Heading home for Thanksgiving? Provost reminds students to travel safely

Provost Mark Green shares travel precautions, provides health resources to reduce COVID-19 spread during holiday travel

In an email, Green reminded all students to limit interactions leading up to, during, and following Thanksgiving weekend.
Journal File Photo

As Queen’s enters October with expectations of heavy travel in the month ahead, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Mark Green provided students with updated health and safety mandates for making safe Thanksgiving and fall break trips out of the city. 

In an email, Green reminded all students to limit interactions leading up to, during, and following Thanksgiving weekend and the fall term break. He added that those exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 should refrain from travelling.

Students in the Faculty of Health Sciences were referred to Dean Philpott’s recent message about travel. Provost Green indicated that if students have been given access to on-campus facilities and clinical settings, which come with additional risks, more restrictive guidelines will apply for travelling.

READ MORE: AMS develops proactive safety policy for Homecoming

“If you are without symptoms and choose to travel, you should be vigilant about assessing your health upon your return, and can attend class and work with face coverings and physical distancing as appropriate,” Green wrote. 

Green said students are expected by Queen’s and Public Health to limit close contact to those within a household and are reminded not to host or attend social events. If a social bubble exceeds the boundaries of a home, students must wear a mask and practice physical distancing and frequent hand washing. 

As of Oct. 1 and detailed in Ontario’s Public Health guidelines, the provincial government has limited social gatherings to 10 people at indoor gatherings and 25 people at outdoor gatherings, with a two-metre physical distancing and mandatory mask protocol with peers outside the home residence. 

The guidelines also stipulate that a family or social circle can’t consist of more than 10 people who interact with one another without physical distancing.

READ MORE: City to enforce restrictions on social gatherings during pandemic

The Office of the Provost urged students to get tested if symptoms of COVID-19 are displayed, if they have been in close contact with a person who has COVID-19, or have travelled outside of Canada in the past two weeks, with a return from travel outside Canada requiring 14 days of isolation. 

Queen’s students can book an appointment at the on-campus COVID-19 Assessment Centre by calling Student Wellness Services at 613.533.2506.

Provost Green said students in residence must adhere to the requirements as outlined in the Residence Community StandardsResidence isolation protocol and the Residence Contract, and all directions going forward.  

“Just taking the steps outlined above can protect yourselves and others. I know many students are taking this situation seriously and adhering to Public Health guidelines, and I want to thank you for making the right choices,” Green wrote. “We need everyone to do their part to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our community.”

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