To Open or Not to Open?

To Open or Not to Open?

Will schools reopen or stay closed? Debate to open schools or keep them closed is happening across the United States, without any sign of an answer. The logistics of reopening schools are complicated.

The Case For & Against Reopening Schools

The idea of children congregating in an enclosed area has people questioning if reopening schools will accelerate the spread of the coronavirus. Children have been spared from serious coronavirus complications for the most part. It’s the adults around them who are at risk. CDC guidelines for reopening schools include wearing masks, social distancing, and cleaning high-touch surfaces, but a new set of problems arise with CDC guidelines.

School budgets may not allow for the extensive resources required to reopen schools safely. For example, many schools lack enough custodial workers to disinfect high-touch surfaces at the CDC’s recommended frequency, once per day, but ideally every time a high-touch surface is touched or handled.  

Childcare has become an economic burden for many families. Working parents might wonder how they can work and take care of their children if schools remain closed. Around 49% of married-couple families had both parents in the workforce in 2019. In families with two working parents, a lack of childcare might mean one parent leaving the labor force indefinitely, potentially reducing families’ spending power—a consequence with a ripple effect. 

Schools fill the void of childcare but are also potential coronavirus hotspots. What can schools do to reopen safely? There isn’t one solution, but cleaning and disinfection are critical pieces of the puzzles to safely reopening schools.

Rising to the Challenge of Cleaning

Custodians are more critical than ever before, but they don’t always receive the supplies they need to clean effectively. While touching a surface isn’t thought to be the primary way of contracting the coronavirus, the CDC recommends cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces regularly.  

On the surface, increased frequency of disinfection presents itself as an inconvenience more than anything else, but a closer look shines a glaring spotlight on staffing shortages and limited budgets. Some schools may only have one or two custodians depending on their size. With students moving to different classrooms throughout the day, cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces, like desks, after each use is a monumental undertaking.

Certain tools can help alleviate the overwhelming task of frequent disinfection with features that streamline the cleaning process. Trigger sprayers can deploy chemical solutions effectively but aren’t the most efficient option. While facilities could afford to sacrifice a certain degree of efficiency before the coronavirus, they now must find highly efficient, durable, and cost-effective products.

Facilities are turning to battery-powered options because of the demand for more effective sprayers.

There is a range of sprayer types that apply chemicals to a surface evenly with ease, such as pump sprayers. Still, the demand for lithium-ion sprayer technology is high because of their ease-of-use and efficiency. Lithium-ion sprayers tout great benefits but at a slightly higher cost.

Businesses or offices may be able to afford the extra cost associated with lithium-ion technology, but school budgets may not offer as much flexibility.  Pump sprayers are as efficient as battery-powered sprayers for less of the cost. Schools and other facilities with tight budgets can also shop for more affordable lithium-ion sprayer options. No matter what schools choose, the key is to select a sprayer that can withstand the extended spraying necessary for frequent disinfection.

Solo Sprayers for Facilities Maintenance

SOLO CLEANLine Sprayers are designed specifically for janitorial applications. Sturdy plastic tanks are resistant to chemicals and UV ray impact, providing lasting quality.  High quality seals and nozzles are available for acidic (Viton®), alkaline (EPDM) and foaming solutions.