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Meet the critical cleaning crew responsible for keeping OHSU sanitized

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Before the pandemic, OHSU cleaning crews would try and clean most areas once a day. They're going through some areas three times a day now, if not more.

Posted: Mar 17, 2021 9:58 AM
Updated: Mar 17, 2021 1:19 PM

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PORTLAND, Oregon (KPTV) -- It's critical work, truly being tasked with stopping the spread of COVID-19.

“So, really anywhere that patients go, we follow right after, so whether it’s to the doctor’s office or surgical unit, or units with ICU’s, we clean the common areas, public spaces, patient rooms, surgical suits," said Victor Hakim.

Hakim is the Environmental Services Supervisor at OHSU.

“So, pretty much anything having to do with patient care, we’re the ones in charge of sanitizing, disinfecting and making sure it’s safe for everyone to use," he said.

Hakim said before the pandemic, they would try and clean most areas once a day. They're going through some areas three times a day now, if not more.

“We’re just trying to really make sure we stay in front of it," he said.

Hakim said staying in front of it means disinfecting everything, especially any high-touch areas in a hospital.

"Handrails, light switches, door handles, anything like that," said Hakim. "Any chairs that people use in public spaces, we’re always making sure the hand sanitizer is refilled, so that’s one thing we always try and reiterate to our teams is, you know, you may feel like we don’t have the most important job, but in reality, we’re the ones from keeping this from spreading everywhere."

Just like nurses and doctors, proper personal protective equipment is important as well.

“So now we wear full gowns, and we’ll do a face shield," he said. "Depending on if they’ve had aerosol generating procedures, so that can release more droplets in the air, we might have to wear a respirator.”

Hakim said no doubt, it's been a stressful year. His team doesn't want to catch COVID, but they don't want anyone else coming in contact with it either.

“You know, I’ve had a couple of my employees come up to me and say, they’re really stressed about what if they miss something," he said. "They might be the indirect result of someone catching COVID and getting really sick from that, you know, but it’s really just reassuring people that you know, we’re doing the very best we can, trying to keep up with everything.”

Hakim said he always wants to make sure his team is doing well. He said OHSU has offered resources to them over the past year, when it comes to accommodations or caring for their mental health.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 362561

Reported Deaths: 4334
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah56445713
Washington39207326
Marion37314457
Clackamas30208312
Lane28166308
Jackson23297314
Deschutes20819125
Umatilla14616151
Linn13198132
Douglas12294251
Josephine9476198
Yamhill8868114
Klamath8194122
Polk750281
Malheur570079
Benton562431
Coos512396
Columbia388944
Jefferson382456
Lincoln325540
Union322950
Crook298146
Wasco293341
Clatsop245528
Baker205229
Tillamook198333
Hood River196637
Morrow187123
Curry182925
Harney114927
Grant100813
Lake96112
Wallowa69512
Gilliam1624
Sherman1603
Wheeler1081
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4854041

Reported Deaths: 71417
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles148510526549
Riverside3716705041
San Diego3678574183
San Bernardino3586775720
Orange3251235578
Sacramento1596362313
Kern1472941652
Fresno1463182094
Santa Clara1455431897
Alameda1206921415
San Joaquin1027761721
Ventura1010381167
Contra Costa1000181008
Stanislaus862991335
Tulare80375978
San Francisco54440649
San Mateo54168623
Monterey50911586
Solano46063341
Santa Barbara45223523
Merced42422581
Sonoma40997404
Placer39435429
Imperial36071766
Kings32938325
San Luis Obispo29973333
Madera23955285
Shasta23924352
Butte23818273
Santa Cruz21034221
Yolo20397248
Marin17706244
El Dorado17207149
Sutter13937175
Napa12898100
Yuba1011582
Tehama9534110
Humboldt9269109
Nevada916790
Mendocino766787
Lassen758747
San Benito744972
Tuolumne691790
Lake6631105
Amador547364
Siskiyou451246
Glenn438433
Calaveras391481
Del Norte358742
Colusa307618
Inyo214241
Mono16723
Plumas16607
Mariposa133916
Trinity88011
Modoc6895
Sierra1880
Unassigned1460
Alpine1050
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