Cleaning and Disinfecting a facility with a suspected/confirmed case of COVID-19

One of the most important moments in containing the spread of COVID-19 is when you have a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 in your business. Taking appropriate steps to clean and disinfect after the possible or confirmed case is critical in keeping you, your employees, and your customers safe.

While the infection risk from a COVID-19 contaminated environment decreases over time, it is not yet clear at what point there is no risk from the virus.

Scientists know that SARS-CoV-2 is transmitted through respiratory droplets. (Respiratory droplets are the little bits of liquid that are exhaled when someone speaks.) But they’re not yet certain about infectious aerosols. (Aerosols are the smaller, much more numerous particles that people breathe out.) Research indicates that there is at least a chance that these smaller particles of breath can carry the virus. If that’s the case, then it’s possible that the virus could travel further and linger in the air for longer than initially thought. However, studies suggest that, in non-healthcare settings, the risk of residual infectious virus is likely to be significantly reduced after 48 hours.

While researchers are still figuring the details out, there are actions you can take to protect you, your employees and your visitors.

  • Close off any areas the person with a suspected or confirmed virus visited.
  • Open outside doors and windows to increase ventilation, while still indicating that people should not enter the area.
  • If you can, wait 24 hours before beginning cleaning and disinfection. If you can’t wait 24 hours, wait as long as you can.
  • Cleaning staff should clean and disinfect every area visited by the person with a suspected or confirmed virus, as well as anything they may have touched.
  • Ensure cleaning staff have suitable PPE. Use a disposable mask, gloves, and coveralls.

More information for cleaning in non-healthcare settings outside the home can be found here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-decontamination-in-non-healthcare-settings/covid-19-decontamination-in-non-healthcare-settings#left-area.

Details for the Test & Trace system for employers can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-test-and-trace-workplace-guidance

If you have a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 in your building, consider getting the professionals in, at ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services, we can provide a deep cleaning and sanitisation service for your building as well as ongoing professional cleaning services. That way you know you are in safe hands.

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