Public health is strongly urging Queen’s students to get tested for COVID-19, as the university announces seven more cases of the virus linked to the school. So far this week there have been eight cases confirmed by the university, all involving students living off-campus.
The university is currently at the epicentre of the city’s latest COVID-19 outbreak, with 28 people linked to the school catching the virus so far — some of which are known variants of concern.
The health unit reported eight new cases Tuesday, with a total of 40 active cases in the region. There remains 18 active variant cases in KFL&A, but testing for mutations can take a couple days. As of Monday, 14 of the region’s variant cases had links to the post-secondary outbreak.
The outbreak at Queen’s University started last week at Watts Hall, a student residence on campus, with five cases. The university is now tracking nearly 30 cases on and off campus.
A post on the university’s website says over the past week there have been two clusters of cases within the Queen’s student community. Only one cluster involves a variant of concern.
In an interview Monday, Dr. Kieran Moore, medical officer of health for the region, said the outbreak at the residence was more or less under control, but that he expected to continue to see cases propagate off campus.
Due to the increased transmissibility of the variants of concern, the university, along with the local health unit, is strongly encouraging students who have been in close contact with someone outside their household without wearing a face covering or physical distancing, to get tested during the next two weeks, even if they are not experiencing symptoms.
The university goes on to say that there is currently a Kingston Health Sciences Centre COVID-19 assessment centre located at Mitchell Hall on campus.
The student testing centre is regularly open to from Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and will be running extended hours until 8:30 p.m. until March 19.
— With files from Global News’ Bill Hutchins and Mike Postovit