Administration, custodial staff address sanitary issues amid COVID-19 concerns

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Following a report by The Classic about the school building’s inconsistent availability of soap amid the spread of the coronavirus, the administration and custodial staff worked this weekend to resolve the issue. “All bathrooms now have working soap dispensers and supplies of soap,” Principal Brian Condon wrote in an email to THHS faculty this morning.

The custodial staff installed new dispensers in the fifth-floor boys’ bathroom. The Classic surveyed bathrooms last week and found that it lacked both soap and soap dispensers.

Assistant Principal of Organization Ellen Fee ordered hand sanitizer earlier out of the school’s budget, which arrived late last week. This morning, Ms. Fee and her secretary Pam Del Vecchio personally distributed it to classrooms. Alongside this, classrooms also received disinfecting wipes.

In addition, the school building went through a deep cleaning this weekend. “[The DOE is] using new antiseptics; they’re also increasing the hours for the custodians and the cleaners to work,” explained Mr. Condon. “So you have your regular cleaning that goes on every day, but then every two or three days they go real deep with this new material.” The custodial team also confirmed this.

In his email, Mr. Condon advised teachers “to wash your hands, avoid touching your face, and immediately report if you or one of your students is feeling unwell.” He added, “If a student or staff member appears to express they are feeling unwell or displays the known symptoms of the COVID-19 virus, please notify Ms. Fee’s office… Ms. Fee will escort the student to the medical office and the school nurse will immediately engage the protocols shared by the DOE.”

Today, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced new protocols for schools amid the outbreak. He said, “If a student tests positive in a school, the school is closed for an initial 24-hour period so we can do an assessment.” Earlier today, Columbia University, Fordham University, and Hofstra University temporarily closed down due to concerns about the virus.