DeKalb County schools undergo deep sanitization in post-Thanksgiving COVID-19 preventative effort


by: Tiffany Lester

Posted: Dec 2, 2020 / 07:44 PM CST / Updated: Dec 2, 2020 / 07:44 PM

DEKALB COUNTY, Ala. – While DeKalb County Board of Education students get an extended Thanksgiving break and learn remotely this week, the district is getting things completely sanitized before they come back.

Cintas cleaning crews are taking advantage of the mostly empty buildings by doing a deep sanitization of every school in the district.

Market development representative Adam Stimpson worked in the band room and Ag shop at Plainview High School Wednesday afternoon.

“It’s right at a million square feet total over the school system and we came in in teams and sprayed sanitizer on every desk, every locker, every area to keep the students and faculty safe,” said Stimpson.

Superintendent Jason Barnett said they are seeing COVID-19 symptoms pop up between four and 10 days of exposure, so this remote learning week is to slow the spread just in case.

“With families gathering for Thanksgiving on Thursday and over the weekend Black Friday shopping, we didn’t want faculty and staff or students coming back to our campus on Monday or Tuesday and possibly exposing other people while they were contagious before they realized they had symptoms. And it’s our goal to keep schools open for the rest of this year and these are things that are maybe short term preventative measures that allow us to long term keep our doors open so students can come get the best education they deserve, need and we can provide for them,” said Barnett.

He told News 19 that it is proving to be a wise decision.

“Yesterday and today I received word of several students and different folks that they may have some symptoms,” added Barnett.

School staff use foggers, sanitizing wipes and sprays to clean throughout the week normally.

While this is the same chemical solution, Stimpson says they have more manpower so they can get more done quicker than the school staff.

Barnett would not say how many students or teachers are out after testing positive for the coronavirus or being exposed, but according to the Alabama Department of Public Health school dashboard, there have been 46 new cases at last report before Thanksgiving week.