Reducing the spread of germs at schools

Cleaning and disinfecting and promoting hand hygiene are important everyday actions schools can take to slow the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases and protect students and staff.

Nvron offers the following cleaning, disinfecting, and hand hygiene considerations to help school administrators make decisions, protect their students and staff, and communicate with families and communities


Cleaning physically removes germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces or objects by using soap (or detergent) and water.


This process does not necessarily kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.


spray bottle icon

Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces or objects. Disinfecting works by using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces or objects.


This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.


Clean surfaces and objects using soap and water prior to disinfection.


Integrating cleaning and disinfection into the daily plan

Who will clean, how often, and where?

Cleaning and disinfecting reduce the risk of spreading infection by removing and killing germs on surfaces people frequently touch. Consider cleaning and disinfecting more frequently at your school to reduce the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.

Staff and scheduling


Make a plan with staff and teachers. Discuss obstacles to more frequent cleaning and disinfecting and ways to overcome those obstacles.

Train staff. Ensure that cleaning staff, teachers, and others who use cleaners and disinfectants read and understand all instruction labels, understand safe and appropriate use, and have and are using the PPE appropriate to the product. Consider providing instructional materials and training in other languages.

Develop a schedule for increased, routine cleaning and disinfection. Modify your standard procedures to accommodate more frequent cleaning and disinfection. Focus cleaning and disinfection on frequently touched objects (e.g., doorknobs, light switches, classroom sink handles, countertops) and shared items between uses.

Soiled surfaces and objects

Immediately clean surfaces and objects that are visibly soiled. Use soap (or detergent) and water to clean surfaces or objects that look dirty. Visibly dirty surfaces should be cleaned prior to disinfection.

If surfaces or objects are soiled with body fluids or blood, use gloves and other standard precautions to avoid coming into contact with the fluid. Contain and remove the spill, and then clean and disinfect the surface.


Frequently touched surfaces

Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces (e.g., playground equipment, door handles, sink handles, drinking fountains) within the school and on school buses at least daily or between use as much as possible. This may include adding additional areas or surfaces to standard procedures for disinfection. If surfaces are dirty, they should be cleaned using a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.

Shared objects

Limit the use of shared objects (e.g., gym or physical education equipment, art supplies, toys, games, computers) when possible, or clean and disinfect between use.

Discourage sharing of items that are difficult to clean or disinfect such as electronic devices, pens and pencils, classroom stapler, whiteboard markers and erasers, books, games, art supplies (e.g., markers, crayons, scissors), and other learning aids. Soft and porous materials, such as area rugs and seating, may be removed to reduce the challenges with cleaning and disinfecting them.


Keep each student’s belongings separated from others’ and in individually labeled containers, cubbies, lockers or areas.


Ensure adequate supplies to minimize sharing of high touch materials to the extent possible (e.g., assigning each student their own art supplies, equipment) or limit use of supplies and equipment to one group of students at a time and clean and disinfect between use.