October 22, 2020

Facilities steps to prevent COVID-19 spread

Students have expressed concern about the lack of hand wipes and sanitizer in their classrooms.

With COVID-19 continuing to run rampant throughout the country, it’s more important than ever to pay attention to the little things such as washing your hands and wiping down surfaces that you have frequently touched, particularly during class. 

Gabriella Schnaidt, a third-year majoring in Spanish and Social work, said that in her social work class, the Virex 256 disinfectant was the only thing available, and that her Spanish professor actually had to bring in her own hand wipes. 

Paul Matthews, the director of Facilities Management, said that professors got a package of hand wipes so they would have something to wipe down the commonly used surfaces. 

photo of Paul Matthews

Additionally, there were packs of hand wipes placed throughout the classrooms that held numerous computers.  These are for students to wipe down their areas after use. 

Hand sanitizer dispensers are on the walls, except for the classrooms that normally only hold 12 people or less. Those should have normal bottles of hand sanitizer that one would keep at their desks. 

“If students are seeing that they are being taken away, then they were being taken away unbeknownst to us,” Matthews said. “And those will probably be replaced in a reasonable time, maybe a day.”

This is the package of sanitizer that professors got earlier in the semester. This distribution was broken down by departments. Photo by Josh Conturo.

However, hand wipes are not extremely important everywhere that is not a computer-centered room because of the Penetrexx that Facilities have been spraying all over rooms on campus. 

When Penetrexx is sprayed as an aerosol, it will land on a surface and remain there for 25 days, all the while killing bacteria and viruses that come into contact with it. 

As a result, general surfaces and chairs are said to have a protective shield on them in the form of Penetrexx. Cleaning is still happening on a daily basis by the housekeeping staff, WFF, which includes sanitizing touch points, doorknobs, sink faucets, and water fountains.

According to the CDC, “sanitizing” lowers the number of germs on a surface, while “cleaning” is the active removal of all germs and dirt from a surface.

Facilities management is also helping to ensure that the six-foot distance between people is maintained in the classrooms. When facilities staff come into the rooms to clean, they have photos of what the rooms are supposed to look like when taking social distancing into account so that the rooms can easily be lined back up. 

To help with doing so, these staff members are utilizing the dots and marks on the floors of classrooms for this same reason. 

Bailey Heber, a music education major, said that the buildings where there is frequent foot traffic, such as the main dining room in the Student Union, include the hand sanitizer dispensers which are regularly filled. The majority of the professors that she has come into contact with are quite diligent with sanitizing all surfaces.

If you are a staff member still in need of cleaning supplies, please contact your building manager to put in a work order. Those concerns will be passed on to facilities and will be addressed. 

  • Josh Conturo is a reporter for the Chimes and a sophomore studying emerging media with an emphasis on journalism, and loves all things related to cars, coffee, and comedy.

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