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New tool helping Hamilton schools stay ahead of coronavirus precautions

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Posted at 2:48 PM, Mar 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-11 16:20:39-04

HAMILTON — It's a case of perfect timing. Hamilton school staff are already using the latest new tool expanding their extensive building cleanup with a program that's become even more important with the coronavirus outbreak.

Hamilton High School already has a reputation as one of the cleanest in Western Montana -- momentum that’s even more critical to prepare for the COVID-19 outbreak.

The custodial staff completely wipes down all the rooms every day. But weeks ago, before coronavirus made headlines, they added a new tool.

"The custodial staff decided to buy this new electro-static disinfector. And this is just a really nice, high tech and quick and extremely effective disinfecting tool,” Hamilton High School health and science teacher Marie Antonioli said.

Now, in addition to the wipe downs, custodians are using the sprayer to apply a stronger mix disinfectant to every surface.

"We'll come back with the electrostatic sprayer to cover all the surfaces. It actually disinfects more than the disinfectant that we already use. It's just a higher-powered disinfectant,” high school head custodian Jacyntha Reik explained.

The handy thing about this tool is that it allows crews to go through a room much more quickly. Instead of half an hour, it's about five minutes to disinfect a classroom.

"It takes less time to use the electrostatic sprayer than it would for us to actually go and wipe every single surface in the room,” Reik said.

The school is using the sprayer twice a week now, in addition to regular cleaning, and plans to continue that even after the outbreak. Additionally, students are being reminded of best practices for coughing and sneezing, with an expanded handwashing campaign.

"But now, with just a little more heightened awareness about the coronavirus we feel like our district has really put some nice new tools in place to help us be proactive on that,” Antonioli told MTN News.

If parents have any questions about the disinfectant procedures, they can call the Hamilton School District office.