Coronavirus COVID-19 Information

Ensuring a safe and secure environment to promote student wellbeing and success is one of the key priorities of Queen’s Housing and Ancillary Services.

For the latest updates and all COVID-19 information from the University, please visit the University’s COVID information website.


March 4, 2022

The days are getting longer, some public health restrictions are being lifted, and in-person academic activities have resumed. There is a lot to feel hopeful about. 
 
At the same time, it’s important to be aware that COVID-19 is still circulating broadly in the local community. The presence and levels of the virus continues to be tracked by public health units across Canada, including in Kingston, through wastewater monitoring (more info below).  The most recent data from campus testing sites confirms the presence of the virus in our communities.

Further to the University’s email earlier this week regarding return to campus health and safety reminders, we are emailing today with some residence-specific updates.

Please review the information below to help keep yourself, our residence staff, and your community safe.

Mask Requirements

  • Medical grade masks (Level 2) must be worn at all times when you are outside your room.
    • Wearing your mask appropriately while in residence contributes to your own safety and helps to support the safety of other students and our staff. 
    • Please ensure that your mask covers your nose, mouth, and chin.
    • You can pick up one box of 50 masks from the card check stations in the dining halls.
  • Limit unmasked contact with others.
  • Continue to be thoughtful in making decisions about the types of social gatherings you attend. Be especially thoughtful about situations where you are eating or drinking and masks are removed.

Vaccines and other public health measures

If you develop symptoms or test positive for COVID-19

The Residence Isolation Protocol has been updated. Please read it to understand your responsibilities.

  • If you become symptomatic or test positive for COVID-19, it’s your responsibility to let your close contacts know and to use the meal pre-order process and pick up food to-go from the dining halls.
  • The updated protocol outlines guidelines for the optional use of Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs).
  • A limited supply of Rapid Antigen Tests (one box of 5 tests) is available for pick up from the Victoria Hall and Jean Royce Hall front desks.
  • RATs can be used to reasonably confirm COVID-19, but a negative result on a RAT is not a definitive confirmation that you are not infected. 
  • If you have a negative result on the first test and are symptomatic, you should continue to isolate and do another test in 24-48 hours.  If the second result is also negative and you have no symptoms, you can discontinue isolation 24 hours after your symptoms are improving (48 hours if your symptoms are gastrointestinal).

You can learn more about the provincial and local COVID-19 wastewater surveillance initiative, which involves Queen’s Beaty Water Research Centre (BWRC).  In the absence of PCR testing, measuring COVID-19 in wastewater is one method that helps track trends in the amount of virus that’s circulating and enables some comparisons among results from sites in the city.  This type of monitoring is now common with Public Health units across Canada.

We are grateful for everyone’s compliance with the COVID-19 measures and are optimistic that we will be able to end the year together on a positive note. 

We wish you all the best with the rest of the term.  If you have any questions about COVID-19 in residence, please email reslife@queensu.ca.

Previous Communications

January 26, 2022

As of January 31, we are pleased to advise you that the following will be in effect:

FOOD OPTIONS AND SERVICES

  • 50% seating capacity will be available at all three dining halls. Individual seat reservations can be made via the Transact app. If you reserve for a specific time, you can skip the line!
  • In addition to dining in, you can choose from the following meals to-go options:
    • In a hurry? Pick up an EXPRESS Meal that’s ready for takeaway. Ask at dining hall entrances for details.
    • Come into the servery to Pick & Pack your meal to-go. You must bring your carabineer or your ECO container to use this option.
    • Please note that you are not able to use both the limited dine-in seating and also take food to-go.
  • Full seating capacity is expected to be available again as of February 21st, when take-out from dining halls will be discontinued.
  • If you are looking for larger portions, or just want extra of your favorite menu item, feel free to ask the server for more.
  • Visit our website for what’s open on campus and for current hours of operation for all dining halls and retail food locations.

OTHER RESIDENCE SERVICES

  • Lounge capacities will increase to 10 people, subject to overall room occupancy limits.
  • Food and drink will be permitted in lounges.
  • The guest policy will remain unchanged.
  • The Residence Don on-call system will continue to operate in collaboration with Campus Security and Emergency Services and the Queen’s Student Constables. 
    • Some Residence Dons have not yet returned to campus, but are available virtually and are continuing to connect with their floors. 
    • On-campus support can be accessed via the Don on-call, your residence desk or Campus Security and Emergency Services.
  • Some events and programming will be delivered in person, subject to the new gathering limits.

OTHER CAMPUS SERVICES

Please ensure that you review the updated Residence Isolation Protocol so that you understand your responsibilities for symptomatic isolation and contact tracing while in residence.

