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City of Kingston addresses cleaning costs for former Fairfield Manor sites

The former Fairfield Manor West site is now home to the Kingston Self-Isolation Centre. Photo by Cris Vilela.

At their meeting held Tuesday, Jun. 23, 2020, Kingston City Council received a report for information that outlined the cleaning costs associated with the former Fairfield Manor sites.

The two sites – formerly Fairfield Manor West on Ridley Court, and Fairfield Manor East on McLean Court – are currently being rented by the City of Kingston. The west end location is currently serving as the Kingston Self-Isolation Centre, and the east end location is currently serving as the Kingston Physical Distancing Shelter.

According to the report brought before Council, the cleaning costs associated with opening the sites totalled $200,000. However, the City’s Department of Housing and Social Services clarified that that number was an estimated amount. According to the City, the actual approximate cost of the cleaning services was $186,000 from March to July, 2020.

“The City was fortunate to be able to secure Fairfield Manor East and West, facilities that could allow people who were homeless appropriate living spaces for physical distancing and individual rooms for people to self-isolate when they had no other suitable place to do so,” Housing and Social Services told Kingstonist in an email.

“These facilities had to be made ready to use quickly and safely in the midst of an emerging pandemic.”

The cleaning of these sites followed the Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Guidance: Congregate Living for Vulnerable Populations, the City explained. That cleaning included:

  • The cleaning and disinfection of all high-touch surfaces that are touched and/or frequently used by residents, staff and essential visitors at least twice daily, and when visibly dirty. This includes items such as door handles, kitchen surfaces and small appliances, light switches, elevator buttons, televisions, remotes, phones, computers, tablets, medicine cabinets, sinks, and toilets, and is in additional to daily routine cleaning.
  • The cleaning of items used by different residents between each resident use.
  • The thorough cleaning of common areas, including bathrooms, at least twice daily and when visibly dirty.
  • The cleaning of mattresses between residents and the supply of clean bedding to each all residents, in addition to a regular bedding cleaning schedule.
  • Providing clean towels to each resident (with instructions not to share) and the replacement of hand towels with single-use paper towels.
  • The cleaning of the exterior of the buildings if/when there is a concern that residents might pick up cigarette butts and other debris from the areas outside the facilities
  • The cleaning of the vehicles used for transporting residents between uses.

The City said that the cleaning fees also included the costs of:

  • Supplies and chemicals
  • Personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Laundry
  • Toiletries

Additionally, the Kingston Self-Isolation Centre was operating under a medical model at the time, which required additional cleaning and guidelines to meet the standards set by Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington (KFL&A) Public Health’s Infection Prevention and Control Team. Some of those additional measures included donning and doffing of PPE, separate staff entrances, and the use of full PPE.

The Department of Housing and Social Services said the above answers to the costs “reflect the urgency and care the City brought to this task starting in March.”

The Kingston Physical Distancing Shelter (which includes the relocated In from the Cold shelter) site includes 43 bedrooms, and has served 75 people since it opened. The Kingston Self-Isolation Centre site includes 33 bedrooms, and has served 23 people since it opened.

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