Hear from an expert: Audra Stockman
Amid the COVID-19 public health crisis, nothing is more top-of-mind than staying healthy. As the academic year approaches, schools nationwide are reevaluating their past sanitization procedures to ensure a successful reopening. In addition to social-distancing and mask guidelines championed by the CDC and other health agencies, these three simple steps can improve school sanitization and safeguard everyone’s health.
While research is still evolving for coronavirus, several chemicals have already shown to deactivate the virus and prevent infections. On July 7th, Lysol Disinfectant Spray and Disinfectant Max Cover Mist were the first two products deemed effective at killing COVID-19 by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA’s Emerging Viral Pathogens Policy allowed additional chemicals to hit the market effectively to kill COVID-19. These products effectively deactivate more difficult viruses and are likely to be useful against COVID-19. As we learn more about the virus, additional products will get certified as effective at cleaning contaminated surfaces.
Hayes Software Systems’ sanitization experts work directly with Spartan chemicals, ISSA, and OSHA to stay updated on approved chemicals. The team has a direct line in procuring chemicals to use in schools. All chemicals used on a school campus for sanitization should be EPA approved, Green Certified chemicals.
Proper methods for applying sanitizing chemicals vary from location to location, but several factors will increase cleanliness. Whether on school buses, in the cafeteria, or classrooms, using an electrostatic sprayer can ensure surfaces are coated more thoroughly than applying chemicals by hand. Focusing on high-touch areas is always recommended. The electrostatic sprayer uses charged ions to keep the chemicals adhered to the surfaces long enough to have their intended effects. Each product has recommended dwell times and should remain on the surface for at least the manufacturer’s minimum recommendation (generally several minutes). An electrostatic sprayer is ideal for cleaning large areas. For smaller and more delicate jobs such as disinfecting computers, microfiber rags will suffice. Once the chemicals have reached their dwell time, wipe off the excess with clean rags.
Sanitization is an ongoing process, and schools should be prepared with regular and periodic cleaning processes to mitigate any virus on surfaces. High-touch surfaces should be prioritized and cleaned daily. In the case of an outbreak, best practices dictate a focus on areas the contaminated individual(s) occupied for a deep clean and disinfecting. Regular, planned sanitization procedures can effectively mitigate additional costs from outbreaks due to poor cleanliness and unchecked spread of COVID-19.
Our team of professionals is continuously enhancing sanitization processes to ensure successful re-openings and maintenance for customers. As the academic year approaches, we are committed to providing the most up to date and comprehensive cleaning and sanitization based on CDC recommendations and our industry knowledge. We look forward to sharing our best practices in your facility.
Contact us to learn about how we can help you support your school system with ongoing sanitization services.
About Audra Stockman
Audra Stockman is the Vice President of Operations for Xclusive Janitorial Services, an industry-leading cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitization staffing company. Audra has managed sanitization, cleaning, and disinfecting services across industries, including K-12, Hospitality, and Medical. Audra and her team hold accreditations from John Hopkins, ISSA, and OSHA.
Xclusive Janitorial Services is the industry leader and trusted partner to hundreds of clients across industries nationwide. As the preferred partner of multiple national hospitality companies, Xclusive Janitorial Services has grown to meet client needs for over 20 years.
Hayes Software Systems has been committed to supporting K-12 educators since 1990. Hayes was founded by an educator who believed in impacting the lives of students by supporting school staff. Used in over 9,000 schools, including over 35 of the largest 100 school systems in the country, Hayes’ solutions impact over 8,000,000 students. As the educational landscape shifts, we are constantly shifting, too.