How To Keep Classrooms Clean and Safe This Year
Michael Belliveau, Sales Manager, Clean Advantage
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, both teachers and school administrators will need to take extra precautions to keep classrooms as clean as possible this year.
Cleaning Vs. Disinfecting
One important thing to know is that cleaning and disinfecting are two very different things. According to the CDC, cleaning is the act of “physically removing germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces and objects by using soap or detergent and water.” While cleaning is important, it doesn’t always kill germs. It essentially removes germs and lowers their numbers, which helps reduce the spreading of them.
Disinfecting involves using chemicals that actually kill the germs that contaminate surfaces and objects.
Cleaning And Disinfecting To Prevent The Spread Of COVID-19
In order to reduce the spread of COVID-19, it is essential that you clean and then disinfect any soiled surfaces or objects. In order to keep classrooms clean and safe, it is imperative that you do both of these actions to effectively kill any lingering germs.
What Teachers Can Do To Keep Their Classrooms Clean And Safe
There are many things that teachers can do in their classrooms to help keep their classrooms clean and safe. The CDC has compiled a list of several safety precautions teachers can take. Here are some of the ones we think are vital to keeping classrooms clean and safe.
1. Don’t let your students share objects.
You definitely want to keep your students from sharing objects, including toys, crayons, pencils, pens, gym equipment, etc. In fact, if you have enough resources, create a set of necessary items, like art supplies, for each student so everyone has their own set. And, if you can’t get around having your students share objects, make sure you thoroughly clean and disinfect them in between uses.
2. Remove soft and porous materials from your classroom.
Items like rugs and bean bag chairs are difficult to clean and disinfect, so it’s best to err on the side of caution and just remove them from your classroom. If you teach kindergarten or preschool, you want to avoid letting students use dress up clothes in your classroom as well.
3. Keep your students’ items separated.
Germs lurk everywhere. So, to keep your students safe, have them keep their personal belongings, like backpacks and books, separate from each other.
4. Clean and disinfect when necessary.
If you notice that any objects in your classroom are dirty, clean and then disinfect them as soon as possible. And, if you need to clean any body fluids, like vomit or blood, make sure you are wearing gloves. And, don’t forget to follow the instructions on the disinfectant bottle.
5. Wear a facemask.
According to Healthline, masks are crucial to preventing the spread of COVID-19 because they “act as a physical barrier to protect you and others from viral and bacterial particulates.”
In terms of wearing masks, the CDC has some suggestions.
- Avoid masks with an exhaustion valve or vent as they do not prevent the transmission of COVID-19.
- Do not substitute a face shield for a mask as the level of protection it provides is not yet known.
- If you use a cloth mask, make sure you wash it daily or after extended use.
- Wash your hands before you put your mask on.
- When you take your mask off, be sure to use the handle and avoid touching the cloth section.
Wash your hands as much as possible.
The CDC suggests washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. And, if you are not able to get to a sink to wash your hands, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
Have Your Students Practice Social Distancing
If your classroom is big enough, have your students sit at least 6 feet apart from each other.
What School Administrators Can Do To Keep Schools Clean and Safe
One of the most important things school administrators can do to help keep schools clean and safe is to ensure that teachers and custodial staff have access to the proper cleaning and disinfecting products that meet the EPA’s criteria. You can find a list of EPA-approved disinfection items here.
School administrators can also help support their teachers and custodial staff by providing them with ample supplies of protective equipment, including gloves, face masks, and paper towels.
It’s also important to have the school deep cleaned on a regular basis. Electrostatic disinfection is a great way to thoroughly clean and sanitize your school. Electrostatic disinfection involves using specialized equipment that uses charged particles. This method allows the disinfection solution to adhere to any surface. It is also great because the solution is able to get into crevices and microscopic areas that other sprays and wipes can’t always reach. Electrostatic disinfection is perfect for deep cleaning your school because it ensures that high-traffic areas, like bathrooms and playgrounds, are properly cleaned and sanitized.
How Clean Advantage Can Help Keep Your School Clean And Safe
Clean Advantage provides commercial cleaning, residential cleaning, and electrostatic disinfection services for schools in Maryland, Washington D.C., and northern Virginia. We can ensure that your school is clean and disinfected on a daily basis. To learn more about our services, schedule an on-site consultation for your school today!