Environmental Services Director Deanna Hall says her staff has “the fight of their lives” combating COVID-19. “EVS staff are behind the scenes heroes protecting our physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, patients, and employees by stopping the spread of infectious disease,” she says.
Because the COVID-19 virus can live on surfaces for three days, EVS technicians must thoroughly clean every treatment/patient room from the ceiling to the floor, including baseboards and curtains.
“Beds are broken down and mattresses are cleaned on both sides, all other equipment in the room is disinfected as well as the bathroom,” she said.
The EVS staff is used to this complex process, as it is always performed every time a patient is discharged from the hospital or transferred elsewhere – even in non-COVID-19 times. The process is called “terminal clean,” and in the pre-COVID world, Deanna believed LVMC is the only acute hospital in the nation to do such ceiling-to-floor disinfection and cleansing with every discharge.
“EVS technicians are on the frontline, destroying this virus with disinfectants by performing terminal cleaning.”
Every cleaning tool, such as mops and cloths, are changed for every room. The room dividing curtains are removed for each terminal clean and replaced with a fresh curtain; most other hospitals only clean the curtains quarterly, Hall says.
With a team of three, the terminal clean takes about 25 minutes. Hall tests her staff by using an ultraviolet gel to mark a high-traffic touch area. Using a glow light and goggles, she’ll check to ensure the spot has been cleaned.
The disinfecting and cleaning work for EVS, as in “normal” times, is round-the-clock. “We have provided additional cleaning on lobbies, restrooms, and public areas of Lompoc Valley Medical Center, Lompoc Health Urgent Care and Clinics,” Deanna explains.
She said she’s grateful for the internal laundry department, whose workers have provided quick turnaround times on washable Personal Protective Equipment – which is in limited supply. She also noted the work for EVS Floor Technicians, who work round-the-clock to ensure carpets and floors are clean.
“Our shoes can spread infections, and the Floor Techs work very hard to keep that from happening by maintaining all areas,” she explains. EVS is also responsible for cleaning at the Comprehensive Care Center, Hematology-Oncology office, Lompoc Health, Sleep Lab, Laboratory and Imaging, Family Caregiver Support Network, Counseling Center, and more.
“I am grateful for each one of my EVS employees for uniting as a team in our brave fight to combat this pandemic,” Deanna said. Shown in these photos of EVS staff are:
- In the hospital Medical-Surgical unit, EVS supervisor Liliana Arellano and EVS Technicians Maria L. Garcia, Sofia Gerrera, and Cielo Miranda.
- Lompoc Health EVS Technicians Marliena Meraz and Beatriz Salas.
- Laundry COVID-19 Team Lead Laundry Technician Oralia Arriaga and Laundry Technicians Angela Navarro, Jason Murphy, and Luis Larios
- EVS Technicians and frontline workers Cefora Perez, Alicia Molina, and Amparo Aguilar