Matthew Sullivan President of Coastal Building Maintenance and CBDisinfection LLC
On March 13th, 2020, Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) announced a districtwide school closure effective March 16th, 2020 after news broke of a coronavirus case in the Town of Bay Harbor Islands in Ruth K. Broad/Bay Harbor K-8 Center. In response to this issue, every school, teacher and student in Miami-Dade County was required to shift to at-home online learning to stop the spread of the virus. As Miami-Dade County Schools look toward the next school year, the main priority is to keep their children, faculty and staff healthy and safe. With students now on summer break, M-DCPS is exploring all options for the next school year. These options include measures to assure both short and long term COVID-19 disinfection and protection.
On June 19th Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez released strict orders to penalize businesses who are not complying with “New Normal Guidelines.” With those guidelines put in place, schools have begun to weigh how to reopen and keep staff and students safe from the coronavirus. While there still is not a confirmed plan, it is speculated that school districts will move towards a hybrid classroom setting with students attending school or online classes on alternating days.
Studies are underway to understand how COVID-19 can affect children. So far, according to MD Adrienne Randolph, school-age children are less infectious in comparison to elders; however, children can pass the virus to adults, which poses a danger to their teachers and parents. As schools prepare to reopen, many are taking the necessary measures to disinfect every classroom with hospital-grade quality disinfectants to protect students while providing peace of mind to parents and faculty. Today, services that can be used to sanitize school grounds are:
- Introduce Electrostatic Spraying Into Daily Maintenance Protocol – Using electrostatic spray disinfection helps provide high-traffic areas like hallways, cafeterias, and bathrooms an extra layer of protection. The disinfectant spray particles are positively charged, allowing them to cling to and coat surfaces more evenly and sanitize four times faster than a traditional cleaning. Using this method eliminates the chances of human error while providing full coverage disinfection.
- Install Hand Sanitizer Stations – As students and teachers walk in and out of classrooms, providing hand sanitizer stations at all entry points is a practical way to protect individuals from the spread of germs. Experts say that those who encounter other individuals while at work or school should apply hand sanitizer every two to three hours.
- Water Bottle Refilling Stations – Traditional water fountains require the user to push a bar or a button. To eliminate this point of contact, water fountains are being replaced with sensor operated units to encourage students and staff to use a no contact option while reducing the use of one-time use plastic bottles and cups.
- Replace Air Filters Regularly – Air filters capture particles from the airstream prohibiting toxins and impurities from being disbursed through vents. Replacing these filters regularly allows for optimal filtration and the reduced spread of bacteria through a school’s airways.
- Retrain Existing Cleaning Staff – To provide the highest level of protection, it’s important to revise cleaning specifications with additional cleaning protocols to disinfect high traffic areas more frequently. In some cases, it may be needed to bring in additional staff members to augment and expand cleaning and sanitization capabilities, including electrostatic spraying.
Fortunately, companies like Coastal Building Maintenance (CBM) and Coastal Building Disinfection LLC (CB Disinfection), are dedicated to sanitizing facilities and providing the supplies needed to keep schools clean for the months to come. These South Florida full-service janitorial and maintenance companies not only provide the industries latest technology like electrostatic sprayers but also supply materials like hand sanitizer for each student, teacher and faculty member. For more information on how CBM and CB Disinfection can support your school or facility visit www.cbmflorida.com or www.cbdisinfection.com.