Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Missouri State University has been heavily and more frequently sanitizing surfaces to fight the virus. While the sanitation resources MSU purchases require a budget, it does not affect student tuition.
Both Financial Aid Director Rob Moore and Director of University Facilities Brad Kielhofner confirmed that student tuition has not been raised due to the COVID-19 sanitation budget. Instead, all sanitation and cleaning supplies purchased by MSU are funded by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
The CARES Act passed on March 27 and has helped those affected by COVID-19. Keilhofner said sanitization protocols went into effect in early March, after it “became evident that coronavirus was a threat to the area.”
According to Keilhofner, high touch points are the main priority. These include push and pull plates, door knobs, handrails, entrances, push and pull partitions, desks and table tops, light switches, sink faucet handles, soap, toilet paper and towel dispensers, water fountains, elevator buttons, vending machines, etc.
When purchasing chemicals, Keilhofner said university Procurement Services purchases from both state and local vendors, depending on the value and timeliness of a contract. Procurement Services purchases on-campus resources for the university, from vending machine products to writing paper.
Keilhofner said a majority of surfaces require time and COVID-19 specific chemicals to clean. Disinfectant is sprayed on a surface, allowed to sit for some time — 30 seconds up to 10 minutes depending on the chemical — and wiped off later.
Specialized equipment such as sprayers and foggers are also used in areas where they aid in “efficiency and effectiveness.”
Keilhofner said classrooms are disinfected up to three times within 24 hours, Monday through Friday. Classrooms are also closed during specific times throughout the day to allow for disinfection.
Each building differs in disinfection times. Building coordinators posted classroom schedules per building at the beginning of this semester, according to the COVID-19 Information website.
For workout areas, such as the Bill R. Foster Recreation Center, sanitization supplies are available for use post-workout. The Standard has full time tables of Foster Recreation's sanitization break times here.
Kelihofner extended a thanks to all custodians at MSU, urging students to do the same.
“Please know that the custodial staff in all areas of campus are working extremely hard to ensure spaces are clean and sanitary,” Keilhofner said. “If you see a custodian working and have an opportunity, let them know you appreciate their efforts. I am extremely proud of all of our custodial staff members in all areas of the campus.”
Keilhofner said the university is trying to fill several custodial positions, as well as hiring part-time staff to aid in cleaning and sanitizing.