Kingston police bust 2 gatherings for breaking COVID-19 restrictions in university district

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Kingston police say officers were repeatedly called out to the university district over the weekend to deal with loud and boisterous behaviour, and also busted two gatherings that exceeded the province’s COVID-19 limits.

Two fines were handed out over the weekend to residents in the university district for holding a gathering that exceeded the 50-person indoor limit and the 100-person outdoor limit.

Read more: Queen’s associate professor speaks out about students not adhering to COVID-19 protocols

On Sept. 12, around 1 a.m., police say they busted an indoor party exceeding the 50-person limit on Johnson Street.

The next morning, on Sept. 13, around 12:10 a.m., police say a gathering of over 100 people was broken up on Garrett Street.

The Reopening Ontario Act fines were the first of their kind handed out in the city, and amounted to $ 880 each, according to police.

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On top of those two gatherings, police say between Friday and Sunday, officers responded to 108 noise complaints in the university district. This is in addition to the 255 university district noise complaints called in between Aug. 28 and Sept. 11.

This past weekend, police laid 55 Liquor Licence Act charges and dolled out 27 Administration Monetary Penalties — 21 for noise, five for shouting and one failure to comply with an emergency order.

On top of that, police say three automobile insurance charges were laid.

Queen’s University enacts a range of measures to keep staff & students safe when they return to residence
Queen’s University enacts a range of measures to keep staff & students safe when they return to residence

Just last week, an associate professor at Queen’s, Jeff Masuda, pleaded with the university in an open letter to curb the partying in the university district.

In his letter, Masuda says he witnessed several “pods” of students drinking in the university district early Sunday morning. He also claims partying students have treated the university district like a giant outdoor bar.

Queen’s University issued a statement last week addressing Masuda’s concerns, saying, in part, “Queen’s takes the safety of the community very seriously,” adding that they “want to assure the community that they will continue to impress upon students the importance of adhering to public health guidelines during these challenging times.

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Queen’s has yet to respond to a request for comment concerning the new numbers of infractions issued this past weekend.

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

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