What is your disinfecting plan for reopening your business? Seriously, this is a key question right now for businesses who want to reopen in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The CDC, OSHA, and the Oregon Health Authority have all issued cleaning and disinfecting protocols to help keep employees and customers safe, but what is the difference between cleaning and disinfecting? How do you effectively disinfect for Covid-19? How do you respond to a Covid-19 exposure? How do you know your disinfectant is working on the surfaces and in the air? Let us face the facts, there is a lot to consider when developing a proper disinfecting plan for reopening your business. Let me tell you where cleaning and disinfecting on your own makes the most sense and when it is probably better to call in a professional disinfecting company to help you.
First, cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting are words thrown around most everywhere right now. What do they mean exactly and why should you care? As a business owner or facility manager understanding the difference will help you prepare for reopening safely and cost effectively. According to the CDC, cleaning is done with water, a cleaning product, and scrubbing. It does not kill bacteria, viruses, or fungi, which are generally referred to as “germs.” Cleaning products are used to remove germs, dirt, and other organic material by washing them down the drain. Sanitizing and disinfecting products are chemicals that work by killing germs. These chemicals are also called antimicrobial pesticides. They are regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Disinfecting kills more germs than sanitizers. In most cases, a cleaning product is used first. Then the surface is disinfected when it is necessary.
The CDC recommends making a list of what surfaces must be cleaned and disinfected on a consistent basis and what high touch surfaces should be addressed more often. Most surfaces you should be able to take care of on your own with a supervised maintenance plan to ensure it is done timely and correctly. The benefit in utilizing a professional company would be that they are able to evaluate contaminants on a surface before and after cleaning and disinfecting by professional testing high touch surfaces. But how do you respond to a COVID-19 exposure?
According to the CDC, these are the cleaning and disinfecting steps to take in your building or facility if someone is sick.
Step 1: Close off areas used by the person who is sick. Companies do not necessarily need to close operations if they can close off affected areas.
Step 2: Open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in the area. Wait 24 hours before you clean or disinfect, if possible.
Step 3: Clean and disinfect all areas used by the person who is sick, such as offices, bathrooms, common areas, shared electronic equipment like tablets, touch screens, keyboards, and remote controls.
Step 4: Once the area has been appropriately disinfected, it can be opened for use. Workers without close contact with the person who is sick can return to work immediately after disinfection.
Step 5: Continue routine cleaning and disinfection. This includes everyday practices that businesses and communities normally use to maintain a healthy environment.
With a confirmed COVID-19 case, using a professional disinfecting service may help your business get back to running the quickest and safest way possible. Not to mention give your employees and customers peace of mind; and in this environment it is important for people to feel safe. Let me elaborate, a professional disinfecting company can utilize an economical fogging system that can quickly disinfect hard to reach areas (nooks and crannies) and remove airborne pathogens. Also test to ensure the high touch surfaces are cleaned to hospital standards. Is that something you would like for your business? If so, here is how we can help you.
Certified Indoor Environmental has long provided residents and businesses with IICRC certified cleaning, disinfecting, and mold/asbestos remediation services. As a local company, we understand how volatile this economy is now, and how dire it is for all of us to get back to work. We will work with you to understand your needs and provide an economical solution that can help you get back to business in the safest way possible.
For example, we follow regulatory guidelines and help businesses create and implement a routine cleaning maintenance plan that best suits their facility and budget needs. This plan may include weekly, monthly, or quarterly professional disinfecting to ensure all surfaces and contents have been treated properly. We use EPA-approved disinfectant proven effective against SARS-CoV-2 (the cause of COVID-19) and other bacteria and viruses. But that is not all, Certified Indoor Environmental utilizes electrostatic sprayers and foggers, our IICRC certified technicians apply the disinfecting product to surfaces and contents in the building.
Final point, businesses cannot afford to assume their business is clean – too much is at stake. How do you know it works? Certified Indoor Environmental is scientific about our cleaning and disinfecting processes, and we can prove it. We use ATP testing to measure microbes found on surfaces we disinfect. This means we can prove cleanliness and document the reduction in microbes in your business facility.
Sound good? If we can give you some peace of mind and help keep your employees and customers healthy, please allow us the opportunity. To find out more, click here or call us at 971-350-3080. “Breathe Easy with Certified” is not only our motto, it is our mission.
CIE | Author – Lynette Schmidt, Business Development Manager, May 31, 2020