Satellite COVID-19 testing centre set up on Queen’s University campus

Mitchell Hall on Union Street in the heart of Queen’s University campus in Kingston, Ont., is now a COVID-19 assessment centre.

It is open Monday to Friday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Cynthia Gibney, executive director of Student Wellness Services says the satellite assessment centre is aimed specifically at the newly returned students.

“If they travelled or if they had been in contact with someone that’s COVID-positive those are the students we want to see here.”

Read more: COMMENTARY: How universities are being put to the test by the pandemic

Gibney says there are several reasons for the limited hours.

There are fewer people in Mitchell Hall in the evenings, students classes are completed by that time of the day and there are the logistics of arranging to have three nurses on site.

Story continues below advertisement

“Some of them have other jobs that are working in the day — they come here in the evening.”

Coronavirus: Actor, ‘certified young person’ Paul Rudd urges younger generations to wear masks in comedic PSA
Coronavirus: Actor, ‘certified young person’ Paul Rudd urges younger generations to wear masks in comedic PSA

Over the last two weekends, Kingston police have been kept busy responding to noise complaints in the university district where many students live.

[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]

This past weekend police responded to 108 calls between Friday and Sunday.

Two of the calls led to charges laid under the Reopening Ontario Act — one for a gathering of more than 50 people inside and one for a gathering of more than 100 people outside.

Read more: Coronavirus pandemic forces Queen’s University to change up first year students’ move-in

Provost and Vice-Principal Academic Mark Green says the assessment centre is just one of many safety precautions taken by the university since students have returned.

Story continues below advertisement

“Really looking at this as one tool as part of a comprehensive strategy of everything that we’ve put in place to make the Queen’s community, as well as the overall community, as safe as possible.”

Coronavirus: Canada’s top doctor says government attempting to better reach young people
Coronavirus: Canada’s top doctor says government attempting to better reach young people

While the test site is on university campus it’s a partnership run by Kingston Health Sciences Centre.

KHSC President Dr. David Pichora says the new assessment centre may address long line-ups consistently occurring at the main testing site currently located in the Leon’s Centre.

“We anticipate this satellite will, and we’re trying to focus on the symptomatic students. Fortunately so far there aren’t many of those, we hope it stays that way and during that time we can do some load balancing.”

Students wanting a COVID-19 test need to book an appointment in advance of showing up at the new university campus assessment centre.

Story continues below advertisement

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.