Facilities Cleaning and Support – Fall 2020 and Spring 2021

Cleaning and Disinfecting

Facilities Services has increased the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces in public spaces, including but not limited to building entrances, door handles, lobby furniture, stair handrails, ADA door controls, elevator buttons, light switches, time clocks, and restroom surfaces and fixtures. These surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected multiple times daily.

  • Facilities Services uses CDC-recommended cleaning products and operates according to CDC guidelines.
  • Puget Sound’s Environment, Health, and Safety (EHS) department has reviewed and approved the cleaning products used by building specialist staff members, and cleaning protocols were developed with EHS input and approval.
  • All building specialist staff members receive training in the appropriate and effective use of these products and are provided with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that is appropriate to their job duties and products used.
  • Facilities Services is working with vendors, distribution partners, and suppliers to ensure an uninterrupted supply of cleaning supplies and PPE.

Facilities Services is utilizing Clorox 360 electrostatic sanitizing machines to help support the disinfecting efforts. The system pairs an electrostatic sprayer with a portfolio of Clorox disinfectants and sanitizers to ensure all surfaces, even those hard-to-reach, difficult-to-clean areas, are treated.

Campus members should wipe down commonly used surfaces in their work and living areas before and after use. These surfaces include shared equipment, such as copiers and printers, desks and tables, light switches, door handles, coffee makers and break room tables, and appliance handles/doors. EPA-registered, 60% to 90% alcohol solution cleansers will be provided for this purpose in each workplace, classroom, dining facility, residence hall, library space, and other university facility. Hand sanitizer dispensers also will be installed throughout campus buildings, particularly at key building entrances.

Facilities Services staff members will help promote compliance with the requirements of the university’s COVID-19 Work on Campus Plan, including specific regulatory protocols. Examples include:

  • Before working on campus, all faculty, staff, and student staff members, including Facilities Services staff members, are required to complete an online COVID-19 prevention training course. This course includes information on mitigating transmission, guidelines for eliminating or minimizing hazards, and the appropriate use of PPE.
  • Appropriate PPE will be worn by faculty and staff members based on roles and responsibilities and in adherence to current guidance. All faculty, staff, and students have been or will be provided with two reusable cotton face coverings and are required to wear them in any indoor public setting or when outdoors and unable to maintain 6 feet of physical distance from others. Gloves will be provided to campus members who provide cleaning services or perform other activities that warrant glove use.
  • Facilities Services staff members, along with all campus members, have been instructed and reminded to wash or sanitize their hands for 20 seconds after any of the following activities: touching the face, sneezing or nose-blowing, using the restroom, cleaning, eating or drinking, going on or returning from break, and at the beginning and end of each shift.
  • Shared tools and equipment will be disinfected before, during, and after each shift or whenever equipment is transferred to a staff member. This equipment includes but is not limited to: phones, radios, computers, cleaning equipment, tools, carts, keys, and other direct contact items used by Facilities Services staff members.

Facilities Services will perform extra cleaning and disinfecting in all campus residential spaces prior to student move-in in accordance with CDC guidelines.

Measures being taken within campus buildings are as follows:

  • Facilities Services staff members are changing air filters and performing preventive maintenance on building HVAC systems.
  • Areas will be thoroughly cleaned using disinfectant with electrostatic spraying units used to clean commonly used spaces.
  • Increased disinfecting of bathrooms and the use of electrostatic disinfectant spray to fog the areas.
  • Plumbing systems are being flushed to remove any stagnant or standing water.
  • Classroom, dining, and other spaces are being reconfigured to meet physical distancing guidelines. Conference rooms and other larger spaces are being repurposed to function as classrooms to help accommodate physical distancing.
  • Physical barriers, such as plexiglass shields, are being installed in certain classroom settings, bathroom sink areas, open workstations, reception desks, and other high-contact areas where physical distancing would be especially difficult to maintain.
  • Modified capacity limits will be in place, along with applicable signage:
    • Two occupants per restroom throughout campus.
    • One occupant per elevator throughout campus.
    • Appropriate limits will be set for entrances, exits, and travel patterns within buildings.
    • Hand sanitizing stations will be located in all buildings.
    • Residence hall rooms have been evaluated to meet physical distancing requirements and have been limited to one person per room.
  • Signage will be in place within campus buildings as reminders to practice physical distancing, wear a face covering, and wash/sanitize hands often.
  • Additional personnel resources have been committed to this process.

Ventilation and Air Filtration

Current CDC guidance does not identify HVAC systems as a means of transmission, but does provide recommendations related to indoor air quality, including fresh air ventilation and air filtration. The university is installing an Air-Cleaning Bipolar Ionization System (GPS) on its building mechanical systems that can accommodate the retrofit for these units. The GPS auto-cleaning system purifies the air by eliminating airborne particulates, odors, and pathogens.

The university has a variety of building ages and types of systems. Many have operable windows that allow occupants to regulate fresh air intake. In addition, most buildings on campus are supplied with fresh air through the HVAC system. Campus spaces are designed to establish minimum air change per hour rates as recommended by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

Many campus building systems are designed to increase outside air ventilation during favorable weather conditions, which typically occur during the milder spring and fall seasons. The ability to increase outside air ventilation is limited during summer and winter months due to more extreme outside temperatures and the capacity of building HVAC systems. Facilities Services will be proactively inspecting building ventilation systems for proper operation and will seek ways to increase outside air ventilation as feasible.

Specialty-use areas on campus require high-containment or HEPA filters, and the HVAC systems in these areas are designed to work with these filter types. Other campus spaces do not require high-containment filters, and the HVAC systems are not designed for that filter type. Facilities Services is currently accelerating its filter replacement program and is also evaluating filter types across campus to maximize filtration to the greatest extent feasible.