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Coronavirus Spread Sets Off Cleaning Frenzy

Schools closed for deep cleanings as custodians battle new virus

March 4, 2020

As cases of COVID-19 spread throughout the United States, custodians and cleaning professionals are taking preventative measures in hand, deep cleaning surfaces in schools, workplaces, and public transit.

Some schools are closing down for a day or two to give custodians more time to thoroughly disinfect, including schools in Washington state, which has reported the most cases of COVID-19 to date, KOMO-TV reports. Cleaning crews thoroughly cleaned and disinfected schools to keep up with U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) standards after school officials learned students and parents were undergoing testing for the coronavirus. At least one school in the Portland, Oregon area closed for deep cleaning after an employee was tested for COVID-19, according to KGW-TV. Custodians in the Lake Oswego School District spent last weekend cleaning and disinfecting every school building, the central office, and all the school buses.

Even schools where no cases of COVID-19 had been reported yet weren’t taking any chances. Schools in Charlotte, North Carolina were ramping up their cleaning efforts and educating parents on COVID-19 symptoms and hand hygiene best practices, Fox News reports.

Shopping malls are getting in on the cleaning action with North Star Mall in San Antonio closing  earlier this week for deep cleaning after news that a patient who tested positive for the coronavirus visited over the weekend, KENS-TV reports.

Facility managers at workplaces also have been conscientious about protecting building patron’s health with at least one company, Cox Communications, sending employees home early Monday to clean its facility in West Warwick, Rhode Island, after learning that an employee’s family member had tested positive for coronavirus, the Providence Journal reports.

As public transportation is one area that brings large numbers of people in close contact, many cities are planning for extra cleanings of buses and trains. Cleaners for the New York City Transit Authority will use bleach and hospital-grade disinfectant to aggressively sanitize the agency’s entire fleet of 6,400 subway cars and 5,700 buses to prevent the spread of coronavirus, New York Daily News reports. Every one of the agency’s train cars and buses will be disinfected every three days, and every subway station will be scrubbed on a nightly basis until the virus is contained.

Access tips sheets with best practices for assessing and cleaning your facility for coronavirus at www.issa.com/coronavirus.

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