Queen’s not moving forward on asymptomatic COVID-19 testing plan

Stay-at-home order ends community initiative

“We are conscious of our unique position in the local community,” the University wrote.
Credit: 
Journal File Photo

Queen’s has reconsidered its possible initiative of offering asymptomatic, voluntary COVID-19 testing for students.

The University was in consultations with Kingston, Frontenac, and Lennox & Addington (KFL&A) Public Health to implement a community initiative to test students not showing symptoms—particularly those in residence buildings. 

Due to the provincial stay-at-home order issued on Jan. 14, however, the University is no longer moving forward with this plan. The University released a statement alerting the community of this change on Jan. 22.

“In light of the new provincial restrictions, the University decided not to move forward with further planning for voluntary testing at this time,” the University wrote in the statement. 

READ MORE: New COVID-19 variant found in Kingston region

According to the statement, the option to offer asymptomatic testing will be considered again, should circumstances change. 

The University also said it would work with KFL&A Public Health to support asymptomatic, voluntary testing efforts, though it hasn’t provided an update since Public Health announced an asymptomatic testing initiative on Jan. 25 following the detection of the new COVID-19 variant in the Kingston region.

“We continue to adhere to stringent monitoring, testing and isolation protocols, on top of following all applicable federal, provincial and local public health requirements, including comprehensive protocols regarding our students in residence,” the University wrote.

Queen’s is asking all students, staff, and faculty returning to Kingston from outside the region to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival and get tested if they have symptoms.

READ MORE: Queen’s identifies one new case of COVID-19 in residence

All international students must quarantine for 14 days upon arriving in Kingston and must test negative for COVID-19 before being allowed to re-enter the community.

“We are conscious of our unique position in the local community and, working together with our students, are making every effort to limit the spread of the virus,” the University wrote.

KFL&A Public Health did not respond to The Journal’s request for comment in time for publication.

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