Many schools are preparing to reopen, a step advised by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Whether they welcome their full student body to campus five days a week or adhere to a more cautious hybrid model, schools will undoubtedly face new challenges this fall, including meeting a new standard of cleaning and disinfection.
Core Challenges for Cleaning Schools
The pandemic poses three serious challenges for school facility managers and custodial teams:
- Supply chain issues caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic can make it more difficult for schools to access the necessary chemicals and tools required to clean more frequently.
- The COVID-19 pandemic may result in some workers trying to eliminate pathogens by using higher volumes of harsh, toxic chemicals which can potentially harm students and staff.
- The pandemic has made proper cleaning by trained professionals imperative. Parents, staff and students expect cleaning teams to protect them from infectious disease risks like SARS-CoV-2.
Generating Cleaning Solutions on Campus
School districts can mitigate risks and achieve their cleanliness goals through on-site generation (OSG) of cleaner and disinfectant, just like Valley View School District in Illinois did with the PathoSans® system. As Valley View transitioned to e-learning in spring 2020, it fast tracked the implementation of PathoSans’ systems so that it would be ready to welcome students back to school once administrators deemed it safe to return.
OSG of cleaning and disinfecting solutions benefits schools in the following ways:
- Uninterrupted Supply: During the pandemic, chemical suppliers are having difficulty filling orders as facilities look to clean more frequently. The PathoSans on-site generator uses only water, salt and electricity to produce two electrochemically-activated (ECA) solutions: PathoClean®, Green Seal-certified cleaner/degreaser, and PathoCide®, a powerful sanitizer/disinfectant. Instead of relying on suppliers to deliver solutions or team members to acquire store-bought chemicals, schools can easily create the desired quantity of cleaning and disinfecting solutions without risking running out.
- Safety for Students and Staff: Conventional cleaning chemicals can harm exposed individuals, including with eye or skin irritation. Teachers and students this fall are mindful of campus cleanliness and their personal wellbeing, and if anyone on campus experiences skin irritation or breathing issues from cleaning chemicals or harmful mixtures, schools may face serious consequences such as fines or facility closures. Using safer cleaning solutions helps schools show they care about their students, teachers and faculty. So, PathoClean and PathoCide are non-irritating to eyes and skin, and contain no added fragrance. The solutions are gentle on skin but tough on germs.
- Simplified Training and Use: The PathoSans system generates ready-to-use solutions, which employees can dispense into refillable spray bottles, buckets, floor care machines, or even electrostatic sprayers. OSG allows facility managers to simplify training around just two products. The process is simple – clean first, disinfect second – and doesn’t require staff to memorize when and where to use surface-specific chemicals like glass cleaner, stainless steel cleaner, wood cleaner, etc. The PathoSans solutions are compatible with many hard and soft surfaces found in school environments.
Cleaning Schools during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Students, teachers, faculty and parents expect schools to provide safe and welcoming learning environments. Facility managers and their custodial teams are being counted on to help schools clean and disinfect thoroughly and frequently. Valley View School District offers one example of how PathoSans can help schools ensure consistent and reliable cleaning.
Whether they manage a small elementary school or a large high school, facility managers can quickly and easily implement OSG of cleaning and disinfecting solutions to allow their teams to clean without interruption. OSG eliminates supply issues, promotes the safety of building occupants and visitors, and simplifies cleaning programs without sacrificing efficacy.
To find out how the PathoSans on-site generation system transformed the Valley View School District’s cleaning program, watch the video.