Queen’s University adds distress about COVID-19 as consideration for not writing in-person exams

Photo by Aaron Bailey.

In response to concerns raised by some students regarding in-person exams, including a petition which has now been signed by over 6000 people, Queen’s University has now added psychological distress about COVID-19 as a valid consideration in its list of reasons students may not attend in-person exams.

“Both the Faculty of Arts and Science and Faculty of Engineering have today updated their academic considerations process to include feeling distressed about COVID in the community,” said a release from the university on Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021.

“We would like to reiterate that you must not attend in-person exams if you feel unwell, are symptomatic, have been in contact with someone who is symptomatic, or have been asked to self-isolate,” said a release from the Faculty of Engineering to its student body. “In addition, if you are experiencing distress related to COVID in the community, you also have the option not to attend in-person exams.”

The university said there will be make-up exams for these students early in the winter term.

On Friday, Queen’s confirmed an outbreak of COVID-19 positive cases within the general student community. On that day, Queen’s reported 100 new cases of COVID-19, for a total of 135 new cases over the week. Those 100 cases equated to over 75 per cent of the total 131 cases reported by KFL&A Public Health on Friday.

Many of those cases are suspected to be the much more highly transmissible Omicron variants. On Thursday, KFL&A Public Health said it had sent 32 positive COVID-19 cases from the KFL&A region to a laboratory for genome sequencing to detect the Omicron variant, with a further 150 positive tests sent to a lab for the same genome sequencing the next day. It will take approximately one week for the results of the tests to be returned.

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