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TCSS reviews COVID-19 cleaning measures

The Troup County School Board discussed Monday how the school system is cleaning buildings to keep students safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kenneth Flanders, the custodial services director for TCSS, gave a presentation at Monday’s school board work session, explaining the process his team uses once someone has had a positive case of COVID-19 in a school.

Flanders said they clean the area, and then use Oxivir, a disinfectant he said was on the “cutting edge” of fighting the virus. He also showed the board a video of his team fogging the schools with Oxivir.

Flanders said Oxivir is child proof, child safe and there aren’t any corrosive chemicals in it. Each classroom also has a spray bottle of Oxivir for quick use, as well as Oxivir wipes.

Oxivir is listed on the Environmental Protection Agency website as a disinfectant that is approved to kill COVID-19.

Flanders said his team has worked 16-hour days, sometimes six or seven days a week. He spoke about the uncertainty and the need to be ready at any moment.

“I never know when we’re going to do what we do until I hear from [Assistant Superintendent] Mr. [Chip] Medders,” Flanders said. “He doesn’t know until he hears from principals, and the principals don’t know until they hear from their staff or a family member or parent of a child.”

He said it takes about three or four hours to spray an entire campus, depending on the size.

Flanders said it’s a deep cleaning, and they even go as far as to pull out desks and chairs to spray under them.

The school board also discussed approving antimicrobial treatments at a cost of $33,437.57, which will provide 90 days of protection. Superintendent Brian Shumate recommends that the board approve Ecovasive, LLC, which can provide the antimicrobial treatment for all buses and school buildings at a cost of $33,437.57. It was the lowest bid by more than $33,000.

Medders explained that the antimicrobial spraying is different than what Flanders and his team to clean the schools. Essentially, antimicrobial cleaning suppresses the growth of bacteria on surfaces, while disinfectant spray will clean whatever germs are on the surface at that moment.

Medders said if the board approves the antimicrobial cleaning then every school will be sprayed next week during Thanksgiving break.

Buses will be sprayed on Dec. 19, during Christmas break.

The school system has already used an antimicrobial spray once this year, as it was approved during July’s school board meeting.

However, the recommended 90-day window on the spray’s effectiveness is about to run out.

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