Hear from an expert: Audra Stockman, VP of Operations at Xclusive Janitorial Services
As information changes daily, it might feel challenging to keep up with the latest steps schools can take to decrease the spread of COVID-19. Even as we get inundated with information, here are a few everyday constants you can incorporate into your school to reduce overall risk.
While wearing masks and frequent handwashing is undoubtedly essential when reducing the spread of viruses, increased sanitization of high-touch areas should be a high priority. High-touch surfaces are a common culprit for spreading germs. We recommend schools sanitize high-touch surfaces at least daily to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. When possible, additional sanitization every 30 minutes to an hour on high-touch surfaces is recommended. Studies have shown that even daily disinfection of desks in classrooms can cut absenteeism by up to 50%. Educational facilities will need solutions tailored and developed to their unique needs in order to minimize risks during the entire school day.
Here are some of the high-risk, high-touch areas that school districts should pay extra attention to, and recommended sanitization processes.
(Recommendations vary by location and surface)
We recommend the use an electrostatic sprayer to begin effective school bus sanitization. Using an electrostatic sprayer ensures that the sanitizing chemicals reach all parts of the bus and adhere long enough to disinfect and sanitize surfaces thoroughly. Further, prevent the spread of the virus by additional cleaning of high-touch surfaces between the morning and afternoon bus routes. Pay particular care to sanitize seats and handles during mid-day sanitation. We have found the most infected area to be the door, the main steps, and the handle to open the door. We recommend sanitizing this area as you enter the bus and as you complete the job.
Outdoor areas like playgrounds generally require standard, routine cleaning but do not require full-scale disinfection. It’s not recommended to clean wooden surfaces, as there is no evidence that it can reduce the spread of COVID-19. Additionally, it’s not effective to sanitize mulch, sand, and other porous groundcovers. Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces such as plastics and metals found on play structures regularly. Railings, tables, chairs, grab-bars, and other plastic and metal surfaces should be sanitized just as thoroughly as doorknobs and sink faucets. Electrostatic sprayers will allow for full coverage of the surfaces and disinfection.
Cafeterias are critical areas to focus on when sanitizing schools. The combination of large groups of students congregating and food consumption makes dining areas particularly vulnerable. Surfaces such as tables, chairs, serving, and prep areas should be the central focus. Sanitizing with an electrostatic sprayer is efficient and effective, increasing the speed at which schools can complete the process, resulting in safe utilization of the space even during peak hours. In dining areas, all chemicals should be wiped off after use to prevent accidentally ingesting chemicals if they are touched.
A professionally developed sanitization program protects the health of students and staff as well as reducing missed instruction time. The upcoming academic year is unique. It is more crucial than ever before to develop a rigorous cleaning program to set students and faculty up for success in a safe and healthy learning environment.
Contact us to learn 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.