Frontline workers expand campus COVID-19 cleaning practices

Roger Coda
person cleaning

Custodial Services worker Julie Echevarria cleans the sink area of a Chautauqua Hall bathroom.

Custodial Services staff, who serve as Fredonia’s own frontline workers in the coronavirus pandemic era, have stepped up their game to provide a safer environment for returning students, faculty and staff.

“We’re pretty fluid in how we change our practices,” said Tim Lillie, head custodian, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has continued to develop new guidelines and best practices since the pandemic began in March.

“We have excellent staff. Our workers take great pride in their work; they take what they do very seriously and also take seriously their own health and safety.” - Head Custodian Tim Lillie

Among these changes on campus is a new COVID-19 protocol that’s put into place upon a confirmed case of a student with COVID-19. Staff is now using Oxivir, which Mr. Lillie describes as a hospital-grade cleaner and disinfectant product, to effectively and quickly clean and sanitize common spaces on campus that the infected person may have touched, such as common areas noted by contact tracing, as well as the student’s own on-campus Residence Hall room.

cleaner working in building
Linda Nixon wipes a staircase handrail in Chautauqua Hall.

Custodial Services has also stepped up the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting high-touch areas, such as door handles and railings, throughout campus, Lillie noted. “We’re hitting these areas several times a day,” he said.

In addition to increased frequency of disinfecting high touch areas, Custodial Services has also added well over 100 GermX hand sanitizer dispensers across academic buildings. Custodial Services also purchased a pump sprayer containing another hospital grade disinfectant to cover wide areas of spaces in a short time period.

“These tools allow them to be more efficient and effective at providing a safe and healthy learning and working environment,” Lillie said.

Staff continue to wear personal protective equipment when carrying out their duties.

“We have excellent staff. Our workers take great pride in their work; they take what they do very seriously and also take seriously their own health and safety,” Lillie said.

Custodial Services is in the process of adding three new employees to its 85-member staff to handle increased cleaning/disinfecting cycles.

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