Cleaning and Disinfecting in the time of Covid-19
Cleaning and disinfecting are part of a broad approach to prevent infectious diseases, including COVID-19, in schools. To help slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, preventive measures include staying home when sick, social distancing, using masks, washing hands often, and regular cleaning and disinfection.
District staff have conducted extensive investigation into the solutions and methods to properly and safely disinfect surfaces. There is currently only one approved product and method for safely applying disinfectant in large quantities. The Clorox 360 systems have been purchased and are currently being operated by the Operations Department when large scale, labor intensive disinfecting is required. Training and required personal protective equipment have already been addressed for staff qualified to operate these electrostatic machines.
Any individual sites that want to purchase additional machines or have a unique situation that needs to be individually researched to make sure safe and proper disinfection is taking place, must contact the Safety office at 702-799-6496 Ext. 5650 or at Safety@nv.ccsd.net prior to any site-based purchase. The Safety office will immediately research the needs of the site and provide appropriate guidance on how to proceed before any monies are spent on unnecessary and/or ineffective disinfection materials. All recommendations have been verified to meet Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requirements to specifically address COVID-19 cleaning and disinfecting protocols as well as following all Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) regulations.
Cleaning physically removes germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces or objects by using soap (or detergent) and water. This process does not necessarily kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.
Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces or objects. Disinfecting works by using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces or objects. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection. Clean surfaces and objects using soap and water prior to disinfection.
CCSD has developed a video tutorial for the process of disinfecting frequently touched items in a classroom by the teacher. The video is available at the following link. The custodian should prepare the disinfection spray bottle for individual employees and personal protective equipment should be used as instructed in the video. Classroom Disinfecting Tutorial
However, there are also instances where disinfection is not necessary and a simple cleaning will achieve the desired results. When students are assigned to a work area in the future, the need to safely clean their work surfaces is important. In order to ensure everyone’s safety, products from individual homes should not be brought onto campus to clean soiled surfaces. CCSD has included sanitizing wipes in the SAP custodial catalog, available from Brady Industries. (Simply search “wipes” in the catalog) The product has been evaluated to ensure it will meet all cleaning needs without introducing any harmful chemicals to the user. The wipes do not require any special personal protective equipment for use. An initial order of dispenser buckets and sanitizing wipes has been delivered to the school sites directly from Brady.
It is highly recommended that student and teacher work surfaces are cleaned before and after any activities involving food and when surfaces are visibly soiled. Out of an abundance of caution, the Health District is recommending the following:
- In classrooms where children have been observed eating off of their desks, a paper placemat should be placed on the desk prior to meal time for use in preventing contamination of the food by the disinfectant residue left on the desk by the wipe. This placemat could be a paper towel or other appropriate paper product.
Blood and other bodily fluids should be cleaned using established protocols for bloodborne pathogens by trained staff members. Custodians will continue to clean and disinfect high touch surfaces and at the end of each day, in preparation for the next school day utilizing establish methods and products.