The past year has been an education on infectious diseases and how to mitigate their spread. The catalyst for this wake up call, of course, has been COVID-19, a novel coronavirus that has proven to be highly adaptable and transmissible, so much so that it managed to spread across the world in mere months following its emergence. Fortunately, the advent of effective vaccines provides a light at the end of this tunnel. Still, COVID-19 is here to stay for the time-being, so individuals and institutions must remain on guard. Despite your best efforts to maintain a clean and sanitary workplace, COVID-19 might rear its head inside your business (if it hasn’t already). If and when this happens, it’s crucial to have the resources and strategy at hand to get your business back up and running safely.
Using information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
, here’s how to properly disinfect businesses that have been affected by COVID-19.
What to Do if There Has Been an Instance of COVID-19 in Your Business
COVID-19 is tricky in that it affects people in a wide variety of ways. In fact, someone with the disease might not even know they have it and yet can still pass it on to others. This is why it’s important for employees to receive regular health screenings and COVID-19 tests during this pandemic. Additionally, if someone shows any signs of illness, it’s best to keep them away from work for a reasonable period of time. Whether someone is visibly sick inside your business or has received a COVID-19 diagnosis, the CDC recommends taking the following actions:
- Temporarily close off any areas that the sick/diagnosed individual used while infected
- If possible, increase air circulation in your business by opening doors and windows, then wait approximately 24 hours before cleaning and disinfecting
- Focus your cleaning and disinfection efforts on the infected/sick individual’s immediate workspace (i.e. desk, cubicle, keyboard, etc.)
- Vacuum relevant areas using a device with a HEPA filter -- ensure that the space is empty prior to vacuuming and turn off HVAC systems during vacuuming to prevent contamination of these units (note: do not deactivate central HVAC systems)
- Wear proper PPE (personal protective equipment) when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, such as gloves and face coverings.
- Use the proper cleaning products for the surface in question (i.e. soft & porous surfaces vs. hard & non-porous surfaces)
- Disinfect after cleaning using only the proper EPA-registered disinfectants (EPA disinfectant for coronavirus) and follow instructions carefully for proper application, dwell time, etc.
- Once 7 or more days have passed since the sick/diagnosed individual has used the area, this additional effort is no longer required and routine cleaning and disinfection can resume
General Recommendations for Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Business
Maintaining a consistent cleaning and disinfection regimen will help prevent new cases of COVID-19 from occurring at your business. In regards to cleaning, the CDC recommends that:
- Those in charge of building maintenance/cleaning regularly clean and disinfect community spaces
- These workers are properly trained on proper cleaning and disinfection products and procedures and have a suitable stock of COVID-19 supplies on hand
- They wear disposable gloves and gowns during these processes
- They have access to additional PPE for specific cleaners and disinfectants
- Gloves and gowns are carefully removed to prevent contamination
- All employees wash their hands frequently using soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- Everyone follows preventative actions during work and at home (i.e. hand washing, avoiding touching mouth, nose, or eye with unwashed hands, covering coughs and sneezes, etc.)
- People use hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available
In addition to spray and wipe disinfection methods, some businesses might invest in electrostatic disinfection services
and similar widespread disinfecting procedures, as long as the user follows the manufacturer’s instructions and that the product is registered by the EPA for use against COVID-19 (EPA List N: Disinfectants for Coronavirus).
The world is gradually getting back on its feet after a turbulent year. Until COVID-19 is no longer a threat, though, businesses would be wise to partner up with reliable cleaning and disinfection services
. At The Budd Group
, we offer customized disinfection services for businesses across all industries. Our teams stay up to date on the latest developments and CDC recommendations to provide the best advice, products, and procedures for your facility. To learn more about our services and values, give us a call today at 800-221-8158!
For more detailed information regarding disinfection considerations for restaurants and bar operators from the CDC, click here