SWS Updates

As of June 1, 2022, Queen’s suspended its mandatory mask requirement and on June 11, 2022, provincial mask requirements were lifted in most public settings.  Since Student Wellness Services includes a clinic that provides health care services, masks will be required in certain circumstances as outlined below.  

Students will still be required to complete a COVID self-assessment on the seQure app prior to all in-person appointments and change to an ASTM F2100 Level 2 medical-grade mask prior to entering the medical clinic.

  • Students and staff required to wear a mask at all times for medical appointments plus in clinical waiting areas.
  • Students without a doctor’s appointment may need to complete a COVID test to help determine if an in-person appointment is required.
  • Front desk staff who are behind plexi glass can take off their mask.
  • Students with Mental Health, Accessibility Services (QSAS) and/or Health Promotion appointments can remove their masks in private office spaces as long as both parties agree and assume the risk of not masking.

Please know that these may change based on guidance from local public health experts and/or updates from the government.

Students with any COVID-19 symptoms or those who are a high risk close contact of a confirmed case, should follow the isolation and/or self-monitoring guidelines.  To determine if you have COVID-19 symptoms, take the self-assessment on the Ontario Health screening tool.

COVID-19 PCR Tests

As of December 31, 2021, publicly-funded PCR tests are only available for high-risk individuals who are symptomatic or at risk for severe illness from COVID-19.  Visit the KFL&A Public Health COVID assessment website to determine if you belong to one of the groups eligible for PCR testing.

Publicily funded PCR testing locations:

  • Beechgrove Complex (15 Heakes Lane) - open Monday to Friday, 9am-4pm
  • Shoppers Drug Mart (136 Princess St,) - call 613-544-5330 x33 to book
  • Gardiners Pharmasave (500 Gardiners Rd.) - call 613-507-5555 to book

If you are ineligible for a PCR test or unable to access a rapid antigen test (RAT), you are presumed to be positive and should do the following:

  • Follow the isolation and/or self-monitoring guidelines
     
  • Notify your close contacts who include people with whom you have been in close proximity (i.e., 2 meters or 6 feet) within the last 48 hours for at least 15 minutes or multiple times without wearing a mask.

You may be able to access an asymptomatic COVID-19 PCR test under certain circumstances. Check here for current eligibility criteria and locations across Ontario.

Fee-for-service PCR testing is available for individuals who are travelling at select pharmacies. Visit the Ontario COVID-19 website to find testing locations.

Getting COVID-19 PCR Test Results

It could take up to 72 hours to get your COVID-19 test results.

  • Students from Ontario with an OHIP health card can check their lab results online from the Ontario Ministry of Health.
     
  • International and students from out of province can email covid19assessmentcentre@kingstonhsc.ca.  Include your full name, date of birth, date of testing and testing location.  Please do not call KFL&A Public Health for results.

KFL&A Public Health has also provided suggested strategies for students who are coping with isolation.

COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs)

RAT kits are being distributed through pharmacies and grocery stores in Ontario.  Find a list of participating retailers.

If your RAT results are negative:

  • Take another RAT 24-48 hours after your first negative test.  If these results are also negative, you most likely do not have COVID-19.
  • Self-isolate until your symptoms are improving for at least 24 hours (48 hours if you have gastrointestinal symptoms i.e., vomiting or diarrhea).

If your RAT results are positive:

  • If you are fully vaccinated and have symptoms - isolate for 5 days starting from the onset of symptoms and until your symptoms are improving for 24 hours (for 48 hours if they are gastrointestinal)  
  • If you are fully vaccinated and have NO symptoms - isolate for 5 days starting from the date of your test result
  • If you are partially vaccinated, unvaccinated or immunocompromised - isolate for 10 days starting from the onset of symptoms or from the date of your test result (whichever comes sooner)

Also, be sure to also notify your close contacts who need to self-monitor for symptoms 10 days after your last exposure.  During this time, you also need to wear a mask, avoid activities where mask removal is necessary (e.g., dining out or high contact sports) and do not visit any high-risk settings (e.g., long-term care or retirement homes). 

Household contacts do not need to isolate if they have previously tested positive in the last 90 days and do not have symptoms, are 18 years of age or older and have received a COVID-19 booster dose, OR are under 18 years of age and are fully vaccinated.

