Amid the current spike of COVID-19 cases in the Kingston region as well as on Queen’s Campus where there were 282 cases reported last week alone, the university will be providing students with COVID-19 testing kits.
The school says students who are asymptomatic will receive rapid antigen tests which can be picked up at Grant Hall, while those who are symptomatic can pick up their PCR tests from the southeast entrance of Mitchell Hall.
The move is being done as a way to curb the spread of Omicron as students get ready to head home for winter break. Currently, there are outbreaks at four Queen’s residences. In-person exams have also been cancelled for the rest of the semester.
During a conference call with health officials on Monday, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Piotr Oglaza underscored the importance of students getting tested before leaving the city.
“Our message to the community of students before heading home is to is to seek testing prior to departure and be mindful of the potential risks that they might have been exposed while in residing in this community,” Dr. Oglaza said.
Oglaza also noted that students don’t necessarily pose a threat to the rest of the city as the Omicron variant is already present.
If tests come back positive, students must isolate in place for 10 days. However, if they are a high-risk contact the student must isolate for 10 days as well.
The school adds that those who intended to leave for winter break and have received a negative test and who are not high-risk contacts are asked to leave as soon as possible.
Those who have already returned home are also encouraged to get tested.