The Crucial Missing Component In Schools’ Reopening Plans
Reopening plans are undoubtedly essential to safely bringing America’s children and educators back to school. Alarmingly, these plans fail to address or establish a method for verifying that the plan is properly implemented and effective.
Third-Party testing and record keeping are critical to successful policy and procedure implementation and essential to swift identification of the need for corrective action. Teachers always tell their students to double-check their work before turning in their test, so with the well-being of America’s children and educators at risk, why aren’t we checking our cleanliness? Failure to verify these new measures and identify the need for corrective action early will have much more disastrous results than a bad test score.
How Can Schools Validate Their Reopening Efforts?
Thorough scientific research has concluded that the use of ATP testing is a valid, rapid, and affordable means of measuring the level of cleanliness of critical interior surfaces. ATP testing has been widely used for decades in industries such as health care and food processing to verify facility cleanliness and identify the need for corrective action.
Research into the use of ATP testing in schools to determine cleanliness has been exhaustively studied. An independent body of scientists–led by Dr. Richard Shaughnessy from the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa and Dr. Gene Cole of Brigham Young University–commissioned by the International Sanitary Supply Association (ISSA) in conjunction with the Cleaning Industry Research Institute (CIRI), established the “Standard for Measuring the Effectiveness of Cleaning in K-12 Schools” (Clean Standard: K-12).
Research conducted in the development of the Clean Standard: K-12 clearly indicates that the use of ATP testing as a “standardized approach to the measurement of cleaning effectiveness across critical surfaces (recognized as presenting health risks in schools) could be used to improve the hygiene of interior school surfaces and thereby help improve the school’s overall indoor environmental quality.” Furthermore, research comparing RODAC measurements (i.e., a recognized means of detecting and measuring the presence of microorganisms on surfaces) to ATP measurements has certified that a reduction in culturable bacteria as measured by RODAC is consistent with the reduction in ATP values after cleaning.
The use of 3rd party ATP testing is the only way to validate the effectiveness of reopening efforts and quickly identify plan failures and shortcomings. Without early intervention, plan failures and shortcomings will quickly explode into facilitators of mass infection.
Call your school office and ask them what their cleanliness test score is.