Sanitization: Following TEA Guidance
In accordance with public health planning guidance from the Texas Education Agency, San Marcos Academy has implemented numerous new practices to mitigate the likelihood of spreading the coronavirus, or any other communicable disease, on campus. These are the recommendations we are following:
- providing parental and public notices regarding our plan for on-campus activities and instruction
- following prevention practices, such as temperature screening, and communicating protocols to follow when individuals have a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19
- responding to any lab-confirmed case of COVID-19 in the school and
- mitigating the likelihood of COVID-19 spread inside the school through health and hygiene practices, PPE, and enhanced cleaning and sanitation methods.
Sanitization: Adding to the Arsenal
With regard to the mitigation process, the members of our maintenance staff have been working tirelessly to follow best practices, published by the CDC, for cleaning and disinfecting school buildings. In addition to continuing all our routine cleaning tasks, the Academy has invested in three new pieces of equipment that will greatly improve our ability to provide a safe and sanitized environment.
One item SMA has acquired is the Professional Cordless Electrostatic Backpack Sprayer (from Victory Innovations Co. The Academy’s model is light enough to be carried (backpack style) or used on a cart. This tool can coat up to 23,000 square feet on a single tank of disinfectant or sanitizer liquid. The electrostatic charge allows an even coating on all surfaces. The Victory sprayer is used primarily indoors to sanitize entire rooms and inside areas. The sprayer is used only after school hours when no students or staff are present.
Another tool used by the Academy’s maintenance staff is the Solo Cleanline backpack sprayer. This item is used outdoors on walks, hand rails, tables, and other high touch areas that require more acidic-based cleaning fluids. This type of product has been used by businesses and hospitals for hygienic cleaning of medical rooms, commercial kitchens, swimming pools, and other large public areas. Again, this sprayer is not used around students or staff for their safety.
Sanitization: UV-C Fixtures Coming Soon
In addition, SMA will soon be installing UV-C (ultraviolet light) fixtures in our air handling system to improve the quality of air in our school buildings. Applying this technology will help eliminate 99.9% of the mold, mildew, bacteria and viruses that can be found in indoor air. Installing the system in the air handlers rather than using direct UV light in the room itself prevents harm to plants or animals.
By adding these large-scale sanitation and disinfecting options to our campus health protocols, SMA is doing all we can to ensure a safe environment for our students and staff. Of course, nothing replaces the basics of washing hands frequently, covering coughs and sneezes, using PPE, and maintaining social distancing as much as possible. We will continue to model these good health and hygiene practices and encourage students to follow them daily.