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Air Filtration and Cleaning

Air Filtration and Cleaning

Minuteman High School is a new, state-of-the-art building that opened in late 2019. The heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system utilizes Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value 13 (MERV 13) air filters, which can block particles down to a microscopic level, 0.3 microns. (As a point of reference, a human hair is approximately 75 microns.) The filters are changed quarterly per guidelines. In addition, the HVAC system exchanges air in each room six times an hour or more. The system measures the amount of carbon dioxide in a room and upon reaching a set level will exchange air more frequently if needed.

Our custodial staff regularly cleans high-touch areas throughout the day and in the evenings. In the event of a COVID-19 exposure, the custodians will clean and disinfect all areas while using cleaning materials and methods that follow CDC and EPA guidelines.

Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting

Routine cleaning and disinfecting is key to maintaining a safe environment for faculty, students, and staff.

  • Cleaning removes dirt and most germs and is usually done with soap and water.
  • Disinfecting kills most germs, depending on the type of chemical, and only when the chemical product is used as directed on the label.
  • Increase the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting, focusing on high-touch surfaces
  • Increased frequency of cleaning and disinfecting with attention to these areas helps remove bacteria and viruses, including the novel coronavirus.
  • Areas that have not been occupied for 7 days or more, only require routine cleaning in order to re-open the area.


Routine cleaning and disinfecting

Clean and disinfect at least daily (or more, depending on use patterns) frequently touched surfaces and objects such as:

  • Door knobs and handles
  • Handrails/Stair rails
  • Classroom desks and chairs
    Lunchroom tables and chairs
  • Countertops
  • Light switches
  • Bathrooms (toilets, urinals, faucets, sinks, stall doors, toilet paper dispensers, soap dispensers, hand dryers and paper towel dispensers)
  • Elevator buttons
  • Telephones
  • Office desks and chairs
    Computer keyboards and mice

Note: Computer keyboards and mice are difficult to keep clean. There will be disinfecting wipes in computer labs, shops utilizing computers and common areas with computers. Students, Faculty and Staff will be advised to wipe down keyboards, mice and desk surface before and after use.

It is not necessary to routinely apply disinfectants to surfaces that are not high-touch or high-risk (e.g., floors, bookcases, tops of filing cabinets). Surfaces and objects that are not frequently touched should be cleaned with soap and water, and do not require additional disinfection.

Soft surfaces such as carpets, rugs, and drapes can be cleaned using soap and water or a cleaner appropriate for the material.


Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces

  • If surfaces are dirty to sight or touch, they should be cleaned using a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
    Use an EPA-registered household disinfectant and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure safe and effective use of the product.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safe and effective use of all cleaning and disinfection products (e.g., dilution concentration, application method and contact time, required ventilation, and use of personal protective equipment).
    • Always follow the directions on the manufacturer’s labels to ensure safe and effective use to the product.
    • The disinfectant concentrations and contact time are critical for effective surfaces disinfection.
    • Ensure that disinfectants are prepared (well-ventilated areas) and handled safely, wearing the appropriate PPE to avoid chemical exposures.
  • Electronics: Consult manufacturer recommendations on cleaning products.
    • If no guidance is available, consider the use of alcohol-based wipes or spray containing at least 70% alcohol.
  • Effective products (other than approved disinfectants) for disinfection of hard, non-porous surfaces:
    • A 10% diluted bleach solution, and
      • Prepare a 10% diluted bleach solution by doing the following:
      • Mix five tablespoons of bleach per gallon of water.
      • After application, allow 2 minutes of contact time before wiping, or allow to air dry (without wiping).

▪ Alcohol solution with at least 70% alcohol


Safety Guidelines During Cleaning and Disinfection

The risk of getting COVID-19 from cleaning is low.

 General precautions for cleaning staff:

  • Staff should not touch their face while cleaning and only after they can wash hands after cleaning.
  • Cleaning staff should wear disposable gloves when cleaning and handling trash. Gloves should be discarded after each use. Clean hands immediately after gloves are removed.
  • Appropriate eye protection should be worn when there is a chance for splash or splatter to the face while performing cleaning duties.
  • Cleaning staff should thoroughly wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after gloves are removed.
  • Staff who are responsible for cleaning and disinfecting should be trained to use disinfectants safely and effectively and to safely clean up potentially infectious materials and body fluids – blood, vomit, feces, and urine.
  • All cleaning staff should be trained on the hazards of the cleaning chemicals used in the workplace in accordance with OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard 29 CFR 1910.1200 (