The emergence of COVID-19 has turned the world upside down. Building owners and property managers alike are scrambling to implement adequate commercial cleaning services. Facility cleanliness has never been so crucial.
Minimizing the spread of this global virus requires a company you can trust. Businesses can only thrive when they have a healthy workforce to support them. You need a company that understands and implements cleaning and disinfection guidelines created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) during these unprecedented times to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
What is COVID-19?
Coronavirus is a prevalent cause of common colds and other upper respiratory infections. A new coronavirus, identified in 2019, has led to what we now call COVID-19. This insidious virus has spread throughout the world, leading to a pandemic of seismic proportions. The virus is spread from person to person, and symptoms can range from mild to severe. While some experience no symptoms at all, others are met with a fatal outcome.
How is COVID-19 transmitted?
COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly from person to person. Individuals infected with the virus may emit aerosols—infectious viral particles—when they talk, breathe, cough, or sneeze. These particles can float or drift around in the air for up to three hours.
Transmission can occur when people are in close contact with one another. Additionally, aerosols may land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into their lungs. This is why social distancing measures and face coverings have been implemented in places where the disease is rampant.
The spread of coronavirus can also occur from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects. If an infected person coughs or sneezes in their hand, then touches a surface, such as a doorknob, a non-infected person can contract the virus when they come in contact with the aerosols left behind and then touch their mouth, nose, or eyes.
The National Institutes of Health suggest that the 2019 novel coronavirus can live for up to three days on plastic and stainless steel surfaces. This is why it’s especially important to disinfect high-touch surfaces—doorknobs, handles, tables, countertops, keyboards, and light switches— daily.
Cleaning vs. Disinfecting
It’s essential to understand the differences between cleaning and disinfecting. While some people use the terms interchangeably, they are very different and can make all the difference in your commercial cleaning services.
The distinction between the two is that cleaning removes substances and reduces the number of germs from surfaces, but does not kill germs. Using an approved disinfectant is the only way to kill the COVID-19 virus living on surfaces effectively.
How you clean and disinfect largely depends on your industry. For example, is your building open to the general public, or is your facility strictly an office environment? Will employees come in contact with hazardous bodily fluids? The type of business operation will dictate the commercial cleaning services needed.
Routine cleaning refers to the everyday cleaning practices that businesses use to maintain a healthy work environment.
All businesses are encouraged to develop, implement, and maintain a plan to perform regular cleanings to reduce the risk of exposure to and spread of COVID-19.
Frequent and routine cleaning of commonly touched surfaces, such as workstations, keyboards, telephones, handrails, and doorknobs, is recommended. EPA approved disinfectants can be found on the EPA website.
Soft surfaces such as carpeted floors, rugs, and drapes also require routine cleaning using soap and water or cleaners appropriate for use on these surfaces.
Surface disinfection is based on the level of use. For example, certain surfaces and objects in public spaces, such as shopping carts and point of sale keypads, should be cleaned and disinfected before each use.
Controls to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19
Keep in mind employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthy workplace.
The CDC has categorized controls to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as Engineering, Administrative, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) controls.
Engineering controls refer to facilities and equipment. Examples include:
- Altering or modifying workspaces to maintain social distancing of 6 feet between employees
- Separating employees and visitors with the use of partitions, shields, or other physical barriers
- Incorporating the use of verbal announcements, signage, and visual cues to promote social distancing
- Using markers, such as tape, to indicate a measure of 6-foot distancing
- Discouraging the use of communal items such as coffee pots
- Ensuring water systems operate properly
- Taking steps to improve ventilation with improved central air filtration or using portable high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) fan/filtration systems
Administrative controls are those used for management and communication. For example, actively encourage employees with symptoms to remain home, staggering shifts, and working remotely.
Personal Protection Equipment controls are those which can be used by employees, customers, and visitors. Some recommendations from the CDC include:
- Offering tissues and providing no-touch trash cans
- Providing alcohol-based hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol at building entrances
- Placing touchless hand sanitizer stations in multiple locations to encourage hand hygiene
Do Companies Need to Close Following a Confirmed Case of COVID-19?
Building closure is generally at the discretion of the business owner or facility manager following exposure to COVID-19. While companies do not necessarily need to close after a person with a confirmed case has been in the facility, a number of precautions can be taken.
First, the area or areas of the building that the confirmed person had access to should be closed for 24 hours or as long as possible. When practical and safe to do so, windows and outside doors should be opened to increase air circulation in the area. Once the area has been disinfected using EPA approved disinfectants, the space can be reopened for use.
Commercial Cleaning Services
As you can see, there are no simple solutions for preventing the spread of COVID-19. Disinfection, sanitation, and commercial cleaning services are essential as preventative techniques to kill viruses on high-contact surfaces to ensure your building will remain a safe environment.
The health and safety of your employees, customers, and families are at stake. Don’t take any chances when hiring professionals. Ensure they adhere to all OSHA regulations and strictly follow the most up-to-date recommendations and procedures for disease cleanup and disinfection.
As the spread of COVID-19 continues, it is imperative for building workers and facility managers to remain vigilant of changing outbreak conditions. Combinations of engineering and administrative controls, safe work practices, and PPE can be used to ensure the safety of employees and customers. Commercial cleaning services may be an invaluable service during these unprecedented times.
Choose Loder Construction for your Building Sanitation and Cleaning Needs During COVID-19
Loder Construction offers full deep cleaning of interior space by a licensed, professional HAZWOPER cleaning team. This includes Office Touchpoints such as:
- Door handles
- Drawer knobs
- Light switches
- Point of Sale Devices
- Whiteboard pens
- Workstations, chairs, and desks
For a medical-grade clean, opt for our electrostatic spray cleaning. This advanced disinfecting method allows the appropriate sanitizers, mold preventatives, and disinfectants to wrap around and evenly coat all surfaces to completely clean your office or building space. Sanitizing agents cover visible areas, undersides, and backsides of hard to reach surfaces.
Keep your employees and customers safe by ensuring the air quality in your building or office space is at the optimal level. A brief list of our HVAC sanitation services include:
- Inspecting HVAC parts
- Upgrading filters with virus-eliminating Merv 14 filters
- Cleaning HVAC parts as needed
- Checking electrical systems to ensure thermostats and controls are functioning optimally
- Installing UV light system and integration of Bipolar Ionization into HVAC to neutralize 99.9% of the virus pathogens circulated into the air
Ensure your pipes and water systems are running smoothly with our Sanitize and Flush Drainage System. Services include flushing of stale water and clogged drains, sanitizing and flushing ice machines, checking for signs of leaks, etc.
If your building is in need of space planning to comply with the social distancing requirements to keep your employees feeling confident, Loder Construction can bring in a licensed designer/contractor specializing in space planning to re-work your office to be compliant, utilizing the space most efficiently while keeping the space atheistically pleasing. For the full list of our space planning services, check out our website.
From retrofitting touch surfaces with cutting edge sanitation devices to the installation of permanent customer-facing barriers, we’ve got you covered!
Contact our dedicated team today to discuss which commercial cleaning services are right for you and your business needs.
He received his first hammer at 4 years old, not that he wanted one but, because he kept “borrowing” his father’s. Construction has been a part of his life and being raised as a six-generation carpenter, it came naturally. As a boy he visited his father and grandfather on their construction site, and he learned what was being built. High school and college summers were spent soaked in sweat, at the end of broom as his apprentice skills improved. After graduating from Fresno State with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2008, he started running small Tenant Improvements for Loder Construction and excelled in keeping projects on-time and on budget.