UC San Francisco Custodial Staff Pivot to Disinfecting Buildings During COVID-19 Pandemic
By Robert Hood on May 08, 2020
UC San Francisco Custodial Services Director Billy Reynoso said his department quickly pivoted away from business as usual to disinfecting all high-touch areas in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Reynoso’s team of approximately 189 custodians is responsible for 3.23 million square feet of building space on the university’s Mission Bay Campus; 3.25 million square feet on the Parnassus Campus; and 360,000-square-feet at Laurel Heights.
“The first thing we did was reach out to our stakeholders to understand their needs and work with them to develop a unique plan suited to their buildings,” Reynoso said. This included increasing the frequency of cleaning and disinfecting certain buildings; providing literature for building occupants explaining the effectiveness of the cleaning solutions in killing Coronavirus; and scheduling deep cleaning in certain areas.
The custodial department also introduced new technology and processes for disinfecting surfaces. They replaced traditional disinfecting wipes with electrostatic backpack sprayers which are known to be effective against the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The sprayers reach areas that can’t be reached by hand and are much more efficient.
Reynoso said his department increased communications with the campus community to explain in detail how the custodians were keeping the buildings clean, sanitary and safe. He leveraged the UCSF Facilities Services team of facilities managers to follow up in-person to describe how the work was being done.
At the same time, Reynoso and his staff worked closely with the custodians to disseminate the latest health and safety information. “We informed them of the up-to-date guidelines issued by both the San Francisco Department of Public Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding COVID-19 to develop an understanding and get their buy-in. Then we worked with our managers and Environmental Health & Safety to develop new training protocols. Finally, we solicited feedback from our frontline staff to make sure the new training was easy to understand and was applicable in the field.”
Reynoso said the staff is focused on cleaning and disinfecting entrances, elevators, stairwells, hallways and corridors, restrooms, conference rooms and even outside plazas. “We are disinfecting everything from door handles to elevator push buttons. I’m really proud of how our staff has risen to the occasion to protect the health and safety of the university community.”