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Two additional cases of COVID-19 confirmed within Queen’s community

File photo by Aaron Bailey.

On Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020, Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington (KFL&A) Public Health reported four new cases of COVID-19 in the region, two of which have been confirmed to be within the Queen’s University community.

The four cases reported today are:

  • A male in his 40s who had close contact with a confirmed case
  • Two males aged 19 or younger (not involved in elementary or secondary school) who had close contact with a confirmed case
  • A female aged 19 or younger (not involved in elementary or secondary school) who had close contact with a confirmed case

According to Queen’s University, two of those cases are those of students who are currently living off campus.

“Queen’s has been advised by Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington (KFL&A) Public Health of two confirmed positive COVID-19 cases, both students living off-campus. Contact tracing for both students is being conducted by KFL&A Public Health. Both off-campus students are taking online classes only, and both are in self-isolation and following appropriate protocols,” Queen’s University said in an email to Kingstonist on Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020. The University confirmed they were informed of these two cases on that date.

“Our priority is the health and safety of everyone, including students, staff, faculty and the Kingston community. It is good ongoing practice to self-monitor for COVID19 symptoms including but not limited to fever, difficulty breathing, and new or worsening cough and to follow precautionary public health measures, including the use of a face covering, physical distancing, frequent hand washing, and staying home when sick. Our students are encouraged to download the Queen’s SeQure App and/or the COVID Alert app to aid in contact tracing.”

Given that three parties have been broken up in the University District over the past few weeks (one at an address on William Street, one on Johnson Street that was linked to at least five cases of COVID-19, and another that took place outside of the David C. Smith House residence building), Kingstonist asked if the rising numbers within the Queen’s community would result in Queen’s stepping up enforcement of current emergency orders and the Reopening Ontario Act. Specifically, Kingstonist asked about the idea of a curfew for students in residence, an idea brought up by Dr. Kieran Moore, Medical Officer of Health for KFL&A Public Health.

“The University will not comment on specific cases or the outcomes of individual student conduct processes. The University is working with our community partners on enforcing public health guidelines. We will review any incident where charges or tickets have been issued that involve our students disregarding public health orders to determine any further action through our student conduct process,” the University responded via email.

“Queen’s takes the health and safety of our community seriously, and is committed to continuing to direct students to adhere to public health guidelines and continues to communicate this, including working with students on two videos that launched last Friday,” the email continued. “Queen’s is not considering a curfew for its students in residence at this time.”

Kingstonist also reached out to KFL&A Public Health to find out at what point the number of cases in the Queen’s community would constitute an outbreak. Public Health indicated they are looking into that line of questioning, but did not respond before time of publication. Kingstonist will update this article if/when response is received.

Currently, 20 cases of COVID-19 have been reported within the Queen’s Community since the end of August. There are currently 24 active cases of COVID-19 in the KFL&A region.

Please note that both the Queen’s University Case Tracking site and the Kingstonist COVID-19 Quick Reference Guide are updated daily)

Ted Hsu for MPP
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