The New Normal: Cleaning Disinfection Covid19

In April 2021, the CDC brought to light some surprising new research regarding the transmission of COVID-19.

Throughout the previous year, people have been frantically wiping and sterilizing surfaces in their properties, including their own hands, in a health disinfection effort. However, very recent studies show that the risk of picking up the virus through touch is actually very low. Instead, the air is far more likely to transmit COVID-19.

So what does this mean for anyone involved in cleaning, disinfection, and COVID-19 for offices, factories, and schools? Below, we take a look at some of the updated health and safety practices in this rapidly evolving area of cleaning commercial properties.

First, Let’s Look at the Science

Are you wondering how to keep commercial properties–from hotels to industrial logistics centers–to disinfection-level standards in the new normal? Let’s break down this most recent CDC safety briefing.

This virulent disease infects people when they come into contact with respiratory droplets carrying SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19).

Let’s say someone carrying COVID-19 enters indoor properties. The virus may stay suspended in the air for minutes or even, shockingly, hours. In fact, the CDC states that the risk to health drops only after 24 hours.

The length of time the droplets stay suspended in the air is due to numerous factors. These include ventilation, air temperature, humidity, and even how busy the room is.

Touching a contaminated surface poses a safety risk of less than 1 in 10,000.

Health officials now stress the following standards:

  • Masks
  • Social distancing
  • Good indoor ventilation

Each is more important than surface hygiene.

So the science is clear: COVID-19 is more likely to be transmitted through the air than on surfaces. However, it’s crucial to note that the CDC still recommends disinfecting floors and cleaning surfaces standards. After all, clean properties are more likely to be COVID-free than filthy ones.

Cleaning Disinfection, and COVID-19: Best Practices for Floors

Cleaning standards for floors, including during construction jobs like concrete resurfacing, are guided by proven science in the “new normal.” The standards are regularly updated by official health bodies like the EPA, the CDC, and the WHO. Everything you thought you knew about safety needs to be refreshed.

From cleaning offices and retail outlets to sanitizing and disinfecting classrooms and restaurants, be prepared for revised guidelines.

Knowing When to Clean

Knowing when and how often disinfection of floors and surfaces needs to happen in commercial properties depends on the presence of an infected person.

If no one diagnosed with COVID-19 has visited the premises, then vacuuming the floors once a day with a HEPA-filter industrial vacuum is sufficient. Follow the vacuum with a soap-based solution suitable for cleaning COVID-19. This will remove any traces of the virus from the floor and other surfaces and help with disinfecting.

Shared spaces might require stricter disinfecting standards. Think teacher’s rooms in a school, the kitchen in an office, or the restrooms in a mall. This is especially vital if there are high levels of COVID-19 transmission in your area.

What if someone who is sick has visited one of your properties within the past 24 hours? Complete a  thorough clean and disinfection of every nook and cranny before you risk anyone else’s health.

Make Plan and Stick to It

When cleaning commercial properties, routine matters–whether you’re an independent cleaning business or a government flooring contractor.

Factories, schools, hotels, and other public places are visited by hundreds or even thousands of people a day. That’s a lot of potential for contamination if floors you aren’t disinfecting often. Not to mention your client will want to know what they’re hiring you for.

Take these steps when developing a cleaning regime:

  • Exactly which areas need cleaning?
  • How often do those areas need cleaning?
  • Do all areas need disinfecting?
  • What resources, equipment, and personnel are needed?

When ranking floor space into high priority versus low priority, consider how much traffic a room or area gets. The higher the traffic, the more risk of contamination.

Keep the health and safety of your staff in mind, too. For example, do you need to provide PPE (personal protective equipment) for staff entering high-risk areas?

Use EPA Recommended Products

In most cases, cleaning with soap and water is enough to keep floors free of germs, including COVID-19. But in busy areas like corporate foyers or performance venues, it pays to be extra cautious.

After all, you want to deliver high-quality contractor services, right? Proving that you stick to the recommended federal, state, and local cleaning guidelines will build trust in your clients.

In high-touch commercial areas–for example, those that see a lot of footfall–the EPA recommends disinfecting floors alongside your soap and water routine. However, it’s crucial to use EPA-registered products to ensure you’re actually cleaning COVID-19.

Clean Air Matters Most

As noted by the CDC, people are at greater risk of catching COVID-19 by breathing in suspended droplets than picking it up from dirty surfaces. The cleaner the air, the lower the chance of transmission. And high commercial floor cleaning standards translate directly to indoor air safety.

Poorly finished concrete or wood floors can release lung-harming particles into the air. Carpets harbor allergy-causing dust. In rare cases, it may even be necessary to redo the flooring.

When vacuuming, turn off any HVAC, AC, or other centralized air systems. This stops any viral contamination from spreading through the venting.

The CDC also recommends using vacuum fitted with disinfecting high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, such as this powerful wet-and-dry dust vacuum, among its safety standards.

Create a Germ-Fighting Team

When it comes to the health and safety of students and employees, there’s no excuse for a relaxed attitude. America’s leading health bodies recommend these commercial cleaning regimes and guidelines for a reason. We’re all in the fight to end this pandemic, and sticking to cleaning and disinfection for COVID-19 means you’re doing your bit to help.

Are you keen to learn more about commercial-quality products and machinery designed for cleaning and disinfection? Request a demo today from Onfloor’s highly experienced team.

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