Testing, Hygiene, and Health

Campus Facilities Cleaning and Disinfecting

An outline of UMB’s enhanced cleaning procedures and instructions for cleaning surfaces to help prevent the spread of novel coronavirus.

Environmental Services (EVS) has been consistently working with Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) to learn, understand, and adapt to the cleaning and disinfecting changes and guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other infection control experts. Cleaning and disinfecting protocol has been adjusted because of the pandemic, focusing on high-touch areas.

Download or order COVID-19 signage for campus in the COVID-19 Digital Signage Toolbox

Table of Contents

  1. The Difference Between Cleaning and Disinfecting
  2. How Buildings Are Cleaned and Disinfected
    1. Protocol for Spaces Exposed to COVID-19
  3. Researchers Safety Plan
    1. How to Clean and Disinfect Your Laboratory Space
  4. Enhanced Hygiene
  5. Operations and Maintenance (Maintenance Shops) Response


The Difference Between Cleaning and Disinfecting

  • Cleaning refers to the removal of germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces. Cleaning does not kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.

  • Disinfecting refers to using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs. However, disinfecting a surface after cleaning can further lower the risk of spreading infection.

How Buildings Are Cleaned and Disinfected

In addition to routine custodial cleaning, the University has implemented an enhanced cleaning protocol and frequency to clean and disinfect common areas and commonly touched surfaces in occupied buildings. High touchpoints such as entrance handles, handrails, elevator buttons, tables, and restroom stall handles/doors are being cleaned more often using EPA-registered disinfectants. Some areas of the campus, specific to the operation, clean to the standard of their department’s or unit’s operational needs.

Watch this video to see some of the ways EVS staff uses new methods to clean campus.

  • Custodial procedures are now enhanced by the use of an EPA-registered disinfectant product, where applicable. 
    • We are able to use the disinfectant in two ways
      • Hand-held and rolling sprayer application
      • Spray bottle application
    • Retraining staff and reiteration regarding proper disinfection and cross contamination 
      • Adequate contact and dwell times for disinfectants
      • Color-coded disposable microfiber towels
      • Disinfecting high-touch points
      • Importance of wearing personal protective equipment (PPE)
    • Cleaning and disinfection procedures have been further enhanced to align to the use of this product
  • The addition of frequent high-touch point cleaning and disinfection has been added to daily EVS custodial tasks.
    • Some examples of high-touch points:
      • Door handles, knobs, and push plates
      • Railings, ledges, and stair rails
      • Elevator cab finishes, doors, and buttons
      • Tables/countertops
      • Sink faucets
      • Toilets and toilet flushers
  • Due to the focus on high-touch areas, some other cleaning tasks may be deprioritized. 

Protocol for Spaces Exposed to COVID-19

  • Spaces occupied by a COVID-19-positive individual: 
    • Will be closed immediately
    • EHS will conduct a risk assessment and provide appropriate guidance on cleaning


Safety Plan

  • All researchers should review the COVID-19 Research Safety Plan which provides safety practices for conducting research during restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. This plan is supplemental to the standard safe work practices list in the University Chemical Hygiene Plan and safety requirements listed in approved protocols.
  • COVID-19 Research Safety Training is required for all researchers prior to the resumption of laboratory activities.

 How to Clean and Disinfect Your Laboratory Space 

  • Clean commonly touched surfaces several times per day
    • Cleaning surfaces within your laboratory space is your responsibility.
    • This includes lab benches, lab equipment, desks, phones, remote controls, printers, fax machines, computer mice, and keyboards. The University recommends that departments or units purchase EPA-registered disinfectants such as single-use disinfectant wipes and multisurface spray cleaners.
    • Always use cleaning products as recommended on manufacturer labels, including wearing disposable gloves when directed.
    • Bleach solutions should be made fresh every 24 hours to ensure potency. Bleach will corrode metals such as stainless steel and copper. If it must be used on a metal surface, rinse it off thoroughly.
    • Bleach will permanently discolor fabric, including your clothing. Consider wearing a gown or apron and avoid using it on surfaces such as carpeting or office chairs.
    • Consider the use of alcohol-based wipes or spray for electronics, which may reduce the risk of damage to sensitive machine components.

Enhanced Hygiene

Personal Hygiene

  • Wash hands thoroughly on a routine basis as well as after cleaning. Handwashing should include the use of regular soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds.

  • Use hand-sanitizer stations located in all buildings across campus. If using personal hand sanitizer, use hand sanitizer with 60 percent alcohol content or greater.

Enhanced Hygiene and Health Measures Employed

  • Sneeze guards have been provided at all security guard stations at the entrances/lobbies of operational buildings.

  • Hand sanitizer stations are being purchased, installed, and maintained in the main elevator lobbies. UMB will have these installed at least in the main floor elevator lobby prior to Phase 1 Road to Recovery for Research. Additional units have been ordered for other floors, but there are supply chain issues with this product, so UMB is awaiting their arrival.

  • Handwashing is the best method to prevent the spread of germs. Follow handwashing guidelines set by the CDC and the World Health Organization — wash your hands for at least 20 seconds under running water using soap.

  • Limit touching your face (eyes, nose, mouth).

  • Physical/social distance by keeping a 6-foot distance between you and others to reduce potential person-to-person transmission. 

  • Sneeze into your arm to reduce the spread of the virus in respiratory droplets (the common transmission pathway for the virus).

  • Do not share your personal phone, pen, pencil, or computer mouse with others. If using shared laptops or keyboards, disinfect before each use (avoid allowing liquid to get inside the keyboard/computer).

Operations and Maintenance (Maintenance Shops) Response

  • Prioritizing Operations and Maintenance Focus
    • At the onset of the pandemic, to reduce the number of staff on campus, Operations and Maintenance prioritized the maintenance of building systems and emergency response requests.
    • Some services, such as painting, were deprioritized. This allowed for a reduction in the number of staff on campus by 50 percent for physical distancing and allowed the focus to be on preventative maintenance and repairs to ensure the health of UMB’s systems and buildings. 
  • Energy Reduction
    • One of the projects UMB is most proud of is our energy reduction efforts across campus. We want to thank everyone, especially our facility contacts in the schools and on the research task force, who have provided us with information that allowed us to save the University over $10,000 a day. In these trying times, these savings will have a huge impact.
    • Please note that as you return to campus, temperature set points have been adjusted to allow it to be a bit cooler on cool days and hotter on hot days. Please wear layers and bear with us as a little discomfort is allowing for great savings.