COVID - 19: Lessons Learned
COVID-19 has had a major impact on Commercial Cleaning. As we reach the one year anniversary of the pandemic, what have we learned?
COVID – 19 has touched our lives in ways we never expected. From mask mandates to social distancing orders we have been forced to alter how we go about our daily business. These changes apply to commercial cleaning as well. Once primarily judged by empty trash cans and cleaning restrooms, commercial cleaning services are now tasked with ensuring that businesses are not only “clean,” but “safe.” So what changes have occurred to address this new expectation?
Some of the first questions that needed to be addressed when the pandemic began was how contagious was COVID – 19? How long could the virus survive in work environments? What chemicals were effective in killing the virus?
Over the past year the CDC has been able to provide some concrete guidance on dealing with COVID – 19. On surfaces the virus can survive anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Drastic measures are not required: soap and water cleaning is partially effective and chemicals have been identified that, when applied to surfaces, are close to 100% effective in killing the virus.
For commercial cleaners, this has resulted in greater attention to the details. Here at Environment Control, we addressed the issue two-ways: One, we educated our controllers on the proper safety measures needed (masks and gloves at all times, greater attention to desktop and surface cleaning) to ensure a safe environment not only from them but for our clients.
Secondly, EC added a new service, “Touch Surface Detail,” to address the need for surface disinfection. Touch Surface Detail (TSD) uses a highly effective, EPA approved disinfection on all surfaces that are touched during a typical work day. In addition to surfaces normally cleaned during regular janitorial service, TSD also focuses on areas such as office door handles, braille pads, computer keyboards and chair backs. Applied on a schedule of the clients choosing, TSD has proven very effective in limiting outbreaks of COVID – 19. At offices where an employee has been confirmed to have contracted the virus, EC provides electrostatic spraying which disinfects not only touched surfaces but all surface areas. This extra level of coverage ensures that the entire area in which the employee has had contact is completely disinfected and safe for co-workers.
With COVID-19 cases dropping more companies are beginning to consider when to bring their employees back to the office. Anxiety regarding the safety of these work environments will naturally lead to greater attention being paid to office cleaning procedures. Environment Control realizes that the ‘new normal’ is a marriage of janitorial and disinfection services that will provide businesses and their employees with the confidence that their facilities are not only clean but protected from harmful viruses.