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. The custodial staff should also be trained in proper use of the UV disinfection R-Zero machine as another means of disinfecting large areas.
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 process of disinfecting frequently touched items in a classroom by the custodian. The custodian should utilize all approved disinfection methods and products based on the most recent training and instruction provided by the Operations Unit in Facilities.
However, there are also instances where cleaning and disinfection need to be done during the instructional day, while students are present. To ensure everyone’s safety, products from individual homes should not be brought onto campus to clean soiled surfaces or disinfect. CCSD has purchased a restock supply for every school of the sanitizing wipes that can be used by teachers and students. The wipes are safe for use on surfaces as well as hands. Additional wipes can also be ordered 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. The sanitizing wipes will be delivered to the school sites in the next few weeks directly from Brady with a second restocking delivery in November 2021.
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 clean and disinfect high touch surfaces and at the end of each day, in preparation for the next school day.