Cleaning teams are on the front lines of helping confront the novel coronavirus pandemic. As the situation changes quickly, it’s not always clear where to find the right information. Here are a few questions we’ve heard within the janitorial community recently, as well as resources to help you find more information.
What cleaning products can I use against the coronavirus?
The CDC has compiled a list of disinfectants for use against SARS-CoV-2. A few tips for using this list:
- Check the disinfectant you already have before searching out a new product. Many manufacturers are updating their websites with information; you can also call the number on the label.
- Look for the EPA registration number on the product label. Some products have similar names, but different formulations or strengths.
- Pay careful attention to cleaning methodology, especially dwell time. It varies from product to product, but many disinfectants require that the surface be visibly wet with product for 5 or even 10 minutes in order to kill viruses.
For more information, you can also reference the GBAC’s tip sheet on using disinfectants against the coronavirus.
Where can I find reliable information about cleaning and disinfecting against the coronavirus?
BSCAI has compiled an extensive list of resources. In particular, check out:
- Commercial Cleaning Resources for Coronavirus
- A March 24 webinar on Protecting Your Clients, Staff and Patrons from Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), presented by Diversey and BSCAI. (This appears to be a free webinar.)
- The list of supplier advice links towards the end of the page, which will quickly direct you to the coronavirus information from various chemical suppliers.
Coronavirus: Prevention and Control for the Cleaning Industry is the ISSA’s resource page. If you are an ISSA member, check that page for recordings from the How to Clean & Disinfect for the Coronavirus webinar, which should be released soon.
The Global Biorisk Advisory Council is a division of ISSA that specifically deals with biorisks, including infectious diseases. You’ll find contact info and education opportunities on their site. On March 19, they’ll be hosting a workshop on bio-remediation and response, which will include a certification. See the website for more details, information on fees, and to sign up.
APPA’s COVID-19 Resources and Guidelines page has information specific to educational facilities. It also includes resources on managing during this time that may be helpful for business owners, too.
How can I protect my employees?
In order to protect your cleaning team, you’ll need to know what you’re up against. Good communication with your organization or client is crucial here. You’ll need to know about any definite or potential exposure.
GBAC has released two tip sheets that can help your team first assess the risk, and then prepare for cleaning:
- Recommendations for Risk Assessment for the Cleaning and Forensic Restoration Industry in Response to COVID-19
- Recommendations for Personal Protective Equipment for the Cleaning and Forensic Restoration Industry in Response to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Additionally, ensure that you are communicating the expectation to your employees that they stay home and notify you of their symptoms if they are ill. They need to know you truly do not want them coming to work sick.
Paid sick leave is a crucial step in ensuring that your sick employees really do stay home. Many businesses are coming out with paid leave policies as the coronavirus spreads.
As demand for janitorial services soars amid the spread of COVID-19, we hope these resources help your team respond effectively and stay well.