Housing & Ancillary Cleaning Protocols

Updated: July 2021

Residence Facilities Services provide cleaning activities to standards endorsed by the Association of Physical Plant Administrators (APPA) for all locations in Residence buildings.  Each work category has been reviewed to ensure we continue to meet our designated cleaning standards.  We maintain a 7 days/ week cleaning schedule in order to sustain this level of cleanliness.

Students are expected to demonstrate proper shared space etiquette and use the materials provided for disinfecting common surfaces and equipment after individual use (washrooms, laundry room, study/lounge rooms, kitchens, etc.).  Students can request supplies for personal use for in-room cleaning, as needed.  In order to request these supplies, the student can submit a work request through the online portal at https://residences.housing.queensu.ca/residence-services/maintenance-requests/.  Cleaning kits are provided to staff who work in residence, for their use to clean individually assigned workspaces.  In addition to the issued cleaning kits, Facilities staff clean private offices once per month, however, garbage is removed during the general office frequency.

Areas for cleaning by students and staff include:

  • Personal tables, desks & chairs
  • Computers, small electronics & appliances
  • Counter spaces in common areas after individual use
  • In room door knobs & light switches

To further enhance our cleaning protocols, we have worked closely with our partners from Bunzl Canada to remain leaders in cleaning innovation technology.  We have implemented the wandaNEXT system which uses real-time data to target immediate needs as well as proactively refilling dispensing units to improve hygiene and reduce waste. 

The following outlines the cleaning activities by residence custodial staff as well as the frequency for each associated work category.  We have a two-tier program that incorporates a twice-daily disinfection in addition to our two-step cleaning process.  As the name suggests, the two-step cleaning process consists of two components; the first is cleaning the soiled surface and the second is disinfecting the soil-free surface.  The Facilities department uses hard surface disinfectants approved for use in Industrial, Hospital and Food Service environments by the Government of Canada.  Disinfection is applied in two primary techniques; spray bottle and microfiber cloth or electrostatic spraying technology.

Hand sanitizer dispensers are also available in all building entrances, elevators, near washrooms and common rooms. 

Twice Daily Disinfect of High Touch Points

­In order to remain in alignment with the guidance provided by KFL&A Public Health, we are continuing to clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces in public spaces within residences twice daily.  Public spaces include:

  • Communal & public washrooms        
  • Elevators
  • Student kitchen and lounge spaces
  • Hallways & stairwells
  • Laundry rooms
  • Garbage depots
  • General office space

Within these identified public spaces, the following have been identified as high touch surfaces:

  • Toilets & urinals
  • Elevator buttons
  • Light switches
  • Counters
  • Bannisters and handrails
  • Handles
  • Faucets and sinks
  • Common area furniture, etc.

Routine Daily, Facility Cleaning

The Facilities team also completes routine daily cleaning activities in the following areas:

  • Communal and public washrooms
  • Elevators
  • Student kitchen and lounge spaces
  • Hallways and stairwells
  • Laundry rooms
  • Garbage depots
  • Dining halls

The following cleaning activities take place in addition to the twice-daily disinfection already being completed in the areas mentioned above:

  • Dusting flat surfaces
  • Restocking soap & toilet paper
  • Picking up garbage
  • Sweeping & dust mopping floors
  • Wet mopping & auto scrubbing floors
  • Emptying trash containers and disinfecting garbage bins
  • Straightening furniture, etc.

Routine Weekly, Facility Cleaning

To further support the operation, facilities staff address lower utilized space on a weekly basis – such spaces include:

  • Meeting rooms
  • General offices

Within these identified areas, the following cleaning activities take place:

  • Dusting flat surfaces
  • Picking up garbage
  • Sweeping & dust mopping floors
  • Wet mopping & auto scrubbing floors
  • Emptying trash containers
  • Straightening furniture, etc.

