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The Antelope

The Antelope

UNK custodial team adapts to COVID-19 procedure changes

UNK provides random testing as well as testing for students with symptoms of COVID-19.

The UNK custodial team keeps our campus clean as they enter Phase 3 of COVID-19 protocol. Staff continues to take proactive measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep our campus clean.

Brenda Marker, the custodial supervisor, said custodians have implemented new practices as a result of entering Phase 3.

“We’re actually able to do more deep cleaning in classrooms and floors and more general cleaning whereas last year you had to focus on getting everything disinfected,” Marker said. “In Phase 2, we sprayed twice a day, and then we cleaned the one time a day, so we were disinfecting three times a day and were spraying once now so a little less focus on touch points.”

Custodians are able to return to more of the cleaning responsibilities that they used to have now that a majority of their time isn’t spent disinfecting high traffic touch points multiple times a day. With less of a focus on spraying down areas students can expect to see custodial completing more deep cleans of campus as they did before the pandemic.

Custodians adapted to COVID-19 procedures everywhere — from the dorms to classrooms and everything in between. Through the phases there have been changes, but the custodial staff continues to multitask cleaning buildings as well as disinfecting for COVID-19. The goal continues to be to keep students safe and facilities spotless.

One custodian who wished to remain anonymous said that COVID-19 brought about various alterations.

“In the very beginning we had the full body suits, and we super thoroughly sprayed down the student rooms,” the custodian said.

Kirk Vollmer, custodial supervisor, said the semester is returning to normal.

“The only thing that we do differently is we sanitize more,” Vollmer said. “Resident Life has some isolation rooms set up in the towers so those get treated differently but otherwise just sinitize more. I think this fall things are kind of back to closer to normal so there’s not a whole lot that gets missed. 

“There might be some restrictions and stuff involved with it but most of the events are happening and they’re back to the sports happening so I don’t think that people are missing out with a whole lot.”

The biggest difference for custodians has been using an electrostatic sprayer to disinfect desks and high touch services. The backpacks have become part of everyday cleaning for spraying down and disinfecting services. More changes will be seen by students in the future.

Marker said that students can expect more robots on campus.

“Custodial is adding some new technology, so watch for the robotic scrubbers and robotic vacuums out there on campus doing things that normally a cushion would do,” Marker said. “Health and Sports has a robotic scrubber, Bruner Hall of Science will have one, Nester North and Nester South will have a robotic vacuum and then we have three little Makitas running around campus.”

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