Queen’s University principal Patrick Deane has confirmed the school’s “optimism” for in-person learning in the fall, despite the current dire state of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement released Wednesday, Deane said “the imminent rollout of vaccines” has allowed the university to plan for “a brighter future.”
“Because of what our public health experts are predicting, in fact, the university is planning for a resumption of in-person activity in September,” Deane said.
Deane said the school is still working out the details, and many things are still unknown, but the university is operating on the assumption that mass vaccinations will lift many of the current restrictions, which in turn will allow for on-campus classes.
“As we have done throughout the last year, we will continue to work with local public health, and follow whatever guidelines they and the province provide. Keeping our community safe and healthy is integral to all our planning for the future,” Deane said.
It’s a decision that’s already been made by two other local post-secondary institutions, St. Lawrence College and Loyalist College.
Queen’s has taken longer to decide on the matter. Just recently, a major COVID-19 outbreak erupted on campus, with 80 cases linked to the school over the two week period from March 8 to March 21.
Although Dr. Kieran Moore said the outbreak eventually got under control, in just under the last two days, Queen’s has reported 21 cases linked to the school, all of which were found off-campus.
About a quarter of all cases recorded in the Kingston region have been linked to the university.
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