COVID-19 & Academic Considerations

If you will be missing an academic requirement due to COVID-19 illness, COVID-19 symptoms, or a self-isolation requirement, academic consideration will be granted.

  • To receive academic consideration, you need to submit a request by following your Faculty’s/School’s established protocol for students with extenuating circumstances.
     
  • For COVID-19-related absences, a self-attestation of your illness or requirement to self-isolate will be sufficient documentation of your circumstances. Documentation from a health-care provider will not be required.
     
  • It is your responsibility to contact each of your instructors to arrange to make up the missed work.

Find additional COVID-19 information on the Safe Return website.

Assess yourself daily for symptoms of COVID-19 using the SeQure app.  If you have symptoms, you must isolate.  Isolation is required for 5 days (if fully vaccinated) or for 10 days (if unvaccinated or immunocompromised).  You can end isolation at the end of that time period only if your symptoms have improved for at least 24 hours.

Asymptomatic household contacts only need to self-isolate if they have not received their booster dose.  Those who have already had COVID-19 in the last 90 days also do not need to self-isolate.  Household contacts should observe strict mask-wearing and self-monitor for symptoms for 10 days.  If they develop symptoms, they should begin isolating.

Going to the emergency room or urgent care centre should be reserved for when your symptoms need treatment and not for the purposes of COVID-19 testing or medical notes.  

If you miss a class, exam or other academic requirement due to COVID-19 illness, symptoms or self-isolation requirement, academic consideration will be granted.  

Students can submit an academic consideration request by following your Faculty's/School's established protocol for students with extenuating circumstances.  Find additional information about the Extenuating Circumstances procedure and policy.  

COVID-19 Vaccine

As of July 14, 2022, anyone 18 years and older in Ontario became eligible for their 4th COVID-19 vaccine booster.  The province is recommending 5 months (140 days) between your third and fourth dose with a minimum of 3 months (84 days).  If you have been ill with COVID, the province recommends waiting 3 months (84 days) before your third or fourth booster.

Where to get a vaccine

See events calendar for on-campus COVID-19 vaccine clinics.

Students who need any dose (first, second, third or booster) can find mobile and booked appointments in Kingston and in Ontario.  International students who received a full COVID-19 vaccine series outside Canada are now eligible to get their 2nd mRNA booster as long as it has been 84 days since their last dose.

  • For additional COVID-19 vaccine appointment options, as well as answers to frequently asked questions, visit the Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington (KFL&A) Public Health website.  Daily vaccination clinics are available in Kingston, including one close to campus at Portsmouth Olympic Harbour.  
     
  • Students with questions about getting a vaccine, including those who have a general fear of vaccinations, can book a medical appointment with an SWS physician, that can be done over the phone, to discuss any concerns.
     
  • KFL&A Public Health now has very limited supply of Janssen (J&J) and Astra Zeneca (AZ) COVID-19 vaccines for those with a contraindication to an mRNA vaccine or for those who do not want to receive one.  Call the KFL&A Immunization Line at 613-549-1232 x1541 and leave you name, phone number and the vaccine you are looking to receive. You need to bring a note from a healthcare provider to access this vaccine. 

Though no longer mandatory to participate in university activities, students, faculty, staff, volunteers, and guests are encouraged to continue to follow best practices for controlling disease transmission, including getting vaccinated and boosted.  Find COVID-19 related updates and other important information on the Safe Return website.

Students are considered fully vaccinated in Ontario if they have received:

  1. 2 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine authorized by Health Canada
  2. 1 or 2 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine not authorized by Health Canada, followed by 1 dose of a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine (i.e., Pfizer or Moderna) authorized by Health Canada, or
  3. 3 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine not authorized by Health Canada

NOTE: You will not be considered fully vaccinated in Ontario or by Queen’s until 14 days after your final dose.

If you do not have an Ontario health card or a University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) card:

  • Call your local public health unit to validate your identity and get a booking ID
  • Use the booking ID to book a COVID-19 vaccination appointment online using the provincial booking tool, or calling 1-833-943-3900 (TTY 1-866-797-0007), open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET

COVID-19 Guidance for Individuals Vaccinated Outside Ontario/Canada

Students who received their 1st and/or 2nd dose outside of Canada or Ontario can use the following directions to have their COVID-19 immunization record documented into COVaxON by KFL&A Public Health. 

