Additional Cleaning To Fight Flu Might Be Overkill, Says CDC
As this severe flu season continues to take its toll, schools have closed their doors for days or weeks at a time to allow sick students and staff to recover and to give cleaning crews time to deep clean, according to Dallas Observer reports. But while some cleaning processes sound impressive, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines indicate that they may not be necessary.
The CDC says that to deep clean for the flu, schools need to both clean and disinfect — cleaning to remove dirt and germs and disinfect to kills the germs — but no special procedures are needed.
"Follow your school’s standard procedures for routine cleaning and disinfecting. Typically, this means daily sanitizing surfaces and objects that are touched often, such as desks, countertops, doorknobs, computer keyboards, hands-on learning items, faucet handles, phones, and toys," say CDC guidelines. "Some schools may also require daily disinfecting these items. Standard procedures often call for disinfecting specific areas of the school, like bathrooms."
Standard cleaning and disinfecting practices will remove or kill the flu because it’s a particularly fragile virus.
In fact, the CDC says that if students and staff are dismissed because of high absenteeism during a flu outbreak, it still is not necessary to do extra cleaning and disinfecting.
Even so, in Bonham, a town in far North Texas, the school district was shut down for a week while an outside cleaning contractor, Total Building Maintenance, cleaned all five of Bonham's schools at a cost of about $5,000.
Going above and beyond normal practices, despite the CDC's contention that special cleaning and disinfecting processes are not necessary or recommended is about providing piece of mind, according to an interview with Rene Moreno, Total Building Maintenance's area operations manager, on KXAS-TV.
"The detailed cleaning of the disinfectant is almost like insurance on top of the regular cleaning that you have right now," Moreno said.
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