Top Areas in Your School That May Need Cleaning and Disinfection

Ever since COVID-19 emerged on the scene, public health has been top of mind for so many people. While the pandemic has since slowed down, educational institutions must remain vigilant to protect the health and well-being of all students, faculty, and staff, especially now as the vast majority of schools have returned to full-time, in-person instruction. The school year has already begun in most regions of the U.S., which means those in charge of facility management must stay on top of comprehensive maintenance or else risk the transmission of contagious diseases such as COVID-19 and this year’s strain of influenza. And while every area of a particular campus requires ongoing attention, some areas are bound to harbor more germs and contaminants than others.

Let’s explore the areas in your school that require the most attention when it comes to cleaning and disinfection, so you keep your bases covered.

High-Touch Surfaces

While SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes the disease COVID-19) primarily spreads through the air, many transmissible diseases jump from person to person via fomites – objects or materials that can easily carry infectious germs. Put simply, if something is touched by multiple people on a regular basis, it can become a major flashpoint for the spread of disease. These high-touch surfaces include doorknobs, shared keyboards, desks, countertops, furniture, faucets, toilets – the list goes on. These commonly used and shared objects should be primary targets for cleaning and disinfection services each and every day. By frequently and properly removing and/or killing the germs that linger on these surfaces, you greatly reduce the likelihood of disease transmission and create a more sanitary environment for every occupant.

Spaces with the Most Traffic and Activity

Building cleaning and disinfection shouldn’t just be aimed at specific high-touch surfaces – they should also target highly active areas. Many areas within a school or campus receive high levels of traffic and activity due to their location or nature. High-traffic spaces include hallways, common areas, gymnasiums, locker rooms, bathrooms, and more. In addition to receiving significant levels of direct human contact, these spaces also experience plenty of air and respiratory droplet transfer from talking, breathing, laughing, singing, and so on. Enclosed spaces with lots of people and restricted airflow provide the perfect conditions for the spread of airborne viruses like SARS-CoV-2 and countless others.

Cleaning and disinfection surfaces in these areas is certainly warranted, but these efforts should be combined with improved ventilation, filtration, and air purification for the best results. Many schools have begun upgrading their interior air systems to improve indoor air quality (IAQ) and reduce disease transmission now that in-person learning is back in full effect. At The Budd Group, our BreatheWell Program has helped many educational facilities provide a safer and healthier indoor environment for their students, faculty, and staff.

Wherever Food is Prepared and Eaten

This category certainly overlaps with the previous two (high-touch surfaces and high-traffic areas), but it’s worth its own mention for multiple reasons. For starters, food preparation is fraught with germs, which is why those charged with handling, cooking, and distributing food in any facility must take proper precautions such as thorough hand-washing, wearing single-use gloves and hairnets, following cooking instructions carefully, taking the food’s temperature when required, etc. Cleaning and disinfection staff also have a part to play in ensuring that all prepared food is safe for consumption by regularly cleaning equipment, trays, and utensils, wiping down cafeteria tables and chairs, and maintaining clean, sanitary floors.

Additionally, the places people eat food may be large and varied (not everyone eats their meals in the cafeteria or other designated eating zones). Your school’s cleaning staff must be large and aware enough to keep all of these food-related areas clean and disinfected to minimize the transmission of germs at every step.

Wherever Students, Faculty, and Staff Spend Lots of Time

While hallways, gyms, and bathrooms receive plenty of use, most students and instructors spend the majority of their time on campus inside classrooms – teachers also linger in offices and lounges throughout the day. These spaces aren’t bustling, per se, but they are filled with people for prolonged periods of time, giving germs ample opportunity to spread on surfaces and through the air. Facility maintenance staffers must keep these rooms in mind when developing and executing their cleaning strategy, too. A key aspect of our aforementioned BreatheWell Program is installing in-room air purification systems in classrooms, offices, and lounges to keep contagious germs at bay in these areas throughout the day. Additionally, chairs, desks, countertops, doorknobs, and other surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected frequently.

Is Your School Equipped to Keep its Surfaces and Spaces Sanitary?

In recent articles, we’ve discussed how many schools across the country are struggling with labor shortages, especially when it comes to janitorial and maintenance staff positions. Lacking the necessary labor force in these areas is a major liability for your educational institution, as it places all occupants at greater risk of catching and spreading illnesses. The Budd Group is determined to help schools in our service area shore up their facility support staff to stay on top of all necessary maintenance tasks throughout the school year.

To learn more about our wide range of services, custom solutions, and comprehensive facility support programs, give us a call today at 800-221-8158! And for detailed advice on school cleaning and disinfection, reference the CDC’s official recommendations here.

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