How to Report COVID-19 Vaccines Received Outside of Ontario or Canada 

Go to KFL&A Public Health's online form

  • You will be asked to provide your name, email address, date of birth, dates of vaccination and type of vaccine (e.g., Pfizer, Moderna, etc.). 
  • If you do not have an Ontario Health Card, please enter "0" in this section 
  • Upload images of your previous dose receipts. If your previous dose receipts are in another language, please translate that information as best possible.

You can also submit a copy of your vaccine records by: Fax 613-549-0985 or mail: KLF&A Public Health, 221 Portsmouth Ave., Kingston, ON, K7M1V5

Once your vaccine records have been received, KFL&A Public Health will update your records in the Ontario documentation system (COVaxON). Please allow 7 to 10 business days.  When your record has been updated you will be sent an email with a link that will allow you to download your vaccine receipt. 

Other Vaccines

We also encourage students to make sure all your other vaccines are up to date. If you do not have a record of what vaccines you’ve received, your parents/supporters or your family doctor likely have this information. If you’re missing doses or have never been vaccinated and want to catch up, you can book an appointment at Student Wellness Services (SWS). For more information about what vaccines are recommended, here is the Ontario’s routine immunization schedule.

Risk of Drug-Induced Overdoses Remains High in KFL&A

KFL&A Public Health is warning residents of a toxic batch of drugs circulating in the area containing fentanyl, carfentanil, and benzodiazepine analogues resulting in an increased number of overdoses.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the drug supply has become more contaminated and unpredictable, increasing the risk of overdose. Drugs of any colour may be contaminated.

Anyone who suspects or witnesses an overdose should call 9-1-1. The Good Samaritan Drug Overdose Act provides some legal protection against simple drug possession charges for anyone who experiences, witnesses or responds to an overdose and calls 9-1-1.

Public Health urges all people who use drugs to not mix drugs, do test amounts, and to have a naloxone kit. Using drugs alone is a major risk factor for experiencing a fatal overdose and is not recommended even with the risk of COVID-19. Instead practice physical distancing or connect virtually with someone that can call for help. People can also use the Overdose Prevention Line, an anonymous, non-judgemental support line available 24/7 in Ontario to have someone on the line while you use drugs.

For more information about support options, visit Public Health’s Getting Help page.

Student Wellness Services will be closed in 2022 on the following dates/times:

  • Monday August 1st (all day), for observing Civic Holiday
  • Monday September 5th (all day), for observing Labour Day
  • Tuesday September 6th (noon-4:30pm), for all staff meeting

If you need support while Student Wellness Services is closed, visit Get Help Now to find 24/7 phone and online mental health resources in addition to resources for medical care.

Most respiratory viruses (i.e., cold, influenza, or COVID), while uncomfortable, are mild or moderate in severity and do not require treatment. Viral illnesses are not treated with antibiotics.

If you are experiencing mild to moderate symptoms:

  • Stay home except to access medical care. Do not visit public area or go places where you are unable to wear a mask. If you are experiencing COVID-like symptoms, follow current isolation guidelines.
  • Take care of yourself by getting rest and staying hydrated. A humidifier, throat lozenges and salt water rinses may help.  
  • Take over-the-counter medicines, such as acetaminophen. Ask a pharmacist to suggest medications based on your symptoms.

Seek emergency medical care if you experience any of the following:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to wake or stay awake
  • Pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin tone

Monkeypox is a rare viral infection, though there has been a recent uptick in cases throughout many parts of the world, including Canada. The virus spreads through close, physical contact, particularly through contact with an infected person’s rash or bodily fluids such as blood, saliva, and semen. The virus may also spread through respiratory particles (e.g. from talking, breathing, coughing, sneezing) during prolonged close contact.

Monkeypox commonly presents with a rash that may be painful and can affect any part of the body, including the mouth, genitals, face, arm and legs, and feet and hands. Other general symptoms that may accompany the rash include fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, headaches, muscle pain, and exhaustion.

People usually develop symptoms 5 to 21 days after being exposed to the virus and are contagious from the onset of the first symptoms until the scabs from their rash have fallen off and the skin has healed. If you experience symptoms, isolate at home away from others and contact your healthcare provider immediately for advice on testing and medical care.

Monkeypox typically goes away on its own within 2-4 weeks. However, it can be severe and potentially life-threatening in some circumstances.

For more information on Monkeypox, see the KFL&A Public Health and/or the Government of Canada website.