Queen’s encouraging asymptomatic testing after upswing in cases

Photo by Aaron Bailey.

Queen’s University students who have been in close contact with someone outside their household without wearing a face covering or physical distancing are strongly encouraged to get tested for COVID-19 during the next two weeks.

In a release, dated Monday, Mar. 15, 2021, the University reminds students that in the past week, there have been two clusters of COVID-19 cases within the Queen’s student community. One cluster involves a variant of concern, which has an increased transmission rate and therefore spreads more quickly among individuals.

On March 11, 2021, Queen’s announced they were responding to an outbreak at Watts Hall residence, and affected students had been moved to an isolation residence. Further communications from the school said, as an additional precaution, a number of students in several other residence buildings are now isolating, as well. These students are being monitored closely and tested on site with meals delivered to their room.

According to the University, the Athletics & Recreation Centre has suspended all group sanctioned activity. This includes all varsity team and club activities, intramurals, group fitness classes, and pool activities. Capacity for individual workouts at the ARC will also be reduced immediately. These changes will be in place until further notice.

Those in the Queen’s community who are volunteering or working in the community are asked to ensure they are familiar with and follow all applicable public health protocols as identified by their volunteer organization or employer. If you are unsure of the applicable protocols or have questions, you should reach out to your employer or volunteer organization for details.

The university also said that recent cases of the COVID-19 variants of concern can be linked to travel outside the region. Anyone in the university community who has travelled or needs to travel outside the KFL&A, Hastings and Prince Edward Counties, and Leeds, Grenville, and Lanark region, or who have had visitors from outside the region, are requested to self-isolate for 14 days.

The KHSC satellite COVID-19 assessment centre located in Mitchell Hall, is regularly open to test students from Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and will be running extended hours until 8:30 p.m., now through Friday, Mar. 19, 2021 inclusive. Appointments can be booked by calling Student Wellness Services at 613-533-2506. Evening appointments (4 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.) can also be booked online.

The COVID-19 assessment centre at the Beechgrove Complex at 51 Heakes Lane, Kingston, is also available. It is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., by appointment only.

KFL&A Public Health reminds everyone to avoid gatherings with others outside their own household. If people need to interact with individuals outside their household they are reminded to use face coverings, physical distance, and follow all current public health guidelines.

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