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Campus Cleaning and Disinfecting Intensifies

Deb Francis, a member of Stetson’s custodial team, cleans and disinfects surfaces at the Athletic Training Center on campus. 
Photos: Stetson University

As part of the university’s protection against the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, cleaning and disinfecting across the DeLand campus continues in earnest, with the frequency of custodial activities being doubled and, in some cases, tripled. 

As a result, what previously was performed on a daily general-maintenance basis now is occurring two or three times more each day, according to Bonita Dukes, Stetson’s associate vice president of Facilities Management. 

“The increases in the frequency are in addition to what was already being done,” Dukes emphasized, also noting that particular areas of emphasis include high-touch points such as door knobs and other handles, drinking fountains, light switches and desktop surfaces, as well as community bathrooms.

Bonita Dukes,
Stetson associate vice president of Facilities Management

“We are taking extraordinary measures.”

Facilities Management is using a disinfectant approved by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention and certified by the Environmental Protection Agency. The disinfectant, Peroxide Multi Surface Disinfectant and Cleaner, can be used on all surfaces, including windows and floors. A solution consisting of 50-50 bleach and water also is being used, Dukes said.

During their work, Stetson’s 37 custodial staffers must wear gloves (as they have in the past) and change them after each specific use. Facilities Management has reduced the number of its staff members working together. And, as part of social distancing, workers must stand six feet apart as they clock in and out of work. CDC-recommended N95 masks will be worn only if suspected symptoms of the coronavirus exist and further disinfecting is required.

Fighting infection: CDC-approved Peroxide Multi Surface Disinfectant and Cleaner

Meanwhile, with students being given the opportunity to continue residing on campus, a plan is in place to move students out of their residence halls and into Stetson’s apartment-style housing that features two- and four-bedroom layouts with either single or shared (maximum of two people) bathrooms, and full kitchens. The housing — at Hatter Hall, University Hall and specific campus apartments — also features direct access to rooms, limiting the amount of community space.

“All students will have their own room with a door they can close,” Dukes said. “And they will have the ability to cook, in the event of further dining restrictions on campus.”  

Fighting infection: A CDC-recommended N95 mask

The university anticipates that approximately one-third of all undergraduates will choose to remain living on campus. Students are mandated to notify the university of their decision to stay on campus leave by March 20.

At least, that’s the current plan, Dukes concludes. 

“These are the plans we have in place to date,” she said. “But we have to ready and flexible to continue to evolve.”

-Stetson Today