What it looks like to disinfect a Northeast Ohio school during a global pandemic

Electrostatic sprayers with chemicals that can kill the coronavirus in 30 seconds.

Safety measures some schools are already taking for when students, teachers and staff return

LORAIN, Ohio (WOIO) - As we inch towards another school year the major concern is how to keep students, teachers and staff safe from the threat of COVID-19.

Schools like the Horizon Science Academy in Lorain are already taking measures to protect everyone’s health even though its approximately 800 students will start the year with virtual learning, in the hopes of returning to the classroom by the second quarter in October.

The public charter school has hired Anago Cleaning Systems out of Cleveland to work in partnership with the schools’ janitorial team to not only clean the K through 12 school, but disinfect it.

“The average person touches 300 surfaces within a 30 minute period, and children touch probably even more,” Wayne Lewis with Anago of Cleveland.

That means that everything from door handles to light on and off switches are not only cleaned but disinfected with chemicals approved by the EPA to kill the coronavirus.

In some cases the chemicals can kill the virus in just 30 seconds.

“There’s a difference between cleaning and disinfecting. Cleaning is the removal of germs, where disinfecting is actually the killing of the germs, and that’s a big difference. You have to clean before you disinfect,” Lewis said.

At the Horizon Science Academy they are using more aggressive measures to sanitize to protect students and staff when they eventually return and while there are three methods that are effective, they’ve learn the electrostatic sprayer is top of the line.

“This is really the industry gold standard, an electrostatic sprayer. What this does is it actually sets an electromagnetic charge inside the chemical. So when it comes out it’s positively charged. And what that does it it will wrap around whatever you’re spraying. So it’s not just the surface, but it get underneath. Basically anything light or air can touch the chemical will latch on,” Lewis said.

Horizon’s Assistant Principal Jason Bendik said it’s their hope to have students back in school and in the classroom by mid October, and he says disinfecting every inch of the school is a priority when it comes to their health and safety plan.

“We’re going to do everything that we can, there are so many unknowns,” Bendik said.

He thinks the aggressive cleaning method they’re using on a daily basis will hopefully allow students who return to feel safe -- just being kids.

“Whether they are K through 12 they are human beings and touching is a part of every kids’ life, and it’s important that we do our part to maintain safety, but at the same time make sure we have procedures in place to create a sense of normalcy,” he said.

A strategy the school and those cleaning it hope will give parents piece of mind when they’re children return to the classroom.

Anago Cleaning Systems of Cleveland can be reached at 440-546-5700.

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