How China Affected My Facility Cleaning Practices

As of the end of April 2020, the world has already seen at least 3.2 million cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus 2019), and the numbers continue to rise. Knowing this, it is bizarre to think that not even a few months ago most of us weren’t even aware of such a virus. What seems to have originated in Wuhan, China at the tail end of 2019 managed to spread to several other countries, including the U.S. in just a matter of about four weeks.

The rate of this spread says a lot about COVID-19 in particular, but it says just as much about the interconnected nature of the modern world. Without access to international travel, COVID-19 would have likely stayed landlocked in Asia. But, for better and for worse, we live in a global society, meaning the actions (and inactions) of one population are bound to eventually affect others. And, considering different societies have different practices in regards to cleaning, sanitation, infection control, etc., it can be challenging to protect your own facility from the poor practices found elsewhere.

So, how can you harden your facility against the pathogens and poor practices from external sources?

Invest in Professional Disinfecting Services

There’s no way to control what others do, let alone entire countries, but you can at least control the risk level of infection within your facility. If you do absolutely nothing, viruses like COVID-19 can stay alive on certain surfaces for several hours, if not longer. The same goes for various bacteria, fungi, and contaminants. Simply cleaning surfaces can help displace some of these harmful microbes, but the only way to guarantee their demise is via proper disinfection. If you have the right disinfectants on hand, you and your team can do your part by spraying and wiping high-touch surfaces on a routine basis. But for a more thorough process, consider hiring disinfecting cleaning services. These professionals will have more knowledge, resources, and methods of disinfection that will give you, your employees, and your customers/visitors peace of mind.

Implement Strict Handwashing and Hygiene Protocols

Many infections, including COVID-19 spread via human contact -- someone carrying the virus might directly give it to someone else by touching them or indirectly do so by touching a surface that others are likely to touch, too. Whatever the case may be, one of the easiest and most effective ways to stop this spread is to make sure everyone within a facility is keeping their hands clean. Reinforce these guidelines by printing new signs, educating your people on the importance of handwashing and proper technique (see the CDC’s recommendations), delivering daily reminders, etc.

Keep Track of Travel, Especially Overseas

As mentioned earlier, a major reason for the rapid spread of COVID-19 was international travel. If you want to defend your facility from foreign pathogens, you have to express caution when it comes to any extensive travel, especially trips to other continents and countries. Right now there are a number of global restrictions on travel, but once these lift, you should still reconsider how to handle work-related travel. Employees who venture overseas should take specific precautions before, during, and after their trip. Additionally, you should see if you can provide traveling workers with certain tests to check for any illness prior to their return.

Prepare with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

The suddenness of this pandemic revealed a major weakness in many facilities: a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, face masks, foot protection, etc. This PPE helps protect individuals from infecting others and becoming infected themselves. Certain work settings might appear to not require a supply of PPE (i.e. office spaces), but having a backup stock of this gear is a crucial measure for stopping the spread of infection. Indeed, as countries, cities, and towns begin to reopen, it’s likely that many businesses will ask that employees and customers continue to wear masks and gloves when inside the premises as a safety precaution. And there’s no telling if and when another pandemic will occur. So, the more PPE you have at your disposal, the better.

Increase Your Security Measures

Part of what makes battling viruses like COVID-19 so difficult is that they’re invisible to the naked eye. Not only that, but people may also be carrying an infectious disease and not even know it due to a lack of symptoms. It can be hard enough to keep track of your employees’ health, but there’s truly no telling what those outside your organization might be carrying. Of course, if your business is open to the public, you can’t simply turn away customers. That said, it is a good idea to bulk up your security protocols to make sure bad actors do not make way into your facility and potentially spread disease, whether intentionally or not.

Global Problems, Local Solutions

If nothing else, the COVID-19 pandemic serves as a powerful reminder of how connected all of us truly are, and how important it is for facilities to take every necessary precaution to keep their work environment and people safe, clean, and infection-free. Here at The Budd Group, our disinfection services are tailor-made for each client to allow for a targeted approach to cleaning and infection control. We offer on-site disinfection, remediation, deep disinfection, misting/electrostatic spraying, and more.

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