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Procedure used to disinfect potentially coronavirus-stricken Tayside schools revealed

Sanitation crews have hosed down Perth High School and Murroes Primary.
Sanitation crews have hosed down Perth High School and Murroes Primary.

Tayside Contracts has revealed the in-depth sterilisation process its teams administered while decontaminating potentially coronavirus-stricken Tayside schools this week.

The contractors, which carry out regular cleaning duties at schools across Perth and Kinross, Dundee and Angus, were instructed to carry out deep cleans at Perth High School and Murroes Primary in Angus. Both have been closed since Monday.

Third tier cleanses, the highest level Tayside Contracts conduct, were carried out and Murroes reopened on Wednesday, with Perth High due to reopen on Thursday after being subject to 72-hour scours.

Tayside Contracts say this level of sterilisation is only conducted when councils demand it.

The “targeted deep clean” was structured around NHS advice and is only carried out during three-day closures. Bosses say this procedure is safer for employees and increases the effectiveness of the cleaning regime.

All surfaces which could harbour the virus are steeped in disinfecting chemicals three times.

Decontamination crews are protected by disposable coveralls, aprons and gloves, as well as facemasks and goggles as they sanitise the schools.

A “selected” cleaning team initially cleaned all contact points and toilet areas using a general multipurpose cleaner called Sprint 200 and then disinfected all the same areas using a potent chlorine-based solution, ensuring the cleaning fluid remained in contact with each surface for a minimum of five minutes.

Each of the surfaces is re-chlorinated for a further five minutes.

All materials used during the cleanse has been disposed of using “clinical waste protocol.”

Normally, daily cleaning teams vacuum and dust schools, wipe down all hard surfaces and contact points within the buildings and attend to bins and toilets.

Ibukun Strachan, facilities business improvement manager, said: “Tayside Contracts has been asked by all three councils to respond to Covid-19 suspected/confirmed cases within school communities.

“It is difficult to respond effectively without a common understanding of what is required and expected, so in an effort to avoid confusion and respond consistently, the protocol has been developed in line with advice from NHS Health Protection Scotland.

“The NHS has produced Covid-19 guidance which Tayside Contracts has used to develop guidance for employees.

“Due to the differing requirements Tayside Contracts has developed three cleaning regimes which should be instructed ideally by a single source in each council.”

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