Commercial Cleaning Re-Opening Guide for Education Facilities

Commercial Cleaning Standards

Preparing your education facility for re-opening requires a comprehensive commercial cleaning and coronavirus disinfection plan to keep students, teachers, and staff safe, and so they feel comfortable about returning to your facility.

Prepare Your Education Facility for Re-Opening

Preparing your education facility for re-opening starts with creating a cross-functional team that will be responsible for creating and executing the re-opening plan.

1. Create a Cross-Functional Team

Plans need to be examined from multiple viewpoints to be sure different situations are accounted for. This is best done by appointing a multi-disciplinary committee to analyze recovery efforts.

Since state and local government policies are changing rapidly, designate someone on the team to monitor current restrictions and regulations for compliance. MultiState.us has a tool to find the latest information for your area. You should also check with your state and local health boards and agencies that oversee education in your area.

2. Prepare Your Facility

Your team should discuss scenarios with faculty and staff to assess your needs. Educational facilities have special needs because of students and may need creative solutions to address social distancing to keep everyone safe. This may mean policies such as rotating teachers rather than moving students, reducing class sizes or bringing students in on shifts, holding lunch periods in classrooms, discontinuing the use of lockers, and limiting access to shared areas.

Most education facilities already do a good job of restricting access points into the building, but rigid policies should be created for visitors and movement within the facility. Consider whether health screenings, including monitoring, temperature checks, and assessments are appropriate.

Determine what types of supplies, such as gloves, masks, hand sanitizer you need. Staff should be trained in proper procedures.

3. Implement Engineering Controls

Engineering control involves taking proactive measures to protect staff and students from hazards. For education facilities, these controls may include:

  • High-efficiency air filters
  • Increased ventilation rates in classrooms and offices
  • Installing physical barriers, such as plastic sneeze guards in lobbies and offices
  • Installing panels or partitions between desks or in locker rooms
  • Signage indicating proper social distancing

4. Use Commercial Cleaning Standards for Coronavirus Disinfection

Practicing healthy standards, such as increased hand-washing, social distancing, and limiting person-to-person contact can help the spread of the coronavirus. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends regular cleaning and disinfecting before and after reopening workplaces. Deep cleaning and commercial cleaning should be part of your coronavirus disinfection plan.

If you are using a commercial cleaning service at your school or educational facility, be sure they are following all CDC recommendations, ISSA standards, and following best practices for coronavirus disinfection to eliminate 99.9% of bacteria and viruses on exposed surfaces.

Cleaning and disinfecting must happen in two separate stages to be effective. Cleaning with soap, water, and other cleaners will remove dirt and some germs. It takes a separate disinfection process after routine cleaning has occurred. Make sure your cleaners are using products that are on the EPA’s approved list of disinfectants for use against SARS-Cov-2 (COVID 19) and following product specific dwell times. They should also be fully trained in safety and OSHA procedures, including the use of personal protective equipment (PPEs), the hazards of cleaning chemicals, and disposal of regulated waste, and should be certified in Blood Borne Pathogens and Global BioRisk Advisory Council (GBAC) Disinfection procedures.

You should strongly consider scheduling deep cleaning both before and after you re-open and determine the frequency of cleaning and coronavirus disinfection you will need. For example, the CDC recommends daily disinfecting of high-touch areas, such as door handles, light switches, desks, toilets, faucets, and sinks. If you have young students in your facility, disinfecting may need to occur several times a day, such as the beginning and end of each class.

When evaluating commercial cleaning companies, look for providers that have extensive experience working with educational facilities to ensure they understand your specific needs. You should also require consistent communication, daily logs, and regular inspections to assure quality.

5. Create an Infectious Disease Preparedness & Response Plan

Every educational facility should have an infectious disease response plan. This includes policies for sick employees or students and procedures for lockdowns, cleaning, and disinfecting.

Facilities should designate a space for anyone with coronavirus symptoms to be isolated until they can be treated. If someone tests positive for COVID-19, you should have a quarantine policy in place and a  commercial cleaner available for coronavirus disinfection.

6. Communicate Consistently

One of the most important – and too often overlooked aspects of re-opening your education facility is consistent communication with students, parents, and staff. You need to take extra care to make everyone feels comfortable, that you have a solid plan for dealing with coronavirus and mitigating potential exposure.

As you are likely to implement new policies and procedures for everyone in your building, you need to ensure everyone understands them. Communicate building protocols through signage and floor markings, as recommended by the CDC, so that every student, staff, and visitor knows what is required.

To Learn Even More About Re-Opening Download this Free Executive Report

We’ve assembled a Workplace Readiness and Re-Opening Guide that shares best practices developed in alignment with recommendations from the CDC, OSHA, EPA, WHO, and ISSA.

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Request an estimate from OpenWorks today and let us help you create a cleaner, healthier, and safer environment for your staff and students.