With St. Paddy’s coming up soon and growing concerns surrounding the spread of COVID-19, we are advising you to avoid large crowds and hosting friends from out of Kingston this weekend. Our advice is due to the increased risk to our community. As an age cohort that is not significantly threatened by COVID-19, we need to be aware that we may carry the virus and present a risk to more vulnerable members of our population. Additionally, we are currently unaware of who will be visiting Kingston this weekend for celebrations and can therefore not assume that individuals from outside of our region are not carriers of the virus. We understand that making the decision to stay away is not the decision that students want to make, but we feel it is the right one given the current situation and the potential risks that we could pose to our community. If you have evaluated the risks and are still choosing to participate in the celebrations, we have put together a list of tips for you to stay as safe as possible out there:
Don’t share bottles/cans/joints/darts
We know you love your friends, but this year sharing may not be caring. Make sure you’re the only one drinking from the can/bottle/cup, spread the love by NOT spreading germs!
Swap out the beer in beer pong for water
STOP. Think about the number of hands that have touched the pong ball that just fell into your cup. Now, just take a sip from your can and move the cup aside.
Don’t kiss everyone who says they’re Irish (They’re probably lying)
COVID-19 spreads from person to person through close contact. Symptoms are mild to non-existent in healthy people of our age group and may not be apparent for up to 14 days after infection, even though the individual is still contagious during this time. The only way to accurately diagnose someone is through testing.
Stay home if you or your friends aren’t feeling well
There will be days to rally, this isn’t one of them. If you, or your friends have a cough, sore throat, or are feeling ill in any way, stay home this year – it isn’t just your health at risk and we want to create a safe environment for all our peers, especially those of us who are most vulnerable.
Don’t be gross
Wash your hands often with soap and water; practice cough etiquette (cough into your sleeve); avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; and avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Be mindful of our healthcare system and party responsibly.
Too much alcohol too quickly can lead to alcohol poisoning; drinking on the roof could land you in the emergency room; keep your celebrations grounded. Keeping our emergency departments and hospitals clear helps to relieve the burden on our physicians, nurse practitioners and other health professionals in our community. ANYONE WHO SUSPECTS THAT THEY ARE INFECTED SHOULD NOT GO TO ANY HOSPITAL OR HEALTH UNIT. Please instead isolate yourself and call one of the following:
Student Wellness Services at 613-533-2506
OR KFL&A Public Health at 613-549-1232
OR TeleHealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000
Be mindful of your guests
As diseases spread through travel, this year might be a good year to spend more time with your housemates and encourage your friends to come out next year.
Don’t panic and be respectful
The risk in Kingston is LOW. You are unlikely to contract the virus if you are taking all precautions. Please do not resort to fear or be disrespectful to anyone else in our community. Now, more than ever, it is important that we support one another in this very confusing and difficult time.
For any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact Ananya Chakraborty, Director of Communications at firstname.lastname@example.org
Alma Mater Society (AMS) – //www.myams.org
The central undergraduate student government at Queen’s University, the AMS represents over 18,000 students and is the oldest student government in Canada. There are over 1,000 student volunteers and 700 paid staff.