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Physical Plant

COVID-19 Response & FAQ's

Updated - August 18, 2021

Cleaning and Disinfecting

The Physical Plant custodial team is using CDC and EPA guidelines for the cleaning of schools and universities. In addition to standard cleaning, enhanced cleaning protocols are being utilized to focus on frequent cleaning of high touch zone surfaces. 

Using appropriate personal protective equipment, the following high touch surfaces are cleaned and disinfected as frequently as possible (min. 2-3 times per shift):

Door handles                          Handrails/Stair rails                Podiums

Light switches                         Desks and table tops            Appliances

Elevator buttons                     Counter tops                          Cabinet handles

Water fountains                      Trash can lids                         Sinks/Faucets

Glass doors/windows             Restroom stall doors             Chair arms

 Lounge seating areas           Toilet seats

In addition, the team implemented the use of electrostatic sprayers to increase speed and efficiency in cleaning surfaces, and facilitate more effective disinfection of rooms, including hard-to-clean surfaces.


Facility Improvements

Improvements have been made to air-handling and HVAC systems of 30 faciliites on the Hattiesburg campus using a technology called bipolar ionization. The process involves installing equipment into each facility's ventilation system, where it produces a high concentration of positive and negative ions. The charged ions kill the virus by attaching to pathogens and disrupting their surface proteins, effectively rendering them inactive. They also cause particles to be attracted to each other, increasing the mass size and allowing the particles to be captured by HVAC filters. 


COVID-19 Positive Decontamination

Requests to clean an area occupied by someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 should be submitted via a work order on the Physical Plant website. The following information should be included on the work order:  

1.     Name of the building and room number that needs to be disinfected

2.    Date when the positive test result was received

3.    Date when the space was last occupied by the person who tested positive

4.    A designated contact person to schedule cleaning of the space

5.    A timeframe in which the space will be closed and unoccupied

The contact person will also be notified when the decontamination process has been completed. General questions or specific cleaning requests should be directed to Custodial Superintendent, Kristie Radecki at or 601.266.5318.


Departmental Supply Process

In an effort to efficiently track COVID-19 related spending, the Physical Plant will serve as a hub for ordering of supplies to combat the virus.  Due to national supply chain deficits, there will be limitations placed on quantities for certain products. 

Department orders should be placed online through the Physical Plant work order system by the building liaison or the Building Committee Chair.

Although there will be no charge for the COVID-19 related items to the individual department, for tracking purposes a budget string must be included on the work order.

 Once the work order has been completed, a manager from the Physical Plant Stores warehouse will contact the requestor to confirm the availability of the requested supplies. The requestor will receive an email when the order is ready for pick-up from the Stores warehouse located at 2603 West Fourth Street.  


List of General Supplies Available to Order

  • Hand Sanitizer (small and large pump bottles)
  • KN95 Face Masks
  • Surgical Face Masks
  • Cloth Face Masks
  • Disinfectant Room Bomb
  • Disinfectant Spray
  • Clear Safety Glasses
  • Clear Visor Face Shields
  • Latex/Rubber Gloves (S, M, L, XL)

*This list is subject to change based on availability. Departments should order supplies to meet anticipated short-term and intermediate needs and rather than for purposes of long term. To check the availability of a specific supply, please call Physical Plant Stores at 601.266.5429.


Frequently Asked Questions

The hours of operation of the custodial team have been adjusted so that cleaning and sanitization of public spaces can take place with a limited number of occupants in each facility. Shift start times will vary between 4 a.m. and 9 a.m. 

The custodial services team continues to stay up to date on CDC and EPA COVID-19 cleaning guidelines and has implemented updates to their cleaning processes accordingly. Training has been conducted via video and through in-person sessions on chemical usage, decontamination of Coronavirus positive spaces, and use of the electrostatic sprayers.  

Please place your trash can in the corridor outside of your office for it to be emptied and relined.  Use disinfectant wipes to sanitize your personal items, (keyboard, desk, phone, doorknobs, etc.)  If disinfectant wipes are unavailable, use a paper towel with at least 70% alcohol to clean the surfaces. 

Cleaning of classrooms will take place at least once per day (twice if time permits), 5 days per week, and will include removal of trash, disinfecting of desks, workstations and chairs. Classrooms will be vacuumed at least twice weekly.

Public restrooms are cleaned every Monday through Friday morning, and then again before the end of each shift. Staff will remove all trash, dust mop/sweep floors, clean all surfaces (walls, partitions, fixtures, sinks, counters, mirrors, trash containers, etc.) and apply disinfectant to the entire restroom with a spray bottle or electrostatic sprayer.

As high occupancy areas containing high touch surfaces, elevators will be cleaned 2-3 times per shift.

All requests for cleaning service must go through the Southern Miss Physical Plant.  For specific cleaning requests, please contact Custodial Superintendent, Kristie Radecki at 601.266.5318.

If someone tests positive for COVID-19, a work order should immediately be placed by the appropriate department/unit designee for decontamination of surfaces impacted by the exposure. The following information should be included on the work order: 

1.     Building name and all areas impacted, including room numbers 

2.     Date when the positive test result was received

3.     Date when the space was last occupied by the person who tested positive

4.     Designated contact person to schedule cleaning of the space, which must be unoccupied during the disinfecting process. This person will also be notified when the decontamination process has been completed. 

5.    Please do not include the name of the person who tested positive in the work order, as this would be a HIPPA violation.  

6.  All guidelines provided by the Department of Human Resources should also be followed.  

Yes, the filters are changed on a regular preventative maintenance basis by a contracted company.

In the interest of tracking COVID-19 related spending, you should not buy cleaning or sanitizing supplies, masks, face shield or gloves, unless they are normally used in your operation and are a core requirement for performing your duties. These items are being purchased in bulk by the Physical Plant to receive bulk pricing. 

University units with employees who are either required to wear a specific standard of PPE, or are required to wear uniforms provided by USM should submit purchase requests through Procurement and Contract Services by contacting Deidre Edwards, Buyer, at or 601.266.4132.


All signage requests must be submitted via work order on the Physical Plant website.  Please review the standard health and prevention signage and other signage template found here before placing your request. The work order should include the type of sign you are requesting, where it will be placed, and the quantity needed.  

As a means of maintaining physical distancing, all classroom seating will remain in place, but temporary signage is recommended across intermediate seating to differentiate available and unavailable seating. In public waiting areas, move pieces of furniture groupings apart from each other, placing signage on benches, sofas, loveseats, or other seating indicating occupancy limitations.

The reusable cotton masks distributed by Stores may be machine washed up to 15 times, after which, they should be discarded. Do not use bleach, chemicals or disinfectants to wash them.  They should be tumble dried on high heat.

Contact Us

Physical Plant
118 College Drive, #5058
Hattiesburg, MS 39406
3105 West 4th Street

Hattiesburg Campus

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