The custodial staff will have all hands on deck to clean and sanitize Aiken County Public Schools this fall.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to increased cleaning measures at the schools, which will open for face-to-face classes on Aug. 31.
Dr. Tim Yarborough, director of maintenance and operations for the Aiken County Public School District, said custodians will sanitize high-touch surfaces and bathrooms once per hour at elementary schools and after each class change at middle and high schools.
High-touch surfaces include door handles, counter tops and panic bars (the push bars featured on many doors), Yarborough said.
Bathrooms will be cleaned daily, according to the school district website.
The school district is employing the same number of custodians as before the pandemic, so some adjustments have been made to take on the added tasks.
"We normally have custodians that work primarily after our students and staff leave to clean the school, but they will be moved to earlier shifts so that we have more hands on deck during the school day," Yarborough said.
If a custodian is exposed to COVID-19 or otherwise cannot come to work, Yarborough said the school district will use temporary services that provide replacement staff, which the district had been doing prior to the pandemic.
The school district will provide face masks to custodians in addition to the supplies they normally receive, like cleaning gloves.
Custodians will receive overtime pay if they cannot complete all of the disinfecting and cleaning tasks during their regular hours, Yarborough said.
In addition to cleaning done by custodial staff, teachers and students will take part in keeping schools clean, according to the school district's Back-2-School Safely webpage.
At the middle and high school level, schools will provide students with cleaning materials so they can take personal responsibility for sanitizing their desks, according to the district website, and teachers will assist with doorknobs and other high-touch areas.
At the elementary level, students and teachers will work together to keep classrooms clean and sanitized, the district website says.
For more information on how schools will operate during COVID-19, visit the school district website.