WMU increasing cleaning for fall semester

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Western Michigan University will be increasing cleaning on campus this fall to fight back against COVID-19.

Associate Vice President of Facilities Management Peter Strazdas says the university has updated its cleaning procedures and invested in equipment.

The university plans to use a variety of technology from foggers with the latest disinfectants to antimicrobials rated to provide a level of protection for up to 12 years.

High touch areas will get extra attention along with higher traffic areas.

A specially trained team of 38 custodial staff members will be able to provide enhanced cleaning of an area if an outbreak occurs.

“We’re equipped. We’re trained. We have the knowledge. The equipment and the procedures and the right protocols and personal protective equipment to get into those spaces as soon as we know about it so that we can stop the spread,” Strazdas said.

Strazdas says while university leaders know cleaning is just one aspect of virus response and prevention, technology has improved the level of cleaning that can be achieved.

“These are things that we did not have in our tool kit or in our vocabulary a decade ago. So a lot of advances have been made,” Strazdas said.

Regardless of the procedures, he says no approach will work without teamwork among students, faculty and staff.

“At the end of the day, we all have to take that personal action and to do it. We just hope that everyone steps up,” Strazdas said.

Some of the buildings are being hibernated for the fall semester, so cleaning staff is available to work on other areas.

Classes will start on Sept. 2. Students begin moving into campus housing in phases at the end of this month.