It’s the dog days of summer, and the nation continues to grapple with the effects of COVID-19. Summer nears its end, and with that comes the expected return of students to school. As many states continue to debate on whether schools should open, one item is apparent – implementing a system of keeping schools clean and disinfected is priority one.
The stakes are high, and parents, teachers, and frankly, the entire nation want to keep everybody safe. Even without COVID-19, keeping our schools as clean as possible helps mitigate the risk of children spreading illnesses like the flu and other infectious or contagious diseases. Because the best commercial cleaning companies clean for health over appearance, Anago understands these challenges and plays a unique role in helping the educational system battle COVID-19 and other diseases.
When it comes to schools, daycares, and other educational facilities attended by lots of children, cleaning is excellent, but creating healthy and disinfected atmospheres is divine. From Anago’s nearly 1700-unit franchisees across the nation, we want to highlight several top cleaning and disinfecting best practices schools should look for when speaking with professional cleaning companies.
Clean for Health First; Appearance is a Collateral Effect
Because schools are high-traffic facilities full of children, cleaning companies face tough challenges in ensuring not just clean, but also healthy, spaces. This means that looking at the frequency of cleaning schedules and the technology used is extremely important. With a virus on the loose, it is best to create a more frequent cleaning regimen in addition to the standard schedule. Don’t clean for looks. When you clean for health, the “appearance” of clean is a given.
Know the Difference Between High-Risk and High-Touch Areas
High-risk areas are rooms and areas of the facility prone to collecting germs, bacteria, and parasites. High-risk rooms include nurses’ offices, cafeterias, restrooms, and locker rooms. High-touch areas refer to objects that are the most handled during the day—door handles, light switches, teachers’ desks, staircase handrails, etc. Both categories require special attention—they should be cleaned and disinfected several times during the day, including before school opens and again at the end of the day.
Schedule Disinfection for Safety
Sometimes disinfectants can exacerbate allergies and asthma in some children. An ideal schedule would ensure high-touch rooms and surfaces are disinfected frequently to remove a majority of the bacteria and to dispense of the organic substances that organisms require to survive and multiply; then scheduling a full disinfection after students have left for the day to kill any remaining bacteria, viruses, and pathogens. This is an important lesson to give educators.
Clean the Cleaning Equipment Between Cleanings
All school cleaning personnel should be using a dual-chamber bucket that separates the dirty water from clean water. Using one bucket for mopping a floor promotes cross-contamination. Avoiding cross-contamination in the cleaning process is easy to achieve, and the best cleaning companies have procedures that should be communicated to schools. For example, using color-coded microfiber towels that are replaced frequently reduces the chance of cross-contamination, and cleaning the cleaning equipment in-between cleanings is a golden rule.
Abide by EPA Guidelines
When disinfecting, schools should be using “hospital grade” disinfectants that are registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These are highly effective in killing bacteria, pathogens, viruses, and fungi. The goal of any school administrator should be to provide a healthy building first and foremost. Keeping the educational atmosphere healthy and productive is of critical importance—and has the added benefit of maintaining high student attendance.
To achieve the healthiest environment, the best cleaning companies must teach the teachers and educators what it takes to keep the building germ-free, healthy, and conducive to continual learning—and Anago does just that.