Students in residence encouraged to limit social circle to five people

Total of nine cases of COVID-19 found in residence

Flis said more students chose to stay in residence for Thanksgiving than past years.
Credit: 
Journal File Photo

As the University identified some cases of COVID-19 in residence buildings, students are being reminded to stay vigilant and mitigate the spread of the virus.

Provost Mark Green sent an email on Sept. 29 to all students currently living in residence, encouraging them to limit their social circle to five people within residence. Beyond this recommendation, the restrictions in residence have not changed since move-in week.

According to the University’s online tracker, nine positive cases of COVID-19 have been identified in residence. The University announced the first case of COVID-19 in residence on Sept. 24.

“I think ever since the announcement of the first positive case in residence there’s been an increased level of vigilance, both on the part of students and staff,” Oliver Flis, Residence Society (ResSoc) president, told The Journal.

In the email, students were also reminded of the restrictions currently in place in residence, such as mandatory face coverings, physical distancing, occupancy limits, and the no-guest policy.

READ MORE: Residence Society budget more than halved

“I think [the email is] a good reminder to students that it’s just an important guideline to try to limit contact, and especially as cases continue to rise, just make sure we’re all doing our part to keep everybody safe,” Flis said.

Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington Public Health raised the community COVID-19 alert status to yellow on Sept. 25. Currently, there are nine active cases within the region.

Two more off-campus COVID-19 cases were identified this week, bringing the total number of cases at Queen’s to 25.

Flis said more students chose to stay in residence for Thanksgiving than past years. Students who did choose to leave were reminded to limit interaction two weeks before departing and two weeks after returning, and to self-monitor for symptoms.

READ MORE: ‘It just won’t be the same’: Students prepare for an unusual Homecoming

“We don’t give any messaging that controls what students do. It’s ultimately up to them where they choose to spend their Thanksgiving break,” Flis said. 

“The way we’ve approached it is more just tips and things to [guide] students on, if they are traveling, how they can do it safely and if they are here, great.”

For students who choose to stay in Kingston for the upcoming fall term break, Leonard Dining Hall will be open for increased hours. Ban Righ Dining Hall will be closed for the duration of the break, from Oct. 24-30.

“In terms of how we’re approaching fall break, it’s not [going to] be much different from Thanksgiving,” Flis said. “[It’s a] similar communication strategy—just reminding students to remember the guidelines [and] be vigilant.”

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