With the fall semester set to begin Sept. 8, Queen’s University has teamed up with KFL&A Public Health to ask students to take added precautions in light of the coronavirus pandemic as they return to campus.
Queen’s usually accommodates 24,000 students on campus, but this year, it will be hosting only about 4,400 students on campus.
About 2,300 students will be in residences this year, and will have staggered move-in days starting Sept. 1, with about 400 students moving in a day.
Residences are reserved for first-year students, and only first-year nursing students will have in-class, on-campus learning in the fall, which means only 100 students in residences will be attending in-class courses.
The university, along with public health, is asking any students coming to Kingston from a region with active transmissions to get tested for COVID-19 before leaving for school.
Those who are living in the region for two weeks prior to the commencement of the fall semester do not need to be tested.
“Should a student receive a positive test result, it is expected that they delay their travel to Kingston until they test negative for COVID-19,” said a statement from the university.
Otherwise, the university and public health are advising that all newly arrived students should avoid contact with anyone outside their immediate household for the first two weeks after arriving.
All first-year students living in residences will be in single rooms and will have access to the Queen’s dining hall. Anyone else travelling from outside the region is asked to bring 14 days’ worth of supplies with them to lessen any contact with people in the community.
Queen’s is also asking students to limit travel in and out of the region during the semester.
“If students choose to, or must, travel outside the KFL&A region during the fall semester, they are strongly encouraged to limit contacts for 14 days upon return,” the statement said.
The university said it’s working with Kingston Health Sciences Centre to set up a campus-specific COVID-19 testing centre, but details about where and when this will open have yet to be confirmed.
Finally, all international students will be required to follow federal government rules to quarantine for 14 days after arrival in Canada, and due to provincial regulations, all international students must be tested at least once for COVID-19 during that quarantine period.
“It is recommended that this testing take place within five to seven days after the arrival period to address the virus incubation period,” the university said.