Queen’s reports 11 new cases of COVID-19

University urges students to avoid social gatherings for St. Patrick’s Day weekend

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As St. Patrick’s Day approaches, Queen’s is reporting 11 new cases of COVID-19—five of which were identified as part of a residence outbreak.

Five cases were detected in the Watts Hall residence building on Thursday. All of the affected students live on the same floor. According to a University press release published on Thursday, the building has been “locked down” and the students have been moved to the David C. Smith isolation residence.

Six new cases were also found off-campus this week. According to the press release, these cases are not linked to the outbreak in Watts. These students are self-isolating and KFL&A Public Health is performing the necessary contact tracing.

A total of 115 cases have been found at Queen’s since Aug. 31—15 in residence buildings and 100 off-campus. 99 cases have been resolved, leaving 16 active cases at Queen’s. There are currently 30 active cases in the Kingston, Frontenac, and Lennox and Addington (KFL&A) region.

“We are asking anyone who develops symptoms (even mild symptoms) to get tested and self-isolate while waiting for test results,” Kieran Moore, medical officer of health at KFL&A Public Health, said in the press release.

“With the increased transmission risk of COVID-19 variants of concern, it is more important than ever to stay local and to avoid travel or having guests from outside our region.”

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, KFL&A Public Health issued a Section 22 Class Order on March 4. In effect from 12:01 a.m. on March 13 to 11:59 p.m. on March 21, the order forbids all indoor and outdoor social gatherings of more than five people.

Students who violate the order may be fined up to $5,000.

READ MORE: KFL&A Public Health cracks down on St. Patrick’s Day celebrations

Though Kingston entered the green zone on Feb. 10, the University is still recommending that all students who return to Kingston from outside of the region self-isolate for 14 days upon return.

Students can get tested for COVID-19 at Student Wellness Service’s testing centre at Mitchell Hall, which is currently offering asymptomatic and symptomatic testing. Students can call 613-533-2506 to book an appointment.

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