University Quad and the School of Nursing Building

Hand Washing, Cleaning & Disinfecting

Last Modified: Friday, January 7, 2022 2:30 pm

Hand Hygiene

Washing hands with soap and water mechanically removes pathogens and dissolves the oily membrane on a virus which, in effect, causes the virus to expel its contents. Laboratory data demonstrate that alcohol-based hand rub formulations with the recommended alcohol concentrations will inactivate the virus that causes COVID-19.

Therefore, the University strongly encourages all students, employees and visitors to practice enhanced and rigorous hand hygiene. Through signage, training and digital information, the campus community will be reminded to wash your hands often, and especially:

  • After you have been in a public place and touched an item or surface that may be frequently touched by other people, such as door handles, tables, desktops, or electronic registers/screens.
  • Before touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
    Before, during, and after preparing food.
  • Before eating food.
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound.
  • After using the toilet.
  • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet.
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste.
  • After touching garbage.

The CDC recommends washing hands with soap and water whenever possible because handwashing reduces the amounts of all types of germs and chemicals on hands. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer with a final concentration of at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropyl alcohol, which will inactivate viruses that are similar to the virus that causes COVID-19. Keep in mind that hand sanitizers may not be as effective when hands are visibly dirty or greasy and might not remove harmful chemicals like pesticides and heavy metals.

Good hand hygiene using soap and water has five steps:

  1. Wet hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  2. Lather hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of the hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  3. Scrub hands for at least 20 seconds. Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  4. Rinse hands under clean, running water.
  5. Dry hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

If using sanitizer or alcohol-based hand rubs:

  1. Read the label to learn the correct amount of product to apply.
  2. Apply the product to the palm of one hand.
  3. Rub hands together.
  4. Rub the product on all the surfaces of hands and fingers until hands are dry. This should take around 20 seconds.

Cleaning and Sanitization

Montclair State has implemented cleaning and sanitizing procedures designed to reduce the risk of spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. These procedures comply with all State and Federal regulations and the guidelines provided by public health authorities.

University Facilities will provide overall leadership and coordination in campus cleaning, wipes and sanitization; will procure and distribute cleaning products and personal protective equipment (PPE), including disposable face coverings and shields, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, and plexiglass barriers; will procure and install general/educational signage, will reposition furniture and install markers to assure social distancing in facilities; and will help assure that all members of the campus community are well-informed about facilities use and enlisted in helping to keep campus spaces clean.

Housekeeping staff will prioritize work activities to focus on disinfecting high-touch surfaces, cleaning common areas, and ensuring that hand sanitizer stations, restrooms and hand washing stations are operable, well maintained, and well-stocked. Non-housekeeping employees will be provided with the necessary materials to sanitize their personal work spaces, including instructions for the safe and proper use of these products.

Depending on need and ability to maintain cleanliness, some spaces on campuses may, from time to time, be removed from use or access.

Cleaning of General Areas and Work Spaces

University Facilities will maintain a work plan, including type of cleaning and frequency of cleaning, based on the nature and the intensity of utilization of the various campus facilities. In summary:

Common Spaces (elevators, stairwells, lobbies, hallways, study areas, delivery/receiving areas, mailrooms, or loading docks) will be cleaned by University Facilities staff in accordance with CDC and OSHA guidelines, with special attention to disinfecting high-touch surfaces such as elevator buttons and doorknobs several times throughout the day.

Public Restrooms will be cleaned and disinfected by housekeepers throughout the day. Soap dispensers will be monitored regularly and refilled as needed, and hand sanitizer will be available outside of each restroom on campus. Signage will be installed to remind users of social distancing and hand hygiene.

Offices and Workstations. University Facilities will clean and disinfect reception areas and other high-traffic areas. So that housekeepers can perform the needed additional cleaning work in public spaces, classrooms, lecture halls, science labs, studios and other high use areas on campus, employees will need to take responsibility for disinfecting their individual offices and keeping workstations clean. Housekeepers will continue to provide routine cleaning including vacuuming, dusting and removing trash.

University Facilities will provide EPA-approved cleaning and disinfecting products as well as appropriate PPE supplies, and occupants will be trained and encouraged to use them regularly. Instructions for use of products will be posted, including chemical and safety information.

Classrooms and Lecture Halls will be regularly cleaned by University Facilities staff in accordance with CDC and OSHA guidelines. Cleaning, disinfecting, and PPE supplies will be distributed to these areas for occupants to increase the frequency of surface cleaning and disinfecting. Instructions for use of products will be posted, including chemical and safety information.

Science Labs and Food Labs will be cleaned by trained lab personnel so that sensitive equipment and research materials are not harmed. Housekeepers will only enter these areas to remove trash. University Facilities will provide supplies and PPE, and Environmental Health and Safety will train lab personnel.

Computers Labs: University Facilities staff will provide general cleaning (such as sweeping floors and removing trash) but will not clean computer equipment. The University will provide specific cleaning supplies and materials for Lab staff and for users to disinfect keyboards, mice, and work surfaces before and after usage.

Vehicles will be cleaned regularly and rotated to allow for more frequent disinfecting between routes. Any shared vehicles (campus buses, police vehicles, car rentals, security shuttles) will be cleaned by assigned personnel regularly with a thorough disinfecting between shifts. Hand sanitizer and wipes will be provided in vehicles for the driver and passengers to use. Wherever possible, a vehicle will be assigned to the same individual operator.

Dining Locations. The University’s food service operator, Chartwells, is responsible for cleaning and sanitizing in all dining areas. All kitchen equipment, food preparation and customer contact points will be sanitized every 30 minutes and customer seating areas will be sanitized on an hourly basis. In addition, Chartwells will provide disinfectant spray bottles, gloves, and paper towels and encourage their use.

Vending Machines. The University’s vending contractor, Canteen, will require its technicians to wear gloves and face coverings, sanitize each vending machine prior to and after product refills, and apply a thin film of material, which will be regularly replaced, to all customer touchpoints.

Cleaning of Areas Requiring Specialized Custodial Services

University Facilities will implement specifically delineated cleaning and PPE plans in areas that require special custodial services, including such areas as:

  • The Student Center
  • University Health Center
  • Occupational Health
  • The Student Recreation Center
  • Residence Halls
  • Dining areas
  • Conference Center
  • Athletic and Performing Arts spaces
  • Specialized instructional areas
  • Nursing Simulation Center

University Facilities will continue to provide regular cleaning and disinfecting services in these areas and will provide enhanced cleaning and sanitization as needed, using, as may be appropriate to the space, methods such as commercial-grade misters or vaporizers that can sanitize large spaces.

Cleaning, disinfecting, and PPE supplies will also be distributed to occupants in these areas to increase the frequency of surface, equipment, and high-touchpoint cleaning and disinfecting, and will post instructions about how to use the products. University Facilities will coordinate with designated personnel in each of these areas to assure that cleaning and disinfecting supplies are appropriate to the specific needs of the space and are replenished as required.

Cleaners and Disinfectants

Cleaning products, paper towels, gloves, and disinfectant spray bottles will be available in all classrooms, lecture halls, laboratories, workshops, student residence rooms, dining facilities, vehicles, and high-volume transaction areas for occupants to conduct frequent cleaning and surface wipe-downs. University Facilities will monitor the availability of these materials regularly and refill supplies. As an additional precaution, designated personnel in each building, office, or area will be trained on how to refill the solution from storage drums placed in strategic building locations.