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CLEANING OUR CHURCH BUILDINGS

CLEANING OUR CHURCH BUILDINGS 

Cleaning_Covid

With talks of potential reopening ringing through the rafters, it is of the utmost importance that we proceed forward with every possible precaution. Before allowing worshipers back into our sanctuaries we must start with a literal clean slate. 
 
As the CDC has recommended, our highest priorities should be to:
  • Minimize the chance of exposure: Avoiding close contact, and gatherings of people; practicing social distancing can help reduce the chances of exposure to the virus; take care to comply with orders your state has issued about sheltering in place.
  • Promote the use of everyday preventive actions: Clean your hands, cover coughs and sneezes; follow local/state orders for wearing cloth face coverings to reduce the spread of infection.
  • Protect high-risk populations: Certain groups of people have a higher risk of developing serious illness from COVID-19; to keep our families/communities safe and healthy, it is important to take steps to protect older adults, people with underlying health conditions, people facing homelessness, incarcerated or detained people, and people who work in healthcare or other critical infrastructure jobs.
When it comes down to the act of cleaning our physical church facilities the CDC has laid out particularguidelines. For more information, click HERE

GUIDELINES FOR CLEANING YOUR CHURCH: 
 
CLEANING:
  • First and foremost, make sure you are wearing disposable gloves to clean and disinfect
  • Clean surfaces using soap and water. Practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces
    • “High-Touch-Surfaces” include: table/chairs (pews), doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, sinks, relics, etc.
  • Disinfect surfaces, once you have finished cleaning them with soap-and-water
DISINFECTING:
  • For a list of EPA-recommended disinfectants that kill the COVID-19 virus, click HERE
  • Be sure to read the instruction label of the disinfectant and follow these directions to ensure correct/safe use 
  • Many products require they stay wet on the surface for a particular length of time (see label)
  • For your own protection wear gloves and make sure the area is properly ventilated.
  • Diluted household bleach solutions may be used if appropriate for the surface. Check the label to ensure bleach is intended for disinfecting use and is not past expiration. Also note that bleaches designed for safe use on colored clothing or for whitening may not be suitable for disinfection.
  • To make a bleach solution mix: 5 tablespoons (1/3 cup) bleach per 1 gallon of water OR 4 teaspoons of bleach per 1 quart of water
  • Leave bleach solutions on surface for AT LEAST one minute
  • NEVER mix household bleach with ammonia or other cleansers
  • Alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol in the final product may be used as well. To clarify, the starting alcohol must be around 90-100% and THEN diluted with water, thus creating the min. 70% range if mixing your own solution
  • For special surface types (i.e. carpeted floors, rugs, drapes, etc.): clean the surface using soap and water or with cleaners appropriate for that surface, OR launder (when possible) according to manufacturer’s instructions on the warmest possible setting, dry completely
  • For laundry:
    • Use the warmest appropriate setting and dry completely
    • Use disposable gloves when handling laundry of someone who is sick, though it does not need to be washed separately
    • Do not shake dirty laundry
    • Clean and Disinfect hampers 
    • Remove gloves and wash hands right away
  • For electronics (i.e. phones, tablets, touch screens, keyboards, remotes, etc.): follow manufacturer’s instructions; if no guidance is provided use alcohol-based wipes or sprays containing at least 70% alcohol and dry completely
**Make sure that before and after cleaning you continue to wash your hands with soap-and-water for at least 20 seconds.**
 
VENTILATION:
  • It is important let facilities literally air out.
  • Make sure to have proper ventilation and open-air flow, to help shorten the length of time potentially infected respiratory droplets are removed from the air
Further explanations and guidelines for cleaning can be found HERE, via the CDC.
 
ADDITIONAL PRECAUTIONS:
  • Please put away any and all hymnals, missals, bibles, and other shared materials in the pews to reduce risk of contamination. 
  • Consider sharing mass materials to congregants ahead of time electronically, as well continuing to have mission support be given online
  • Empty and disinfect Holy Water fonts to, again, avoid contact and spread of infection. 
  • For their own safety, ask that members bring with them only the bare essential items (i.e. wallet, keys) and that any carry items be something easy to wash/clean
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