For now, schools are closed, but they’ll reopen again. And once they do, how things are done will have to change, cleaning included. The COVID-19 pandemic will inevitably have lasting effects on human behaviour. In regards to sanitation, we are all now well aware of just how long viruses can live in a variety of environments. This highly infectious virus has made us aware of how second-degree contact can spread infections. Going forward, methods and frequencies of cleaning commercial spaces will need to be more thorough. When schools are open again, these are some key areas and changes to focus on to prevent future spread of infections:
Regular cleaning of high-touch point areas
To prevent secondary contact infections, there are some key areas in schools where cross-contamination is likely. These high-touch point areas allow for germs and infections to easily spread from one person to another. Doorknobs, toilet flush levers, water fountain buttons, the inside lock on stalls or push plates on exit doors are high-touch point areas that tend to get ignored. According to studies, these surfaces contain a build-up of germs that cause influenza, Norovirus, MRSA and other infections that can be passed from one person to another. One measure to curb the spread of germs for high-touch point areas is regular cleaning and installing hand-sanitizing stations in these areas. Signage that encourages participation from all students should be placed near sinks, as well.
Special cleaning for hot spots of contamination
Cleaning the school restrooms should be a top priority. In all commercial spaces, schools included, restrooms often get extremely dirty and can be the source of spreading infections. To keep germs at bay, restrooms need regular cleaning using powerful detergents and disinfectants. All the mirrors, sinks, walls, stall doors and floors need regular cleaning. To avoid secondary contact infections, schools should also consider installing automated sensors that turn on sinks and flush the toilets. Instead of providing paper towels for drying hands, air dryers will reduce the number of paper towels that find their way on the floor after use.
According to the CDC, the spread of many diseases can be prevented by the frequent washing of hands. Although hiring professional cleaners is one right step towards reducing infections in schools, students need an education on how to maintain hygiene to reduce the spread of diseases. They need to know that cleaning is not just about appearance but specifically about health. Both your custodial staff and the students need to understand the important role they play in keeping the school community healthy. As a school therefore, you can come up with a hygiene module that focuses on infectious diseases that are spread through poor hygiene. Then, once you implement a hygiene routine, students will understand the essence of adhering to the set rules. Your staff will also understand why it’s necessary to enforce the set routines.
At Anago Cleaning Systems, we offer both residential and commercial cleaning in Winnipeg. Our professionals come well-equipped with effective cleaning and disinfecting agents needed to kill germs. To prepare your school for reopening and to continue to maintain cleanliness once the schools are open, contact us at (204) 594-4666 and we’ll send our team to your site.