In his final press conference, Dr. Kieran Moore, the chief medical officer of health for Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington (KFL&A) Public Health has endorsed a mandatory immunization policy for post-secondary students living in residence this fall.
Currently, the chief medical officer of health says he’s working diligently with Queen’s University to have both an immunization and testing strategy in place for August, before students return in the fall.
While no decision has been made on a vaccination policy in residences at Queen’s University, Dr. Moore says he endorses it. “We absolutely endorse a policy on immunization within residences, to best protect people living in congregate settings and limit the spread [of COVID-19),” said Dr. Moore. He also recommends that workers be vaccinated as best as possible given that Queen is a major employer in the community.
The endorsement comes following multiple outbreaks that occurred over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. By May 2021, Queen’s residences saw 38 positive cases in its residences.
Although Dr. Moore encourages an immunization policy in university residences, he also emphasized that the decision lies within the jurisdiction of the university.
“It only makes living in residence safer and there’s still room to have an exemption if needed,” said Dr. Moore. He also applauded Dr. Moore Western University for setting a precedent in Ontario.
According to Queen’s Residences, it is not required but strongly encouraged that everyone be fully vaccinated as soon as possible. “While it’s not required to get a vaccine, we will be collecting data with respect to vaccination status when you self-select your room in order to plan for availability of second doses if needed and operational considerations such as increasing common room capacity and the delivery of in-person programming,” wrote Queen’s Residences on their website.
Moore is expected to replace Dr. Williams as Chief Medical Officer of Health of Ontario on June 26th, 2021. Queen’s University did not reply to our request for comment at the time of publication.