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Sep 04
Implementing important cleaning and disinfecting measures for schools

With elementary and secondary schools set to open next week, the Surrey School District has been preparing cleaning schedules and protocols to help protect the health and safety of students and staff.  

"We have a number of detailed cleaning and disinfecting measures our custodians will be taking this school year," explains Greg Forbes-King, Director of Facilities & Transportation Services at Surrey Schools. "We've mapped out a comprehensive plan that is consistent with the guidelines put forth by the BC Centre for Disease Control."

Every school will have:

  • General cleaning and disinfecting of the premises at least once every 24 hours. This includes items that only a single student uses, like an individual desk or locker.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting of frequently-touched surfaces at least twice every 24 hours. These include door knobs, hand rails, water fountains, light switches, toilet handles, tables, desks and chairs used by multiple students, and keyboards.
  • Clean and disinfect any surface that is visibly dirty.
  • Empty waste containers daily.
  • Spot mop and vacuum floors daily as required, and wash all sheet flooring on a weekly basis.
  • Replenish washroom supplies at least twice daily to ensure they are stocked throughout the day.

"We are in the process of hiring an additional 138 custodians, bringing our total custodial staff complement to over 500. Every school in the district will have a custodian present during the day, with hours depending on the size of the school," explains Forbes-King. "Custodians will complete sign-off sheets, which will allow staff to stay organized and also keep teachers and other school-based staff informed of what has been cleaned, and when."

The district has also purchased 145 Clorox Total 360* electrostatic sprayers to clean and disinfect surfaces. The machine uses an air compressor to spray rooms efficiently, causing the disinfectant to attach to surfaces faster and more effectively than using gravity alone. The maximum dwell time to disinfect is three minutes, allowing students to return to classrooms quickly and safely.

"Every site in will have its own sprayer. This device allows us to disinfect surfaces in a quick and efficient manner. A classroom can be disinfected within minutes," explains Forbes-King. "And the solution used to disinfect is both efficient and safe."

The electrostatic sprayer will be used once daily in elementary schools (after school is out), and twice daily at secondary schools (once during the day and once when school is out). Facilities staff have been receiving training on how to use this machine.

"Ensuring our sites are clean is an important task and we have an amazing team of custodians in our district that are very skilled at what they do," says Forbes-King. "A big kudos goes out to everyone involved in our cleaning and maintenance schedule."

* The product contains the active ingredients Benzalkonium Chloride and Alkyl Dimethyl Ethylbenzyl Ammonium Chloride, and is on Health Canada's list of disinfectants and hand sanitizers accepted under COVID-19 interim measure. Both Health Canada and Fraser Health have deemed the produce safe and efficient. Please note that there is no sodium hydroxide nor ethanol in the product. The product's active ingredients form up to 7% of the mixture; the rest is water. Spray operators are required to wear personal protective equipment while actively spraying the product as it may be an eye irritant during active use. Once the application is complete & dry, the space is safe for both people and animals. The maximum dwell time to disinfect is three minutes, allowing students to return to classrooms quickly and safely. 

Electrostatic Sprayer Demo from Surrey Schools on Vimeo.


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