By: Matt Hayas, Global Product Manager, Hydro Systems
In the 21st century, never before has the cleaning community and the general population dealt with an infection crisis matching the scope of the current coronavirus pandemic. Every facility, from schools to offices to restaurants to retail stores, is overhauling its approach to cleaning and disinfecting as more COVID-19 cases quickly rise around the globe.
While some organizations are closing their physical locations and implementing work-from-home policies to curb the spread of illness, the reality is that not every facility can do so. Grocery stores, pharmacies and healthcare facilities must remain open to those who need them. And despite Illinois and Ohio mandating that bars and restaurants close to dine-in customers, restaurants will still use delivery and pick-up as a means to generate income during these tough times. All facilities will have to step up cleaning frequency and thoroughness to combat coronavirus.
Best Practices for Breaking the Cycle of Infection
Coronavirus easily spreads between people and can survive on surfaces for numerous days, further complicating the spread of the virus. Disinfecting high-touch surfaces like countertops, desks, doorknobs, light switches, patient bedrails, utensils and more is essential. Doing so regularly also helps to kill germs before they have a chance to infect people.
Consider implementing the following best practices in your facility:
- Ensure everyone has access to hand soap and sanitizer – According to the CDC, 80% of all infections are transmitted by hands. Making sure that people have easy access to hand soap and sanitizer is critical, as it helps to limit the spread of germs to others and surfaces. In addition to checking stock levels of soap in dispensers in restrooms and near sinks, consider installing hand sanitizer dispensers near entrances and in other key areas.
- Rely on products proven to combat coronavirus – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released a list of products that are approved for use against SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19. It’s important to use these products according to the manufacturers’ instructions to ensure that you are effectively killing pathogens. For example, pay attention to the dwell time so that the product has enough time to work.
- Utilize chemical dispensers to your advantage – Chemical dispensers allow facilities to safely and accurately dispense cleaning chemicals into spray bottles, buckets and autoscrubbers. Without the proper dilution, recommended products won’t achieve their kill claims. Find a dispensing system that regulates water flow automatically and eliminates dilution variance.
A New Age of Cleaning
The number of deaths related to coronavirus has surpassed 6,500+ worldwide and will continue to grow as more people unknowingly spread the virus to others. Moving forward, once the dust settles on this pandemic, every organization will look at cleanliness in a new way. Regular and thorough cleaning and disinfecting has the power to protect people from becoming ill, and can even help prevent unnecessary deaths. Being prepared for the next outbreak, whether it is regional in scope or global like the current pandemic, will be crucial. The above best practices are an essential starting place for every facility.
For more strategies around cleaning and disinfecting during the coronavirus pandemic, read our free white paper: https://hydrosystemsco.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Coronavirus-White-Paper_U.S._FINAL.pdf