School districts adhering to stricter guidelines

From staff reports

Area school districts are hustling to meet new and stricter guidelines for facility cleaning in response to the coronavirus.

In the Cranberry School District, cleaning crews are increasing their regular duties in order to follow updated Department of Health advisements.

“We’ve stepped it up, looking at every surface from desktops to door knobs,” Superintendent Bill Vonada said. “We are taking special care to clean everything. And, we are closely monitoring staff and students.”

Oil City High School principal said the Oil City district is following tips and guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control.

Stahl added that the administrators from area school districts meet with Christine Bingman, the director of infection prevention at UPMC Northwest.

Bingman spoke to the administrators about wiping down flat surfaces, keyboards, door knobs and other frequently used surfaces, Stahl said. She also spoke to them about using the appropriate cleansers that are either bleach-based or alcohol-based, to disinfect areas, Stahl said.

Stahl said the schools in Oil City have placed hand sanitizer at the entrances.

The district is also working with the Center for Biocide Chemistries to make sure the schools are using cleaning products that properly disinfect surfaces, Stahl said.

Stahl added that cleaning crews are “running all the time during school.”

Another precaution Oil City School District is taking involves backpack sprayers to mist down classrooms with disinfectant, Stahl said.

Teachers are also promoting good hygiene among students, reminding them to was their hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, to use hand sanitizer and to keep their hands away from their faces, Stahl said.

Leon Billingsley, the Franklin School District buildings and grounds director, said they too have ordered a backpack sprayer, but it hasn’t arrived.

Billingsley said Franklin staffers haven’t really changed the way they’re cleaning the district’s four schools, but they have become more vigorous in their attack on germs.

“We’re being more thorough, more extensive,” Billingsley said.

The district has also employed a more frequent use of something called a kaivac machine, which puts down cleaner and sucks it back up. Billingsley said the machine is mostly used to clean the school monthly and after wrestling tournaments, but has been useful in this situation.