School districts taking 'clean' to a whole new level ahead of return to classes

School COVID-19 cleaning
Posted at 6:24 PM, Aug 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-06 19:43:14-04

To paraphrase an old commercial, there's clean and then there's "COVID clean."

It's especially important as we get closer to the start of school.

During the COVID-19 crisis we’ve heard the term deep cleaning quite a bit. But as students head back to school, deep cleaning has taken on a whole new meaning.

"It'll be increased frequency. That'll be the key for us," said Kevin Hafer, Assistant Director of Maintenance for Waco ISD.

The district, and others like it, have put a new meaning to the word clean.

Not only must schools look and smell clean, they have to stay that way.

"We're gonna be hittin' those classrooms throughout the day, and then those large areas we'll be goin' through after the instructional day has completed," explained Hafer.

The goal is to make the classroom as clean as a hospital operating room. That's no accident because Waco ISD had a local hospital review its plans to fight the coronavirus.

Other schools have gone even farther. In Copperas Cove, school leaders didn't just buy sprayers, they invested in a misting system.

”Well, when we had the Ebola in 2014, we purchased misters to take care of some of the schools,” said Renee Beaton of Copperas Cove High School. Central Texas experienced a virus scare six years ago when two Belton students were exposed to the deadly hemorrhagic virus.

The sprayers worked so well that when COVID-19 came along, Copperas Cove ISD bought more along with gallons of disinfectant to give classrooms and cafeterias alike a good, frequent dousing.

The misting increases coverage and decreases the time it takes to disinfect.

”We have six misters, so throughout the whole building we just go through and take care of the whole building,” said Beaton

You can hear subtle hum of the spray compressors anywhere along the 30 miles of hallways in Copperas Cove schools.

”You could say, the sound of the compressor is the sound of safety," said 25 News reporter Dennis Turner.

"We like to think that,” replied Beaton.

That and a thorough process that even cleans the inside of a paper shredder takes a little worry away.

”Our first priority is we wanna make everybody feel safe and comfortable. We want them in the safest environment we can provide for 'em,” said Hafer.

While not all schools will go to the exact same lengths as others, their goal remains the same, to make sure no student comes home with COVID-19 from a classroom.