FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — Fulton County Schools closed all of its campuses on Tuesday and Wednesday this week after an employee tested positive for COVID-19, or coronavirus. In that time, they found out a second employee also had the virus

They said on Wednesday that they were doing "more than just cleaning the schools" as custodial crews were working in every school and administrative building.

In a news release, they said the CDC defines cleaning as the "removal of germs, dirt and impurities from surfaces." They said that this process does not kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection. 

Disinfecting, however, "refers to using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces, thereby lowering the risk of spreading infection," they added.

They followed up to say that "Fulton County Schools is following an advanced protocol that employs both strategies of cleaning and disinfecting to prevent, as well as reduce, the spread of illnesses."

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The district outlined some of the steps they were taking and said that while schools and other buildings already receive daily cleaning and disinfecting, special attention is being given to areas where students or staff commonly gather or touch. 

  • Hard surfaces that are frequently touched, such as door handles, light switches, tables, chairs, student/teacher desks and countertops, are first sprayed with a hospital-grade disinfectant and then wiped clean. This disinfectant is proven to kill a variety of illness-causing bacteria, viruses, mildew and fungi and is effective against coronavirus, norovirus, canine parvovirus, and blood borne pathogens.

  • School buses are using a sprayer tool, similar to a fogger, that allows the disinfectant to be quickly applied to interior surfaces such as seats, inside paneling and windows. Drivers also will manually disinfect each row and other commonly touched areas after each morning and afternoon run.

Bear Creek Middle School and Woodland Middle School, where the infected teacher has taught, also are undergoing a specialized cleaning and disinfection effort through a contracted service provider.

They said that as students and teachers return to class on Thursday, they should follow the CDC's guidance to "frequently and properly wash hands and to stay home if feeling ill or experiencing flu-like symptoms" and that they will do their part in following similar recommendations for keeping its buildings clean. 

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