The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting facilities in 2021. They are now recommending a three-step process for making sure your facilities are safe.
Step One: Develop Your Plan
- Determine what areas need to be cleaned
- Determine areas that need disinfection with priority given to frequently touched surfaces
- Mandate use of appropriate personal protection equipment (PPE)
Step Two: Implement Your Plan
- Clean surfaces with soap and water before disinfection
- Use an EPA-registered disinfectant approved for COVID-19
- Follow best practices for disinfection and follow product application instructions for effective disinfection
Step Three: Maintain and Revise Your Plan
- Continue routine cleaning and disinfection
- Surfaces in public places should be cleaned and disinfected before each use
- High-touch surfaces, such as tables, light switches, desks, doorknobs, handles, countertop, phone, keyboards, sinks, faucets, and toilets, should be cleaned and disinfected more frequently
While all of this sounds straightforward, there are a lot of decisions to be made during each phase and skipping key aspects of the planning or implementation phases can allow germs and bacteria to grow. Commercial cleaning services such as OpenWorks’ can help you create, implement, and maintain your plan to keep your facility safe. With more than three decades of professional cleaning, disinfecting, and janitorial experience, OpenWorks knows what it takes to implement an effective cleaning and disinfection program.
Employees expect employers, building owners, and facility managers to provide a safe and healthy environment. A December study revealed that 73% of employees believe their workplace should be cleaned daily, and 62% think it should be cleaned and disinfected daily. More than three-quarters of employees also said it is important to use a commercial cleaning service that employs trained and certified professional technicians.
Did you know that bacteria are one of nature’s fastest-growing organisms? Left untreated, they can double in size in 20 minutes or less. A single bacterium can multiply to more than 16 million in just eight hours. This is why it is important to disinfect high-touch surfaces frequently.
It is important to kill germs and pathogens since they can multiply so quickly. Using EPA-approved disinfectants has proven to be effective against SARS and COVID-19 to kill at least 99.9% of germs and bacteria on surfaces. They kill on contact but lose their effectiveness over time. Surfaces can be contaminated again. This is why OpenWorks developed Continuous Care to provide longer-lasting protection and inhibit the growth and spread of microbes.
As we have learned more about the spread of COVID-19, protocols and best practices for commercial cleaning services have evolved as well. One area that is getting additional attention is floors. Even though floors are not considered high-touch areas, they can be the culprit in spreading pathogens that lead to illness.
Most commercial cleaning services disinfect high-touch areas, such as countertops, desks, and doorknobs, but they do not always disinfect floors. Pathogens can land anywhere, including the floor, and contact from shoes, spills, and residual, airborne bacteria can lead to cross-contamination. For instance, germs can be spread if someone sets their purse on the floor and then places it on a table or kitchen counter.
TotalWorksTM With Continuous Care
Continuous Care is an antimicrobial surface protectant that is applied after cleaning and disinfection is complete to provide continuous protection from bacteria and microorganisms for up to 90 days.
When applied with an electrostatic sprayer, the antimicrobial surface protectant forms a covalent bond with surfaces and attracts bacteria. The coating creates a shield of microscopic spikes that pierce bacteria cells and rupture their membranes, which inhibits their growth.
Despite its strength and ability to stop germs and viruses, the Continuous Care antimicrobial surface protectant is odorless and non-toxic, safe for use on food preparation surfaces and play areas, and contains no volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
New OSHA Guidelines on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace
OSHA also updated its 2021 guidelines for dealing with COVID-19 in the workplace. They follow most of the same protocols as the CDC but provide a stark reminder for employers that they are required by law to “provide a safe and healthful workplace that is free from recognized hazards.”
OpenWorks consistently exceeds expectations to create healthier, cleaner, and safer facilities. This is why OpenWorks has a 98% client retention rate that is more than double the industry average.