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Queen's broadens efforts to promote health and safety

University engaged in comprehensive outreach to ensure adherence to public health guidelines.

With a recent spike of COVID-19 cases in the Kingston region, Queen’s and its community partners have intensified efforts to make sure students are following KFL&A guidelines. Since the start of the pandemic, the university has worked in partnership with KFL&A Public Health, Kingston Police, the City, and Kingston Health Sciences Centre to promote awareness of public health regulations and respond to actions that put the health of the Kingston community at risk.

“The vast majority of Queen’s students have worked hard to comply with the provincial government’s regulations and public health guidelines throughout the pandemics,” says Patrick Deane, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, echoing his statement released earlier today. “It’s unfortunate that the poor choices of a relatively small group have influenced public perceptions of the whole student body. We understand that the local community is concerned, and we have redoubled our efforts to urge adherence to important safety guidelines.”

The university has conducted regular outreach to on- and off-campus students throughout the pandemic. They receive frequent direct communications to ensure they are aware of the evolving situation and can make informed choices to protect themselves and the Kingston community.

Social media advertising campaigns are targeting local students with hard-hitting messages focused on the heightened transmissibility of COVID-19 variants of concern and the need to limit close contact with those outside of their households. In the last month alone, the ads have been viewed over 1.3 million times.

On campus, strict COVID-19 protocols are in place and all necessary measures are being taken to support the safety and wellbeing of our students and campus. Procedures are initiated at the first sign of an outbreak in residences; entire floors are put in isolation until potential cases are cleared by public health. Queen’s closed the Athletics and Recreation Centre last week, and reduced food services and common study spaces on campus to assist public health in controlling the virus. Asymptomatic COVID-19 testing is currently available for students who may have been in a situation during which safety protocols were not followed, via the satellite COVID-19 assessment centre at Mitchell Hall.

Off campus, Queen’s staff members went door-to-door in the university district recently—maintaining safety precautions while doing so—to connect with students and provide information about public health guidelines and, most recently, KFL&A’s Section 22 Order. Large curbside signage on campus  delivers highly visible, up-to-date safety messages.

“No one is without fear or immune to the impact of this virus,” says Principal Deane. “It has isolated us at a time when kindness, compassion and caring is so essential. Queen’s does not exist apart from Kingston. The university is committed to working together and our future depends upon our continued and combined efforts to stay safe and healthy so that we all might enjoy a brighter future.”

For the latest information on the university’s pandemic response, visit the COVID-19 Information website.