Depending on the COVID conditions in our communities, more people will return to work at one of the Lab sites in the coming weeks. While the Lab’s buildings will look familiar, Lab processes have changed in the past two years. In this conversation with Ryan Velasco, Site Utilities and Maintenance Department Head in the Facilities Division, we looked at some of the most apparent changes that people returning to a Lab site will notice.
Q: What are the biggest changes in Custodial Services since March 2020?
Before I go into what has changed, I want to share what has not changed with custodial services. The custodians have been cleaning and maintaining all the buildings at the Lab, regardless of occupancy and usage, since the shelter in place order took effect in March 2020. We’ve been doing all the daily, weekly, and monthly cleaning routines. When you come back to the Lab, you will come back to buildings that have been regularly cleaned and maintained.
As for what has changed, beginning in March 2020 the custodial team started wiping down high touch surface areas more, like all the entry doors, the lobbies, and bathrooms. When COVID began the custodians were really focusing on making sure that the high touch surface areas were being continuously wiped down.
Q: What do you want people who have not been on site ever/for a long time to know?
As people come back, they are coming back to buildings that, like I said, have been regularly cleaned. The daily, weekly, etc., cleaning routines are on the Custodial Services page.
If there are areas not routinely accessed, they may need special cleaning, such as rad labs or laser labs, or private offices that are routinely locked and controlled. Say someone comes into one of those areas and they have a dusty lab, or the floor is a little grimy. Anyone can request special custodial services by filling out a Work Request.
We’ve been receiving questions about, or requests for, what some are calling “deep cleaning.” Deep cleaning is going to be different for each space. When you request special custodial services, a custodial supervisor or your FAM will need to meet with you and discuss what needs to be done, what needs to be cleaned out, and what needs to be put away in the space before custodial services can come in and clean.
These extra services or deep cleaning requests will take time as well. So I ask everyone to be patient as we repopulate the buildings. Due to workload and timing, it may take several days for your request to be completed.
Q: What more do you want employees to know/How can employees learn more about custodial services?
The custodial services team has been onsite as essential workers since the pandemic began. They have worked hard to maintain the buildings for the time when we could reopen the Lab, and I know they are looking forward to seeing more people at work.