The University announced on Wednesday that the ARC will be closed indefinitely starting on March 18.
The decision comes amidst rising cases within the University District. At the time of publication, Queen’s has reported 56 cases in the past two weeks, many of which have been linked to variants of concern (VOCs).
Prior to the ARC’s closure, capacity had been reduced, the pool was closed, and all intramurals and varsity team activities had been cancelled in response to an outbreak of COVID-19 in Watts Hall on March 11.
Kingston, Frontenac, and Lennox and Addington (KFL&A) Public Health and Queen’s public health advisors both recommended the closure of the ARC, however such recommendations don’t extend to facilities like Stauffer Library, which will remain open until further notice.
Speaking on the ARC’s closure, Dr. Kieran Moore, medical officer for KFL&A Public Health, said people infected with COVID-19 were confirmed to have exercised at the ARC.
“We do know some of our positive clients had been in that centre. We haven’t seen significant transmission in that setting yet, but I think that’s prudent and proactive [to close the ARC].”
While all in-person programming at the ARC has been cancelled, Athletics and Recreation (A&R) will continue to offer virtual fitness programs over Zoom as well as on-demand workouts.
With campus security asking students to stay away from Nixon and Tindal fields, A&R clarified the fields are currently closed because they require spring servicing, not because of COVID-19 restrictions. However, once the fields receive their necessary maintenance, any decision surrounding their access “would be informed by applicable public health protocols and advice.”
In a comment to The Journal, A&R did not specify when athletic facilities may reopen or what thresholds need to be met for this to occur, but that it “look[s] forward to reopening as soon as it is safe to do so.”
With files from Matt Scace
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