Cleaning, Sanitizing and Disinfecting Educational Institutions
Once the number of Covid-19 cases go down and the CMCO relaxes, students soon will be returning to their classrooms across the States. Maintaining a not only clean and healthy but also a “disinfected” school environment is now far more important than it ever was, as the number of the cases may rise again without any warning until a vaccine is created. In this blog today, we will explore how our various methods of disinfection (fogging, misting and UV Light Disinfection) can be used as an intrinsic part of your facility’s total disinfection.
In a typical academic year, a number of school days throughout the country are missed by a million of students due to colds and flu. A large crowd of students and faculty in a poorly ventilated indoor spaces can easily help the bacteria and viral germs to transmit amongst one another. This is the reason as to why a routine cleaning of the MVAC system of a facility is a must. History has documented that the excess number of cases in student illnesses and high rates of absenteeism, due to the outbreaks of the virus, has led to shutting down of a number of schools.
The year 2020 has been anything but another typical year. All schools and college campuses across the nation have been shut down due to the rise in COVID-19 cases again. New findings have shown that environmental exposure to this virus may also potentially help in the transmission of the virus. This kind of germs can survive on surfaces in classrooms and other areas, for hours, weeks and even months, putting the students and staff at risk towards infection. It can easily be spread by touching contaminated surfaces of textbooks, shared supplies, door handles, restroom taps and other similar high touch surfaces.
Other than wearing masks and maintaining social distancing, World Health Organization recommends that schools “…develop a schedule for daily cleaning and disinfection of the school environment, facilities and frequently touches surfaces…” – WHO.
Read on more to know how you can ask for our various disinfectant services to safely disinfect high touch surfaces and other areas in your facility.
Ultra-Violet light has a history of 140 years eliminating microbes present in the air as well as on surfaces. It also has a proven reduction in the numbers of Covid-19 spores, MRSA and other harmful bacteria. Researchers at Duke University have also found that as compared to chemical disinfectants, the microbes cannot resist to UV light, and it ends up destroying the micro-organisms at their DNA and RNA level. Although UV light is not a new technology, however, its use has been increased in hospitals and now in schools and universities to disinfect the surfaces and air.
Moreover, the disinfectant solutions and equipment that we use, not only kills 99.9999% of the germs but also contributes a great deal to healthy indoor air quality and a toxin-free learning environment for students and teachers, alike.
- Chemical-free cleaning – there are no harsh or toxic solutions or residue left behind.
- No emission of O3 – any UV that is produced by the ultraviolet radiation dissolves in 15 minutes.
- Economical and Environment Friendly – it utilizes “miniaturized” technology for a minimal environmental impact during the radiation process.
Disinfection is a must for all schools and other administrations and facilities during this outbreak. However, it is also often mistaken that simply cleaning and sanitizing equals to the removal and elimination of the harmful pathogens that cause the Covid-19. Following are some points to consider for your educational facility.
Differentiating Between Cleaning, Disinfecting & Sanitizing
Before an effective whole room disinfection plan can be carried out in the classroom, it’s necessary to differentiate between Cleaning, Disinfecting and Sanitizing. While these three terms may sound similar, they all differ in their principles and purposes and provide different levels of protection against germs.
Cleaning simply removes germs, dirt, and impurities from various surfaces or objects. Although cleaning can definitely decrease the number of germs present on the surface, however, it’s important to note that the use of soap or detergent does not kill “many” of them. That is to say that a clean classroom does not necessarily mean that is “germ-free.”
Conversely, disinfecting kills almost all germs that are present on surfaces or objects. Although this process does not clean surfaces, effective disinfection does radically lower the presence of pathogens by killing them.
Finally, sanitizing also mainly focuses on simply reducing, rather than essentially eradicating or killing, bacterial or viral pathogens on surfaces or objects. Although all of these approaches are helpful in their own way to address dangerous pathogens in the educational environment, it is more important to note that only “disinfecting” can truly kill almost all germs that are lurking in the classroom.
However, it’s also important to note that not all disinfection methods are created equal. Sprays and wipes can offer some level of disinfection, but their lack of ability to reach all nooks and crannies present on a wide variety of surfaces in a classroom or locker room can leave pathogens lurking in the shadows. For these reasons, it’s important to trust in disinfection strategies that can offer a full area coverage, such as disinfectants that are distributed using a dry fog that fills a room. (Kindly request us for more details on our fogging service).
Disinfecting High-Touch Surfaces Routinely & Correctly
While a number of infectious diseases like the flu virus are primarily spread from person to person through the coughs and sneezes of infected individuals, high-touch surface areas are also responsible for spreading disease-causing pathogens. Objects such as desks, counter-tops, doorknobs, computer keyboards, hands-on learning tools, and textbooks passed on are just some of the culprits. Such frequently used and shared items like these also increase the transmission of germs between students and teachers.
For obvious reasons, these surfaces and objects need to be disinfected routinely and properly and not just when they are visibly dirty only. Moreover, when doing so, it’s critical to match your disinfection solution to the types of germs that need to be killed. For example, the flu virus has the potential to cause infection for up to 48 hours after landing on any surface. Meanwhile, bacteria like MRSA can survive on surface areas for hours, days, or even weeks. Since the pathogens of different bacteria, viruses, and fungi have varying life spans on surfaces, it is best to use a broad-spectrum disinfectant that can kill all three of the major classes of organisms with an outstanding efficacy.
Relying Only on the Disinfection Products Registered Under the EPA
In order to effectively kill a wide range of germs in the classroom, the MOH recommends (and the law requires) the use of only those products that are registered under the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). They are specifically registered as antimicrobial disinfectants. These disinfectants are documented to kill 99.9999% of even the most resistant germs, resulting in a temporary, and nearly sterilized conditions in an educational setting.
While the EPA has multiple lists of legally registered products, its List-N includes disinfectants such as HaloMist® (EPA Registration No. 84526-6) that are highly effective against the covid-19 spores, which are one of the most difficult pathogens to kill. It is also a disinfectant registered under the EPA and proven to be effective against pathogens of the flu and MRSA among others. Moreover it offers broad-spectrum protection against some of the most persistent and dangerous pathogens. Since it is also non-corrosive and bleach-free, the solution can also be safely used around electronics and in environments frequented by children.
Ensuring that the Solutions the Disinfection Service Companies use, Marks the Grade.
We encourage educational environments to leverage our whole room disinfection solution in order to achieve the highest possible efficiency and efficacy that is available in the market today. Our proprietary Halo Disinfection System® evenly distributes our HaloMist™ disinfectant through dry fogging in order to make sure that every classroom’s nook and corner is free of virus-causing pathogens, all, with a hands-free approach that doesn’t require rinsing or wiping after the disinfection!