Silhouette of a janitor in a vector image

A July approaches its midway point, teachers, students, parents and school faculty across the nation have to be getting anxious over the prospect of the 2020-2021 school year beginning in just a few weeks. And why not? After slowing down a bit, the COVID-19 pandemic is booming again.

St. Louis Public Schools employs almost 200 part-time and full-time custodians to help keep its nearly 70 schools clean and students safe. It's now known that the primary and secondary schools in the area will open this fall with new health and safety guidelines. But some of the frontline workers who have been at ground zero of the summer cleaning and disinfecting efforts fear that new guidelines aren't enough, reports KSDK News 5.

One woman who has been a custodian for the district for more than 20 years tells KSDK News 5 that, right now, it appears that a fall return would be too soon, especially at elementary schools like the one she cleans. She says that despite the fact that custodians have made the schools "very, very clean," small children have a penitent for hugging and hand touching that isn't conducive to stopping the spread of germs.

Another custodian with the district also agrees that a fall return is too soon. However, he says that kids can be sure they'll be coming back to a school that's been well cleaned.

Schools across the country will hope that they have that same fresh start, too.