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Covid-19 has heightened our awareness of our surroundings and the cleanliness of shared spaces, especially when we’re out in public. We’re all doing our best not to touch our faces, use hand sanitiser, wash our hands frequently and wear face masks.

With new measures around the UK being put into place, the government are advising to work from home if you’re physically able to do so.

So, as business owners and facility managers are working to keep pace with new ‘new normal’, being able to open and stay open where possible, all employees must observe a clean space. Sanitising and disinfecting play a critical role in keeping businesses open and safe and common areas are one of the hardest areas to keep clean. With this being said, we’ve put together 3 tips for managing common areas during Covid-19.

Tip #1 – Determine foot traffic areas

Each business operates differently and uses the space in different ways. Given current pandemic conditions, tracking the different levels of foot traffic is critical.

  • Is the daily foot traffic volume consistent, or is foot traffic heavier on certain days or times?
  • Is it only employees entering and exiting the building, or are there also customers and various contractors using the building?
  • Does your particular facility support or supply those considered “at-risk” (immunocompromised, immunodeficient, elderly, etc.)?
  • Do you have a process for tracking all that are entering and exiting the building? So, in the event of a case, all can be notified to isolate.

The UK government advises on keeping track of all individuals that enter your premises and inform them if they have come into contact with infectious activity.

Make sure you have appropriate cleaning schemes and disinfection cycles in place for your premises, if you have a case or not.

Tip #2 – Determine all high touch areas

Now that you have determined the individuals who are entering and exiting the building it is time to determine what those frequently touched areas are.

Common areas that are visited more often, are more likely to be higher risk areas of infection and that is why it is so important to clean and disinfect common areas in response to your assessed activity.

A good way to work out your high touch areas is to walk through your premises a few times yourself and write down a list of those points that you have to touch to get where you’re going and to do what you need to do.

In addition to these observations, managing common areas during COVID-19 will need to ensure you’re sanitising the following:

  • Doorknobs/handles
  • Light Switches
  • Drawers
  • Refrigerator and Microwave Doors
  • Chair Arms
  • All kitchen and dining areas
  • All bathroom touch surfaces
  • Keyboards and mice
  • Conference room touchpoints
  • Elevator buttons
  • Drinking fountains

Once you have your list compiled, determine the appropriate cleaning agent for each space. Appropriate guidelines are to:

  • Always use approved cleaning methods and products
  • Always use gloves and appropriate PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) when necessary.
  • Always instruct employees on which agents must be diluted and how to do so according to manufacturer guidelines

Alternatively, you can contact your local ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services to complete all schedules and cleaning within your business premises.

Tip #3 – Use a cleaning company

Weekly, daily, and certainly hourly disinfecting is a big task that can take away from business productivity and business goals. Outsourcing cleaning to a trusted and experienced commercial cleaning company can give you peace of mind and give you more time to work on your business.

ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services offer contract cleaning services throughout the UK, if however; you require one-off cleans and do not have contract cleaning requirements you can get in touch with one of our local ServiceMaster Clean sister companies.

You can find your local ServiceMaster Clean Company here.

ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services Mid Anglia had a call late one evening, approximately 6pm from a Main GP practice in the local area where a patient had come into the GP with severe breathing difficulties. It was confirmed this was due to COVID-19 and the patient was subsequently transferred to Addenbrookes hospital. All areas used by the patient were isolated by the client and they called ServiceMaster Clean Mid Anglia for assistance in getting the areas deep cleaned, decontaminated and suitable to be used again.

sanitisation

After receiving the call, ServiceMaster Clean Mid Anglia assigned a cleaning team who were on site for 7am the following morning. The cleaning team were issued full PPE and under the circumstances were provided with full face coverings to reduce the risk to the cleaning operatives.

The team wiped down all touchable surfaces using disposable cloths, including, sinks, treatment beds. A three stage cleaning process was used, firstly with SaniMaster 6 then high pressure steam cleaning followed by re-cleaning with SaniMaster 6. This process was repeated on the floor areas.

Once the clean was completed all PPE was disposed of as contaminated waste and all equipment was sanitised afterwards to ensure there was no cross contamination.

Due to the rapid response of ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services Mid Anglia and availability of cleaning operatives the GP practice was up and running again and accepting patients by 10:00am.

Although many businesses have had to close their doors during this unprecedented lockdown, many of our existing clients have had to remain open to provide valuable services. ServiceMaster are proud to be able to help our clients and any other companies struggling to fulfill cleaning requirements during this difficult time.

COVID-19 hit the world by storm towards the end of March and has quite literally changed the world as we know it.

With the government opening schools back up and trying to enforce normality as much as possible, there are still a few changes that need to happen in schools and nurseries to keep all children and staff safe.

Handwashing – Can you make it fun?

Teaching children how to wash their hands properly with soap and water doesn’t have to be hard and it is the main way that we can do to keep all within schools and nurseries safe.

