Queen’s residence in lockdown following COVID-19 outbreak

Five students test positive for the virus

Infected students are isolating.
Journal File Photo

This story was updated with more information on March 11 at 6:10 p.m.

Queen’s is responding to an outbreak of COVID-19 in Watts Hall on Thursday after five students tested positive for the virus.

The outbreak has impacted students living both on and off campus. According to the University, all students of immediate concern have been informed of their exposure have been moved into isolation and are following proper protocols. Watts Hall has been locked down, and all students living on the affected floor have been moved into isolation residence David C. Smith. Some students are isolating in place in Leonard and Leggett Hall. 

According to an email obtained by The Journal from ResLife, some students in Chown and Victoria Hall have been identified as "household contacts of high risk contacts of a positive case and so they are moving to Smith as well." 

"The only confirmed cases right now are from Watts," the email said. 

“This is a very concerning development, and we are working closely with KFL&A Public Health to ensure the health and safety of our community is protected,” Queen’s Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Mark Green said in a press release. “The University has strict protocols in place to cope with an outbreak in residence, and we are actively executing that plan to mitigate further spread and ensure the safety of all of our students, staff, and faculty.”

KFL&A is continuing to investigate the outbreak and conduct contact tracing. Students are getting tested for COVID-19 on campus today at Queen’s testing centre in Mitchell Hall, with this testing further determining whether the outbreak is linked to any variants of the virus of concern.

KFL&A believes the initial case is a result of travel outside of the KFL&A region.

Students may also access the testing centre from Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Testing is available for students who have travelled outside the KFL&A region and have had visitors from outside the region in the last 14 days for contact tracing purposes.

In a press release on Thursday, the University reminded students in residence they must follow a strict protocol to ensure limited interaction with others and that students are wearing masks and physically distancing when they are not in their rooms.

This outbreak is in addition to the six new cases of COVID-19 at Queen’s that are off-campus and considered to be unrelated.

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