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Public health introduces new limits ahead of St. Patrick’s Day

Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Mark Green reached out to the Queen’s community informing them that, due to concerns around St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, the KFL&A Public Health’s Medical Officer of Health has implemented a new Section 22 Order as a precautionary measure to help limit the spread of COVID-19 in the Kingston community  

The Section 22 Order is effective from 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, March 13, 2021 until Sunday, March 21, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. The order, which is in effect city wide, prohibits hosting or attending indoor or outdoor social gatherings with more than five persons. The order also includes several restrictions for businesses that serve alcohol.

Provost Green added that the university has confirmed with KFL&A Public Health that the five-person gathering limit does not apply to residents of your own household. For example, if you live with seven other individuals, you are permitted to gather, however you cannot add additional non-household members. If your household only has four people, you could add one additional non-household member to the gathering.

Failure to comply with the order may result in a Part 1 Summons that can carry a fine up to $5,000 under Ontario’s Health Promotion and Protection Act (HPPA), and can also be considered under the Student Code of Conduct. 

KFL&A Public Health has advised that this Section 22 Order has been established to address the following concerns:

  1. The increasing concern in Ontario due to risk of COVID-19 variants;
  2. To protect our community and keep our schools and economy safe and open;
  3. To prevent illness given that Kingston has not received the same amount of vaccine as other communities in Ontario and the time to achieve maximum immunity after a first dose of a vaccine;
  4. To minimize impact on our EMS and hospital resources during a time that typically sees an increase risk for impact.

“I’m very grateful to the Queen’s community, and to our students in particular, for your committed efforts to adhere to the Public Health guidelines over the past year,” Provost Green writes. “I know the limitations on social gatherings haven’t been easy. Let’s continue to stand strong and keep our campus community, and Kingston, safe. With the continued roll-out of the vaccine in Canada, there is hope for brighter days ahead.”