Custodians have ‘key’ role in limiting virus spread on campus

Roger Coda
staff member cleans a room in residence hall

Elizabeth Goblirsch at University Commons putting the final touches on a room that a student moved out of recently.

Members of Custodial Services are on the front line of continuing efforts at Fredonia to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

They are the “key components” of the university’s strategy to keep faculty and staff, as well as a small number of students that remain on campus, both healthy and safe, said Assistant Director of Custodial Services Mark Delcamp.

Frequent disinfecting “high-touch areas,” such as door handles, elevator buttons, handrails and doorknobs, has been added to regular duties of approximately 85 custodial workers. They continue to be scheduled across three shifts and service all campus buildings. Restrooms and entrances are cleaned daily.

Fredonia is following coronavirus guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the New York State Health Department, according to Kevin Cloos, director of Facilities Services.

Custodial Services provides personal protective equipment and instructs all staff to take care of themselves first, Mr. Delcamp explained, by wearing gloves, continually washing their hands, adhering to social distancing practices and not touching their face often. All surfaces are thoroughly cleaned before they are disinfected.

Facilities Services also maintains a bulletin board to post articles and other forms of information on the coronavirus pandemic, such as best practices, received from SUNY, the campus’ Emergency Response Team and other sources, including the CDC and state health department, to help keep employees well-informed, Mr. Cloos added.

“We’re constantly reminding people to follow the protocol: to wash their hands often, practice six-feet social distancing. We share everything that we can to make sure people are aware,” Cloos said.

“We’re constantly reminding people to follow the protocol: to wash their hands often, practice six-feet social distancing. We share everything that we can to make sure people are aware,” Cloos said.

The precautions are also given to maintenance workers, including carpenters, plumbers, electricians and others in the building trades.

Employees are also reminded that they should not report for work if they are not feeling well, Cloos said. “We are trying to be mindful of people’s concerns, allow people time to take care of themselves, to re-charge themselves and make sure they are protected.”

“The staff is one of Fredonia's greatest assets in providing a safe educational environment for our students and our community,” said Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services Cedric Howard.

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