CLEANING & DISINFECTING PLANS
School boards should develop a plan for enhanced cleaning and
disinfecting of schools
- Review existing practices to
determine where enhancements can be made, including:
Review inventory to determine items to be
stored, moved, or removed altogether to reduce handling or challenges
with cleaning them (e.g. porous or soft items such as stuffed toys, area
rugs, fabric seating, etc.)
- frequency and timing of
- areas to clean and/or
- choice of cleaning
- child safety
- PPE for cleaning staff
- Limit the use of shared objects (e.g.
sports equipment, art supplies, toys, etc.), or clean shared objects
between each use
CLEANING & DISINFECTING
Clean and disinfect high touch
surfaces at least twice daily. More frequent cleaning and disinfection may be
necessary, depending on the frequency of use and extent of soilage.
WHAT TO CLEAN AND WHAT TO
Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces, including:
- Washrooms (e.g. toilet
- Eating areas (e.g. tables,
- Doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks,
phones, keyboards, touch screens, push buttons, handrails,
computers, photocopiers, sports equipment, toys, etc.
Clean plastic or
metal outdoor surfaces using soap and water. Cleaning of outdoor wooden
surfaces is not recommended.
See the full list
at the bottom of this document.
CLEANING PRODUCTS AND METHODS
- Break down grease and remove organic
material from the surface.
- Are used separately before disinfectants.
- Can be purchased with cleaner and
disinfectant combined in a single product.
- Have chemicals that kill most germs.
- Applied after the surfaces have been
- Have a Drug Identification Number (DIN).
- Have combined cleaners and disinfectants in
- May become dry due to fast drying
properties. Should be discarded if they become dry.
- Not recommended for heavily soiled surfaces.
- Commonly used cleaners and disinfectants
are effective against COVID-19
- Products that both clean and disinfect are
preferable (e.g. hydrogen peroxide products)
- Only use cleaning and disinfectant products
that have a Drug Identification Number (DIN). A DIN is an 8-digit number
given by Health Canada that confirms it is approved for use in Canada
- Where possible, use pre-mixed solution
- Check expiry dates and always follow
- Wear gloves and any other personal
protective equipment recommended by the manufacturer when handling
cleaning products, including wipes
- Allow adequate contact time for disinfectant
to kill germs (see product label)
- Use damp cleaning methods such as damp clean
cloths, and/or a wet mop
- Do not dry dust or sweep which can
distribute virus droplets into the air
- Contaminated disposable cleaning items (e.g.
mop heads, cloths) should be placed in a lined garbage bin before
disposing of them with regular waste
- Reusable cleaning items can be washed using
regular laundry soap and hot water (60-90°C)
All schools have a
room that can be used should a student or staff member become ill, including
PPE available in the room.
These rooms should
be cleaned after each use.
ensure that bathrooms are cleaned frequently and that there is an adequate
supply of soap at all times. Paper hand towels are preferable to hand dryers.
timetable bathroom breaks in the school day to stagger use of bathrooms and
should monitor physical distancing. Signage should be posted that indicates
the maximum number of people simultaneously using the bathroom at any given
point. Individual students should not be prevented from accessing bathrooms
Students should be encouraged to eat lunch in their
classroom with their cohort as much as possible to ensure chances of contact
and transmission are minimized.
Stagger lunch times
to allow students to wash hands before eating, without creating congestion in
washrooms or handwashing stations.
If weather permits,
try having lunch breaks outside.
- Staff and students perform proper hand
hygiene before and after eating.
- Food sharing is not allowed
- Each student will be required to bring their
own drink bottle that is labeled, kept with them during the day and not
- Refill water bottles at water fountains and
do not allow students and staff to drink directly from the mouthpiece
- Remove all self-serving food items and do
not permit microwave use
- Multi-use utensils will be cleaned after
- Schools will not plan non-instructional
activities that involve students in preparing or serving food
- Third party food services, including
nutrition programs, will be delivered in a way that any student who
wishes to participate can do so. "Grab and Go format" is
preferred. All surfaces, bins and containers for food should be
disinfected prior to and after each use
brought to school should be minimized.
Personal items being brought to
school (e.g. backpack, clothing, sun protection, water bottles, food, etc.)
should be labeled and stored separately in cubbies/designated areas or
HAND HYGIENE AND RESPIRATORY
Hand hygiene refers
to hand washing or hand sanitizing to remove or kill the virus and is the
most effective way to reduce the transmission of organisms.
etiquette aims to
reduce the risk of transmitting droplets that may contain the virus directly
onto other surfaces where they may be picked up by others.
Education: Staff and students should be provided with targeted,
age-appropriate education in proper hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette.
The Northwestern Health Unit can provide additional guidance. Age-appropriate
posters or signage should be placed around the school.
Supplies: Staff and students should have the supplies they need to
conduct appropriate hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette and these supplies
should be easily accessible.
Alcohol Based Hand
Rub (ABHR) with a
minimum 60% alcohol concentration (60-90% recommended in community settings)
throughout the school (including ideally at the entry point to each
classroom) and/or plain liquid soap in dispensers, sinks and paper towels in
Soap and water are
preferred as it is the most effective method and least likely to cause harm
if accidentally ingested.
ABHR can be used by
children. It is most effective when hands are not visibly soiled. Regularly
check expiry date on ABHR supply.
Safe placement of
the ABHR to avoid consumption is important, especially for young children.
For any dirt,
blood, body fluids (urine/feces),
it is preferred that hands be washed with soap and water.
Tissues and lined,
no-touch waste baskets (e.g. foot
pedal-operated, hand sensor, open basket).
students with special needs to regularly perform hand hygiene as
independently as possible.
Anyone entering the
school should be practicing hand
Hand hygiene should
be incorporated into the daily schedule at regular intervals during the day,
above and beyond what is usually recommended (e.g. before eating food, after
using the washroom). Possible options would be to have regular scheduled hand
hygiene breaks based on a pre-specified schedule.
Students may need
assistance or supervision.
SUSPECTED CASE OF COVID-19
individual is suspected of having COVID-19 at school:
- Establish a protocol for identification and
communication of suspected/confirmed cases to administration and relevant
staff to determine contaminated areas and carry out cleaning and
disinfection, including timing, return to use, methods, PPE, waste
- Northwestern Health Unit confirms cases,
identifies and notifies contacts, and should be involved in communication
- Identify areas that may require cleaning
plus disinfection (items used by the individual and all surfaces within
2 meters of the ill person) versus cleaning alone (such as a hallway or
room where the individual has passed through)
- Use disposable cleaning equipment, such as
disposable wipes, where possible
- Remove all items that cannot be cleaned
(paper, books, etc.) and store them in a sealed container for a minimum
of 7 days
It is suspected
that environmental conditions and airflow influence the transmissibility of
- Regularly inspect and maintain air handling
systems to ensure clean filters, if applicable
- Reduce recirculation of air by increasing
HVAC system settings as much as possible or by opening windows
- Avoid the use of fans and portable air
conditioners, when they must be used set device to lowest setting and
adjust airflow up and away from occupants and surfaces. These devices
also require regular maintenance and cleaning following manufacturer’s
- Do not open windows and doors if this poses
a safety or health risk to students and staff (e.g. trigger asthma, risk
of anaphylaxis from a bee/wasp sting)
- Ensure COVID measure do not introduce new
occupational hazards to the work setting.