School District Using Special Cleaning Tool To Fight Off Potential Coronavirus Outbreak

Mar 2, 2020, 8:48 PM | Updated: 9:03 pm

SANDY, Utah – Canyons School District crews are using a special, hospital-grade cleaning tool to prepare their schools for a potential outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

At Mount Jordan Middle School in Sandy on Monday, it was business as usual for students. However, it was a little bit busier for the custodial staff.

“With all the attention that’s being given to the coronavirus, that natural question from parents is what are schools doing?” said Jeff Haney, Canyons School District spokesperson.

So what are they doing? They’re cleaning every surface that students touch. That means desks, tables, the cafeteria, restrooms, handrails, drinking fountains and doors.

But the district’s cleaning staff has gone above and beyond regular cleaning procedures.

“This chemical we’re using here is hypochlorous acid. It’s 50 times more powerful than chlorine bleach,” said lead custodian Todd Muir as he demonstrated a special spray gun.

“We thought in advance and purchased these special pieces of equipment that spray hospital-grade detergent on all these touchpoints where kids have their hands,” Haney said.

The spray gun is also electrostatic, which means it helps the cleaning solution really stick to every surface.

Most Utah school districts said they’re working closely with their local health departments and monitoring the virus. Many districts have even sent an email to parents.

Canyons School District administrators said they’re also planning to put up posters in every school, reminding students to wash their hands thoroughly and often.

“We’re doing this not just in a response to the coronavirus, but for every illness. It’s the flu season right now and we see a lot of kids get sick right now,” said Haney.

They’re also hoping to get sanitizer for every classroom. However, they’re having trouble finding it in stores and now have to order it online, where it’s back-ordered.

Beyond that, officials also talked about what would happen if there is an outbreak and schools close down. They want to make sure that students still have a way to learn.

“We are looking at online formats or other ways that we can continue teaching kids, kids can continue learning even if they’re not in school,” Haney said.

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How Do I Prevent It?

The CDC has some simple recommendations, most of which are the same for preventing other respiratory illnesses or the flu:

  • Avoid close contact with people who may be sick
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Always wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

The CDC does not recommend wearing a facemask respirator to protect yourself from coronavirus unless a healthcare professional recommends it.

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School District Using Special Cleaning Tool To Fight Off Potential Coronavirus Outbreak