by Caleb Revill, Gibson County Publishing
Humboldt City Schools have an effective tool at their disposal for combating the spread of COVID-19 this flu season, and HCS Maintenance Custodian Charles Broyles is happy to have it.
The “Clorox-360 System” is a heavy-duty electrostatic sprayer that greatly improves cleaning effectiveness and efficiency in classrooms. Every Friday, Broyles uses the sprayer to thoroughly disinfect one of Humboldt’s schools. Last Friday, he was at East Elementary School.
The sprayer has cut the cleaning process it would take to disinfect a school from a grueling four hours to a more manageable two hours. It’s safe to breathe when spraying, and it’s also easier on the arms to use.
“Before we got the machine, I was cleaning with a hand pump,” Broyles said. “The machine saves a whole lot of time.”
An advanced nozzle is used to ensure that all sides of a target sprayed are cleaned. Once plugged in, the sprayer’s handle lights up with a blue light notifying the user that it’s ready for them to squeeze the trigger. Broyles explained that the sprayer can use up to a gallon and a half of cleaning solution for cleaning a whole school building once.
The pandemic has unsurprisingly greatly impacted the workload for school employees. This is especially the case among custodians like Broyles.
“He’s probably doubling his work because of (having to clean) the high frequent contact places like doorknobs and bathrooms,” said Humboldt City Schools Federal Programs Director Jennifer Roten.
So far no custodians have been out sick due to COVID. Roten said that there have been just two student cases and a few teacher cases within the last month. She explained that the schools’ track record has been pretty good with preventing the spread of the virus.
“It was just late in the game that we had it,” Roten said. “We’re already right here in November, and we only (started to) have our cases around the middle of October. We’ve fought this off for a long time.”
Roten credited this success in preventing the spread of the virus to planning ahead in ordering all necessary personal protective equipment and supplies earlier this year. She said the “hybrid model” of students attending classes both online and in person has also helped.
In March, HCS began purchasing all sanitation resources immediately to implement for the 2020-21 school year. The Clorox-360 System was bought using funding from the CARES Act.
“We had bought a lot of our sanitation resources even before we got the CARES Act,” Roten said. “I think we started out ahead of the game, and I think it was a really good decision to go ahead and buy all that we bought.”
Because of the abundance of supplies successfully ordered, every teacher was equipped with essential cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment. From hand sanitizer, to masks, to the Clorox-360 System, HCS schools have been equipped to better ward off potential illnesses.
“My biggest thought process is that I want to make the teachers and students feel safe,” Roten said.