During the COVID-19 pandemic, the word “essential” described employees, public gatherings, services, and businesses that are still allowed and not restricted as it tries to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. Cleaners are also on the front lines of fighting this global pandemic. They are responsible for deep cleaning, disinfecting, and scrubbing the surfaces and areas that are hosts of potentially dangerous germs and viruses. Janitors, domestic workers, housekeeping and office cleaning crews don’t have the privilege of staying home and social distancing like others. At this time, their services are essential to maintain a clean and safe environment at their facilities and protect people from potential contamination – which are vital to critical infrastructure viability.
Cleaning and Disinfecting
Coronavirus has quickly gained a reputation for being particularly insidious. Early research has demonstrated that the virus’s survival depends on the type of surface it lands. The live virus can survive anywhere between three hours and seven days, depending on the material. And people infected by the virus don’t show symptoms until approximately two weeks after infection. Hence, it isn’t easy to track and contain.
Reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19 by cleaning and disinfection is an essential part of reopening public spaces that will require careful planning. Clean, sanitize, and disinfect are often used in overlapping contexts. Still, the general distinction is that “to clean” refers to scrubbing with soap and water, whereas “sanitizing” and “disinfecting” kill germs and bacteria via chemical means. Typically, disinfectants kill more germs than sanitizers.
Standard routine cleaning with soap and water removes germs and dirt from surfaces. It lowers the risk of spreading COVID-19 infection. Disinfectants kill germs on surfaces. By killing germs on a surface after cleaning, you can further lower the risk of spreading disease. EPA-approved disinfectants are an essential part of reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19. Store and use disinfectants responsibly and appropriately according to the label.
Atalian specialist teams offer full disinfection and sanitation of your facility environment. Our unrivalled anti-microbial technology approach provides germ-free surfaces for up to 30 days. The fogger generates small droplets of disinfectant that settle on and around even hard to reach areas. Our disinfecting package includes waste disposal, disinfection fogging, and fogging with anti-microbial technology.
Across the country, breakrooms, desks, and workstations are left empty. These dark, empty work settings may feel like human ghost towns now, but they are the perfect playgrounds for insects and other pests. Pest control professionals are finding that pests no longer have daily foot traffic deterring them from staying out of sight. They see this specifically in rodents around the U.S. whose usual food supply, like restaurant dumpsters, are now empty.
While considering these changes in rodent behaviour, facility management should continue regular pest control practices during this time. Rats, mice, cockroaches, flies, and ants are only a few of the pests that could be gaining entry when facilities managers least expect it. Many types of pests are vectors of diseases, contaminate, and consume food supplies and cause physical damage to buildings.
Buildings in all sectors, including hospitals, food processing plants, manufacturing plants, warehouses, education, hotels, restaurants, offices, and residential accommodation, provide ideal environments for many of these opportunistic pests. Protecting your buildings from infestation during the lockdown for both essential businesses that need to keep operations running and for temporarily closed business can keep you safe.
Action now will keep your buildings pest-free, safe, and ready to use when the lockdown is over, and business operations are reopening. It will also reassure staff and customers that a building is secure to work in or visit.
Although facilities maintenance is less relevant to fighting virus transmission, good maintenance practices and procedures are an essential element of creating a safe environment. You may consider conducting some non-essential maintenance activities that have been put on hold before the building becomes occupied again.
It will be safer for engineers to be in an empty building. Bringing forward any maintenance due in the next few months will reduce the need for engineers to be on-site when the building is busy. Look at options to install technology to enable remote fixing of plants and equipment to minimize engineer traffic to the building. You may install touch-free options wherever possible, including door handles, taps, and dispensers.
Although there is no real evidence of COVID-19 being passed through air conditioning, you may consider bringing filter changes forward as a precaution. The indoor air quality will be on everyone’s minds as they return to the workplace. If the facility is well-maintained, including the HVAC system, it will create a healthy environment.
Front-of-house and Security
An efficient visitor and vendor management system ensures the safety of your environment, staff, visitors, and keeps your organization’s reputation. Understanding the best-practice precautions to put in place to ensure visitors aren’t introducing health risks to your building during and beyond this crucial period. The best way to keep operational needs moving is to provide clear and fluid communication as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
The front-of-house experience will set the tone for the rest of your building. If social distancing is sloppy in your reception area, people will be less likely to adhere to requirements elsewhere. Use the front-of-house area to demonstrate how seriously your organization takes the safety and wellbeing of its occupants. You could install transparent screens at reception to protect receptionists and visitors.
Use graphics on the flooring to help people maintain the social distancing rules when queuing. Reconfigure reception furniture so guests can keep social distancing rules. The use of thermal fever screening helps to detect any of the possible COVID-19 cases at the entrance or critical areas of your sites. Security should advise visitors not to enter the building if they have respiratory symptoms (e.g., fever, cough, or runny nose) or other communicable diseases.
Provide a variety of PPE in the reception area, including masks and gloves, anti-bacterial gel, and tissues. Look at ways to reduce the amount of traffic to a building such as video conferences. Use the time that the building remains vacant to create a 3D digital model of your property. You can use it to show the space to current and future workplace and facilities partners, reducing the need for them to visit your area.
COVID-19 outbreak is a dire situation, and we understand that the health and safety of you, your family, and employees are on the line. We are supporting organizations across the world to develop the post-COVID workplace. Atalian can help you with expert cleaning, anti-microbial technology and fogging, maintenance, pest control, fever screening solutions, and occupancy tracking and PPE supply solutions. Contact us now.