Known by school staff as the “germ gun,” the “germinator,” or by its proper name, the Electrostatic Sprayer, it is the newest tool in Cleburne ISD’s cleaning arsenal in the war against colds and flu.
Campuses throughout the District are equipped with Electrostatic Sprayers, which dispense the hospital-grade Oxivir Plus disinfectant mist, used by custodians to clean classrooms, restrooms—all school spaces--during and after school. The CISD Transportation Department is also utilizing the equipment and cleaning procedures on school buses.
“This is 70 percent faster than the spray and wipe technique, which can move bacteria from one surface to another,” Custodial Supervisor Blake Glenn said. “Using the Electrostatic Sprayers, the Oxivir mist, which is a hospital-grade cleaner based on hydrogen peroxide technology, wraps around surfaces, providing better adhesion and coverage. The particles within the mist holds the electrostatic charge for 2-3 seconds, allowing the solution to also cover hidden areas and crevices. We can provide a more even spread and cover larger areas, in a smaller amount of time. The mist kills germs found in MRSA and Norovirus (stomach virus).”
Custodians address vacant classrooms throughout the day, while students are out of the room, followed up with campus-wide cleanings after school.
“Because we are in the midst of the flu season, this is done every day,” Glenn said. “We first developed an intensive level cleaning protocol for our campuses, which we are currently following, during the H1N1 outbreak,” Glenn said. “The school nurse informs us when 3-5 students in one classroom are out sick, and we hit it. As soon as we are notified, we plan in-school cleaning for that classroom as well as after-school.”
“Technology-wise, what we are using is the latest and the greatest,” he said. “We are able to address a lot of square footage quickly and easily.”
Mechanics at the CISD Transportation Center are using Electrostatic Sprayers after morning routes, according to Director David Walker. The daily cleaning process typically involves 45 buses.
“We can’t solve what germs may be coming onto the bus, but we can kill what’s left on the bus when the kids get off,” he said. “When the kids come back on for the afternoon ride home, the germs have been killed. With the sprayers, we can get more done in a faster period of time. We can usually clean one bus in five minutes.”
“We just felt we should purchase the sprayers for our department. We felt it was a proactive and effective measure,” Walker said. “We want our students to stay well during the flu season, as well as our drivers. Our efforts may not prevent the flu, but they can minimize the number of cases.”
Cleburne’s battle plan for the cold and flu season began in October, when community clinics offering the flu vaccine were conducted at three campuses. Elementary and secondary students have also viewed grade-level appropriate videos focusing on the cause of colds and flu and prevention efforts including proper handwashing, covering the cough, sneezing into the elbow and keeping hands away from mouth and eyes.
Hand sanitizer dispensers are located in hallways and high-traffic areas on every campus. Teachers have also been provided with hydrogen peroxide disinfectant wipes for use on doorknobs, light switches, computer desk tops and other high-touch surfaces.
“Our first concern is always the health and safety of our students,” Assistant Superintendent for Student Services Tammy Bright said. “We are using a variety of resources and initiatives in addressing the flu outbreak. We encourage parents to keep their children home when they are sick or running fever. We also appreciate our parents joining with us in reinforcing prevention measures with their students, especially the importance of handwashing and keeping hands away from faces.”
Wheat Middle School Custodian Claudia Flores uses an Electrostatic Sprayer dispensing a hospital-grade sanitizing mist to clean a classroom while students are at lunch. All campuses and the CISD Transportation Department are using the sprayers, one of a number of initiatives being used by the District to battle the flu.