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Top 5 Considerations for Reopening Schools

School will look a lot different this fall as compared to last when much of the country suspended in-person learning and went remote. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its guidelines in May to allow three feet of social distancing space, rather than the previous six. Now that over 80 percent of teachers and administrators have received at least one vaccine dose, the benefits of attending school at the building far outweigh the risks.
However, much uncertainty remains about how to ensure future safety when reopening schools. Vaccines for children under-12 may not receive FDA approval until sometime in the fall, and parents may have questions about what steps are being taken to mitigate the risk of infection during the transition. 
According to the CDC and World Health Organization, cleaning and disinfecting are among the “core strategies to control the spread of the coronavirus.” EdWeek Research Center found that 91 percent of schools surveyed have more intensive cleaning protocols for classrooms this June than last. The CDC guidelines for schools have much to say about what cleaning measures are most effective against harmful pathogens like coronavirus.

5 Considerations When Planning COVID-19 Cleaning for Schools

Coverall® is a leading commercial cleaning franchise that knows how to reduce the risk of pathogen exposure in primary schools, college campuses, and other learning institutions. Contact your local representative, who will connect you with your nearest Coverall Franchise Business Owner. In keeping with CDC guidelines, we recommend the following five considerations in planning a safe return to school.

1. Don’t just clean. Disinfect.

Unlike typical school janitorial services, Coverall franchisees use only hospital-grade disinfectants to deliver a Health-Based Clean®.  Our Core 4TM Process was built on CDC and AORN guidelines, which means that our disinfectants are made with high-quality, EPA-registered chemicals that kill the pathogens lingering on surfaces. Younger students (and their parents) who might not be as hygienic as their more advanced peers will especially appreciate the attention to this detail!  Your local Coverall Franchise Owner and their team of trained cleaners will disinfect as part of their regular commercial cleaning service. However, they also offer electrostatic disinfectant spray as an “On-Demand” Service for when you need an entire classroom, or some other area disinfected after a contamination. This option might be an option for schools that have had a recent COVID-19 or other viral outbreak.

2. Be sure all high-touch surfaces receive attention.

In addition to general surfaces such as desks, tables, and chairs, certain items and areas are considered high-touch points – and, therefore, “high-risk.” These high-touch “hot spots” include water fountains, sink faucets, doorknobs, light switches, lab equipment and other shared classroom items, lockers, and more. All of these are potential sources of virus transmission.
A Coverall franchisee’s “general clean” will include dusting, mopping, trash removal, vacuuming, and surface wiping – including high touchpoints. A Coverall representative from your area will thoroughly assess your needs when drawing up a quote, so you’ll know exactly what to expect each visit.

3. Take Steps To Prevent Cross-Contamination.

Wiping a clean surface with a dirty rag or mophead spreads germs and re-contaminates the surface instead of disinfecting it. Coverall takes several precautions to prevent cross-contamination:
  • Our franchisees  use a color-coded rag, mop, and cleaning cloth system.
  • The microfiber cleaning cloths they use are specially designed to trap and remove bacteria and dirt.
  • The Coverall no-dip mopping system reduces any chance of cross-contamination on your floors.
  • Janitorial gloves are changed at regular intervals.
  • All cleaning materials are rotated out strategically – and often.
  • Our franchisee’s Teams are instructed to move from the cleanest to the dirtiest areas to minimize the contamination risk.

4. Upgrade filtration efforts.

The CDC recommends making improvements to indoor ventilation, though options vary widely in cost. At the low end, opening windows, maintaining dedicated exhaust ventilation, and repositioning outdoor air dampers can be done for next-to-nothing. At the other end of the spectrum, schools may wish to invest in a HEPA fan or filtration system. Though the Coverall franchisee’s services are limited to commercial cleaning, they do use high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter vacuum cleaners and bags to reduce dust and improve air quality.

5. Find a reliable partner who follows reliable protocols. 

For many schools, it’s simply not practical to hire one or two in-house janitors. High industry turnover can place unreasonable amounts of stress on the administration. In addition, the costly ongoing demands of recruitment, training, and supervision jeopardize the school’s reputation if standards are not rigorously upheld.
Outsourcing cleaning to a reliable partner like a Coverall franchisee ensures you a continuous standard of excellence. They can clean multiple buildings in your school district. They  can also perform On-Demand COVID disinfection services or Preventative Maintenance Services for your windows, upholstery, grout tile, and hard floors as needed.
With 36+ years in business, Coverall is a brand educational institutions know and trust. The past year has been challenging, but we can help you prepare for a brighter future in a post-COVID world. The demand for cleaner, safer schools isn’t going away any time soon. If you have any questions about COVID and school reopening, give us a call for a free, easy, no-hassle quote today.
Posted: 7/1/2021 3:47:51 PM by Administrator | with 0 comments