Residence winter term fee adjustments, based on return information provided as of January 23, will be posted to your SOLUS account by Friday, January 28, with additional adjustments to follow where applicable.

If your plans have changed from what you originally indicated, please update your information on the Return to Residence Form in the Residence and Dining Portal.  If you have questions about your individual circumstances, please email us at reshouse@queensu.ca or reach out to a member of our team via LiveChat on our website.

January 6, 2022

The University has issued additional guidance regarding COVID-19 testing, isolation and masks.
The Provincial government this week announced updates to COVID19 measures across Ontario,
including gathering and indoor dining restrictions that will impact residence operations for the
Winter term. Please review the information below carefully and if you want to adjust your
current plans, please update your Return to Residence Form on the Residence and Dining
Portal
.


In consultation with Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington Public Health (KFLAPH), we have
confirmed changes to our residence operations to meet the new requirements. These changes
are in effect as of January 5 and will continue for at least 21 days.


• Dining halls will move to take-out options only when they reopen on Sunday, January. You will be welcome to enter the dining halls and make your selections from the All You-Care-To-Eat offerings, however it will be a “Pick & Pack” model, and you will need
to take your meal to go. Remember to bring your ECO container to package your dining
hall meal to-go.
• Students with allergies and/or dietary needs will receive an email communication from
the Registered Dietitian. Keep an eye on your email for further guidance and support.
• Limited retail food options will be available on campus – visit the Hospitality website for
current operating hours.
• Lounges and common areas will have capacity limits of five. Physical distancing of 2
meters must be maintained and food or drink may not be consumed while in any
common areas.
• Masks must continue to be worn in all areas outside of your own room in
residence. You are strongly encouraged to wear double or triple-layered non-woven
disposable masks instead of cloth masks.
• Front desk hours of operation will be impacted. Victoria and Jean Royce Hall desks will
continue to operate 24/7; other desks and parcel room hours will be affected. Updated
hours will be posted at each desk, and on our website.
• Also note that the Athletics & Recreation Centre will be closed and capacity limits will be
in effect in libraries. Virtual fitness programming is available.


In light of the updated PCR testing eligibility for Ontario, and with consultation from KFL&A PH
on local requirements, it has been confirmed that most residence students will not be eligible
for PCR tests to confirm positive cases of COVID19. In addition, there is a limited supply of
rapid antigen tests that are being prioritized for health care, high risk settings and ‘test-to-work’
situations and as such they will not be available to all students. Given the prevalence of
Omicron, symptomatic isolation provides us with the best protection against the spread of the
virus – testing is no longer the best line of defense. Therefore all students with symptoms of
COVID19 will be presumed positive.


Students will be required to isolate and alert their own close contacts of the need for them to
also isolate. Memos about positive cases and directions for full residence floors to isolate will
no longer be issued. As the residence population is fully vaccinated, symptomatic students and
their close contacts will isolate in their own residence room for 5 days (10 days if you are
immunocompromised). Isolating students must wear a mask at all times when accessing
shared washrooms and use the Isolation Meal Form on the Residence and Dining Portal to preorder dining hall meals for pickup. The Residence Isolation Protocol is being updated to reflect
these changes.


Students are strongly encouraged to seek a third vaccine dose when eligible and if possible
before returning to campus; third doses reduce the chance of acquiring and transmitting
Omicron. Individuals age 18+ who are 84 days post second dose in the KFL&A region can now
book in to receive their third dose here. Vaccines will also be available on campus through
Student Wellness Services, beginning January 14.


If you have not already done so, please ensure you notify us if you plan to withdraw from
residence or delay your return by completing the Return to Residence Form on the Residence
and Dining Portal
. Please update the form if your plans change. Details regarding winter term
fee adjustments were provided in our communication of December 17 and further FAQs are
available here.


We understand that the start of winter term may not be what you had envisioned. We are
committed to helping you make meaningful connections, succeed in your academics, and make
lasting and positive memories.
We want to thank you for your resilience and continued commitment to keeping yourselves
and our community healthy and safe. If you have questions about the contents of this email,
please email reslife@queensu.ca or join us on live chat.

December 17, 2021

We are writing to follow up on the university announcement yesterday that most academic activities will be delivered remotely until the end of reading week on February 28, 2022. You will receive further communications in the coming days from your faculty or school office about your program.

You are encouraged to remain in your home communities until your classes transition back to in-person delivery. However, we understand that for some of you, this may not be possible. Be assured: residences will remain open for the Winter 2022 term as planned.

If and when you do return, additional health measures will be in place.

