SWS Updates

Queen’s is strongly encouraging all members of our campus community, including students, to get a flu vaccine to help protect you against the most common strains of influenza.  The similarity between COVID-19 and influenza symptoms can result in missing classes and extracurriculars due to public health guidelines which could be a big source of stress for students.  

Taking the time to get a flu vaccine not only protects you from getting sick but it also helps protect your peers, friends and loved ones. Getting vaccinated will also help us avoid overwhelming our local hospitals and COVID-19 assessment centers.    

How to Get a Flu Vaccine


It is likely that flu vaccines will be in high demand this year therefore we encourage you to get one early.  Students can make a flu vaccine appointment by calling Student Wellness at 613-533-2506.


How and where to get a flu vaccine will differ depending on your type of primary health insurance.

Students from Ontario with an Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) card can receive a vaccine at your local family doctor’s office or a pharmacy.

Out-of-province & international students living in Kingston with another provincial/territorial health card or UHIP card are urged to call a local pharmacy and ask if they will accept your provincial health insurance for a flu vaccine.

Local pharmacies on or near campus include: 

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.

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)

Starting at 10am from Jan 10 to 14, the Queen's Centre (284 Earl St) will be one of the provincial pop-up RAT distribution sites for the general public.  There is a limit of one test kit per person and subject to available supply.

RATs will be for the most vulnerable sectors including:

  • For test-to-work purposes to meet critical work force needs in highest risk settings;
  • For people without symptoms as screening; including healthcare workers;
  • For people with COVID-19 symptoms.  If 2 consecutive RATs, separated by 24-48 hours, are both negative, the symptomatic individual is less likely to be infected.   

If your RAT results are positive, please do the following:

  • 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)  
    • 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.  Household contacts must also self-isolate, regardless of their vaccine status.

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.

For additional information, read the Fall 2021 Protocols for In-Person Classes on the Kingston Campus.

Learn how Queen's is planning for our safe return to campus.

Assess yourself daily for symptoms of COVID-19 using the SeQure app.  If you have symptoms, feel unwell or are awaiting test results, do NOT come to campus

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

Starting Mon, Dec 20, 2021, anyone 18 years and older in Ontario is eligible for COVID-19 vaccine booster.  The university strongly encourages all students, staff and faculty to get a third dose, if possible, before returning to campus.  The interval between second/third dose and a booster shot is 84 days.  Third doses reduce the chance of acquiring and transmitting the Omicron variant.  

Where to get a vaccine

Student Wellness Services will be offering a walk-in COVID-19 vaccine clinic for students, staff and faculty who need any dose (first, second, third/booster).  No appointment necessary; Pfizer will be available.

Date: Friday January 21st, 2022
Times: 9:30am-4:00pm
Location: Mitchell Hall, 1st floor main atrium (near red staircase)
What to do/bring:

  • Bring your health card, student/staff card and proof of prior COVID-19 vaccines
  • Wear a short-sleeved shirt & mask
  • Be prepared to wait and maintain 6 feet of distance from others in line

International students who have already received 1 mRNA vaccine dose, in addition to a full COVID-19 vaccine series in their home country, are not eligible for another booster at this time.

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.

Queen's University requires all individuals (students, staff, faculty, contractors and visitors) participating in university activities in person, either on Queen's campus or other Queen's property, to be fully vaccinated.  Find important vaccination information and answers to frequently asked questions on the safe return to campus website.

Students are considered fully vaccinated in Ontario and by the university 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 are partially vaccinated, you are permitted to attend classes on campus under certain conditions until you are fully vaccinated.  Find answers to frequently asked questions at safe return to campus.

Students can also get advice on where, when and what vaccine to get to be fully vaccinated in Ontario.

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.

    All services will be closed for the winter break from Dec. 24 to Jan 3.  If you need support during this time, resources available are listed at Get Help Now.

    SWS is available in-person & virtually

    • All students must complete a COVID-19 screening prior to entering SWS in-person via the seQure app or at the door.  To minimize contact exposure please wear a face covering, use hand sanitizer provided, maintain physical distancing in waiting areas and come by yourself if possible.  
    • All staff, students, and faculty returning to campus will require COVID-19 vaccination.  Find out how to get your vaccine and have your questions answered.  

    Coté-Sharpe Student Wellness Centre

    Phones answered Mon-Fri, 9am-4:30pm

    • Daytime appointments (virtual and in-person): Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm
    • Evening appointments (virtual only): pre-booked, variable times, most weeknights until 7pm

    Medical & Mental Health Services:

    Appointments will be offered virtually & in-person at the discretion of your health care provider. In-person crisis support is available during weekday daytime hours.

    Accessibility Services (QSAS):

    Appointments with Advisors will be offered virtually.

    Gregory David and Neil Rossy Health Promotion Hub

    • Staff are available for virtual support and by email Mon-Fri from 9am-4:30pm (+ evenings & weekends by request for training or special events).
    • Outreach and trainings will be offered virtually until February 28, 2022.

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

    • Wednesday January 5th from 9-11am for an all staff meeting
    • Monday February 21st (all day), for observing Family Day

    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 After-Hours Supports for medical care.