Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

FACILITIES COVID-19 FAQs

PCC has a process to ensure that college buildings and rooms are ready to be re-occupied, which includes confirmation of adequate custodial services, environmental and architectural settings, and security controls.

Facilities Management Services (FMS) is following water bureau guidelines for flushing building water systems and ensuring that water quality is safe for building reoccupancy. FMS is also implementing recommendations from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) to reduce potential exposure to the coronavirus by increasing outside air and upgrading filtration as part of building HVAC systems. Windows are to be opened where feasible to reduce recirculation of air and transmission of airborne pathogens. FMS will consult with PCC’s Planning & Capital Construction office as necessary.

How are cleaning and disinfecting defined?

CDC defines cleaning as the removal of dirt and impurities, including germs, from surfaces. Cleaning alone does not kill germs. However, by removing the germs, it does decrease their number and therefore any risk of spreading infection. Vacuuming and trash removal are examples of cleaning.

Disinfecting works by using chemicals, for example, EPA-registered disinfectants, to kill germs on surfaces. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs. But killing germs remaining on a surface after cleaning further reduces any risk of spreading infection.

What cleaning and disinfecting procedures were implemented for PCC Campuses and Center to open?

All buildings have been thoroughly cleaned prior to opening.  Surfaces in classrooms, office spaces, restrooms, kitchens, stairwells, open spaces, etc. have been disinfected prior to PCC faculty, staff, and students returning.

What cleaning products are PCC using to clean and disinfect the campuses and centers?

PCC is following a two-step process cleaning and disinfecting process that follows the guidelines and protocols recommended by the CDC. 

  • Cleaning is being down with Clean by Proxy. A hydrogen peroxide mixed with water at 1:32 ration for light-duty cleaning. A microfiber cloth is utilized for cleaning all surfaces before disinfecting.
  • Disinfecting is done with Clorox Germicidal Bleach solution 1:32 ration

Additional attention is being given to high touch areas such as door handles, handrails, and push bars on doors across campus.

What happens if a COVID-19 case is suspected/confirmed in a building?

In accordance with CDC Guidelines, the areas visited by the ill persons will be closed off. Air circulation in the affected area will be increased by opening outside doors and windows and using ventilating fans to increase. Wait 24 hours or as long as practical before beginning cleaning and disinfection.

Custodial staff will clean and disinfect all areas such as offices, bathrooms, common areas, shared electronic equipment (like tablets, touch screens, keyboards, remote controls, and ATM machines) used by the ill persons, focusing especially on frequently touched surfaces.

How do I reduce my risk of exposure when using restrooms on campuses?

Clean hands can stop germs from spreading from one person to another.

Follow these five steps every time.

  • Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  • Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  • Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or the touchless hand dryer as recommended by Oregon Health Authority. Paper towels are temporarily being provided for patrons that do not want to use the hand dryer.

Hand Sanitizer stations have also been installed in hallways outside of public restrooms.

What steps should I take when walking through a door to a building, classroom or office space?
  •  Avoid entering through a doorway at the same time as someone else at a six foot distance from others. In accordance with OHA and HECC requirements, PCC students, employees, and visitors are required to maintain a distance of six feet or more between individuals to the greatest extent possible.
  • Wear face covering as required by PCC for all students, employees, and visitors. Disposable face masks will be available for those who do not have one or forget to bring one.
What is PCC doing to ensure buildings have increased fresh-air ventilation and filtration of recirculated air?
  • To increase the percentage of outdoor air that circulates into the system, outside air dampers will be opened 100% to reduce or eliminate recirculation. This means that building temperatures could be above or below the conditioned air temperature range of 68-78 degrees, depending on outside air temperature.
  • Air intake will be filtered through MERV-13 central air filters before entering the building’s ventilation system.  MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value and is an acronym created by ASHRAE to provide a scale showing the effectiveness of filters at removing particles of different sizes.  MERV-13 filters catch a higher percentage of particles as well as smaller particles. 
  • Demand-Controlled Ventilation (DCV) has been disabled during this time.

Got a question?

If you have any questions about the topics listed above or on any topic relating to COVID-19, please email covidquestions@pcc.edu.