You will be expected to get your third COVID-19 vaccination as soon as possible. In Ontario, the vast majority of students (18+) will be eligible as of Monday, December 20. Please check availability in your local community and get that third dose!

Other new measures may include limits on dining hall capacities, in floor lounges, and on gathering sizes, as well as isolation impacts, should there be positive COVID-19 cases on your floor. In addition, many campus services will be online only in January and February. We appreciate these are significant changes, but the university has made these decisions to support the health and safety of the Queen’s and local communities, in response to rising cases of the Omicron variant and in consultation with local public health experts.

To help us manage residence operations with a reduced population and prepare fee adjustments where applicable, we need to understand your plans. Please complete the Return to Residence form in the Student Residence and Dining Portal by January 4, 2022 to tell us whether or not you will be returning, and if so, when you plan to return, if you know.

Here are some further details to help you consider your decision:

  • If you delay your return, you will receive a partial adjustment of residence room and board fees, in the amount of $340 for every week that you aren’t in residence, until Feb 28, 2022. You will receive this as $215/week fee credit, plus $125/week in Flex dollars. These amounts will be processed prior to the winter fee deadline of January 31, 2022, based on the information you provide about your return plans.
  • Should you choose not to return to residence for any portion of the winter term, you may elect to withdraw from residence and you will not be required to pay any winter residence fees.  If you select this option, you must remove all belongings from your assigned room and return your keys by January 23, 2022. Support for packing and shipping belongings is available if you are not able to pack your room. If you indicate this choice on the form, we will be in touch with further details during the week of January 10, 2022.
  • In the event that the university does not return to in-person classes as of February 28, 2022, the refund program will be revisited.

Thank you for doing your part to keep our community safe. We wish you a restful break and we look forward to connecting with you soon.

December 16, 2021

To all residence students,

Over the past week, positive cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the majority of residence buildings. The students who have tested positive are isolating and the students identified as high-risk contacts on the affected floors so far have been notified.

Given the high positivity rate amongst the residences as well as the increased transmission we are seeing in the region, it is possible that you were exposed to the virus if you remained in residence within the past 10 days.

Given this information, please see below for isolation instructions based on your circumstance.

(1) If you have left residence and are already at home, please isolate for 10 days from the day you left residence

and get a PCR test (immediately, and/or on day 7 of your isolation). If you have been home for 10 days, there is no need to isolate but please still get tested as a precaution. We recognize that some of you may have been home already for a number of days with your families; if this is the case, please still isolate for the remaining days in your 10-day period and get tested immediately.

(2) If you are still in residence but plan to travel home, please begin isolating now (see “Residence Isolation Instructions” below). You are permitted to travel during your isolation period, provided you adhere to the below requirements:

  • Receive a negative PCR test prior to going home (there are two options – (1) visit SWS and pick up a self-swab PCR test – see “Testing Instructions” below: or (2) make an appointment at Student Wellness Services for a PCR test
  • i. You require a PCR test, not a rapid test.
  • You must arrange for a second test on or after day-7 PCR test to be completed at a testing center in your home area
  • Even if you test negative on both PCR tests, you must complete your entire 10 day isolation period, regardless of full vaccination status.
  • Arrange private transportation
  • Wear a medical-grade (surgical) mask during transport
  • Make no stops between residence / Queen’s and home; if stopping for gas, pay at the pump. Have an explicit timeline for travelling.
  • Ensure that there are no vulnerable individuals (elderly, immunocompromised) living in your planned isolation space
  • Notify your Local Public Health Unit on arrival, to report that you are isolating in that jurisdiction (call the main number on your local PH unit’s website to report)
  • Once arriving home, you must complete the rest of your isolation period and day-7 testing requirements, if applicable. Positive cases do not require a second test – isolation for them is 10 days regardless.

3) If you are still in residence and intend to stay in residence for at least the next 10 days , please get tested and

begin isolating immediately (see “Residence Isolation Instructions” and “Testing Instructions” below). Please ensure that you register to stay in residence via the December Break Stayover Form as soon as possible to ensure that you receive additional information regarding your isolation. After your isolation period is complete, please continue to follow safe guidelines regarding mask wearing, physical distancing, and hand hygiene, and limit social gatherings.

Residence Isolation Instructions

  • You are permitted to isolate in your residence room, and may only leave to use the washroom, pickup takeout meals from the dining halls, to be tested for COVID19, or in the event of an emergency evacuation/to seek medical care.
  • Meals will not be delivered to your room; you may either fill out the Isolation Meal form on the Residence and Dining Portal to order takeout meals from the dining hall, or attend the dining hall. If you choose to attend the dining hall for meals, please ensure that you keep a 2-meter distance between you and other students, and minimize your time in the servery area.
  • Please note that the dining halls close on December 22nd, and dine-in and take-out options will no longer be available.  From this point, you may order grocery or food delivery to the front door of your building.
  • You must wear a mask when picking up your food, and use contactless delivery options for payment and drop off.
  • If you will be in residence beyond this date, please fill out the December Break Stayover Request Form, and we will be in touch with you with additional instructions regarding the stayover.

