Advice for Cleaning & Disinfecting Schools

disinfecting schools

Advice for Cleaning & Disinfecting Schools

Keep Our Kids Safe & Healthy at School During COVID-19

As schools across the country reopen for in person learning, janitorial staff will be the first line of defense in helping to reduce the spread of infection among students and faculty members. Although the advice given for reducing infection during cold & flu season is still relevant, there are a few additional considerations for cleaning and disinfecting schools during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Daily Cleaning of Schools During the Pandemic

  1. Increase the frequency of cleaning
    • Clean High-touch surfaces such as doorknobs, water fountains, and playground equipment between uses if possible, but at least daily
    • Immediately clean visibly soiled surfaces
    • Use gloves to clean surfaces soiled with bodily fluids
  2. Shared objects or equipment
    • Clean gym equipment, computers & art supplies that must be shared between uses
    • Discourage sharing of objects that are difficult or impossible to clean and disinfect
    • Keep each student’s belongings separate – no shared lockers or cubbies
    • Keep an adequate supply of high-touch equipment for each student to reduce the frequency of sharing items
  3. Use EPA approved products for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces
    • Not every product on the market kills the virus
    • Some products are not safe to use around children
    • Visit for a list of approved products
    • Keep enough supply to support the increased cleaning and disinfecting schedule, but avoid stockpiling

Cleaning & Disinfecting Schools After a Confirmed COVID-19 Infection

Despite these precautionary measures, inevitably a student or faculty member will be diagnosed with COVID-19 after being at the school. If a case is confirmed at your school, the CDC offers additional advice for properly disinfecting schools to make it safe for students to return.

  1. Restrict access to all areas where the infected individual went until the area can be cleaned and disinfected.
  2. Open outside doors and windows to the area to increase airflow whenever possible
  3. Wait as long as practical, preferably at least 24 hours, before entering to clean and disinfect
  4. Wear gloves, face masks and other appropriate PPE to reduce your exposure to the virus and avoid injury from chemical cleaning agents
  5. Clean all surfaces and objects that may have been used by the infected person including all desks, chairs, computers, high touch surfaces, shared equipment, and common areas with normal cleaning detergents
  6. Make sure to clean visibly soiled items prior to disinfecting to ensure efficacy
  7. After the initial cleaning, disinfect the same objects and surfaces using an EPA approved disinfectant – most household disinfenctants are suitable for this task

For more advice on how to properly clean and disinfect your school, home, or business during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit

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