Cleaning to Protect Student Athletes

Cleaning to Protect Student Athletes

Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma have successfully returned to a fairly normal high school athletics schedule at the start of this year's school season, but must maintain the hygiene of their facilities and protect the students to ensure the activities remain available and the participants remain healthy.

Cleaning to Protect Student Athletes

Cleaning to Protect High School Athletes

According to, high school athletics in Oklahoma, Missouri, and Arkansas have been given the OK to return to regularly scheduled athletic programs contingent upon review from the state health boards and the governor's office, meaning they must protect their athletes from infection while maintaining the typical high standards for performance and attendance.

Arkansas — On July 7, the Arkansas Activities Association released a statement that is prepared to start up the fall season as planned "in accordance with regular AAA calendar."

Those plans are "contingent upon compliance with all directives as issued by the Governor's office and Department of Health."

Missouri — The Missouri State High School Activities Association granted relief on summer limits on contact between coaches and student-athletes.

The Board voted to make the summertime dead period and summer limits on contact optional for the summer of 2020.

Oklahoma — The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association said on July 23 that it plans for all sports, including football, to start as planned in the fall but is prepared to adjust with updates of the coronavirus pandemic.

OSSAA executive director David Jackson told members he would provide schools with health guidelines but local districts will decide how to deal with positive COVID test results and fan control.

Where the start of high school sports stands in all 50 states amid pandemic

Maintaining the health and safety of the athletes while on school grounds extends beyond the playing field, courts, and mats into the classrooms, cafeterias, and bathrooms, which must constantly be checked and regularly maintained to ensure the health and safety of all occupants, including staff and teachers, regardless of athletic status.


Maintaining the Health and Safety of Students and Athletes

Regular facilities maintenance is critical for ensuring the health and safety of everyone at the school, which means:

  • Daily enhanced cleaning procedures for all occupied rooms and facilities.
  • Wiping down germ hot spots, which is pretty much every surface at a school, multiple times per day with an EPA-registered disinfectant, and;
  • Weekly deep cleans and top-to-bottom disinfections of cafeterias, restrooms, classrooms, teacher facilities, labs, and athletic facilities.

Speaking of athletic facilities--given the close contact nature of many fall sports, such as football, as well as indoor sports such as volleyball, extra precautions must be taken, which means extra cleaning and disinfection procedures.

For high school football teams, the most critical place to protect is going to be school busses used for transportation, as well as locker rooms.

The busses are likely already subject to enhanced cleaning procedures by the district at the end of their routes, but special consideration should be made for their use with student-athletes--meaning the seats should be sanitized on each half of the trip to and from events.

The second area, and likely far more critical than busses, is the locker rooms, which are already home to numerous pathogens and bacteria that can make students sick.

Locker rooms, showers, and restrooms should be deep cleaned daily, and the lockers should be cleared out and disinfected weekly.

This process can be streamlined with advanced cleaning and disinfection equipment, specifically:

  • No-touch scrubber-vacs with low-pressure sprayers, and;
  • Electrostatic disinfection appliances.

Additionally, ESD appliances will reduce the time and complexity of sanitizing indoor gymnasiums used for volleyball, basketball, and school rallies, all of which are potential flashpoints for transmitting airborne respiratory infections, including influenza and SARS-CoV-2.


References & Resources



Maintaining a consistent high school athletics schedule for the 2020-21 school year will require an intensive effort on the part of schools and district managers to maintain the health and safety of the facilities they are responsible for, as well as the students, teachers, and support staff that use them.

Contact and indoor sports are areas of concern due to the increased time spent in close proximity to others, the potentially low flow of air through indoor facilities, the high contact nature of nearly every surface in the facility, and the increased potential for passing along contagions from lower-risk students to higher-risk parents and other athletic event visitors.

Regularly maintaining the facilities with enhanced cleaning procedures and disinfection services is a proven method for ensuring the health and safety of all facility occupants.

Outsourcing to a highly trained and dedicated service provider is a proven method for ensuring the highest cleanliness and safety standards.

Contact us today and discover why Vanguard Cleaning Systems® is the Standard of Clean® for businesses throughout Northwest Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma.

In Oklahoma, dial 918-960-4450

In Arkansas, dial 479-717-2410

In Missouri, dial 417-812-9777

Vanguard Cleaning Systems of the Ozarks.

Vanguard Cleaning Systems of the Ozarks.