Cleaning, Disinfection, & Sanitization
Latest Updates: 14 January 2021
Cleaning of School Buildings and Furniture
Schools must carry out the general cleaning and disinfection of the premises every 24 hours. This includes cleaning and disinfecting floors, vacuuming, spot cleaning, dusting horizontal surfaces such as furniture, classroom equipment etc., and taking out the trash.
Surfaces must undergo cleaning with soap/detergent and water to remove organic matter and debris, followed by disinfection (germ elimination) with a disinfectant such as those described in the (See section for Cleaning Techniques below).
60%-80%alcohol-based sanitizing gels and wipes may be used by students and staff for sanitization (germ reduction) of hands and workstations.
Loose carpets and rugs should be removed and stowed away until the pandemic is over.
High-contact surfaces touched by many different people, such as light switches, handrails, doorknobs, faucets, toilet buttons, toilet seats, countertops, etc., must be cleaned and disinfected every hour.
Toilets must be cleaned and sprayed with disinfectant solution every hour.
Waste bins in classrooms and toilets must be emptied before they are full, and at a minimum of once per day.
Cleaning, sanitization, and disinfection management for additional resources as necessary for Students of Determination should consider guidance outlined in the points above.
Cleaning should progress from the least soiled (cleanest) to the most soiled (dirtiest) areas, and from the higher to lower levels so that debris may fall on the floor and is cleaned last in a systematic manner to avoid missing any areas.
Schools shall use fresh cloths at the start of each cleaning session (e.g., routine daily cleaning before the beginning of the school day).
For areas considered to be at high risk of COVID-19 virus contamination such as the school clinic or sites regularly used by a confirmed COVID-19 patient (e.g. desk, floor etc.), schools shall use separate cleaning equipment and cloth.
Detergent or disinfectant solutions become contaminated during cleaning and progressively less effective if the organic load is too high; therefore, the continued use of the same solution may transfer the microorganisms to each subsequent surface. Thus, detergent and/or disinfectant solutions must be discarded after each use in areas when cleaning sites used by suspected/confirmed patients with COVID-19.
[Updated on 14 January 2021]
Fresh disinfectant solution should be prepared daily or for each cleaning shift. Only disinfectants approved by the Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council (QCC), Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA), or any other government entity should be used.
Schools shall follow these guidelines when cleaning a site used by a COVID-19 affected student or member of staff:
- Close off the affected areas that were used by the patient.
- Open doors and windows to increase air circulation in the area.
- It is advised to wait 24 hours before cleaning or disinfecting the area.
- Ensure that the cleaning staff is wearing full PPE (i.e. mask, face shield, gloves and a long sleeved single-use apron).
- Clean and disinfect the area using a disinfectant solution and fresh cloth. Discard or wash the cloth with detergent and dry it before re-use.
Cleaning of Shared Equipment
Sharing of IT equipment, especially that which is frequently touched by students (such as computer keyboards, mouse devices and mobile computing devices, etc.) is not recommended. However, if required, all surfaces should be sanitized after individual use.
Schools are encouraged to reduce the risk of transmission and cross-contamination due to shared resources by:
- Locking away items that are difficult to clean or disinfect, such as some toys, educational manipulatives, etc.
- For younger students, supplies such as worksheets, notebooks, and stationery should be stored separately in individually labelled containers.
- Ensuring that materials such as toys, books, manipulatives, models etc. are in adequate supply to reduce sharing.
- Limiting the use of supplies and equipment by one group of children at a time and sanitizing between use.
Schools should maintain good indoor ventilation. For better ventilation, schools should keep the windows (if the weather allows) and doors of classrooms open, using exhaust fans/ventilation units to circulate fresh air.
If the air-conditioning system is used, schools should ensure there is sufficient fresh air supply and the dust-filters are cleaned and sanitized regularly.
Closed spaces such as classrooms, etc. should be ventilated with fresh air for at least 10 minutes before students arrive at school, during recreation/recess, at lunch time, and after school.
Lunch/Safe Food Preparation
Schools should encourage parents to send individual packed lunches with students.
Students should not share food with others.
The use of the canteen by different groups is not recommended unless isolation of groups and cleaning/disinfection between cycles can be guaranteed. Lunch should be served in the classroom where possible.
Vending machines for individually pre-packed food and beverages are allowed provided they meet sector requirements for safe use.
Canteens may not cook food on the school premises but may serve individual pre-packed meals. Schools shall:
- Comply with all requirements of personal hygiene, general cleanliness, temperature controls, food packaging and display, food transportation and storage, and food waste management set out under the school canteen standards established by the Abu Dhabi Agriculture & Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA).
- Ensure that employees observe social distancing, hand hygiene, and wear face shields, gloves, and face masks while preparing meal distribution.
- Ensure functioning of handwashing stations in the kitchen for frequent handwashing facilities.
Students should be encouraged to bring a full bottle of water every day. For additional drinking water requirements, water dispensers are allowed for student use as long as these are sanitized regularly and manned by a staff member during busy break times to ensure the least possible risk to students when filling their water bottles or using the plastic cups. This staff member will make sure that the students are wearing their mask and have sanitized their hands prior to touching the dispenser while ensuring strict compliance with precautionary measures.
Drinking fountains are strictly prohibited.
Where Students of Determination have additional dietary requirements that cannot be managed in line with guidance for other students, their specific needs must be considered as part of the Risk Assessment process and discussed with parents. Any decisions and provisions made must be communicated to all appropriate members of staff.
Schools shall conduct inspections and perform necessary maintenance on water systems to ensure their safety following a period of prolonged disuse.
Waste generated at school should be packed in strong black bags, closed completely and disposed of for the municipal waste collection to pick up.
Medical waste generated by the school clinic must be disposed of as per the requirements set by the Abu Dhabi Waste Management Centre.
After waste is disposed of, hands must be washed for at least 20 seconds using soap and water.
Any additional and specific Waste Management needs for Students of Determination must be considered as part of the Risk Assessment procedure and measures clearly communicated to appropriate members of staff.