DePaul University Newsline > Sections > Campus and Community > Sanitization 101: Disinfecting high-touch surfaces

Sanitization 101: Disinfecting high-touch surfaces

COVID campus
(DePaul University/Jeff Carrion)
​​This article is part of the university's Sanitization 101 Series, providing the DePaul community with in-depth information on the university's COVID-19 precautions, preparations and tips on how to Take Care DePaul. 

​Last month, Newsline shared that DePaul built and installed over 700 sanitizer stations throughout the Loop and Lincoln Park campuses.

However, many DePaul community members asked for directions on how to properly and safely sanitize high-touch surfaces. They also wanted to know what DePaul was doing to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 on high-touch surfaces.

What you can do

To properly disinfect high-touch surfaces such as a desk, table, keyboard, mouse or door handle, please follow the instructions below:

1. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before you begin disinfecting the high-touch surface.

2.Take one paper towel and hold it in a cup shape in one hand.

3. Apply several pumps of liquid hand sanitizer into the cupped paper towel and fold in the edges to saturate the entire towel, without spilling.

4. Disinfect your desired high-touch surface. Apply additional sanitizer to the same paper towel, if there is a need to disinfect a larger work surface.

5. Avoid touching the equipment without the paper towel before cleaning.

6. Allow the disinfected surface(s) to air dry before using them.

7. Spread the paper towel out at the edge of your workspace and allow the alcohol to dry out for several minutes before discarding the paper towel in the trash receptacle. Used paper towels are not recyclable and should not be placed into paper recycling bins. 

8. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer.

Also please note the following:

  • Do not touch your face while disinfecting a high-touch surface.
  • Wearing gloves is not necessary for sanitizing a high-touch surface. It can discourage hand washing.
  • Do not use alcohol-based sanitizer to disinfect musical instruments and fine woodwork, as doing so may cause damage.

What DePaul's doing

Over the past few months in preparation for the fall quarter, DePaul has invested heavily in COVID-19 supplies, equipment and resources to help keep the community safe.

Below are a few examples of DePaul's efforts to help regularly sanitize high-touch surfaces:

  • Restrooms: Each evening, every restroom, excluding private facilities in residence hall rooms, will be cleaned and disinfected. High-touch surfaces, such as faucet handles, will also be disinfected at least once throughout the business day.
  • Elevators: High-touch points, such as elevator buttons, will be disinfected regularly.
  • Computer labs: They will be cleaned and disinfected each evening when the building is open for business.
  • Tables and chairs: Facility operations will disinfect these areas throughout the day. However, please note that soft seating surfaces cannot be disinfected. When sitting in soft seating, avoid touching the cloth surfaces with your hands.
  • Classrooms: For the duration of the COVID-19 crisis, high-touch surfaces in classrooms will be sanitized between each class.
  • Ray Meyer Fitness and Recreation Center and DePaul's AMITA Sage Medical Group facility: Non-portable, hardwired UV-C equipment will be installed in the buildings' ceilings to sanitize high-touch surfaces.

Furthermore, DePaul invested in Clorox 360 Machines. The hospital grade, electrostatic sprayers will be used to disinfect spaces that have been exposed to someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19. DePaul's professional cleaning contractor will manually clean and disinfect the area(s) with hospital-grade disinfecting chemicals. DePaul also purchased portable UV-C machines to disinfect surfaces that have been exposed to a positive case.

For more information, regularly visit the Fall 2020 website for guidance and resources on the university's COVID-19 efforts, and take a moment to review and commit to the DePaul Community's Health and Safety Pledge.

Thank you for taking care of each other. We're all in this together.