Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a highly infectious disease that spread rapidly from a city in China in December 2019 to more than 200 countries and territories over three months. The main advice to prevent COVID-19 is to practice strict hygiene measures.
This includes cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and objects that people frequently touch. Even when restrictions are lifted, there will likely be more waves of coronavirus infections as people come into contact with others, so we all need to remain vigilant and continue to use hygienic practices.
Poor hand hygiene is a particular problem because people frequently cough and sneeze into their hands or touch their mouth or nose, providing a ready means of spreading coronavirus to everything they touch. The virus can spread to other people when they touch a contaminated surface and become infected when they touch their mouth, nose, or eyes.
In hospitals, schools, social work, offices, outlets, hotels, and public transportation, there are many key touch points that people commonly share, including:
• door handles
• supermarket trolleys and baskets
• gasoline pumps
• trash bins
• kitchen and dining areas
• taps, kettles
• toilet flush handles or buttons
• stair railings, handrails, grab bars and handrails
• recycling areas
There is also the risk of contamination from bodily fluids and sneezing in the toilet.
• The coronavirus (the virus itself is called SARS CoV-2) was found to be present in the feces of patients and for an average of 11 days after it disappeared from the respiratory tract.
• A toilet ‘sneeze’, the plume of droplets created by rinsing, spreads fecal microorganisms around a bathroom.
They settle on surfaces such as seats, floors, walls, unprotected fabrics, cubicle and bathroom door handles, sinks, faucets, and soap dispensers.
Studies in offices have shown that germs can be transmitted from an infected person to the entire office in 2 to 4 hours through contaminated contact points. They all need regular cleaning and disinfection with approved products to ensure protection against infection.
How to decontaminate the coronavirus
Cleaning and disinfecting areas and objects plays an essential role in protecting people against COVID-19. It is essential to return a site to safe use after an infected person has visited your premises.
As a facilities manager, you will need to ask the following questions.
• How quickly can I get my facilities back up and running?
• Are my facilities virus-free and are my facility surfaces safe to touch and reuse?
• What hygiene procedures and virus control measures should I implement immediately?
• How do I develop a strategy to implement strong hygiene standards in my organization?
• What do I need to do to comply with changing regulations and how can I protect myself from this happening again?
You may have cleaners who perform regular cleaning tasks, but controlling a highly infectious virus causing a pandemic requires a higher level of expertise and control measures than only a professional service can provide.
Cleaning and disinfection treatments
A disinfection service will first inspect the site with specialists. The survey will provide a specific site:
• Risks evaluation
• Method statement
• Safe operating procedures
Specially trained disinfection technicians manually clean and disinfect the site using specialized equipment, including personal protective equipment (PPE) and an approved high-level surface disinfectant. They will go through contaminated rooms and areas systematically cleaning all surfaces and key contact points.
Areas contaminated with bodily fluids such as blood, urine, vomit, or human feces will need specialized cleaning. These fluids can seep into porous materials and areas that are difficult for people without specialized training to detect. Standard cleaning methods are unlikely to guarantee decontamination.
Disinfect large, hard-to-reach areas
Manual methods are the first choice for disinfecting surfaces, but to combat airborne pathogens and disinfect large areas that require rapid re-entry to treated areas, fogging is an ideal solution.
Ultra-low volume disinfection (ULV) nebulization involves the use of a nebulizer machine to generate a cloud of extremely small droplets of a disinfectant liquid. Applying disinfectants and biocides by this method can significantly reduce the number of pathogens both on surfaces and in the air.
Drops can settle under, on top, and to the sides of many inaccessible objects and areas that may be difficult or impossible to reach with conventional cleaning methods. It also reaches a wider range of surfaces than manual cleaning, including textiles.
Rapid ULV disinfection and fogging allows treatment of large areas in a short time to help quickly break the chain of infection.
Disinfection: a guaranteed service
Cleaning and disinfection are essential measures for building managers to make areas contaminated by coronavirus safe and quickly return to normal use. Professional disinfection services have the most appropriate techniques, tools and products to disinfect areas to make them safe and reuse as quickly as possible.
When you are done, you can be sure that cleaning and disinfection have been carried out using approved safety procedures, tools and products that comply with safety standards. The completion report will help assure your staff, customers, and visitors that the facility is safe again. Ongoing cleaning regimes will provide added peace of mind that facility managers maintain high standards of hygiene in their facilities.