May 19, 2020

The importance of cleaning and sanitizing to keep students safe

While students are challenged by a lack of in-person training and social interaction, the closure of university and college campuses across the U.S and the world have far-reaching consequences.

Thousands of people are employed in the higher education sector, and teaching students contributes long-term to innovation, advancement and economic growth. The rapid spread of COVID-19 is forcing institutions to continue education through virtual means.

However, the new model is not sustainable long-term. Some universities have already made the decision to re-open in the fall, believing the economic and social costs of shutting down will be outweighed by the benefits of resuming campus life.

A trending theme is emerging when planning for the reopening of higher education: test, trace and separate. Companies are scrambling to develop apps to help trace any exposure to the coronavirus — although these come with their own set of concerns. While these steps may be helpful in detecting and containing the virus, cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting need to be the primary focus to stop the spread in the first place. For spaces that have remained open or will be opening, new cleaning protocols are being implemented; strict regimens are imperative to preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Many of these protocols focus predominantly on high-touch areas such as light switches, doorknobs and handrails — items that require the dexterity of humans to disinfect. With cleaning staff expending added time and effort on these duties, the cleaning and sanitizing of floors become an even more cumbersome task than prior to the pandemic. While just as important as cleaning high-touch 3-D surfaces, floor cleaning is going to become a challenge for institutions.

Having to focus on so many different rooms and areas stretches cleaning staff; it will be necessary for institutions to implement autonomous floor scrubbers to supplement their existing workforce.

Autonomous floor scrubbers like Neo provide a reliable and highly effective asset to keep campuses safe for returning students, faculty and staff. Neo is the industry-leading autonomous floor cleaning robot. Powered by the Avidbots AI Platform, Neo’s software provides dynamic mapping capabilities and real-time obstacle avoidance. With Avidbots Command Center, Neo provides a level of oversight and performance measurement not found in other commercial floor scrubbers.

By implementing Neo, the autonomous floor-cleaning robot, additional benefits include:

  • Cleaning & Sanitizing: Students, faculty and staff will now expect more consistent and frequent cleaning of all surfaces within the institution. From water fountains and benches to door handles and the floor, it will be required that they’re cleaned and sanitized more often. With Neo taking care of the floors for up to 6 hours at a time, the cleaning staff can focus on other areas.
  • Labor Challenges: With the need to clean more often, institutions must navigate labor challenges. Society now realizes that cleaning is a thankless, unpleasant and dangerous job. Fewer people are willing to perform the job, and it will demand greater compensation. Neo delivers a return on investment that will pay for itself over time.
  • Operational Standards, Brand Image and Student Experience: Universities and colleges will need to fundamentally change their cleaning practices to ensure everyone on their campuses feels safe. Regular, consistent, and visible cleaning and sanitizing will help staff and students feel more secure. Lacking in this area will have a negative impact on brand image, while institutions that implement new and innovative cleaning practices will see their brand’s value enhanced.

Already, colleges and universities around the globe, including the Rochester Institute of Technology, Conestoga College and the National University of Singapore, rely on Neo as an integral part of their cleaning teams.

To learn how Neo can supplement your current cleaning staff, further protecting the health and safety of students, faculty and staff as they return in the fall, please contact us.