Especially with younger children making the cleaning hands procedure fun is vital as it’s going to be the way of life for a while to come. Here are a few ways of making cleaning hands fun;

  1. Encourage them to sing a song when cleaning their hands, like a nursery rhyme for the younger ones and for the older ones their current favourite song
  2. Alternatively, you can make up a song in the classroom and get them to sing this instead
  3. Tell them something like if you clean your hands regularly you’ll become a superhero and give you the powers to bit the bad guys

Here’s a song released by the NHS to help with the cleaning of hands – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9VjeIWLnEg

School reopening: pupil hygiene and wellbeing posters

Adults – Lead by example

Making sure as an adult you are cleaning your hands as regularly as the children and joining in with the sing-a-long is vitally important, because children learn from adults around them.

So, making a habit of washing your hands, disposing of paper towels correctly etc, your children will be more likely to copy this behaviour and continue to do so.

Always make sure you’re socially distancing with colleagues and children where possible as this will help stop the spread

Keep your eyes, ears and noses out for symptoms

Making sure you’re keeping your eyes and ears out for symptoms including, a high temperature and a new, continuous cough is important for the health of your entire school or nursery. Other symptoms can include a loss of smell or taste, so it may be a good idea to potentially check the children’s sense of smell every so often.

You can also tell the children to let you know if any other child mentions any of these symptoms so that the correct measures can be followed.

Make sure to follow NHS guidance with every potential COVID-19 case.

Always outdoor play where possible

As schools have started to open new ‘social bubbles’ have been formed in order to allow children to once again play with each other outside. Most schools have adopted a class or year group bubble which includes all of the teachers associated with that class or year group as well.

Social interaction is important for the emotional wellbeing of children, therefore outside playing being prioritised in the key decisions to open up schools.

Always make sure the children are washing their hands by following the correct procedures after every break time.

Listening is important

The children in schools and nurseries are bound to be worried or concerned because of changes to their daily routines and because of certain things they may have heard or read in regards to the coronavirus.

As a teacher, or caregiver it’s important to reassure them that you are there to listen if they’re feeling scared, unsure about something they may have heard and being there for them in these different times.

If you’re unaware of what to tell the children then there are a few different websites you can head to that will help with this;

Talking to children about coronavirus (Young Minds)

Talking to children about the coronavirus pandemic (Mental Health Foundation)

Regular cleaning is vital

Regular cleaning in schools and nurseries is vital to ensure the health and safety of the children and staff on the premises.

That is why all schools must have a new daily cleaning schedule put in place, and that is where we can help, find your nearest ServiceMaster Clean Contract Services for more information today.

With all that’s going on in the world now, everyone needs to understand what the differences between Social Distancing, Isolation and Quarantine are.

There is a difference between each of these terms and we’ll explain the difference below.

What is Social Distancing?

Social distancing should be practised by everyone, whether or not they are exposed to the virus.

Social Distancing includes avoiding handshakes, crowds and staying at least 2 metres (6 feet) away from people.

Working from home/Remote Working has been recommended by the government when possible and if showing any symptoms, you should be self-isolating.

What is Isolation?

Isolation is for those who have been either diagnosed with COVID-19 or showing symptoms of the virus.

Isolation serves as a deterrent to keep the infected away from the healthy in order to stop the spread of the virus. This applies to anyone living with someone showing symptoms, anyone with an underlying health condition or anyone over the age of 70.

What is Quarantine?

Quarantine is the restriction on the movement of people, which is intended to prevent the spread of disease. Preventing the movement of those who may have been exposed to a COVID-19, but do not have a confirmed case.

This is the current situation in countries like Italy & Spain to which they have issued a nationwide quarantine and restricted everyone from leaving their homes as much as they can.

Here are a few small graphics that we’ll be sharing on social media as well that you can share if you like:

Social DistancingIsolationQuarantine

Proper hand hygiene is the number one way to reduce the risk of infection and it’s important to wash your hands frequently and properly, with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

Here is the proper way to wash your hands as recommended by NHS:

How to Wash Your Hands Correctly

  1. Wash your hands under warm running water
  2. Apply soap and rub palms together to ensure complete coverage
  3. Spread the soap over the back of your hands
  4. Make sure the soap gets in between each of your fingers
  5. Grip the fingers on each hand, ensuring you cover each finger with soap
  6. Rub both thumbs into a clenched fist
  7. Press fingertips into the palm of each hand
  8. Rub your knuckles on the opposite palm
  9. Dry thoroughly with a disposable paper towel

Other Tips on Hand Washing

Your hands should be washed for at least 20 seconds, of which you can keep track of by singing Happy Birthday twice.

An acceptable alternative to hand washing is to use an alcohol-based sanitiser, with at least 60%. When possible, wash your hands using the above method as this is more effective against viruses.

Here is a graphic we put together to show you the different stages of the above method:

Download handwashing graphic here