Semi-Private Washrooms with Showers, Biweekly

  • Clean & disinfect toilets, sinks, mirrors, shower walls, door handles, faucets and spot disinfect of additional high frequency touch points on a bi-weekly basis
  • Restocking toilet paper, sweep & dust mop, wet mop and auto scrub floors

Cleaning protocols in the event of a confirmed COVID case in residence

The Residence Facilities team is trained to the Provincial Infectious Disease Advisory Committee (PIDAC) standard.  This provides them with the knowledge required to conduct isolation cleaning and disinfection of the space using recommended chemicals while utilizing the necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).  To learn more on PIDAC click on the link:  https://www.publichealthontario.ca/-/media/documents/b/2018/bp-environmental-cleaning.pdf?la=en

Quality Assurance Measures

The Facilities department has an active monitoring program in place, to ensure we meet our established quality standards.  We have seen very positive results when conducting worksite audits across our buildings and we are continuing to use Orange QC daily to validate our cleaning practices and take follow-up action as needed.

Orange QC is an app-based program that our Management team uses through their mobile devices.  It references user-created, building-specific inspection criteria that match the APPA cleaning standards.  Each Assistant Manager audits 15% of the spaces cleaned in their respective areas (APPA standard is 10%) on a daily basis.  The program provides the opportunity for our team to continuously improve our cleaning operation, by providing us with concrete feedback that can be quickly shared with the custodial staff.   It also allows us to retrieve inspection data by area to respond to any specific student concerns and ensure due diligence in achieving established cleaning standards.

  Residence Facilities Quality Policy

The Facilities department is dedicated to delivering high-quality housekeeping services throughout residence & conference season operations.  The following statements are the fundamental responsibilities of facilities staff and the supporting management team: 

  • Continuously monitor operations to enhance our residence facilities and to provide students with the most optimal residential setting to support their studies,
  • Frequently measure performance during the conference season to identify improvement opportunities while supporting our guests,
  • Implement effective Quality Assurance measures into our business practices to provide management information necessary for data based decisions,
  • Ensure staff and management work in a collaborative, team based manner, conducive to continuous improvement of day-to-day operations,
  • Utilization of approved cleaning supplies & disinfectants that supports recommended service levels and complies with industry standards and
  • Conform to statutory obligations, standards, specifications and codes of practices relevant to the Quality Assurance measures in place as well as additional tasks performed in residence

Ventilation in Residence

Properly functioning building ventilation is an important part of mitigating the risk of COVID-19 transmission within the Queen’s community.  That being said, a variety of mitigation measures are being implemented to optimize our HVAC systems.  It is important to note that Public Health measures such as vaccinations, face masks, robust cleaning protocols and good hygiene are critical components in reducing the transmission of the virus.  HVAC systems in good working order contribute to removing and diluting airborne particles, however, the systems alone will not eliminate the risk of virus. 

Working in partnership with our colleagues in Queen’s Facilities, the following measures have been put in place:

  • Increasing outdoor air intake
    • Residence air handling units have been optimized to ensure that the fresh air dampers are 100% open
    • This results in increased outdoor air being forced into the building
    • In some buildings, bedrooms are equipped with in room thermostats to adjust the temperature in the space.  As a result of this there is some air recirculation, however, it is exhausted through the bathroom exhaust fan
  • Increasing air exchanges by extending fan run time
    • All residence buildings are controlled through a Building Automaton System (BAS)
    • The BAS is the program that controls HVAC operation and has been tailored to have fans run continuously
  • Filter Replacements & Preventative Maintenance
    • New filters have been installed over the summer months
    • Each component of our HVAC system is accounted for in our Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) program, Archibus
    • This ensures that regular Preventative Maintenance Routines are completed based on the recommended frequency
    • In addition to filter replacements, the routines includes a visual inspection of the equipment as well as repairing any noted deficiencies
  • Operable windows
    • A comprehensive window assessment was completed in all residence buildings
    • Repair work is underway to ensure that all bedroom windows remain operable for student use upon their arrival

The above measures are in accordance with Public Health Ontario’s identified key measures associated with the transmission of COVID-19 in building ventilation.

In addition to these enhanced ventilation measures, there are a number of mitigation measures that students and staff can participate in to reduce the spread of the virus:

  • Get vaccinated
  • Follow recommended Public Health practices
  • Open windows
  • Avoid fans and window AC units
  • Report ventilation issues

Please report any window or ventilation issues to the Facilities Control Centre (FCC).