The COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak has brought a new sense of urgency to the role of cleaning and disinfecting in your facility. As more companies resume operations throughout St Louis and Metro East they are learning that they need a comprehensive cleaning plan.
A new study by Zurichna.com states that Coronavirus spreads from person to person primarily through droplets in the air when someone coughs or sneezes. But scientists have determined that the virus can spread from a surface to a person.
Targeting Common Areas
Although the coronavirus spreads through various methods we don’t need to be afraid. A good plan of attack and knowing more about the virus will help us to build an effective cleaning plan. Here are some of the target areas that the virus lives on:
- Copper: Up to 4 hours
- Cardboard: Up to 24 hours
- Plastic: 2 to 3 days
- Stainless Steel: 2 to 3 days
This information was published in a study in the New England Journal of Medicine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises routine cleaning should be done in most facilities. Given the length of time that the coronavirus can live on various surfaces, these are the surfaces that you should be cleaning throughout the day.
- Elevator buttons
- Light switches
- Faucet handles
- Computer monitors, mice, keyboards
- Countertops and conference tables
- Cafeteria tables, coffee pots and vending equipment
Consider putting disinfecting wipes in areas throughout the building for your employees to use after common tasks. Here are some ideas:
- Copy room
- Lunch room
- Conference rooms
- Workout rooms
Use The Right Products
Thankfully, “the virus that causes COVID-19 can be killed with the right cleaning products,” notes the CDC. Disinfectants registered by the EPA are recommended when they are available and can be found here.
Many of these products indicate the potency for target pathogens on the label and should inactivate influenza and coronavirus when used accordingly. More tips on cleaning and disinfecting:
- Keep surfaces and countertops clean from visible soil by cleaning with properly cleaning chemicals and rinse with water.
- Follow instructions carefully when using disinfectants and cleaners. Note any hazards advisories and personal protective equipment they recommend. DO NOT MIX disinfectants and cleaners. This can have fatal consequences.
- Clean and disinfect all bathroom surfaces on a regular basis. This is one area that can host a lot of germs.
- If you don’t have proper disinfecting cleaners, the CDC suggests using a diluted solution of household chlorine bleach (sodium hypochlorite) in water to disinfect surfaces: Add 1/3 cup bleach to 1 gallon of clean water. Bleach solutions will be effective for disinfection up to 24 hours. Apply to a clean surface, preferably with a clean moistened cloth with bleach solution and allow it to dwell for 3 to 5 minutes.
Working With Janitorial Staff
Whether you have an in-house cleaning staff or hire a cleaning contractor in the St. Louis/Metro East area, it is important that all parties involved understand their responsibilities.
All janitorial staff should receive proper training on the use of proper chemicals, cleaning agents and cleaning equipment. Additional training will need to be done on the use of personal protective equipment such as goggles, gloves and hearing protection.
In most cases and it is recommended that service agreements are used. They are important for both the company and the cleaning service to help prevent any misunderstandings and disputes in responsibilities. A written service agreement should, at a minimum, include 4 to 6 key areas as described earlier in this article.
1. “Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVD-19.” Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). 2020.
2. “Aerosol and Surface Stability of SARS-CoV-2 as Compared with SARS-CoV-1.” The New England Journal of Medicine. 16 April 2020.
3. “Reopening Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools, and Homes.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 28 April 2020.
4. “Antimicrobial Products Registered for Use Against the H1N1 Flu and Other Influenza A Viruses on Hard Surfaces.” Environmental Protection Agency. 2009.
5. “Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2.” Environmental Protection Agency. 30 April 2020.
6. “Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Home.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 4 April 2020.
When it's time to look for a new cleaning service it may seem like a daunting task. Our FREE pricing guide will help you to determine what a cleaning service should cost for your facility. Here's what's in our guide:
- What factors determine costs
- How to request a fair cleaning quote
- How to compare hidden cost in cleaning
- Rooms and Square footage for cleaning