Stepping up to the challenge - Facilities Services responds

March 25, 2020

As Canada and the world responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, Facilities Services at Simon Fraser University (SFU) has ramped up its efforts to ensure the university continues to operate safely and responsibly. With experts noting the importance of disinfecting surfaces, custodial staff have prioritized the sanitization of high touch points in public areas across Burnaby Campus. “Everything from elevator buttons, garbage lids, public phones, kitchen areas and public spaces are being disinfected several times a day every single day,” says Grady Ott, Operations Supervisor, for Facilities Services.

“All public washrooms across the campus are being scrubbed and we’ve introduced cleaning agents that although safe to humans will kill a wide range of potential contagions.”

Although the current situation may be unprecedented, Grady says the department has had a high touch point cleaning initiative in place for a number of years implemented during flu season. “The basic protocol has proven successful so we’ve built upon that to ensure we respond effectively to provide students, faculty, and staff the most protection possible.”

Large public spaces such as lecture theatres and public lounges are being disinfected using electrostatically charged disinfectant systems able to cover wide surfaces but also penetrate into small crevasses. To ensure staff burnout is not an issue, the department is working closely with custodial staff ensuring team members schedules are reasonable and modifications made where appropriate. Above all, Grady says the team is working with local communities to ensure precious supplies such as facemasks, gloves and sanitizer are being used appropriately. “We’re assessing our needs on an ongoing basis. Any extra supplies of hand sanitizer are being offered to community agencies such as non-profits or hospitals. We’re all in this together and we’re going to get through it together.”