According to the CDC, there have been over 40 million cases of COVID-19 in the United States, with 652,480 deaths related to the virus. The US is averaging 150,000 new cases daily, and the more the virus spreads, the more likely it is to mutate.
Mutations occur when the virus enters your cells and begins making copies of its RNA (similar to DNA). If a copying error occurs, the new versions of the virus will be different. Creating a new COVID variant.
New variants or strains are popping up all over the world, from the Alpha strain in England to the Beta strain in South Africa. Now, the Gamma and Delta strains have made their way to the US.
But how can you protect your business against the latest COVID variant? What precautionary coronavirus cleaning steps can you take? Keep reading to discover the answers to these questions.
1. Educate Yourself
If the pandemic has made one thing clear, it’s that nobody has all the answers. The advice you receive from the news will depend largely on the outlets you follow, but when it comes to coronavirus cleaning, you should take the time to educate yourself.
The first step is to find reliable sources of information, especially those focused on this specific virus. The CDC offers updated information about cleaning, disinfecting, and additional considerations you can make.
Ensure that you understand the following information:
- Symptoms of the virus
- How it spreads
- How the variants differ from one another
- The benefits of face masks and social distancing
- When to clean
- When to disinfect
Your current cleaning staff may not be prepared with the knowledge and equipment necessary to clean your business safely and effectively. You’ll need to know when hiring a professional service would be beneficial for your staff and the business.
2. Work From Home
Where possible, you should allow staff to work from home. You might worry about them slacking off, but a COVID outbreak will cause even more harm to your business than a few lost hours.
Imagine that your business is on the news after being the hotspot of a new COVID variant outbreak. Your reputation is bound to be affected.
If staff work from home, they are responsible for any coronavirus cleaning. This reduces the number of staff on your business premises, thereby reducing the risk of a COVID outbreak.
3. Take Precautions
Whether your staff can work from home or not, you must prepare your business premises for their return. The possibility of a new COVID variant will be a real risk for months, maybe years to come. So now is as good a time as any to make changes.
Some advised changes include:
- Installing hand sanitizer dispensers
- Making face masks mandatory
- Installing physical barriers
- Spacing desks and social seating
- Limiting gatherings in communal spaces
- Making meetings virtual where possible
- Avoiding large gatherings or events
- Staggering breaks and start/finish times
- Providing PPE (personal protective equipment)
All these changes can help limit the spread of a new COVID variant. Every business will be slightly different, so find what works for yours.
4. Monitor Employee Health
There are some small and inexpensive steps you can take to reduce the likelihood of COVID spreading through the workforce. Making staff aware of the obvious symptoms, such as a cough and the loss of taste and smell, will help them spot the illness earlier.
Some symptoms are less noticeable than others, such as an increase in body temperature. Checking the temperature of staff members as they enter the building will reduce the likelihood of someone unknowingly bringing the virus into the workplace.
Medical advice suggests that any temperature over 38°C/100°F is a fever.
Staff should be made aware of any changes to business policies or practices. This includes what will happen in the event of a COVID outbreak at the workplace. For example, how will they be notified?
5. Increase Business Cleaning
Most businesses have cleaning staff who routinely dust, vacuum, and tidy up after the day is over. This likely includes cleaning and disinfecting any toilets or cooking spaces. Occasionally, these staff will carry out a deeper clean, where they wipe down surfaces, disinfect door handles, etc.
Ensuring that your cleaning staff has the knowledge, skills, training, and equipment necessary to reduce the likelihood of the virus spreading is essential! Infection control requires more than a casual clean.
But hiring a professional office cleaning service to regularly deep clean the most likely contaminated areas will drastically reduce the likelihood of any virus (including COVID) surviving in the air or on any surface.
6. Post-COVID Cleaning
What should you do when a member of staff tests positive for the virus? COVID-19 cleaning should be the first step. This would include viral remediation and infection control.
Ideally, staff should remain at home while any post-COVID cleaning takes place. This ensures that the virus has been removed from the business before anybody returns. COVID can survive in the air for several hours but can linger on surfaces for days.
Ineffective cleaning methods can fail to kill the virus, move it, or send it into the air. Poorly trained staff may contaminate themselves or others without realizing it.
Need Help with a COVID Variant?
Keeping your staff safe from any new COVID variant can be challenging! Educating staff on the symptoms and monitoring their health can reduce the likelihood of COVID being spread throughout the workforce. Coronavirus cleaning can remove any trace of the virus from the premises.
Need a professional cleaning service for your business? Contact the BriTen Janitorial Team today, and we’ll provide you with a free estimate.