District announces new cleaning protocols at Surrey elementary schools

Staff will use electrostatic sprayers to clean areas accessed by those who test positive for COVID-19

The Surrey school district, as of Oct. 30, has updated its cleaning and disinfecting protocols. (Photo: surreyschools.ca)

The Surrey school district, as of Oct. 30, has updated its cleaning and disinfecting protocols. (Photo: surreyschools.ca)

The Surrey school district has announced new cleaning and disinfecting protocols, specifically at elementary schools.

The new protocols were implemented Oct. 30, according to a letter from Mary Campbell, the school district’s manager of health and safety.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, the district has started enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols in each of the schools sites. The protocols are part of provincial guidelines that include: general cleaning and disinfecting “at least” once per day and cleaning and disinfecting of “frequently touched surfaces at least twice a day.”

READ ALSO: What happens at a Surrey school when someone tests positive for COVID-19?, Sept. 17, 2020

According to the letter, the district has bought 145 electrostatic sprayers to clean and disinfect surfaces.

The sprayer, which uses an electrostatic charge, allows the disinfectant to “attach to surfaces faster and more effectively than using gravity alone.” It also uses “up to 65% less solution than manual hand spraying methods.”

Campbell said the district’s return-to-school plan included the use of the sprayer once during the day at elementary schools, “after school is out,” and twice daily at seconday schools, “once during the school day and once when school is out.”

Last Friday, the district started using the sprayer “when an individual goes home with symptoms that are consistent with COVID-19 during the day” to clean and disinfect areas accessed by the person.

Before, custodians at elementary schools were disinfecting the spaces by hand.

Campbell said when using the sprayer, staff and students are asked to exit the room while the custodian disinfects the room.

“The process is efficient and safe, typically taking less than 10 minutes per room, allowing staff and students to return to classrooms quickly and safely,” her letter adds.

She added the district’s experience with the sprayer has been “very positive, and we are confident that this is a safe and efficient method of cleaning and disinfecting our sites to ensure surfaces are clean during this pandemic.”

INTERACTIVE TABLE: See which Surrey schools are reporting COVID-19 exposures

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