Compared with previous years, this past weekend saw a significant decrease in student celebrations of St. Patrick’s Day. Our hospital and emergency services reported a decrease in calls and visits related to celebrations. We are thankful that the impact on the community was lessened and that many students listened to our communication last week and chose not to participate.
Unfortunately, a significant number of individuals still participated in mass social gatherings. Each day we see more cases of COVID-19 across the globe. Although Canada’s numbers are relatively low, there is increasing evidence of community spread of COVID-19 in parts of Ontario, and the Kingston area will eventually have cases as well. Prevention and slowing the spread of the illness are our best defences and part of that prevention is immediate action to create social distancing. Spread comes from close contact and the more we can put in place practices that limit that spread, the more able we will be to lessen the impact on our community once cases start to emerge.
St. Patrick’s Day is this week and we cannot see a repeat of events over the weekend. Shortly, we are expecting to see even more strict guidelines from public health officials on social gatherings. We are asking everyone to help keep our community safe and be socially responsible during this critical time, and we are working together to ensure this happens.
Patrick Deane, Queen’s Principal and Vice-Chancellor
Auston Pierce, AMS President
Jeremy Ambraska, SGPS President