Campus Operating Guidelines

The health and safety of the students, faculty, staff, volunteers, and guests who are a part of the Queen’s community is the university’s priority. 

Following consultations with local public health experts, Queen’s suspended its mandatory mask requirement as of June 1, 2022. This decision is based on the current state of the pandemic, in which COVID-19 cases and hospital capacity in our region are stable, and masks are no longer required in most public settings.

Some staff, faculty, students, and visitors may choose to continue to wear masks on campus. Please demonstrate consideration and respect for individual choices.

Certain activities and roles, such as those in health clinics, hospitals, some laboratories, and some organizations where students complete their placements, may have different requirements for masking. Students, staff, and faculty members should contact their respective Faculty for details. Specific programs and labs will continue with their standard PPE requirements.

Queen’s will consult with public health experts to review the need to reinstate the mask mandate, along with other preparations for the fall, in late summer. We will communicate any further updates to the Queen’s community as information becomes available.

Any questions or concerns can be directed to Department of Environmental Health & Safety (ext.32999 or safety@queensu.ca)

Queen's Safe Return Website

Common Spaces/Areas

Common spaces and areas include lobbies, hallways, stairwells, restrooms, elevators, lunchrooms, break areas, etc. 

Custodial Support Services will disinfect frequently touched surfaces in common areas. Surfaces not in common areas, such as individual office doors knobs, must be disinfected by occupants

  1. Frequent hand washing is one of the most effective prevention measures.

  2. Anyone exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms should not come to campus.

  3. Frequent cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces.

  4. Self-isolation as per public health guidance.

As of June 1, 2022, Queen’s University has suspended its mandatory mask requirement.

In the event that you have received a positive COVID-19 PCR or Rapid Antigen test result, you must comply with isolation requirements. Following your isolation period, you must wear a well-fitting mask while on campus until you reach 10 days following your symptom onset date or positive rapid test date.

Some staff, faculty, students, and visitors may choose to continue to wear masks on campus. Please demonstrate consideration and respect for individual choices. 


Safe mask usage

For those who choose to continue masking:

The effectiveness of masks in preventing the spread of COVID-19 can vary based on many factors including material, construction, fit, and proper use.

To help prevent you and others from being exposed to COVID-19, make sure your medical-grade mask is:

  • well-constructed

  • well fitting

  • worn properly

Medical-grade masks are typically single use and disposable, but may be reused until visibly dirty, damp, or damaged.

Information on how to wear medical-grade masks can be found on the Government of Canada website (pdf). 

Don’t use medical-grade masks or respirators with exhalation valves. They allow infectious respiratory particles to escape.

While not a public health requirement, those choosing to wear a respirator (N95, KN95, etc.) are doing so as an added community health measure. As a result, the respirator does not require fit testing. However, it is important that you understand how to properly wear the respirator as to provide the best seal possible. Where a respirator is being used in a workplace as personal protective equipment, fit testing is required as per the standard operating procedure for respiratory protection (Respirator Protection (queensu.ca)).  For additional information, contact the Department of Environmental Health & Safety (safety@queensu.ca or ext. 32999).

The following guidelines are provided for individuals who are on campus: 

1. Self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19

Daily screening for symptoms prior to attending campus continues to be an important way of reducing the potential for transmission of COVID-19 on campus.   The screening assessment module in the SeQure App provides an easy way to self-monitor.  The SeQure App can be downloaded from the Campus Security and Emergency Services web page. An on-line web version of the COVID-19 Screening Assessment and a written document are also available for those unable to use the App. 


2. Supervisors, employees, and students should familiarize themselves with the passive and active monitoring guidelines outlined in these Operating Guidelines


3. If you have come in contact with someone with COVID, tested positive for COVID or have symptoms, we recommend you complete the screening assessment module in the SeQure App which will provide you with information on next steps.


4. Should you be required to self-isolate, follow the steps outlined on the KFL&A website.


5. All individuals on campus are expected to adhere to all health and safety directives imposed by local and provincial public health, and the provincial and federal government including:


6. All individuals on campus are expected to adhere to all health and safety directives put in place by the university as described in this guideline.


7. Employees should familiarize themselves with important resource information found on the Safe Return website.

A core public health infection prevention and control principle is the monitoring and identification of illness. This is accomplished at Queen’s university through a combination of passive and active monitoring strategies.

Passive Monitoring

Passive Monitoring is achieved through signage on campus that provides a clear and visible reminder to all individuals entering the building to not enter the facility if they are exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19 and to practice the required public health measures such as hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, etc.

