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OU to use enhanced cleaning methods, upgraded facilities, sustainable products in Clean and Green initiative

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Empty campus

The empty OU campus on the first day of online classes after Spring Break on March 23.

OU announced on Thursday the launch of its Clean and Green initiative, which uses enhanced cleaning methods and facility upgrades to prevent COVID-19 spread, and also uses more sustainable cleaning tools.

According to a press release, OU’s campuses are being “meticulously cleaned to support a safe and gradual return to normal operations.” 

During spring break and through the end of residential move-outs, Housing Operations disinfected “all areas and touchpoints.” According to the release, touchpoints and common areas of residence halls will be disinfected daily as the fall semester nears.

The initiative uses commercial electrostatic sprayers that release charged particles of cleaning solution that “evenly coat all sides of a surface,” according to the release. Though most campus buildings have been closed since spring break to prevent contamination, facilities with essential operations that remain in use have been treated with electrostatic sprayers on a “regular basis.”

According to the release, classrooms, restrooms, elevators and residential common areas will receive weekly — and more frequently as needed — electrostatic cleaning “as the Norman campus gradually repopulates.” Nine electrostatic sprayers have been purchased to serve all three OU campuses, according to the Clean and Green website.

The university is also updating facilities to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, according to the release. 

Manual bathroom fixtures and toilets are being replaced with touchless, motion-sensor fixtures in all public restrooms. Air filters will be upgraded to hospital-grade standards at all three campuses and 750 additional hand sanitizers have been installed near building entrances, elevators and outside of public restrooms, according to the release.

University Operations is also consulting “internal and external environmental health and safety experts” to research and test in-room devices that claim to reduce microbial threats such as viruses, bacteria and fungi, according to the release.

OU is also transitioning all three campuses to “environmentally-preferred” paper towels, toilet paper and cleaning agents like glass and floor cleaner, and modifying HVAC operating times for unoccupied spaces on the Norman and OUHSC campuses, according to the Clean and Green website. The website said the environmentally-preferred cleaning products are “not part of coronavirus disinfecting protocols.”

Beth Wallis is a senior journalism major and political science minor, and news managing editor for The Daily. Previously, she worked as a junior news reporter covering university research.

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