Updated March 10, 2022
NOTE that the requirements outlined in this protocol may be subject to change, based on the evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The management of the COVID19 pandemic is evolving as the Omicron variant continues to circulate in our area. In response to the changing landscape, we have amended the Residence Isolation Protocol to align with the current requirements and guidance from Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington Public Health and the Government of Ontario.
General Public Health measures continue to be critically important:
- Students are required to wear a mask when in any common spaces within residence buildings. Single layer cloth masks are insufficient protection against the highly transmissible Omicron variant. Students are required to wear an ASTM F2100 Level 2 medical-grade mask indoors on campus. Fit is important – make sure the mask is well-fitted to your face, and covers your mouth, nose and chin. Residents are able to pick up a box of 50 masks from the dining halls. Masks are available for purchase at various locations on campus.
- Complete daily screening through the SeQure app. A ‘green badge’ is needed to enter dining halls.
- Practice good hand hygiene. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use the hand sanitizer available throughout residence buildings.
- Maintain physical distancing while in common areas (elevators, hallways, common kitchens).
- Cleaning materials and instructions are available for use in individual spaces/fixtures where needed.
- Residence common kitchens are supplied with additional cleaning materials and instructions, which students are expected to use during/after use of kitchen common counters, appliances or equipment.
- All front line staff are trained in safe workplace procedures, and provided PPE where necessary.
Per the University’s Vaccination Policy, the residence population is fully vaccinated. Students are strongly encouraged to obtain a third vaccine dose. 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 book their third dose here. Vaccines are also available on campus through Student Wellness Services.
n light of the updated PCR testing eligibility for Ontario, most residence students will not be eligible for PCR tests to confirm positive cases of COVID19. Currently, all students with symptoms of COVID19 will be presumed positive and must follow isolation and/or self-monitoring guidelines (outlined below).
RATs can be used to reasonably confirm COVID19, but please note that a negative result on a RAT is not a definitive confirmation that you are not infected. If you are symptomatic and do not conduct two tests as noted below, you must self-isolate for five days.
A limited supply of Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) are available for pick up from the Victoria Hall and Jean Royce Hall front desks. You are able to take one box, which contains five tests. 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).
If You Develop Symptoms of COVID-19
Given the prevalence of the Omicron variant, symptomatic isolation provides us with the best protection against the spread of the virus.
COVID19 symptoms include:
- fever or chills
- shortness of breath
- decreased or loss of taste or smell
- two or more of:
- runny nose or nasal congestion
- extreme fatigue
- sore throat
- muscle aches or joint pain
- gastrointestinal symptoms (such as vomiting or diarrhea)
If you develop symptoms of COVID19, you must follow the provincial guidelines for symptomatic individuals; in the residence setting this includes:
- Self-isolate in your own room for 5 days from symptom onset (provided you are fully vaccinated).
- Isolation is considered complete at the end of the 5 day period, as long as symptoms have been improving for 24 hours (48 hours if symptoms are gastrointestinal). If you test negative on two RATs administered at least 24hrs apart, you may end your isolation, provided that symptoms have improved (see Testing, above).
- If you are immunocompromised, you must isolate for 10 days from symptom onset.
- If there is a unique circumstance that would suggest isolating in place is a concern, contact the front desk and request assistance from the manager-on-call.
- Notify all your close contacts and advise them that you have developed symptoms and are presumed positive for COVID-19. Please see below for additional requirements regarding roommates and close contacts. Close contacts are defined as:
- Your roommate, if applicable.
- Someone you were within less than 2 meters of for 15 minutes or longer (masked or unmasked).
- Someone you had multiple close encounters within the span of 24hrs (even if individual contacts were less than 15 minutes).
- Someone you had close physical contact with (ex. Hug or handshake) within 24 hours
- Register for takeout meals from the dining hall via the Isolation Meal Form on the Residence and Dining Portal.
- Remain in your residence room. You may leave your residence room wearing a mask only when:
- using shared washroom facilities
- picking up take-out meals from the dining hall; note that you may not enter the servery to select your own items – you must pre-order and come to the dining hall only for pick up.
- picking up urgent parcels (eg pharmacy items)
- non-urgent items may be picked up when your isolation period ends
- evacuating in the event of an emergency, or seeking urgent medical care
- Isolating students are not permitted to:
- have close contact with other students or staff (do not enter other students’ rooms)
- access common rooms, lounges or laundry facilities
- use campus facilities (ex. libraries, labs, in-person resources)
- access seated dining (if/when applicable) or servery areas in dining halls and retail locations
If you are identified as a roommate/close contact
If you have potentially been exposed to a positive case of COVID19, the symptomatic individual will reach out to notify you directly. It is important to have conversations regarding COVID19 safety measures within your friend group(s) to ensure that everyone understands the notification requirements, and the importance of limiting close contact.
If If you are notified of a potential exposure, you must follow the provincial guidelines for individuals who may have been exposed.
- If you are a roommate of a potential exposure, you are required to isolate per the above protocol for five days (10 days for immunocompromised individuals), with the following exceptions:Monitor yourself closely for symptoms
- Individuals 18 years of age or older who have received their booster dose are not required to self-isolate.
- Individuals under 18 years of age who are fully vaccinated are not required to self-isolate.
- Individuals who have tested positive for COVID19 in the last 90 days (based on RAT or molecular test results) are not required to self-isolate.
- If you are identified as a close contact (non-roommate), or are a roommate who is exempt from isolating (per above), or you have completed your five-day isolation but are within 10 days of the exposure:
- Monitor yourself closely for symptoms for 10 days from date of exposure.
- If symptoms develop, follow the isolation protocol above.
- Please note that negative RAT results do not decrease the length of time for self-monitoring.
- Continue to wear a well-fitted mask in all public settings, including when outside of your residence room. Masks can be removed in reasonable circumstances (ie. When eating/drinking), but as much physical distancing should be maintained as possible.
- You may continue participation in activities where masks can be worn (ex. Class attendance), but should avoid activities where you would be unmasked (ex. optional social gatherings/parties).
- You do not need to notify any of your close contacts, unless you also develop symptoms or have a positive test result and need to isolate per above protocol.
- Monitor yourself closely for symptoms for 10 days from date of exposure.
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