Environmental Services are the unseen heroes in the fight against the spread of COVID-19.

The first line of defense against the spread of infection is our Environmental Services team. Staff and patient safety depends on their knowledge of varied disinfection and cleaning techniques they employ in a relentless methodical way, every single day across the Hospital.

When a COVID-19 outbreak was declared on 4 East in late March, calls went out to the team to come in immediately for a full enhanced cleaning that went on until midnight. Staff stepped up and went the extra mile and were critical in the outbreak ending quickly. The increased number of isolation rooms with droplet-control precautions has made it very busy for staff. At each discharge the curtains are laundered and enhanced cleaning is required.

Also, keeping the linens area hopping is the increased volume of reusable gowns and scrubs, not to mention the washing of over 7,000 sewn cloth masks donated by the community.

During the pandemic, the team has also had a role in testing donations of Personal Protective Equipment, or PPE. The 3D-printed face shields were wiped repeatedly with disinfectant to test how they would hold up to repeated use. In order to use donated hand sanitizer from Dixon’s Distilled Spirits and Spring Mill Distillery, staff figured out how to refill and reuse the existing single-use dispensing bags.

Our Environmental Services team also trained staff from the City of Guelph in enhanced cleaning techniques to keep community members safe at the COVID-19 Assessment Clinic.

We just could not be here to care for you without our unseen heroes, the Environmental Services team!

This story originated on Guelph General Hospital’s Facebook page on June 3rd, 2020 as part of its #behindthemask series to share how the Hospital is working hard to protect patients and visitors from #COVID19.