Testing Instructions

High-risk contacts must be tested via PCR test immediately upon notification of HRC status (now), as well as on day seven of their isolation period. COVID-19 Self-Swab PCR Tests are available for students who are symptomatic, are a close household contact, or have been identified as a close contact by KFL&A Public Health:

  • Pick-up Monday to Friday from 9am-4pm at southeast entrance of Mitchell Hall (across from Kinesiology building off Division St). SWS is open until December 23, 2021, and will reopen on January 3rd, 2022. Students will be asked to self-swab and return it within 2 hours, so the sample can be sent to the lab for testing. You must also return the swab by no later than 4pm the day it was taken.
  • Results will be available online within 48 hours if you have an OHIP card or call 1-800-567-5722 if you are an out- of-province or international student.
  • If you are at home, please contact your local Public Health office for testing instructions.

Please reach it for support as you need it.

Thank you for continuing to adhere to the isolation requirements in order to keep our communities safe. If you have any questions, please email reslife@queensu.ca

December 10, 2021

To all residence students,

Over the past two days, positive cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in a number of residence buildings including Brant House, Chown Hall, Harkness Hall, Leonard Hall and Victoria Hall.

The students who have tested positive are isolating and the students identified as high-risk contacts on the affected floors have been notified. High-risk contacts are able to isolate in their own residence rooms and collect take-out meals from the dining hall. When outside their rooms, high-risk contacts and all other students must wear their masks at all times as per the university’s COVID protocols.

If a positive case is identified on your floor, you will be notified and provided with further information from KFL&A Public Health.

The emergence of the Omicron COVID-19 variant in the Kingston region, including a number of suspected cases within the Queen’s community and in residence, requires the university to adjust operations and we have proactively implemented enhanced health and safety measures on campus.

The new variant is highly contagious. Be extremely vigilant about mask wearing at all times, when outside your room.

  • Do not attend in-person exams if you feel unwell or have been identified as a high-risk contact. Timely academic consideration will be granted in these circumstances. Follow your faculty/school’s protocol for requesting academic consideration. Get details and links here.

Screening and Testing

Food and Residence Spaces

  • Do not attend any social gatherings.
  • Do not eat or drink in your floor lounge. Ensure you maintain physical distancing and keep your mask on if using these spaces for studying.
  • The dining halls remain open. You will be required to show your daily status as green – “approved to be on campus” on the SeQure screening app to enter. This replaces the green vaccination check mark that was previously in use.
  • Retail food service locations are now take-out only. Please review the updated hours of operation.

Please reach out for support as you need it.

Contact your Residence Life Coordinator or we’ve listed some additional resources below:

You got this!

Residence Life & Services Team


COVID-19 and Winter Term FAQs

What are my options for returning to residence?

Each student’s circumstance is different, so we encourage you to talk to your families and supporters and make the decision that is best for you. 

You are encouraged to remain in your home communities until your classes transition back to in-person delivery. However, we understand that for some of you, this may not be possible. Residences and dining halls will remain open for winter term. 

Please complete the Return to Residence Form to let us know your plans.

If you delay your return, you will receive a partial adjustment of residence room and board fees, in the amount of $340 for every week that you aren’t in residence, until Feb 28, 2022.

  • You will receive this as $215/week fee credit, plus $125/week in Flex$. (Flex$ don’t expire and can be used in campus retail food locations).
  • These amounts will be processed prior to the winter fee deadline of January 31, 2022, based on the information you provide about your return plans.

In the event the university does not return to in-person classes as of February 28, 2022, this program will be revisited.

If you choose to withdraw from residence and fully move out (which includes returning your keys) by January 23, you will not pay any winter term residence fees.

I want to move out; what do I do?

Fill out the Return to Residence Form to let us know you will be moving out. You need to make arrangements to fully move out by January 23, 2022. To be considered fully moved out, you need to have packed up your room and handed in your keys.

I want to move out, but I can’t come back to campus. What do I do?

We know that many of you have left for the break, and may not be able to return to campus to pack your belongings.  If this is the case, fill out the Return to Residence Form to let us know you will be moving out, but won’t be returning to Kingston.

