Disinfecting team plays quiet but crucial role curbing COVID-19 spread at University of Michigan hospital

One of the most dangerous things about COVID-19 is how easily it spreads, but this team of unsung heroes is working hard to protect the University of Michigan hospital.

“You tend to see some people run away from the fire, some people run toward the fire -- well, we had employees that really ran to the fire," said Maurits Hughes.

Hughes is the director of Environmental Services at Michigan Medicine. It’s their job to disinfect the hospital to prevent viruses making more people sick. It’s a quiet but extremely important role.

“At any point in time we can have somebody come into the organization, bring an organism in, a patient or family member, and one that can cause havoc.”

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit -- they were facing a deadly virus that researchers knew hardly anything about. But they suited up and were ready to keep the hospital safe.

“They have young families at home, some of them, and you see them right in the midst of it. Some individuals volunteered to go into the spaces and wanted to be a part of that - helping the medical staff.”

While most do their best to avoid anything that could possibly be contaminated, the team works diligently to find any space in the hospital the virus could live on. 

 As a professional in handling contaminants, Hughes recommends people just be aware of what they’re touching.

“You go to a gas pump, you pull that gas pump, you don’t know if the person who touched that pump before you (had) some type of organism, or are on their way to the hospital to be treated,” he said.

He and his team will continue to take on the virus COVID-19  and keep the hospital safe so lives can be saved.

“I was very proud to see people who I know were frightened -- everybody else is -- but at the same time, they were willing to get out there and put their best foot forward to help.” he said.