Good Morning,

I wanted to let you know that staff are working diligently to bolster cleaning and disinfecting in response to the flu, viruses, and potential threats posed by the Coronavirus (COVID-19).  As we prepare for this, I am very thankful for our partnership with the Budd Group who is a leading provider of institutional cleaning services for several major colleges and universities in Virginia and the entire southeast.  While this virus is new to us all, most acknowledge that proper cleaning is always a good strategy, and the Budd Group is a key component of this.

We are currently looking to supplement our existing cleaning and disinfecting regiments in response to these threats, but it’s equally important to consider what we are already doing in this area.  Our existing cleaning practices include applying  ‘hospital grade’ disinfectants daily that are supplied by the Budd Group by well-trained award winning staff.  Our capabilities have increased significantly by having The Budd Group here.  I know that most of you are pleased with the transformation that they have brought to us.  In 2018, the college made a significant investment to improve upon the services that were provided by our previous janitorial service provider.  In 2018 the services cost $192,660.  We invested an additional $29,088 annually to purchase the services that are provided by the Budd Group which cost $221,748 today.  This additional investment has yielded a significant increase in the quality of cleaning services that we receive, and now we have a trusted and dependable partner to keep the campus safe and clean.

Another thing that we were already doing that will assist in fighting the spread of these viruses is making hand sanitizers readily available throughout campus.  I don’t have to tell anyone that proper and regular hand cleaning is a primary defense against the spread of any virus.  We have placed battery operated “hands free” Purell dispensers in hallways throughout campus.  Fortunately, we had already stocked up on these dispensers in December before these new threats emerged.  We are also in the process of ordering an extended supply to last beyond the traditional flu season.  Additionally, thanks to the leadership and suggestions of college science faculty, we have switched to foam soaps that are dispensed primarily with “hands-free” battery operated dispensers in the restrooms on campus.  It’s my understanding that these soaps are the most effective for hand cleaning.   Overall, our restrooms are in good shape, and lend themselves to proper cleaning and disinfecting, many of them were renovated in recent years.  Most recently, during Summer 2019, we changed some of the fixtures in the 2100 block restrooms to provide surfaces that are easier to clean and disinfect, such as wall-mounted sinks as opposed to traditional bathroom vanities and counter tops.

I hope that I have described some of our baseline and existing efforts to improve the cleanliness of our campus.  One of the goals of this work was to maintain an appropriate base level of cleaning so that when new threats such as this emerge, we are looking at what we can do to respond to the different challenges that it presents, rather than starting from scratch.  We are continually receiving information about the new virus and we are looking at everything that we can to bolster our cleaning efforts to fight viruses, especially the Coronavirus.  Recent efforts and areas that we are examining include:

  • The Budd Group will begin daily disinfecting regiments earlier in the evening while evening students are still on campus so that those students benefit from the enhanced cleaning services.  Disinfecting will begin at 7:00 pm.  Most of the deep and intense cleaning efforts occur overnight so that we return to a clean and sterile campus.
  • We are exploring options to add additional resources for day cleaning operations, either reassigning existing staff, or possibly added temporary resources from the Budd Group.
  • We have received recommendations about antimicrobial protective door skins that function as ‘oxidizers’ to fight the spread of germs on push bars and panic bars.  We are currently examining those alternatives in high traffic areas.
  • Similarly, there are cleaning agents that can be applied which provide measured and prolonged anti-microbial benefits.  We are examining and considering using those in situations where we cannot use the ‘door skin’ oxidizers.  One such application would be conference room tables.  One product that the Budd Group uses provides 90 days of measurable antimicrobial benefits.
  • Staff have placed several orders in recent weeks to stock up on cleaning agents and disinfectants.  
  • We have ordered disinfecting wipes that you may have to clean your work stations.  You may contact Teri Brothers or Jennifer Dowdy if you wish to receive them to use in your department, or simply order them from ‘Schooldude’.  It’s very important that each of us sanitize our work stations daily and this is also an important defense against viruses and germs.

Finally, this a team effort that involves all of us.  Please stay vigilant with your handwashing hygiene protocols.  Regular and proper handwashing is still viewed by many experts as extremely effective.  Please remember the following recommendations:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Get a flu vaccine.

Finally, many agencies and organizations are discouraging any ‘non-essential’ international travel.  The following links will be useful to you as we all continue to monitor the COVID-19:
Frequently Asked Questions (World Health Organization)
Virginia Department of Health
CDC-Coronavirus Disease 2019

If you have suggestions please share them with Teri Brothers, Jennifer Dowdy, or John Rocha in Facilities Management.  Additionally, I wanted to thank Jeff Sydenstricker and his emergency response staff for continuing to monitor information on the COVID-19 virus.  He is participating in a conference call today with the Virginia Department of Health and local officials.  We are continuing to receive information on the virus and available resources daily, and will continue to adjust our plans as needed and as opportunities present themselves.  I just wanted to reassure everyone in knowing all of the effort and thought that is going into our cleaning operations which is obviously a key component and that there are many folks on campus that take this very seriously and are doing everything they can to prepare.  Also I wanted to recognize all of the Facilities staff who are coordinating and participating in these cleaning operations.  It is truly important work !

Lewis Bryant
Vice President of Financial and Admin Services
Central Virginia Community College
3506 Wards Road
Lynchburg, VA 24502