Schools stock up on cleaning supplies during COVID-19

Using technology to disinfect surfaces
Disenfecting sprayer.jpg
Posted at 8:58 AM, Sep 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-03 09:54:03-04

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Kids are getting ready to go back to school although the pandemic keeps most of them at home and learning from a distance.

For those schools getting ready to welcome students back inside the classroom, parents may be concerned what cleaning protocols are in place to keep their kids safe.

While some people have had a difficult time finding cleaning supplies like wipes, hand sanitizer, or sprays, many schools are stocking up and trying new ways to keep kids safe.

As students head back to school, lesson plans aren't the only things administrators, teachers, and staff have to prepare this year due to COVID-19.

Carly Schwartz, senior director of J Early Childhood at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Baltimore said “preparation is key. Making sure that you have the right contacts so that your school can be equipped with anything you need, disinfecting wipes, sprays, masks, gloves. Just to make sure that not only the children are safe, but also the people who are working in your building are safe.”

The JCC Early Learning Center was one of the first institutions to welcome back students for in-person instruction when it opened back up in July.

“Our cleaning crew and our teachers are cleaning all day, every day. So, we are disinfecting high touch areas, low touch areas, bathrooms. We just want to make sure that every surface is wiped down between usage of children, this includes all of our toys, all of our table tops, light switches. We are constantly disinfecting,” Schwartz said.

The Protexis sprayer is one tool some are using in their mission to disinfect. It's an electrostatic sprayer which quickly covers most surfaces in minutes.

Acme Paper & Supply Co., Inc vice-president Andy Attman said “that one minute is key, because a lot of times people don't realize that a disinfectant has a range of one minute to ten minutes to fully disinfect but the surface has to stay wet in that timeframe. If it doesn't stay wet, than your surface is not really getting disinfected."

Keeping the center disinfected requires a seemingly endless supply of cleaning products.

“There are schools that are buying a year's worth of inventory at one time because they're worried these shortages that we saw in the spring. There are other schools that are buying it a couple months at a time,” Attman said.

Despite the demand, Attman isn't concerned about running out of supplies for clients like the JCC.

“Before we were opening, I was very concerned, along with my entire team. We have a lot of children, and teachers and families that we're responsible for, their health and safety, and now that we're up and running, and we have the PPE that we need, my concern level has gone down significantly” Schwartz said.