How Ryerson Cleans Spaces
To clean and maintain spaces during COVID-19, Facilities Management and Development (“Facilities”) is preparing enhanced cleaning protocols and implementing new technology such as electrostatic disinfection sprays and sanitizing agents to support the prevention of viral transmission through disinfection.
The strategy draws on the recommendations and guidelines from public health officials. It includes procedures for preparing Ryerson spaces to support a partial and gradual return to campus and a schedule for comprehensive cleaning and sanitization.
How Facilities cleans Ryerson spaces
Ryerson’s augmented cleaning protocols focus on:
- cleaning high-touch surfaces like:
- elevator buttons
- light switches
- washroom fixtures
- using disinfectants with a Drug Identification Number (DIN) approved by Health Canada
- electrostatic disinfection to effectively coat surfaces with disinfecting agents
Additionally, the university will be:
- installing disinfectant wipe dispensers to facilitate the cleaning and disinfection of high-touch work surfaces and shared equipment between uses
- providing additional hand sanitizer dispensers across campus
The cleaning agents used are hospital-grade, peroxide-based solutions that are designed for daily use to kill pathogens — like bacteria and viruses — and are also non-toxic, and won’t damage expensive equipment.
Cleaning tasks are prescribed and scheduled based on the nature of each space, the types of activities carried out within it, and the types of equipment, furniture, surfaces and fixtures that it contains.
Nightly deep-cleaning in common-use and high-traffic areas
Deep-cleaning and disinfection will take place nightly in all common-use and high-traffic facilities such as:
- lobbies and entrances
- corridors and stairwells
- lounges and lunchroom
- classrooms, labs and computer rooms
Cleaning in these spaces if concentrated on floors and high touch surfaces. In lunchrooms and lounges, tables and counters are cleaned nightly. Computer equipment is not cleaned.
Weekly cleaning and disinfection of personal office equipment and furniture not in a shared or restricted area
Personal office equipment and furniture that is not shared and within a restricted area — such as private office spaces — will be cleaned as per routine cleaning protocols. The Facilities team will conduct weekly cleaning and disinfection of:
- office light switches
- door knobs and handles,
- phones including handset cords,
- arms of chairs and the surface of the desks if they are clear.
How electrostatic disinfection sprays add more protection
Electrostatic sprayers charge the disinfecting solutions with positive ions. Leveraging the properties of electrostatic liquid adhesion, the spray spreads out evenly, coats and wraps surfaces to cover the underside and backsides of surfaces including areas that can’t be reached with wipes.
The mist is then allowed to air dry, clinging to the surface long enough to ensure its dwell time is reached and it can effectively kill viruses, bacteria, fungi and mould.
Custodial staff will be using electrostatic disinfection sprays in high-traffic areas to ensure surfaces are thoroughly sanitized nightly.
Air filtration for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC)
Public health authorities continue to advise that COVID-19 spreads through direct contact with respiratory droplets, therefore building occupants are not at a greater risk of contracting COVID-19 through shared vents.
The ventilation system is a key component for maintaining indoor air quality. Air handling units circulate air in our buildings and bring fresh air into our spaces for oxygen replenishment. The Facilities team regularly inspects and replaces the air filters in all of our air handling units that are responsible for removing particles in the air such as dust, smoke, allergens, airborne bacteria and other pathogens.
Ryerson follows the industry best practices for filter replacement and our air filters meet or exceed the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating recommendations — for filtering fine particles in the air — and guidelines put forward by American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and Public Health.
How Ryerson is working with property managers in leased spaces to monitor cleaning
All cleaning activities in leased spaces are controlled and monitored using a standardized sanitation program to ensure Ryerson standards are met. This helps ensure that consistent custodial services and cleaning are provided equally to all buildings — including leased spaces. Ryerson works with the property managers of our leased spaces to ensure that their cleaning and sanitization meet our quality standards.
The Facilities team is sharing our specifications and reviewing the protocols of all of our leased buildings to make sure COVID-19 precautions are consistent across all Ryerson spaces.