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What Every Facility Manager Must Know About Coronavirus

What Every Facility Manager Must Know About Coronavirus

It’s being talked about on every television and radio news program. 

There are long lines at big box stores, where cases of water, disinfectants, hand sanitizer and cleaning wipes with bleach have been sold out for weeks.

All thanks to the COVID-19 coronavirus.

With all of this coverage and concern about how the virus will spread, change and develop, there’s a lot of chatter and a lot of false information flying around. As a facility manager, how can you accurately prepare your building and keep the infection from spreading? What is the truth about this virus? 

Here’s the information you can share with your janitorial staff and why it matters:

Why Coronavirus Infection Control Matters

For a virus that for many can feel much like influenza, why does it matter so much to take such elaborate precautions? 

For some, including the elderly and those with comorbidities, the coronavirus quickly can develop into something much deadlier. And because this is a new strain of virus, none of us has built up immunities to it, making the virus more contractible from person to person, which is why we have seen it spread so quickly. 

For these reasons, hospitals could quickly become overwhelmed trying to care for too many people who have become infected. This is where the idea of “flattening the curve,” or controlling transmission, can help. 

What does this mean? It’s not like the chickenpox, where moms exposed their children early so they would get sick and build up an immunity. Instead, preventing infection as long as possible allows hospitals time to prepare and to prevent overcrowding.

As a facility manager, you can help prevent the spread of infection throughout your building by passing along simple care routines to your janitorial staff. 

Can COVID-19 Spread by Touching a Contaminated Surface?

The biggest question on every facility manager’s mind: Can COVID-19 spread from touching surfaces that have become contaminated with the virus?

The answer to this is “probably,” though this is not the main way that the disease is believed to spread. While there is still a lot that experts are discovering about this virus, there is a definite possibility for a person to contract the disease by touching a surface that has been contaminated by the virus and then touching their own mouth or nose and potentially even their eyes. 

It is believed that the coronavirus can live on a surface anywhere between a few hours to several days if it’s not carefully disinfected. According to the World Health Organization, if you think that a surface might be infected, a simple disinfectant will protect yourself and the occupants of your building. 

What Can Be Done for Infection Control?

How can your janitorial staff prevent the spread of coronavirus, COVID-19? Since it is possible to spread the virus by touching a contaminated surface, there is a definite need for your team to spend time cleaning high-touch surfaces throughout your building. 

What kind of surfaces can be considered high-touch surfaces?

  • Tables, desks, and countertops
  • Doorknobs, handles, and push plates or push bars on doors
  • Handles
  • Toilets, faucets, sinks
  • Handrails
  • Hard-backed chairs
  • Remotes
  • Elevator buttons

As a building manager, having a plan in place for your janitorial service to sanitize these high-touch surfaces can help reduce the risk of transmission within your building. 

What can your building’s janitorial team do to care for these high-touch surfaces throughout your building?

  • Use EPA-registered disinfectants to thoroughly clean all surfaces, following all label instructions.
  • Continuously remind your janitorial team on the importance of disinfecting your building.
  • Post signs in restroom and eating areas reminding janitorial staff and building occupants to wash their hands properly and/or use hand sanitizer as much as possible.

Coronavirus (Covid-19) Cleaning Services by All Building Cleaning Corp

What to Do if Someone in Your Building Contracts the Virus

If someone in your building contracts the virus, what information can you provide your janitorial staff on how to properly clean and disinfect your building? The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has the following recommendations on how to sanitize your workplace after an infected person has come in contact with your building. As the building manager, you can pass these along to your janitorial staff to ensure proper disinfection:

  • Close off all areas used by the ill person, and wait as long as possible before beginning cleaning and disinfection so as to minimize potential exposure to respiratory droplets. 
  • Open exterior doors and windows to increase air circulation, and wait up to 24 hours before cleaning and disinfection.
  • Your cleaning staff should clean and disinfect all areas used by infected persons, focusing heavily on high-touch surfaces.
  • Surfaces can be cleaned using an alcohol solution of at least 70 percent, an EPA-registered disinfectant or a solution of bleach diluted in water. 
    • Only use bleach if it is appropriate for the surface, and always allow for proper ventilation. And as always, never mix bleach with any ammonia products.
    • A bleach solution of five tablespoons per gallon or four teaspoons per quart of water can be made to disinfect your building.
  • Porous surfaces like cloth or carpet can be cleaned with the appropriate cleaners for that surface, while items that can be laundered should be washed in the warmest water setting possible for those items
  • Your cleaning staff should wear gloves and gowns for all parts of the cleaning process, including trash removal, taking precautions to remove them carefully.
  • Follow up glove and gown removal with a thorough hand washing only after disinfecting all rooms occupied by an infected person

Take the worry and guesswork out of cleaning and sanitizing your office building by working with the trained professionals at All Building Cleaning Corp., who specialize in janitorial services across a wide range of industries.  

Being a facilities manager is hard enough; you shouldn’t have to worry about sanitizing your building too. At All Building Cleaning Corp., we excel in commercial cleaning services, and we can help you tackle the spread of this virus and keep your building occupants as healthy as possible. 

Ready for some extra help to combat this coronavirus? We have our gloves and our disinfectants ready. Request a quote today.

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