Keeping your employees and customers safe during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic requires a holistic approach to cleaning and disinfection. While airborne transmission remains the most potent avenue for COVID-19 transmission, the virus can also live on surfaces for several hours and potentially days and find new hosts this way as well. As such, your office reopening rollout must include a competent surface disinfection strategy. Here’s how to provide the best surface disinfection for your office building during COVID-19.
How to Properly Disinfect Surfaces for COVID-19
Understand the Difference Between Cleaning and Disinfection
While the terms “cleaning” and “disinfection” are sometimes conflated, they refer to two distinct yet equally important processes. Simply put, cleaning refers to methods and materials that remove contaminants (i.e. viruses) from a surface, usually via soap and water. Disinfection, on the other hand, involves actually killing said viruses so they no longer pose a threat. Performing both processes is key to reducing the risk of exposure in your office -- cleaning surfaces will reduce the amount of virus on said surface, and following up with disinfection will eliminate what remains.
Prioritize High-Touch Surfaces
If you wish to provide your facility with the best surface disinfection possible, you must determine which surfaces present the highest risk of exposure for your employees and patrons. These high-touch surfaces often include features like doorknobs, keyboards, tables, desks, light switches, phones, faucets, touch screens, and so on. Since these surfaces receive the most contact from various individuals, they act as targets for COVID-19 and other viruses to spread from one person to another. So, take stock of the areas and surfaces that receive the most use and make sure they also receive the most thorough and frequent disinfection.
Only Use EPA-Registered Disinfectants for COVID-19
While there are many disinfectants on the market, not all of them are known to kill coronavirus. Fortunately, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has devised a list of disinfectants that can kill COVID-19 on surfaces when properly used. It’s key to only use an EPA disinfectant for coronavirus in your office to reduce the risk of transmission, and equally as important to follow the label instructions closely (i.e. dwell time, saturation, etc.) so the product actually works as intended. If you’re not sure which products to use or how to best apply them, professional disinfection services can give you the help and resources you need.
Get Familiar with Different Surface Disinfection Methods
Just as there are different products designed to eliminate COVID-19 from surfaces, there are different methods for deploying said disinfectants. The spray and wipe method is the most commonly used method, wherein the disinfectant is sprayed onto the surface in question, left to rest for the instructed dwell time, and then wiped down with a microfiber cloth or other recommended material. In more complex industrial settings, experts might recommend electrostatic disinfection -- this process involves charging particles to allow the disinfectant to adhere to various surfaces and attract harmful germs, killing them with high efficiency. Other disinfection techniques don’t involve the use of chemical-based disinfectants at all, such as UV-C light disinfection, which can potentially kill COVID-19 by emitting UV-C radiation for a given period of time in a controlled setting. Depending on your facility’s needs and operations, you might employ one or more of these disinfection techniques as directed by professionals.
Properly Store Your Disinfectants
Finally, it’s crucial to store your disinfectants, equipment, and other COVID-19 supplies in the proper, safe environment as directed by the manufacturer. Failing to do so can cause disinfectants to lose their potency or get in the wrong hands. Make sure your office has the right amount of applicable store space for these essential products.
Surface disinfection isn’t the only consideration to make in your attempts to keep your workplace safe and free of COVID-19 -- but it is foundational. At The Budd Group, our experts are here to help you get through this final stretch of the pandemic safely and efficiently. 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 offices and other public spaces from the CDC, click here.