctioned street parties are highly dangerous and put our students at great risk,” said Alan Shepard, the president of Western University.
“Those risks are compounded right now by the threat of COVID-19 and our students have a critical role to play in keeping circles small, protecting our community and each other.”