Five Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), learned how to disinfect an area, March 24, in preparation for quick response, should an area become contaminated with COVID-19.

The clean teams are groups of three to five personnel trained to disinfect high traffic facilities, such as the Exchange, commissary or other facilities that are identified by Preventive Medicine and may be contaminated with COVID-19.

“We took cues from the successful model we saw at [other military installations] in Korea,” said Maj. Melissa Reister-Hartsell, division environmental science and force health officer. “They have done a good job in dealing with and keeping COVID-19 cases down. Once they identified a case, they had teams put together to go out and clean the whole area so others wouldn’t get infected.”

The clean teams are trained to use correct tools and techniques to control COVID-19 contamination and keep the Fort Campbell community healthy.

“We’ve been teaching two-hour blocks of instruction all week to get the clean teams ready to respond and be knowledgeable in order to take care of the situation,” said Cpt. Jacob Pinion, 2nd Brigade Combat Team preventative medicine officer.

Reister-Hartsell said they also have pulled Soldiers from chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear decontamination teams in as subject matter expert instructors for the COVID-19 clean teams.

There are clean teams within each brigade who are being trained to be responsible for cleaning specific areas on post should contamination occur. The 2nd BCT clean team is currently on-call and is expected to respond to a location with all of their supplies and protective gear within an hour.

“There are a lot of steps that go on behind the scenes before a clean team can be activated,” Pinion said. “A trace team does a small investigation on the person who tests positive and finds out where they have been and what areas may be potentially contaminated. They then provide the information to division, where the emergency operations center will then contact a unit to activate the respective clean team.”

There are liaisons for each brigade at the emergency operations center who can contact their clean team as quickly as possible, Reister-Hartsell said. Each team has their own protective gear and cleaning products and are expected to bring the supplies with them when responding to a contamination site.

By controlling areas of potential contamination, the clean teams help mitigate the possibility of Fort Campbell Soldiers, civilians and Family members coming in contact with COVID-19.

“People should know, if they see these teams out in an area and cleaning, it doesn’t necessarily mean a COVID-19 positive person has been there,” Reister-Hartsell said. “If we are concerned about high traffic areas where we know a lot of people are coming in or out, we want to make sure it stays clean and decontaminated. I feel the solutions and the training will make the teams very effective at making sure no one gets sick who comes in behind them, they are very motivated.”

Reister-Hartsell and Pinion also recommend people continue to frequently wipe down high traffic areas in their living and workspaces with disinfectant. Pinion said a variety of cleaning solutions can be used, as long as the product contains 70 percent alcohol, bleach or chlorine to kill any germs.

For more information on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved disinfectant products, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/disinfecting-your-home.html.

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