Understanding the cleaners and sanitizers

Naylah Neal, Web Editor/Social Media Manager

At Bellevue East High School the students and staff have been issued hand sanitizer and cleaners, along with trying to better understand how to protect themselves during this pandemic.

In order to prevent the school from going completely to remote learning some changes had to be made. Custodial staff have to clean a lot more consistently, the cafeteria is to be cleared after every lunch, and the classrooms are to be cleaned whenever possible. 

 According to the BPS Disinfecting Protocol, “Teachers, Paraprofessionals, and office staff will clean their own classrooms and office areas during school hours as often as schedule permits. Will be equipped with vinyl gloves, paper towels, disinfectant cleaner, and hand sanitizer.”

The types of sanitizers used were determined by the school district. Head custodian John Dengel is responsible for supervising the custodial staff and the implementation of the protocols with respect to sanitizing.

“During the day my staff goes around and wipes down high touch areas: door knobs, lightswitches, handrails and things like that,” Dengel said.  “So that’s protocol.”

Sanibet and Oxivir are two of the chemicals used in BPS to sanitize. Sanibet is food safe for use in the cafeteria and other food prep areas and Oxivir is for classroom use. 

Process of elimination to where we used a couple different types. The percentage that was capable of killing COVID and also being food safe,” Dengel said, “so we had to make sure we got the right product for the cafeteria and a product we could use in the school anywhere and kills everything in about one minute.”

Sanibet was found to be the best fit for food safety. Sanibet is NSF International certified and EPA approved. According to the brand information, Sanibet kills 99.99% of food service organisms, including Listeria, E-Coli, and Salmonella. 

Oxivir is the other disinfectant used in classrooms and around the school. According to the company website, Oxivir  provides “an alternative to traditional disinfectants by delivering fast acting, broad spectrum disinfection with enhanced cleaning power that is staff and patient friendly while being gentle on most surfaces.”

The protocols are alright. The hallway directions make it more difficult to navigate to class, and it’s annoying when teachers make you go all the way around the hall when your class is 3 feet away,” sophomore Kyanna Skinner said. “The masks are fine, they don’t really bother me unless I get a headache from them. Covid has impacted my school year I’m sure the same way it has impacted other people. It sucks, but school is functioning and that’s all that really matters.”

The active ingredient in Oxivir is hydrogen peroxide. It is environmentally friendly and breaks down into water and oxygen. Teachers are supposed to sanitize touchable surfaces using the disinfectant.

“It’s not bad, at first it seemed weird, but it’s just like the masks. It seems pretty normal now and weirdly enough you get used to it pretty quick,” instructor John Campbell said.

Dengel said that the night custodians have be extra tidy with their cleaning and careful with what they are doing. All of the custodians have been extremely busy. 

“There’s no dead time so it’s a little bit more busy and that’s the biggest challenge,” Dengel said, “constantly busy and you have to be aware of what they’re wiping down or wiping down constantly. At night we sanitize top to bottom with backpack sprayers in all the rooms, every custodian goes in their area in every room and sanitizes that whole room from top to bottom with that backpack sprayer.”