The signage that will be deployed is as follows:

  • Building entrance signage

    • Symptom monitoring 

    • Public health procedures 

  • Hand washing posters in bathrooms

  • Respiratory Etiquette poster

  • Hand sanitizing posters


Active Monitoring

The intent of active monitoring is to reduce the potential for illness spread by identifying potential cases to ensure they are managed.

Employees are encouraged to monitor for symptoms while they are at home prior to comping to campus. 

Health Care or Health Sciences facilities may have different active screening protocols for individuals entering their spaces. These protocols must be adhered to.

Responding to a confirmed or potential COVID-19 case on campus

If you see someone on campus not following the university and/or Public Health COVID guidelines: 

  • As with any health and safety concern, if you are comfortable having a conversation with someone who is not following the protocols, you can do so. It may simply be a situation where the person was not aware or forgot and this could be a teachable moment.  We are all in this together and everyone could play a part.

  • For immediate intervention - Call Campus Security and Emergency Services – ext. 36111.

  • For less urgent situations - Contact the Department of Environmental Health & Safety – ext. 32999.

For concerns regarding the COVID related protocols in your work location or department: 

  • Following the internal responsibility system, you should raise the issue with your supervisor.

  • If the issue is not resolved, contact the Department of Environmental Health & Safety – ext. 32999.

For concerns regarding building infrastructure (hand sanitizer at building entrances, cleaning of spaces, refill of soap in washrooms, etc.)  

For concerns regarding contractors on campus: 

  • Contact Fixit – ext. 77301 or 613-533-6757 or fixit@queensu.ca. After hours - call 613-533-6080

  • Facilities will address the on-campus requirements with the contractor’s personnel.

In the event that you have received a positive COVID-19 PCR or Rapid Antigen test result, you must comply with isolation requirements. Following your isolation period, you must wear a well-fitting mask while on campus until you reach 10 days following your symptom onset date or positive rapid test date.

In the event a department or supervisor is informed by an employee of a potential case of COVID-19 (due to symptoms or a positive RAT, RMT or PRC test), and/or close contact with an individual with COVID-19. the department should:

  • Direct the employee to follow the isolation requirements stipulated by KFL&A Public Health.

  • Determine whether the employee was on campus in the 48 hours prior to symptom onset or the positive test result.

  • Work with the employee to determine close contacts as the result of being on site.  A close contact typically means a person who was in close proximity (less than 2 metres) for at least 15 minutes or for multiple short periods of time without appropriate measures, such as masks or other personal protective equipment. If assistance is needed in determining close contacts, contact the Department of Environmental Health & Safety (ext. 32999 or safety@queensu.ca).

  • Notify close contacts about the potential exposure. This can be done by either the employee or the department.

  • Direct contacts must monitor for symptoms for 10 days. Isolation is not typically required if the contacts are fully vaccinated, remain symptom-free, are not immunocompromised, or living with a positive case. 

  • Generally, notification of a potential positive case is not required beyond those identified as close contacts. 

  • If an employee has informed their supervisor that they suspect they contracted COVID-19 at work, the supervisor must notify the Department of Environmental Health & Safety (ext.32999 or safety@queensu.ca).

Rapid Antigen Test results should be interpreted with caution, and individuals must continue to adhere to the necessary COVID-19 infection prevention and control measures, such as appropriate distancing, use of PPE, and hand washing, to reduce the risk of infection.

If your rapid screening test result reads NEGATIVE

  • If you are asymptomatic and without known exposure to someone with COVID-19, you may proceed to campus.

  • If you are asymptomatic and with known exposure to someone with COVID-19, you may proceed to campus only once you have completed a self assessment and the results indicate you do not need to isolate.

  • If you are symptomatic, you must not come to campus until you have two negative rapid antigen tests taken 48 hours apart. You should isolate until you have no fever and your symptoms are improving for 24 hours (or 48 hours if experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms). 

If your rapid screening test result reads POSITIVE

Regardless of whether you are symptomatic or asymptomatic, a positive test result is highly indicative that you have COVID-19 and you must do the following:

  • DO NOT come to campus.

  • You MUST isolate. To find out how long you should isolate, follow the steps on what to do if you’ve been exposed to COVID-19.

  • A positive test result does not need to be confirmed by a PCR test and does not need to be reported to the public health unit

  • You  should inform all people that you were in close contact with 48 hours before your test if that you have tested positive.

  • Following your isolation period, you must wear a well-fitting mask while on campus until you reach 10 days following your symptom onset date or positive rapid test date.