Reopening business requires all of us to be more conscious of practicing social distancing and to pay more attention to our daily habits to reduce our risk of exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19.
Whether you are a large or small business, a healthcare facility, a school, college or university, or any business premises you will want to ensure the cleanliness and safety of your employees and customers when returning over the coming weeks and months. Reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19 by cleaning and disinfection is an important part of reopening public spaces that will require careful planning. Cleaning first with normal detergents removes the soil (which is often invisible and not necessarily dirt or limescale e.g. grease) which can harbour germs. Germs can include bacteria and viruses. A good virucidal disinfectant then kills any virus particles leftover once the soil is removed (to a safe level or 99.99%).
Normal routine cleaning will decrease how much of the virus is on surfaces and objects, which reduces the risk of exposure. Frequent disinfection of surfaces and objects touched by multiple people is important. Disinfectants kill germs on surfaces. By killing germs on a surface after cleaning, you can further lower the risk of spreading infection.
The Science bit …
Disinfectants that kill coronavirus must be virucidal (bactericidal irrelevant) and EN14476 approved (kills 99.99%).
If you manage staff in a workspace, your will also need to consider the safety of cleaning staff and other people who are carrying out the cleaning or disinfecting. These staff members are at an increased risk of being exposed to the virus and to any toxic effects of the cleaning chemicals. Appropriate PPE should always be worn for any cleaning and disinfecting. Always wear gloves appropriate for the chemicals being used and additional personal protective equipment (PPE) may be needed based on the setting and the products being used. Always follow manufacturers guidelines.
Evaluate your workspace for High Touch areas.
Evaluate your workspace mapping out areas and surfaces touched by multiple people. Establishing a cleaning and disinfecting plan for your facility or business will be determined by what kinds of surfaces and materials make up that area. Most surfaces and objects will just need normal routine cleaning. Frequently touched surfaces and objects like light switches and doorknobs will need to be cleaned and then disinfected to further reduce the risk of germs on surfaces and objects.
Some surfaces only need to be cleaned with the appropriate cleaning products and do not require additional disinfection. For example, floors, depending on the setting but for the most part floors are not high touch areas.
The following questions will help you decide on your cleaning and disinfection plans.
Is the area outdoors?
Outdoor areas generally require normal routine cleaning and do not require disinfection. Spraying disinfectant on paths and outdoor walkways is not an efficient use of disinfectant supplies and has not been proven to reduce the risk of COVID-19 to the public. You should maintain existing cleaning and hygiene practices for outdoor areas.
Has the area been unoccupied for the last 7 days?
If your workplace, school, or business has been unoccupied for 7 days or more, it will only need your normal routine cleaning to reopen the area. This is because the virus that causes COVID-19 has not been shown to survive on surfaces longer than this time.
Is the surface your are cleaning a hard and non-porous material or item like glass, metal, or plastic?
Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions to determine the most appropriate cleaning product or disinfectant for the surface or object. Some studies on other coronaviruses, including SARS and MERS, found they can survive on metal, glass and plastic for as long as nine days, unless they are properly disinfected. Pay special attention to the personal protective equipment (PPE) that may be needed to safely apply the disinfectant and the manufacturer’s recommendations concerning any additional hazards.
Examples of frequently touched surfaces and objects that will need routine disinfection following reopening are:
Charis & Armrests
Taps and Sinks
Kitchen Appliances such as kettles, microwave door handles & fridge door handles
Office Water Cooler
Each business or facility will have different surfaces and objects that are frequently touched by multiple people. Appropriately disinfect these surfaces and objects.
Is the surface you are cleaning a soft and porous material or items like carpet, rugs, or soft seating?
Soft and porous materials are generally not as easy to disinfect as hard and non-porous surfaces. Soft and porous materials that are not frequently touched should only be cleaned or laundered, following the directions on the item’s label, using the warmest appropriate water setting.
Using the appropriate cleaning or disinfectant product for your facility, Diversey has the perfect 4 in 1 solution – Taski Sani 4 in 1 is a concentrated cleaner, descaler, disinfectant and deodoriser all in one. It is effective against Coronavirus, highly effective disinfectant passes EN14476, EN1276, EN13697 and EN1650 and is safe to use on all surfaces including chrome and stainless steel.
Note: For surface cleaning in a catering facility please use Suma Bac D10 which combines kitchen surface cleaning and disinfection in one step. With Suma Bac 10 detergent disinfectant, you remove microorganisms such as bacteria, yeast and viruses as effectively as grease and dried-on soil. Check method and dosing instructions for optimal, safe results.– for more information please click here.
Continuous cleaning and disinfectingSurfaces frequently touched by multiple people, such as door handles, desks, phones, light switches, and taps, should be cleaned and disinfected at least daily. More frequent cleaning and disinfection may be required based on level of use. For example, certain surfaces and objects such as door handles should be cleaned and disinfected more frequently. Certain items may also need to be cleaned and disinfected before each use.
Reopening requires all of us to move forward together using recommended best practices and maintaining safe daily habits in order to reduce our risk of exposure to COVID-19. Remember: We’re all in this together!
For advice on these products or any of the products in our Diversey range please contact our Customer Service teams on firstname.lastname@example.org or phone +353 1 6301800
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