U.S. Educators Report That School Bathrooms, Cafeterias, And Buses Require The Most Cleaning And Disinfection
They Also Indicate That Door Handles, Drinking Fountains, And Desks Are More Prone To Germs
According to a new survey, 92% of U.S. educators say they will increase how often their schools are cleaned and disinfected; more than half have plans to clean and disinfect multiple times a day
August 21, 2020 // Franchising.com // PHOENIX - As hundreds of thousands of U.S. schools prepare for in-person learning, it is no surprise that cleanliness and disinfection are top-of-mind, according to a recent survey conducted by OpenWorks.
The survey, which polled more than 200 U.S. educators across the country, revealed that 92% plan to increase the frequency of their cleaning and disinfecting efforts, and more than half of them will increase these efforts to multiple times a day. Those polled believe that the school areas most prone to germs include: bathrooms (89%), cafeterias (81%), buses (77%), locker rooms (71%), computer labs (70%), regular classrooms (67%), gyms (66%), and playgrounds (66%). The surfaces they believe are the most prone to germs include: door handles (90%), drinking fountains/water station areas (81%), desks (80%), railings (76%), computers (75%), gym equipment and classroom supplies (67%), light switches (66%) and playground equipment (54%).
The increased focus on cleaning and disinfecting is for good reason. “As a result of COVID-19, cleaning and disinfecting is essential in helping to protect the safety and welfare of teachers, students, parents, families, and the community at large,” said Eric Roudi, President and CEO of OpenWorks. “Schools are moving from basic, manual cleaning procedures, like vacuuming and wiping down surfaces, into specialized, more advanced cleaning protocols that include disinfecting. It is a trend we don’t see waning any time soon.”
Roudi said that OpenWorks has experienced a sharp increase in demand for its advanced cleaning and disinfecting measures since the outbreak of COVID-19. To help prevent the spread of viruses and infections, the company’s nationwide network follows CDC guidelines on processes, equipment, and products. Its elite service providers use EPA-approved disinfectants and are individually certified by the Global Biorisk Advisory Council.
Additional findings from the recent OpenWorks survey of educators also revealed that:
- 79% plan to follow social distancing measures, yet only 59% plan to reduce the number of students in the classroom.
- 74% are ensuring all educators and staff wear masks, and 64% are ensuring all students wear masks.
- 58% of educators are ensuring their school buses are cleaned and disinfected.
- 45% are hiring additional maintenance/janitorial staff or increasing their hours to clean/disinfect more frequently.
- 39% are planning to have their indoor air systems (heating, ventilation, and cooling) inspected or upgraded prior to their schools reopening to students.
- 38% are hiring additional outside cleaning/disinfection crews to clean/disinfect more frequently.
To meet CDC guidelines for frequent disinfection, OpenWorks recently introduced a new service portfolio called TotalWorks, which allows schools and commercial customers to combine cleaning and disinfecting into one comprehensive service. Each customer chooses whether it would like cleaning and disinfecting services to take place weekly, daily, or multiple times a day (through SaniServices) or as a one-time deep cleaning and disinfecting (through InfectaGuard).
“Destroying and deactivating germs is of paramount importance to us,” said Liz Caracciolo, Chief Operating Officer of OpenWorks. “An increased focus on cleanliness and disinfection is not only coming from schools. We are also experiencing an increased demand from health clinics, offices, and manufacturing and distribution centers. There is also a heightened awareness among consumers of disinfection, and the essential role it plays, in the health and safety of all environments. We want to be a resource for schools and businesses who need help ensuring cleanliness, disinfection, ventilation and safety.”
To further reduce the spread of germs and bacteria that transmit infectious diseases like the coronavirus and influenza, OpenWorks employs the use of electrostatic sprayers, which atomizes cleaning solutions to produce an electrically charged spray that coats itself on all types of surfaces, sterilizing them. As a chemical exits the electrostatic sprayer, it is given a positive charge that is attracted to negatively charged surfaces. The spray attaches to and collects unwanted particles, which are then removed from the environment with a specially designed apparatus. Proven to deliver results up to three times greater than traditional equipment, the sprayers work especially well in disinfecting hard-to-reach surfaces and are safe to use around people and in food-preparation areas.
OpenWorks can also help schools by inspecting, servicing, or upgrading their indoor air systems (heating, ventilation, cooling).
“We are experiencing a growing demand for our specialized cleaning, disinfecting and HVAC services from schools that want to ensure the health and safety of teachers and students and their families,” said Ryan Waldron, OpenWorks’ Senior Vice President of Growth. “And because we operate in a recession-proof industry, we’re always searching for people to become franchise owners so they can help deliver these essential services to schools.”
OpenWorks is a national facility services and commercial cleaning and disinfecting service provider that helps businesses, healthcare facilities, schools and more make their worlds work better by making their facilities cleaner, safer, and healthier. Founded in 1983, and headquartered in Phoenix, the company is one of the fastest-growing facility services companies in the United States. Entrepreneur magazine ranks OpenWorks on its top list of franchises, and Inc. magazine recognized OpenWorks as one of the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S. in 2019 and 2020. Specialized in delivering high quality commercial cleaning, disinfection, and integrated facilities services, the company has more than 20 regional offices and a network of thousands of elite service providers who service facilities across the country.
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