Students at daycare centers, pre-schools and K-12 schools are at risk of being exposed to COVID-19, the flu and colds. We all know how quickly viruses can spread. So, it is essential to take precautions to limit the spread of infections to provide a safe, healthy learning environment.
It is not just about keeping students safe. A recent nationwide study of schools showed that 42% of employees in educational facilities risk contracting COVID-19.
As we have learned, viruses can be transmitted through the air and remain on surfaces. When someone gets sick, it affects more than just that person. Anyone who comes in contact with them, or handles objects they have touched may be at risk. This means daycare centers, pre-schools and K-12 schools must take special disinfection and infection control precautions.
Commercial Cleaning Best Practices
The CDC says it is important to follow best practices for cleaning and disinfecting your facilities. These include:
Cleaning removes germs, dirt, and grime from surfaces and objects. While it may reduce the number of germs, it will not kill or eliminate all of them. A thorough cleaning should always be your first step in infection control because you need to remove dirt to expose surfaces before disinfection. Cleaning should be done using an appropriate detergent or soap and water and surfaces should be thoroughly rinsed after cleaning to remove any residue.
Disinfection kills germs on objects and surfaces by using specialized chemical agents. The EPA has compiled a list of registered disinfectants that are effective for infection control to kill SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Only disinfectants on this list should be used in daycare centers, pre-schools, and other educational facilities.
To effectively eliminate germs, viruses, and other pathogens, disinfectants need to be applied appropriately and remain wet on surfaces for a specific time to reach maximum kill rates. So, be sure to follow all the instructions including the dwell time. The majority work within three to five minutes of application.
“Cleaning and disinfecting can reduce the risk of spreading infection by reducing and killing germs on surfaces people frequently touch.” – The Center for Disease Control
A Few Words of Caution
Disinfection chemicals can cause serious harm and should not be allowed to come in contact with your skin. So, workers who apply them should always wear proper PPE. They should also avoid mixing chemical products as this can create dangerous gases and fumes.
Be especially careful when using disinfectant wipes. It is difficult to disinfect entire surfaces using wipes because of their limited chemical content. Surfaces may need more than one wipe or treatment to meet the required “wet time” for effectiveness.
A disinfectant should not be used on any items that children might put in or near their mouth as many chemical disinfectants are toxic. For young children at daycares or preschools, this means finding alternate methods for cleaning toys and other items shared by children.
Many educational facilities have embraced electrostatic spraying as an additional layer of protection when it comes to infection control.
Electrostatic sprayers create a charged disinfectant aerosol mist and the particles bond tightly to surfaces. Since charged particles repel each other, the disinfectant spreads evenly across surfaces, wraps around them and reaches hard-to-access areas.
While this process requires vacating areas during treatments, electrostatic spraying is a more effective – and faster – way to handle disinfection.
The Best Approach for Infection Control
The best approach for disinfection and infection control is to have commercial cleaning done regularly. Working with a commercial cleaning service for your daycare center, pre-school, or K-12 school will give you the peace of mind of knowing the job is done right. You will sleep better knowing you are getting the highest possible level of cleaning and disinfecting from professional technicians who are trained in infection control.
By using EPA-approved antimicrobial disinfectants, OpenWorks providers can help prevent the spread of germs and bacteria. Professional service providers are dedicated experts in all aspects of commercial cleaning solutions for educational facilities.
They can also provide long-lasting disinfection protection with Continuous Care, an antimicrobial surface protectant that is applied after surfaces have been cleaned and disinfected to provide continuous protection from germs and bacteria for up to 90 days. When it is applied with an electrostatic sprayer it ensures 100% coverage and inhibits the growth of germs and microorganisms such as COVID-19.
Contact OpenWorks today to request an estimate on cleaning and disinfection and infection control services for your daycare center, preschool, or K-12 school.