Hospitals step up cleaning to stay ahead of COVID-19

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Monday, March 30, 2020
Action News coverage of the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak

BRYN MAWR, Pa. (WPVI) -- Most of us are cleaning more at home, in the office, and all around.

But how has the COVID-19 crisis changed for big facilities, like hospitals?

That's not like cleaning your house.

Hospitals have hundreds of rooms, with dozens of critical spots where missing germs can be life or death issues.

In typical times, keeping 4 hospitals in the Main Line Health System clean is a challenge.

There are a thousand beds, and more than 2 million cleanable square feet to contend with.

But these times are far from typical...and keeping medical facilities clean is essential.

"Our staff are trained to combat all infections, including COIVID-19," says Juan DeJesus, district manager for Aramark, which handles Main Line Health.

DeJesus says there's been a slight shift -

"Right now, it's the reinforcement of high-touch surfaces - door handles, knobs, light switches, you know, things that sometimes get overlooked," he says.

And those spots get cleaned more often.

"We increased frequency levels from maybe doing them once a shift, to doing them multiple times a shift, especially our lobbies and waiting areas," says DeJesus.

The 300 staff members are also working longer hours, to cover peak times in emergency rooms.

And there are special core teams to clean rooms when coronavirus patients are discharged.

Masks and gowns used to be worn only in typical isolation rooms, but they're now being worn cleaning every patient room.

Main Line Health also uses ultraviolet light machines, which sanitize nooks and crannies human hands might not be able to reach.