Daily deep clean at San Benito High

Crews busy disinfecting on campus while students learn from home

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The San Benito High School District custodial crew has been hard at work disinfecting the weight room as a precaution due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

By Juan Reyes

The San Benito High School District is taking serious measures when it comes to the COVID-19 outbreak as crew members continue to work daily to disinfect the campus.

Kristy Bettencourt, maintenance, operations, transportation and facilities manager at SBHS District, said this week it was the weight room and school busses’ turn to get wiped down thoroughly.

“Our teams have been wonderful,” she said. “They’ve gone above and beyond, they’ve done whatever need be to ensure that the campus is clean.”

The crew members are using sprays–Q.T. Plus and Re-Juv-Nal–that are recommended by the EPA to kill the coronavirus.

Bettencourt said they’re staying on top of things, including adding a log that teachers sign to ensure that a custodian goes back to the room to disinfect it a second time.

“We’re doing the main building daily because we have a few employees that are still here daily, so we do sanitize and disinfect that space everyday,” Bettencourt said.

All of the athletic facilities have been shutdown and are permanently closed. They will do a touchup of the campus just before it’s set to reopen.

The classrooms have been sprayed down with Q.T. Plus, which is made by Hillyard Industries. The clear, yellow lemon scented liquid is not known to contain any chemicals currently listed as carcinogens or reproductive toxins, according to the safety data sheet.

Re-Juv-Nal, which is a clear, purple liquid, is used on delicate material such as benches in the weight room. 

Bettencourt said they kept employees in for overtime to ensure any extra precautions. 

“We had no idea what to expect,” she said. “The first couple of days everyone stayed late and it was just clean, clean, clean because we didn’t know how long school was going to be closed. There were too many variables.” 

Rivera said it’s been a whole new system but the crew has adapted to the changes. 

“It’s new for everybody because we had never had anything like this before,” Rivera said. “It’s just adapting to it and making sure that we’re keeping everybody safe.”

The custodial crew is cleaning everything by hand including window sills and blinds.

Rivera mentioned that they use the summer break to deep clean the entire campus. He said it’s been a challenge, especially now that they’re sanitizing on a constant basis.

“There’s a difference between cleaning and disinfecting,” he said. “We’ve got to make sure that we disinfect, so it’s a whole different process.”

But the custodial crew is getting some help this week. Rivera said they should be getting a spray gun that will be able to disinfect a classroom in 20 minutes or less. 

Local and state education authorities have determined that all schools will remain closed at least for the rest of the spring semester. 

Bettencourt said the COVID-19 outbreak has been a culture change, as well. She mentioned shipping and receiving is going as far as spraying packages with an alcohol water solution to ensure they’re clean for delivery. 

“It’s been mind changing for our people,” she said.