COVID-19 outbreak declared at downtown construction site – Kingston News


The regular activity that has been occurring consistently at 495 Princess Street since well before September 2020 has ceased.

The construction site – the future site of Unity Place, a 10-plus story penthouse building with 195 suites overlooking one of downtown Kingston’s busiest intersections at Princess Street and University Avenue – is currently closed, having declared an outbreak of COVID-19 on Tuesday, December 7, 2021. Construction officially began on the site on September 6, 2020.

Work on the construction site at 495 Princess Street (south side of the road) was halted following the declaration of a COVID-19 outbreak there on Tuesday, December 7, 2021. Photo by Penny Cadue.

According to public health data from Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington (KFL & A), there are currently four cases involved in the outbreak, all of which are currently active.

The first case at the construction site was detected on Monday, December 6, 2021, according to James Wilkinson, vice president of construction at Podium Developments, the company behind the development at 495 Princess Street.

KFL & A Public Health and the Department of Labor were contacted immediately and the company followed Public Health’s instructions, Wilkinson explained. Then, another case was detected the next day.

“We learned of more than one case on Tuesday when we closed the site and as a result of KFL & A [Public Health]direction of – They asked at that time that everyone go to be tested – So we have been participating since Monday in supporting their contact tracing efforts, ”he said.

Wilkinson said that while the turn of events was unfortunate, Podium Developments had protocols in place to deal with such circumstances.

“Unfortunately, it has become a routine,” said Wilkinson. “It’s never a good time to stop working, but we try to maintain a positive and safe work environment for everyone, so that’s kind of normal for the course. “

While it is currently not known when the outbreak will end and work will resume on the site, Wilkinson said his company was working ‘hand in hand’ with KFL & A Public Health to ensure the situation is addressed. in the safest and most efficient way possible.

“We just let them know the second we hear about anything and work closely with them,” he said, noting that the Ministry of Labor has expressed satisfaction with the company. following public health guidelines on this subject.

“I am on the phone with them five times a day. We communicate back and forth about what we each know, and communicate outward to our partners on projects from there.

Aside from the outbreak and the ensuing work stoppage, things are going well on the construction site, Wilkinson said.

“It is going very well. We are on schedule and preparing for our delivery of Phase 1 on May 1, ”he said, referring to the planned completion date of the project in May 2022.

“We’re going to get over this. “


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