With a prevalent virus which scientists are still learning about and a vaccine promised but not yet available to combat the spread, what control measures can you put in place to mitigate the spread of COVID-19?

The spread of COVID-19

COVID-19 has a very fast reproduction rate with the droplets from coughing, sneezing and saliva from human mouths spreading onto anything the droplets have contact with.

When a person who has COVID-19 coughs, sneezes or talks, they may spread droplets containing the virus over a short distance, and these droplets will quickly settle on surrounding surfaces. This is called fomite transmission, and will transfer to surfaces include door handles, computer equipment, touch screens and handrails. You may get infected by the virus if you touch those surfaces or objects then touch your mouth, nose, or eyes.

Research has found that the new coronavirus can last up to 72 hours on plastic and stainless-steel surfaces and on cardboard for 24 hours. With this in mind, as we wait for the new vaccines to become available, the main advice to prevent COVID-19 is to practise strict hygiene measures which include cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and objects that people frequently touch more regularly than you normally would.

Even when national restrictions are lifted, we are likely to continue to see waves of coronavirus infections for the foreseeable future, particularly during the winter months, mainly because people remain indoors for longer periods of time with less ventilation. It is therefore important to stay vigilant and continue using hygienic practices.

Decontamination

As part of you cleaning programme to stop the spread of COVID-19, frequent high-level cleaning must include basics such as regular handwashing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, to cleaning high touch points and high footfall areas.

The simplest way to keep areas clean is by cleaning walls, mopping floors, cleaning desks and workstations, as well as high touch areas like door handles etc, with anti-bacterial spray. However, sometimes this is not sufficient and a thorough deep clean is needed, particularly if a premises has had someone with a positive test, we can help you with any deep cleans you may need.

Fogging

There are several methods of deep cleaning that are used, the most common is known as a TR19 which is used to achieve a defined level of cleanliness of ventilation systems.

For deep cleaning within your premises, there is a method called fogging, which has been used in the past in hospitals for dealing with MRSA, and should be carried out by a specialist contractor, like ourselves, using specialised products and cleaning methods.

Fogging uses an antiviral disinfectant solution which cleans and sanitises large areas of a building quickly and efficiently, it can kill off the virus and other biological agents in the air and on any surfaces within the area that’s being treated.

The task involves spraying a fine mist from a spray gun which is then left to evaporate, usually for around 6 hours. The task requires the use of a chemical suit, gloves and an air fed ventilator as well as a sealed mask etc. There is a correct concentration of active chemicals that should be used when completing fogging, therefore, that is why companies like ourselves are brought in to complete the job. The product used is safe to use around electronic equipment like, computers or printers etc, as the mist is exceptionally fine, yet it’s still effective in penetrating all areas to kill off the virus. We will discuss with you beforehand as it may not be suitable for rooms that are difficult to seal.

Electrostatic broad-spectrum antimicrobial spray

In addition to the conventional fogging method, there is another method known as the electrostatic broad-spectrum antimicrobial spray process.

Electrostatic spray surface cleaning is the process of spraying an electrostatically charged mist onto surfaces and objects within your premises. The electrostatic spray uses a specialised solution that is combined with air and atomized by an electrode inside the sprayer. Surfaces that have already been treated will repel the spray, making the method extremely efficient.

Conclusion

  • To help reduce the spread of COVID-19 ensure a high standard of personal hygiene through regular handwashing with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. Where soap and water are not readily available, a 70% alcohol-based hand sanitiser should be used
  • The key to reducing the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace is the frequent cleaning of high touch point areas and high footfall areas and this cleaning schedule must be maintained
  • It is a legal requirement to self-isolate if you test positive or are told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace and could be fined if you do not self-isolate

 

For more information on disinfecting premises using fog these methods above get in contact with your local ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services business today.