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K-12 Schools Face Scrutiny on Housekeeping


By Dan Hounsell Facilities Management
teacher treats and disinfects surfaces in school

Facility managers in K-12 schools are under a great deal of scrutiny as students continue returning to at least part-time school attendance. For example, they are answering difficult questions about the role of HVAC systems in controlling the spread of the coronavirus. Perhaps most often, managers are having conversations with parents, faculty  and staff about the updated housekeeping and sanitizing practices they’ve implemented to keep schools healthy and safe.

About 92 percent of school administrators plan to increase the frequency of their cleaning and disinfecting efforts, and more than one-half of them will increase these efforts to multiple times a day, according to a survey of more than 200 U.S. educators. Those polled believe that the school areas most prone to germs include:

• bathrooms, 89 percent

• cafeterias, 81 percent

• buses, 77 percent

• locker rooms, 71 percent

• computer labs, 70 percent

• regular classrooms, 67  percent

• gyms, 66 percent

• playgrounds, 66  percent.

The surfaces they believe are the most prone to germs include: door handles, 90 percent; drinking fountains/water station areas, 81 percent; desks, 80 percent; railings, 76 percent; computers, 75 percent; gym equipment and classroom supplies, 67 percent; light switches, 66 percent; and playground equipment, 54 percent.

Dan Hounsell is editor of Facility Maintenance Decisions.

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