You will need to mail your keys back to Queen’s Residences.  Please send them by trackable delivery service and send them in time for them to arrive by January 23, 2022.

Use this address:

ATTN: Victoria Hall Front Desk
Victoria Hall, 75 Bader Lane, Kingston ON, K7L3N8

The week of January 10, we will email you information about packing and shipping options for your belongings. Additional fees may apply.  You can also arrange for a friend or family member to come and pack/pick up items for you at no charge.

Can I still fill out the Return to Residence form in the Student Residence and Dining Portal?  What if my plans change from what I said initially?

The form will remain open, and you can access it to fill out or update your plans if they change.  Please note that any applicable refunds will be processed based on information received as of January 23rd.  Fee adjustments will be posted on SOLUS before January 31 (the fee payment deadline), based on information you provide  as of January 23, 2022.  Information or changes entered into the form after January 23rd will be reviewed and processed in SOLUS every two weeks through the end of February.

If I withdraw from residence and receive a full refunded of winter term fees, do I have the option to return in March when in-person classes resume?

If you choose to withdraw from residence, you are giving up your room and will need to move all personal belongings out of your room and hand in your keys by January 23rd, 2022.  If you later determine that you would like to return to residence in March, you may be granted a room based on availability and applicable Public Health considerations at that time. Please note that if a room is offered to you at that time, it is unlikely to be your current room and prorated residence fees will apply for the duration of your new stay.

What if I come back to residence earlier/later than I had planned- will that impact my fee adjustment?

If your return plans change, please go back to the Return to Residence form and update the information.  Your fee adjustment amount will be revised based on your updated return date.

Can I return to residence to pick up items in my room and still receive the fee adjustment?

If you need to briefly return to residence to pick up personal items, you are welcome to do so. Please note, however, that to receive the fee adjustment you are not permitted to access your meal plan or remain in residence. 

Do I need to have a third dose of the vaccine to return to residence?

The best protection is available if you are able to get your 3rddose before returning, and we strongly encourage all students returning to residence to get their third dose if possible prior to arrival back at Queen’s.

We understand that access to 3rd doses may be limited in some communities.  If you need to get a dose once you arrive back in Kingston, vaccines will be available at Student Wellness Services beginning January 14.  Visit the SWS website for additional details.

Are accommodations available for students who cannot return to campus for in-person classes?

On December 16, the university announced a return to in-person learning on February 28, 2022. For information regarding in-person classes and academic accommodations, please refer to your faculty’s website.


COVID-19 Residence FAQs

I’m sick, what should I do?

If you develop symptoms, are directed by a health care professional to self-isolate, or otherwise suspect that you may have COVID19, follow the instructions in the Residence isolation protocol.

What are preventative measures I can take?
  • Wear a mask
  • Maintain physical distance
  • Clean your hands often with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Cough and sneeze into the bend of your arm, not into your hand. Avoid touching your nose, mouth or eyes with your hands.
  • If you feel ill, follow the steps outlined in the Residence Isolation Protocol
  • Get your influenza vaccine – available on campus through Student Wellness Services.
  • Eat healthy foods and stay physically active to keep your immune system strong.
  • Get plenty of rest or sleep.
How is residence supporting physical distancing protocols?

Public health agencies across the globe are recommending physical and social distancing as a way to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Public health recommends that we maintain a 2-metre distance between ourselves and others, and refrain from shaking hands and other personal contact.

  • Residents have been assigned to designated lounges to limit the number of people accessing common spaces.
  • No guests are permitted in residence
  • Additional signage in residence is in place to raise awareness of handwashing and social distancing guidelines 

While these measures will help, it is up to all of us, individually, to adhere to the social distancing guidelines in order to keep our communities safe. 

What are the cleaning protocols in Residence?

Residences follow a strict cleaning protocol, including cleaning and disinfecting, with special attention being paid to high frequency touch points. See details here. High frequency touch points include:

i. Light switches
ii. Elevator buttons
iii. Door knobs/ handles
iv. Push/pull plates on doors
v. All washroom fixtures
vi. Water fountains
vii. Chair handles
viii. Soap/ hand sanitizer dispensers
ix. Paper dispensers
x. Handle rails

The soap/hand sanitizer dispenser is empty – who should I tell?

To report an empty dispenser, submit a Maintenance Request Order (MRO) via the Student Residence and Dining Portal.

Where can I find more COVID-19 general information?

The University is maintaining a website with the most up to date information- https://www.queensu.ca/safereturn/

Who can I contact if I have additional questions?

The University has set up an email account that you can direct any inquiries regarding COVID-19 to: safereturn@queensu.ca.  Or if your question is specific to residence, email reslife@queensu.ca