University establishes guidelines for safe return to campus

Provost asks students to get tested before moving back to Kingston

Queen’s is still working to develop a COVID-19 testing centre on campus.
Journal File Photo

With the school year starting next week, the University is working closely with Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington (KFL&A) Public Health to ensure all campus safety guidelines meet provincial standards. 

“The university has worked with Public Health to plan a limited and safe re-opening this fall,” Mark Green, provost and vice-principal (academic), wrote in a statement. “The many measures that Queen’s has put in place is to protect students, staff, faculty, and the broader community.”

Many of these measures have been in effect since the start of the pandemic in March, including the continuation of remote learning for most programs in the fall term. 

Some courses in programs like nursing, medicine, and some master’s and PhD programs will feature on-campus learning. In these cases, the in-person classes will follow physical distancing measures.

READ MORE: University expects just 6,600 students to be on campus in fall term

“[We will also] be encouraging students with symptoms, or from areas with active outbreaks or community transmission, to get tested before travelling to Kingston,” Green wrote. 

Other protocols in place include asking students to both limit contact with others for the first 14 days upon their arrival in Kingston and avoid non-essential travel outside of the Kingston area.

According to Green, Queen’s will also be working with KFL&A Public Health to establish a COVID-19 testing centre on campus. 

“With only a select number of in-person classes this fall, and residences operating at half-capacity, we expect approximately 6,100 students to be living or attending classes on campus,” Green stated. “This compares to the more than 24,000 students normally at Queen’s”.

KFL&A Public Health also released its own statement to returning college and university students in the Kingston community. 

“Cooperation and adherence to public health guidelines influences whether we can keep our businesses and services open and prevent our health care system from becoming overwhelmed,” Dr. Kieran Moore, medical officer of health and CEO of KFL&A Public Health, wrote in the statement.

READ MORE: Will first-year students be remote in the winter term? Provost says yes, with some exceptions

These guidelines for the Kingston Community include wearing face coverings at all times inside commercial establishments and following hand hygiene protocols. 

It also includes isolating if you’ve tested positive for COVD-19, or self-quarantining if you’ve been in contact with an infected individual.  

Regarding student and community gatherings, Public Health will be following strict guidelines to ensure community safety is taken seriously. 

“Large parties will not be tolerated,” Moore stated. “Indoor public or social gatherings over a maximum of 50 people, and outdoor over a maximum of 100 people, will be enforced under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act by the City of Kingston By-law or police services.” 

According to Moore, individuals aged 20-29 are the most at-risk group for becoming infected with COVID-19.

“The choices you make and the efforts you take to follow public health advice will keep all of us safe,” Moore wrote. “The community will be grateful to you for doing so.” 

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