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Written by Wayne Dippold Mar 11, 2021

Safe Covid Disinfection for Schools

As schools begin to re-open and regain some normalcy, cleaning and disinfecting are more important than ever before. But with so many options, how do you choose a safe and effective disinfectant? 

Before we answer that, we should understand the importance of clean. Sure, disinfecting is essential -  there is no denying that - but it starts with a clean surface. 

Let me explain. 

Before applying a disinfectant to a hard, non-porous, inanimate surface, (let’s give the example of a classroom desk), the surface should be pre-cleaned. Especially if there is a hefty soil load like grease from French fries or tomato sauce from pizza. Students may be required to eat at their desks instead of in the cafeteria. 

Soils and residues left on a surface can become a host for viruses and bacteria. However, if the surface is on a daily, scheduled disinfection protocol, you can apply the disinfectant directly without pre-cleaning. After the appropriate contact time, which will be stated in the directions, you should then wipe the surface to remove any excess residue. 

Other key factors to consider:

Who – Will environmental services handle all the cleaning and disinfecting, or will the teachers and other staff also be involved?

Surface All touchpoints need to be addressed, but what other surfaces? Carpets in a pre-school? Walls? Delicate electronic equipment like keyboards? Locker rooms? 

Procedure – How often will the surfaces be disinfected? Daily? Three times per day? Three times per week? 

Tools and equipment – How will the disinfectant be applied? Will a spray bottle do the job, or will a low-pressurized sprayer, or will you need an electrostatic sprayer? 

Once we determine who will be involved, the surface to be cleaned, the cleaning procedure, the tools, and equipment needed, we can choose a safe and effective disinfectant. 

Understanding that COVID-19 is the disease and SARS-CoV-2 is the virus, it will be essential to choose an EPA-registered disinfectant on List N to kill the coronavirus SARS-CoV2 when used according to the label instructions. This is the list provided by the EPA.

Consider an Oxidizer like Chlorine Dioxide, Hypochlorous Acid, or Hydrogen Peroxide. Choose one that does not contain dyes, added fragrance, or detergents as they can leave behind residue. These are safer to use than some other types of disinfectants, less damaging to surfaces, and safer for the user. 

I hope this was informative and helpful. For more in-depth information, contact Action Unlimited today!

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